Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Congratulations Dr Deepa Varkey

I have a bit of a massive backlog of stuff to blog about, so let me combine 3 posts into one. Congratulations are due to Deepa Varkey for:
1. finishing her PhD on temperature adaptation of marine cyanobacteria
2. getting a postdoc position at the c3 Institute at UTS working with Peter Ralph and Justin Seymour.
3. publishing her first big paper in the ISME journal on the effects of low temperature on tropical and temperate isolates of the marine cyanobacterium Synechococcus. Deepa also won an award for this paper from the Biomolecular Frontiers Research Centre for the best paper by an early career researcher in the Centre in 2015.

Good luck with the new job Deepa, we'll miss you here (and don't forget about writing up the other manuscripts from your PhD for publication!)

Monday, 4 April 2016

Synthetic Biology Cutting Edge Symposium

I succeeded in getting out of bed at 4.40 am this morning (a minor miracle), in order to catch an early morning flight from Sydney to Canberra. Fortunately everything ran smoothly, and I managed to make it in time to the Synthetic Biology Cutting Edge Symposium which was being held at the War Memorial in Canberra. I don't think I've been to the War Memorial since I was five years old, and its clearly changed since there's no longer a Japanese Miniature Submarine out the front. Anyway, I had no time to actually visit any of the exhibits, as I was giving a talk on "Yeast 2.0 and Beyond" at the first session in the Symposium.

I very much enjoyed todays talks. Joel Cherry from Amyris gave a mind blowing talk about their progress on making industrial biochemicals using yeast, the scale of the syn bio capabilities with robotic platforms was very impressive. Jane Calvert from Edinburgh gave a very interesting talk on using social sciences to study synthetic biology. And Siouxsie Wiles gave a cool talk on using animation, movies, social media and a wide variety of other tools for public outreach of her science.

Unfortunately, I had to leave this afternoon to return home for carer duties, so I'll miss the rest of the symposium.

The War Memorial, interesting place for a scientific conference, first time I've ever given a talk with two Australian flags flying behind me. If there were another 7 or so I could have imagined I was Tony Abbott.