Well, it's time for the ASM (American Society for Microbiology) general meeting, and this year the venue is Boston. So 11,000 microbiologists have descended on Beantown this week - if you're a local and were wondering why those strange people on the "T" today were talking about Bacillus anthracis, don't worry - they (probably) weren't bioterrorists.
I'll give more detailed information on the talks in later posts, but I'd just like to add to Jonathan Eisen's critique of the structure of the meeting. First of all, it is extremely annoying that they are aren't dedicated poster sessions where the rest of the conference stops -- today, for instance, I had to chose between poster sessions and attending hour long talks by such luminaries as Ed DeLong and Mary Ann Moran, which nearly completely overlapped the poster sessions in time. What's worse, several students of Moran were presenting their posters while Mary was giving her talk, presumably depriving those students of their most interested "customers".
Another exciting event in Boston is that my good friend John Tsang (no, no, not this John Tsang), who was a masters student in the group where I did my postdoc, and with whom I later worked in industry, has just earned his doctorate in biophysics from Harvard. I have to admit feeling a bit of pride in this because I encouraged John to go back to grad school and wrote one of his letters of recommendation. John is going to go through the formal convocation on Thursday, and pictured is John all dressed up (next to his wife Amelia).