AChemS Annual Science Conference, Day 2: My Lucky (Poster) Day

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By Nicole Garneau, PhD

Scientists communicate in many ways, some which are far more entertaining then others.

Take for example publishing- a way to disseminate information in a peer-reviewed journal. A clearinghouse  for these publications is run by the government and is called pubmed. While priceless, publications are not always the most effective or dare I say fun way to get information out to the world. Enter science meetings-- a few days once a year where scientists within a discipline descend on a locale and share their recent findings via presentations (talks) or by posters.

Here I am about a 2 hours  ago, sharing the Museum's education and scientific objectives with my taste and smell colleagues. And below you'll find some of my favorite comments of the night as they pertain to DMNS and our new human genetics study on taste.

"Looks like you've got your plate full." (no pun intended?)

"Is this the next step in evolution for museums, perhaps and hopefully one that all museums will make?"

"In our research we only use male mice, females are complicated. We see stronger and more robust signals in data from males." This was in the context of our VERY preliminary data (which you can see below) which shows a slight shift to a lower percentage of body fat in men who are tasters vs men who are non-tasters,but no difference thus far in taster and non-taster females.But please dear and loyal audience, do not read too deeply into this, as the study has many more miles to go.

So in additon to ways in which to improve our research... what else did I learn today?

First, my brain uses loads of glucose to comprehend in-depth science from 8am to 11pm. Second, the talks and the posters are chock full of pertinent information. One of my favorite posters, in fact, was about the standardization of the "Food Liking" survey that links chemosensation (i.e. taste and flavor perception) with diet and health (Katryna Minski from Val Duffy's group). Also Hetvi Desai, from Greg Smutzer's lab, presented work demonstrating a new way to make edible taster strips- so cool- they dissolve in your mouth!

But I digress, what I really want to emphasize is the way in which science communication just happens when you least expect it, over lunch, a walk to the next session, or even in the elevator. I may not have solved the world's problems here today, but I sure did find some new and interesting ways to conduct our research.

Aw heck, how is it midnight again? 7 am will likely come too fast.

Signing off,
- Nicole

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