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Monday, November 27, 2006

On Science Seminars...

   Going back to the Article I mentioned in my first post, I thought I'd comment on a seminar I saw today By Dr. Doug Black. To begin with, by all accounts, it was a good talk. All his data were clearly supported, all his hypotheses were consistent with the case he presented, and all of his slides were clear.

  Unfortunately, I found myself putting it into the context of the Biologists working on the radio, in which case, this reduced down to a 1 hour talk on a single capacitor. Yes, when the radio is in one state, the capacitor holds it's charge, and in another, it discharges - followed by 45 minutes of supporting evidence.

  Somewhere near the end, Dr. Black put up a fantastic slide - using Mass Spectrometry, they were able to investigate ALL of the components of the fancy structure (called a Spliceosome) all at once. Now, in theory, this is suddenly getting a snapshot of the big picture. If you could do this for 5 different cell types, we could start looking at what are the variable parts, what are the consistent parts - and what parts are worthy of more attention.

  Unfortunately, this fantastic snapshot of what makes up the Spliceosome was only a sideline in the talk. Although, I have to admit, the one component in this talk did have a fancy name. (-;


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