By Cristina Montiel-Duarte, SENIOR LECTURER, Nottingham Trent University
I am a Senior Lecturer at Nottingham Trent University and I recently attended the EMBO conference ‘RNA localization and local translation’ in Hersonissos, Greece courtesy of my department and a travel grant from the Biochemical Society.
The conference was advertized as the most important meeting in the field of RNA (a field I have a growing interest in) and it was amazing. A perfect opportunity to get up to speed with all the relevant information. The speakers were biochemists researching how processes work and the details of how molecules interact and function.
One of the things that impacted me most is that I was able to watch how a single molecule of mRNA was translated for the first time. By possessing two differential tags (a green one and a red one) the mRNA molecule appears as yellow. But the first tag (green) is lost after the mRNA is translated for the first time, leaving only the second tag which means the mRNA is now being seen as red. There, in front of our eyes, we could see translation in progress (James Halstead’s and Rob Singer’s talks). And this is just an example. Throughout the conference, each talk provided new information about RNA-related molecular processes and about the best techniques to decipher them.
I had a career break to have my children just before I joined Nottingham Trent University, where I started a new area of research from scratch. Thanks to the conference I got information from the Doudna’s lab relevant to my research, I was sent some plasmids (Carme Gallego), and I came out of the conference buzzing with ideas that I added to a grant application. An intense week away from home and all worthy. Thanks Biochemical Society!