This PAG Was One for the Birds (and Other Organisms, Too)

The 24th annual PAG meeting ended earlier this week, and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves — as did just about every other attendee we encountered. The avian genomics community one-upped everyone else by going on bird-watching excursions and tweeting photos of their finds along with challenges to identify each species. (The Sage team was stumped!) Erich Jarvis’s great plenary talk on the neural circuits involved in vocal learning also put our feathered friends in the spotlight and had scientists atwitter with new research ideas.

We really enjoyed the Hi-C talk from Erez Lieberman Aiden from Baylor College of Medicine. He walked attendees through his hypothesis that DNA loops form by extrusion rather than diffusion, stopping at the CTCF motif in a certain direction. The analysis of 3D formation and folding of DNA has inspired scientists around the world to use this technique to better understand how proximity in space, rather than in linear sequence, affects gene expression.

The Sage team attended several excellent talks, but lots of attendee interest kept us at our booth most of the time. We loved hearing about the incredibly creative research going in on so many model organism communities, and it was terrific to see how many projects could benefit from automated DNA size selection. (If you didn’t get a chance to talk to a Sage member at PAG, please check out our SageELF and BluePippin pages to learn more about two of the instruments we offer for NGS users.)

Also, don’t forget that there’s still time to enter the new SMRT Grant program we’re co-sponsoring with PacBio. Tell us what makes your favorite organism’s genome so interesting, and the lucky winner will get a genome sequence on the house.

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