Day 1 of Biophysical Society in the Big Easy kicked off with a great start, beginning with Subgroup Saturday. The subgroup session I knew I wanted to attend was the Biological Fluorescence Subgroup. From the moment it began, the room was packed. Every seat was filled, along with the standing room also being taken up very quickly. By the end, attendees started to sit in the aisle just to be able to see the talks. Pro tip – if you want a seat, make sure to get there early! (Related side note: a big thank you to the gentleman who saved my seat for me when I had to run to the bathroom halfway through the talks!)
The talks were all high quality, starting with one titled “High Throughput, High Content Neurobiological Imaging” by Peter So from MIT. The most memorable talk, for me, was one given by Paul Selvin from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign titled, “Intracellular Fluorescence Labeling Using External Dyes of Non-Transfected Living Cells”, or alternatively, “Drilling Through the Cell Membrane”. Before he introduced his talk and the overall message of his story, he started off by saying, “If you plan on taking a nap…just stay awake for about a minute.” After a minute of explaining what we would be listening to, he then told the audience that they could go to sleep if they pleased. However, there was not a single person in the room who took a nap during his talk (yes, I checked). His research is exciting, and at one point, he (literally) had the entire room say “woah” with the images of his cells. Hopefully, you too were in the room to see his talk!
Afterwards, I went to check out the parades happening in New Orleans. While Mardi Gras isn’t until February 28th, the city is “warming up” as our Uber driver said. The parade I was able to catch was run by Krewe du Vieux. Krewe du Vieux has been around since 1987 and is known for their handmade mule-drawn, raucous, controversial floats. The theme of this year’s parade was Crass Menagerie. As expected from the name, the parade was indeed wild and spectacular.The music was lively, the floats were colorful, creative, and political, the members of the parade were very interactive, and the crowd was excited. I won’t go into the details of the floats, but as I said earlier, Krewe du Vieux likes to be politically controversial, and they definitely had a lot of material to work with since last Mardi Gras. If this is what New Orleans considers warming up, I can’t even imagine what the parades the weekend of Mardi Gras are like!
Thanks for reading. If you happen to see me, either inside or outside the Convention Center, feel free to say hello!
Take it easy in the Big Easy,