ASM 2007 ended at noon today. This morning I attended the session dedicated to the International Polar Year (March 2007-March 2008) in relation to microbiology. My favorite talk was by Corien Bakersman and it dealt with the cold adaptation in the psychrophile (no, it doesn't love psychos, they love cold - psychro) Psychrobacter articus. Interestingly enough, instead of identifying amino acid replacements (as in common in such studies), Corien looked for other trends. She discovered that ORFs in P. articus tend to be longer than in mesophiles and she sees that as being explained by selection for encoded proteins to be "floppy" thus preventing them from freezing up in cold temperatures. She also noticed the cell walls of P. articus tend to be less rigid than in mesophiles.
Pictured is Honest Ed's, a classic independent discount store (and Toronto landmark) that started back in 1948 by Ed Mirvish (who is still around, but 91 years old).