Posted by: Neurobites | October 25, 2015

RECAP : #SFN Day 2 & 3

Neuroloves,

…….

What the what eh? It’s been too long. I will eventually delve into my absence, but today is not the day.

I’m back.

I won’t make any grand promises and commitments, but I will say that I’ve missed this and that I will be shuffling things around to make  “this” work.

It was never you, it’s always been me.

Alrighty, with all the uncomfortable emotions out of the way, let’s just jump right in eh?

SFN!!! I LOOOOOVE SFN. I love the controlled chaos, the unbridled nerdy excitement of seeing your “journal baes” (my term for all the labs that I draw hearts on their papers.. I have issues, lets just move on), the giddiness of hearing a talk by one of your idols (Mary Dallman, ya’all, Mary.Dallman.) the predictably spotty Wifi, the frustration with lines and slow moving people, the illogical anger towards the SFN committee for having all your favourite topics at the same time.. Or worse, when they leave your poster session till the LAST DAY in the AFTERNOON while ALSO having your subject related talks on the same time… SERIOUSLY… THANKS for that SFN.. Thanks. I ain’t even mad (more on this pain later)

Anyway, Day 2.

There were 3 different lecture clusters that I NEEDED to go too.. Naturally.

They were:

Nanosymposium: Stress & Anxiety

Nanosymposium: Food Intake and Energy Regulation

Minisymposium: Sex-specific Mechanisms of Stress Susceptibility

I did a mental rock-paper-scissors and decided to head to the Food Intake and Energy Regulation.

There were a couple of cool talks, but the one that I want to talk about is the “Temporal dynamics of the arcuate feeding circuit”  By Yiming Chen from the University of California .

The talk covered the dynamics of AgRP and POMC neurons in vivo using fiber photometry.. Which just happens to be the coolest thing I’d seen that day.

COOL TECHNIQUE SIDE NOTE : Fiber photometry uses optical fibers and genetically encoded florescent calcium sensors to record the firing dynamics of neural projections… I know.So awesome. The animal is injected with a virus that expresses a calcium indicator after which it’s surgically implanted with a fibre optic stub that is connected a detection apparatus which in turn is connected to a computer.

The presentation itself was great. The authors were able to detect the rapid changes in neuronal activation that were dependent on the type of food presented (homeostatic or palatable). In addition, they also noted that sensory feedback occurs before the food is even consumed. The entire article can be found here.

(I’ll be writing a post on the neurobiology of food intake in the coming weeks and I will break down the interplay between different brain regions, neuronal populations, arousal states and food-related hormones.)

I had lunch with Katy Sukel, cause that’s my life now. Just having casual lunches with badass neurowriters.

I attended the Presidential Special Lecture- The Molecular Logic of Neural Circuits: Implications for Autism and Schizophernia with Dr. Thomas Christian Sudhof (who happens to be the recipient of the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.. #nbd). His lecture walked us through the complicated foundations of the neural circuitry, specifically at a synaptic level that may be involved in, to a certain extent, neuropsychiatric disorders such as autism and schizophernia. I’ll admit, his talk was way out of my comfort zone, but it’s subject matter has been added for future posts. Cause, now I need to know everything about neurexins ;).

Day 3

Started off a little shaky. I forgot about the Blogging panel that was happening cause I was ironically blogging that morning. Showed up late to hear pearls of wisdom from Dr. Anne Churchland, Dr. Douglas Fields, Dr.Bethany Brookshire (<3) & Dr.Bradley Voytek

It was a great reminder to why I got into blogging in the first place.

Science is meant to be put in some impenetrable fortress where only a select few are able/allowed to access it. It’s meant to be shared, discussed, criticized, reevaluated but ultimately it’s meant to keep us insatiably curious about the wonders of the world *keyboard drop*

I spent the afternoon meandering around the poster sessions and exhibit hall.

#SFNBanter happened that evening. Dr.Becca and team, really outdid themselves this year, the location, the food, the drinks, the bartenders 😉 were all phenomenal. It’s amazing how much the community has grown over the years, I feel privileged to be amongst them. There were disposal cameras on every table,  I should’ve asked where those pictures are going to end up.. Cause I think I went around every table (interrupting random people’s convos, I apologize I don’t adult well) and took pictures… Oops.

That pretty much wraps up my #SFN15 Days 2 & 3. Days 4 & 5 coming right up.

I’ve missed you guys.

xo

Rim

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