As a microscopist, I’m probably overly biased. But I think I’m justified in saying that if you are working with fluorescent proteins, you should be obliged to show awesome pictures of how you use these wonderful little light bulbs. I attended two minisymposium talks on fluorescent proteins that emit light in conjunction with the onset of action potential-driven membrane depolarization. I was pretty psyched, action potentials are pretty cool in how they work anyways, being the little information highways of our and all animal bodies. Now they say that there are labels to directly see this stuff – oh yeah, I gotta see this!
So I found a stretch of open seats in the ample 20BC room, whipped out a note pad and anxiously awaited ebbing and flowing fluorescent images to dazzle my retinas. I won’t put names on it, but sadly I my retinas got all dressed up and had nowhere to go. In the 30-40 minutes of presentation time there was 1 movie, just one little movie, that was only about 10 seconds long. Man, what?! Come on! As stated in the movie Swingers: “you’re so money and you don’t even know it!”
Granted the studies were about how the proteins work, but at heart we are all still little kids and if you can see a movie that tells the story, that’s way easier to understand and far more enjoyable. I find that a neat image will stick in my mind far longer than a graph accompanied by all the words that go along to explain it, but that’s a microscopist point of view. And given the massive number of optics company exhibits, I think there’s quite a few of us. So if you’re in doubt next time, go ahead and let the colors dance!