2013 seems to have started at a full sprint. It feels as though the annual meeting of the American Society of Cell Biology in San Francisco just finished. We exhibited and presented a tutorial there entitled, Find Functionally Important Driver Genes with RNAi Genetic Screening
Using Pooled shRNA Libraries on December 17. Now in the first week of January, the holidays seemed to have come and gone with barely a skip in stride.
With almost 7,500 attendees, the Cell Biology meeting was a good finish to the year—a chance to catch up with old colleagues and meet some new ones.
With the focus on Cell Biology, of course there was a full complement of microscope and imaging companies. Our exhibit was situated near Zeiss which had a rotating sequence of exceptional images of drosophila larvae, tissues, and butterfly wings. Some we couldn't figure out and neither, it seemed, could anyone at the Zeiss booth. You can see similar ones from Zeiss here with details on the image subject.
Salt Lake City based Vutara, who specialize in molecular resolution imaging, were located right next to us. A spin off of technology developed at the University of Utah, which seems to have an active incubator program. They told us that the University of Utah produces as many start ups as MIT, which surprised me. Evidently, it's true though. The school seems to have a pretty effective Technology Commercialization Office.
Of course, the exhibitors represented a broad range of technology. For instance, across from our site, was Chromotek, a small German company who offer unique single-chain Alpaca antibody reagents. They came in just for the conference and were giving away cool flashing yo-yos. Also, similar sounding Cellectis, a French company specializing in targeted gene knockout technology, was just a few rows away. They are a much larger company than I realized with significant R&D efforts in drug development. And, B-Bridge International, who helped us get our start, were exhibiting the mechanical cell stretching instrument they distribute for Japanese manufacturer STREX.
Finally, there was also an interesting initiative from the US Dept. of Health and Human Services to consolidate all the regulatory information concerning Hopefully, this project will help eliminate the time and frustration in searching the websites of various government regulatory agencies to see which rule apply when shipping or working with certain biologics. Here’s more about the S3: Science, Safety, Security project.
All-in-all the conference was a good way to end the year. As we start the new one, we wish all our friends, customers, and colleagues a healthy, happy, and prosperous 2013.