Monday, 3 November 2014

The Bouncy Mouse on Aisle 7

There were definitely light moments at the Arthritis Alliance Annual Conference.  When topics were discussed where I had no framework for what I learned, it did wonders for my confidence to discover later I was one of many.

The speakers were passionate about their topics - at the top of their fields. The bouncy mice came up early in the day. I would have sworn that that was what I heard but the scientist beside me clarified that the speaker was talking about BALB-C mice (they're albino mice specially bred for research). 

Then aisle 1 and aisle 17 caught my attention. Of course the answer to that is the IL-1 and IL-17 (Interleukin-17 is the founding member of a group of cytokines called the IL-17 family.)

The bouncy mouse and his cousins in aisle 17
(BALB/c mouse and his cousins on IL-17)


The time limitations and large amounts of material to cover led the speakers to talk quickly which led to some of my misinterpretations. I was also transfixed by the DISH mouse and zinc fingers.

It sounds to me as though scientists who research Genomics and Human Genetics have a lot of fun, judging by their enthusiasm for the subject, and some of the interesting names they assign to parts of their work, like DADA-2 and RIP-1.

I may joke about the terminology that got my attention so quickly, but the whole scientific day was like a tonic. Listening to some of the smartest people in the world all day was a real privilege, and I would repeat the experience any time I could. And I really did learn something. I plan to post more about some of the speakers, especially Dr. Sherine Gabriel on the topic of RA and cardiovascular disease.

So ends day 3 of the #NaBloPoMo challenge.

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