Every year, hundreds maybe even thousands of biologists converge on a lucky US city like fruit flies swarming on yeast. The reason? The Drosophila Research Conference, or as people in the know call it…The Fly Meeting. This year, the annual meeting rolls into Chicago. The Windy City. Chi-Town*. The City of Big Shoulders. Home of such notables as Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics, Vladimir Drinfeld, mathematician, winner of the Fields Medal, President Barack Obama, and of course Kanye West:
In terms of conferences I’ve been to, the Fly Meeting is like the Pitchfork Festival of scientific conferences. (I was going to go with Bonnaroo or Coachella at first, but I went with pandering instead.) Over the next 5 days, Drosophila researchers are going to get down and dirty, immersing themselves in the latest research and scientific techniques, catching up with old colleagues, establishing new collabo’s, attending concurrent research talks and poster sessions. Oh the poster sessions! Imagine an auditorium filled with rows upon rows of posters and hundreds of scientists buzzing from one poster to the next and the atmosphere is thick and dank. The uninitiated might mistake the odor for lack of hygiene, but us pros know…it’s the sweet smell of science.
This year’s conference is particularly exciting (and nerve wracking) for me since I’ll have the opportunity to share my research during one of the platform sessions. Imagine trying to cram about half of your thesis work into a 12-minute talk. Sounds fun doesn’t it? The title of my talk: The classic fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva mutation reveals the latent kinase activity of the Drosophila BMP type I receptor Saxophone. Sort of a mouthful. Also, I’ll be attempting to live tweet the conference. You can join/follow the conversation: #DROS2012. So if things go sort of quiet on the blog over the next few days, you’ll know why.
*Did anyone else grow up thinking Chi-Town was just short for Chinatown?