Dunn Lab in San Diego for Biophysical Society Annual Meeting

March 12, 2012 at 7:26 am Leave a comment

Recently, a majority of the group took a brief trip to San Diego for the Biophysical Society (BPS) annual meeting.  The conference was a great way to learn about all the current events in the field and meet the people whose papers we read and frequently discuss in literature reviews or just in colloquial fashion.  The single-molecule force spectroscopy studies were particularly interesting and complementary to our work involving force-dependent collagen proteolysis.   I personally found San Diego to be a beautiful city and considered myself fortunate to be in the presence of such great scientists.  At a certain point though, I felt like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz while walking through the forest, “Myosins, kinesins, and dyneins! Oh My!”

The national lecture was given by Steve Block on his adventures with optical trapping.  I thought the highlight of his talk and probably the next generation biophysics research was the development of energy diagrams from optical trap data.  By generating data for energy versus extension as the reaction coordinate instead of hypothetical energy diagrams, one makes the concept of energy barriers very concrete and understandable.  This also limits the speculation when studying systems with complex energy diagrams.

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