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Saturday, December 1, 2007

BC Cancer Annual Cancer Conference 2007

I didn't have a chance to blog yesterday from the BC Cancer Annual Cancer conference, but I figured it was worth mentioning a few highlights.

I "finished" the chapter I was working on in the morning, on ChIP-Seq, and sent it off today. I probably could have used a little more guidance on it, meaning that it focuses on things I found interesting/important. Who knows if that's what everyone else will want, hence the quote on "finished."

Around noon, a few other grad students and I cabbed down to the Westin Bayshore, where we enjoyed one of the better free buffet lunches I've had in a while. (Why more people don't use free *good* food as a way to bring graduate students to events is a constant source of amazement. Pizza is good... but smoked salmon is SO much better.)

In the afternoon, I did my usual thing, and went off to see a track that really had nothing to do with my research, and ended up learning a tremendous amount about pathology and cancer tissues. Some of my favorite facts:
  • up to 30% of pathologists diagnoses based on histology are misunderstood by the doctors

  • Pathologists generally agree about what is cancer and what is not... but when diagnosing which type of cancer it is, it's usually a "best guess" scenario. They frequently disagree.

  • Cancer cell morphology is generally rule of thumb based, with emphasis on the size and shape of the nucleus, and the location of the cell.

  • Pathologists often can't distinguish between types of cells that they see. "if you didn't tell me, I wouldn't know if these cells were skin, vagina, ovary..." (The pathologist was a specialist in women's tissues.)

Either way, after about 2 hours of talking with a pathologist, I have a new respect for the lab work done in hospitals, and a few ideas about places I can take my projects to solve major issues pathologists have... I'll see where they take us.

Anyhow, it's time to work on preparing for my committee meeting on tuesday. While waiting for my next post, feel free to check out my poster on applications for transcriptome and ChIP-Seq analysis. (Don't mind the two mistakes I'm aware of!) Cheers!



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