SMBE 2014 Day 3

Day 3 was a blast.

Possibly the most interesting talk came from Michael Desai showing that evolution is not as simple as sequential fixation. Large scale approaches to directly study the evolution of populations were presented, as well as several more outstanding questions that are likely to be answered within the next following years (hopefully some of this by Alex).

Next on the list was Philip Kim, presenting compelling strategies to utilize short linear peptides as strategies to directly modulate protein-protein interactions. Although difficulties remain (how can we reliably identify SLiM targets within the cell?), this approach presents interesting perspectives for the near future as 500 000 peptides will be screened and likely to identify hundreds of novel ‘druggable’ targets.

Ryan Gutenkunst suggests that the correlation between the depletion of tyrosine contents and the number of tyrosine kinases is unlikely to be due to selection against spurious phosphorylation (though no alternative hypotheses were presented). This is interesting because similar arguments have been put forward against spurious TFBS, however these arguments are still controversial.

Nadia Singh showed evidence that pathogen inoculation in drosophila increase recombination rate, which she argues is consistent with the red queen hypothesis. However, future directions will aim to show that recombination improves resistance to pathogens.

The day ended with a perilous trip to El Hamburger, which although sounds uneventful, was full of suspense.

– Alex

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