Going with the Flow: Some random musings and Tom’s Open Notebook tour

Man, it has gotten cold and windy, its only been a month, and already we have gone from +25 degree sunshine, to overcast, sub-10 degree temperatures, with rain, true Irish weather. The joys of Fall as winter approaches. I hope everyone is doing well, I enjoyed my short hiatus from the notebook, but am now back to update you on how things are going. What fun things happened to me? I did some travelling  for a meeting and experienced my first pork schnitzel and apple strudel in Frankfurt, delish. This is the strudel below. A transcendent experience. I do love a good dessert.

Am also enjoying seeing my football team doing well. Liverpool still sitting pretty after 8 games, we can only hope it keeps up. And fingers crossed for Saturday, am hoping for an epic Irish performance against the All Blacks in the rugby world cup Quarter Final. I also have to admit, while I was not a fan of Japan beating Ireland, they do play some great rugby and hope they pull the upset on Sunday against South Africa.

So am easing back into writing my blogs,  I don’t have a huge amount to cover today, just some musings. In terms of something interesting we have been doing, in last post I describe how we make our neuronal organoids, now we are breaking them apart into small pieces. It reminds me of a bag of skittle. Thousands of cells, each a different color all found in one structure. When broken into their individual units we can analyze the cell number and composition of our organoids on our Attune acoustic flow analyzer. It’s a super cool machine, and you can find details here if you are interested in how you can use it for your project. But thanks to Vi, Rhalena and Julien, we could pull out a MAP2 positive population of cells from the organoids, or in more simply terms, we could see neurons in our cell mixture. This is comforting to know, in a neuronal organoid, we have neurons. And plans are afoot to delph deeper. So further tests are underway and we will keep you posted on how things progress as we create more skittles from organoids in our quest for the rainbow and the pot of gold at the end of it.

I also want to highlight some great work from the lab of Peter McPherson. Each of us drops hundreds of dollars every month on research antibodies, and so many either don’t work or bind the wrong protein, often leading to misleading findings. Dr. Carl LaFlamme in Peter’s group created an antibody validation pipeline and some of his results are quite remarkable. For weekend reading, I would encourage you all to check it out. And to also read Peter’s piece in The Scientist, it was a great read.

Now, we have communicated to each other over the internet for the past few months, and you have heard what we do, who we are, and many musings from me about sports, dinosaurs, fruit and road structures. I am now ready to emerge from my keyboard and am going on my “Open Notebook tour”, or in other words, I am giving some talks in next few months and everyone is welcome to come hear me talk. Do not fret, the notebook A La Tom will still continue, but I am now hitting the road to meet real-life people, in person (what a concept, in person meetings), so if you want to come say hi, to yell at me for something I said, or simply want to chat about fruits and dinosaurs, then your welcome to join me at me at these events and seminars over the next 3 months.

  • October 19-23: The annual Society for Neuroscience meeting. This year its in Chicago, and I will be there, so drop me a line and we can grab coffee/food/a beverage of some kind. I will be pottering around the convention hall, and on Monday morning (8am until noon), I will have two posters that Rhalena, Gilles and Cecilia will be presenting. So please stop by and hear more about the work we are doing with cortical neurons and predictive modelling.
  • November 4th: The Till and McCulloch meeting. This is my first T+M meeting, and am pumped, never been to one, heard great things. Am presenting on Monday afternoon in the lunchtime session hosted by CellCan, in which I will talk about iPSC Quality control. This will be following up on work presented by Dr. Carol Chen at ISSCR, that we have expanded upon for a publication.
  • November 4th: No, your eyes did not deceive you, am giving a second talk on the same day at McGill Bioconnect. Come hear about open drug discovery, and what we have going on with stem cells.
  • November 18th: Want to hear me talk about open science, open notebooks. Well here is your chance. As we build Anglo-Irish relations, I am joining the originator of SGC open notebooks, Rachel Harding to discuss why open notebooks are good, what impact they have had on our lives, our work, and what is next, all part of a breakout session as part of the Neuro’s Inaugural Open Science symposium. There is a jam-packed program on open science, so The Neuro will be the place to be on November 18.
  • November 22nd: I head up the hill to the department of physiology for their seminar series, so at least travel distance isn’t too far. I will present work on iPSCs and their uses in modelling diseases of the brain. Am looking forward to meeting everyone, so hope you can join us.

Some further dates will be added to the tour in December and January.

Well that’s it from me, I head to Chicago on Saturday so have 2 days to pack. I will be providing more information on the twitter and LinkedIn about my SFN experiences and also about our posters, which we will be putting online on our EDDU website in case you can’t come and see them in person. To meet me in Chicago just let me know, I’m breezy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *