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ISMB 2014: Day One Recap!


#ISMB #KN1 Michal Linial opened the meeting with a keynote talk entitled “Good Things Come in Small Packages - Replicators and Innovators”
Linial spoke on her research group’s ‘treasure hunt for hidden functions’ driven by the guiding principles to listen to the ‘big data’ and be aware of outliers, although don’t forget the biology because the outliers may be the interesting elements.
She spent time talking about short peptides as unexplored mode of regulation, including a clan of short peptides, non-toxic TOLIPs (toxin-like proteins), which are found at at the origin of Metazoa and have been duplicated and modified throughout evolution.
#ISMB #KN2 Gene Myers gave his ISCB Senior Scientist Accomplishment Award talk  entitled “DNA Assembly: Past, Present, and Future” and chronicled the history of sequence assembly methods, starting with the “original shotgun sequencing project” on lambda phage by Fred Sanger.
He talked about the whole genome assembly approach (in a nutshell) he and his team used at Celera. All the unique sequences were identified with very low error rates and could be linked together using mate pairs to build scaffolds and assemble a complete genome.
He ended with his perspective of how demand for lower cost sequencing “after the genome” has hampered progress on the production of high quality de novo genome reconstructions.  He talked about his renewed interest in assembly using next gen long-read sequencers, which is chronicled regularly in the Dazzler Blog.
#ISMB #SS01 series of talks on human microbiome studies attracted great interest as well as the launch if the Communities of Special Interest (#COSI), which were discussed in #ISMB #SS02.
The jam-packed day was capped with a full house of football fans at the World Cup viewing area in the exhibit hall, complete with ISMB-themed espresso drinks.
The ISMB delegates are now gearing up for another science packed day!