November 28, 2007

My Last Seminar Presentation

I haven't gone to campus yet this morning because I've been working on my last presentation for the seminar course I'm taking this semester. It's hard to believe that the semester is almost over already, but here I am on November 28 working on this thing.

While this class has been a lot of work for me, in the end I've learned quite a bit from it. That's largely due to my having to research the subject matter of other people's presentations as well as my own. I've learned about the evo-devo aspects of genomic research in everything from schizophrenic lab rats to neurodevelopmentally-challenged zebrafish to the putative origins of HIV.

For my final presentation, I've decided to talk about the Hallen et al. paper about Amanita's novel take on cyclic peptides and the genes responsible for it. I've subtitled the presentation, "Dude, where's my nonribosomal peptide synthetase gene?" In the course of putting together the presentation, I've also had to do some more research on the phylogeny of genus Amanita generally and look at another fungus to find a model of how things usually work in fungi that have NRPSs (I found a readily understandable review in Stack D. et al. 2007. Nonribosomal peptide synthesis in Aspergillus fumigatus and other fungi. Microbiology 153: 1297-1306. Hopefully I'm understanding all of this correctly and will be able to convey the information to a group of people who know even less about such things than I do.

I've done a PowerPoint presentation to accompany my talk that the curious and/or masochistic can view if they so desire. Be forewarned, though, that it's over 2 megs and may get larger as I work on it during the course of the day. It will probably be a work in progress until a couple of hours before I give the presentation in class; that's usually how this works for me.

I still have another paper to read so I'll know what the second presenter is talking about. I can do that on campus, though. I was also fortunate enough to have a copy of Chitin and Chitinases arrive via interlibrary loan from Brandeis yesterday, so I hope to be digging into that as the afternoon wears on.

Sometimes I feel like my head will burst open and mushrooms come flooding out... or at least prolyl oligopeptidases. Don't worry too much, though. I hear they can only cleave rather small peptides, so bystanders are in no immediate danger should that occur.

Sphere: Related Content