There seem to be a lot of biologist types and generally well-rounded nerds and geeks around here, so I thought I'd do a quick post to a really cool symposium webpage I happened upon whilst surf-reading in the last few days.
In the last five years I lost a job, went back to school and got another job. The time back in school was so much more than time back in school, though. It was wonderful. Truly wonderful.
When I left Carolina in 1982 I was a Biology/Art double major. Back then, no one knew how anything other than water moved in and out of cells. Genetics? pssh. Classical Medelian was all we had. Nuttin' but peas and fruit flies.
Fredrick Sanger had won a Nobel prize in Chemistry for inventing a way to sequence genes, but Kary Mullis hadn't yet devised the PCR (polymerase chain reaction) amplification technique (another Nobel prize winner) and genetics was truly in it's infancy.
I liked drawing sh*t, so back in the day, I preferred anatomy and botany.
When I got back to Biology classes in 2003 after 20 years vacation, things in the biology world had changed ... just a little bit. ;) They were talking about signaling pathways, Helicobactor pylori, the mechanisms of acquired antibiotic resistance and a protein misfold that causes cystic fibrosis.
Needless to say, this old hardening brain was in a continuous state of amazement and frazzle -- driving from Clayton to CH daily to run for buses and walk miles to take classes in genetics and population biology, botany, developmental biology, microbiology, bacterial genetics. AAHHhh! Hardest damn thing I've ever done in my life -- and THE. MOST. FUN.
I still like to read about that stuff now. I am totally amazed by all the millions and millions of tiny little molecule manipulating machines, made of proteins, encoded by RNA which was transcribed off my DNA.
Awesome cool stuff. If ya like that kind of thing. :)
Enjoy the links!