Beer o’clock

After a long and difficult day at work, some of us like to treat ourselves to a nice beer. “The clock” by Eden Mill brewery has taken the ‘beer o’clock’ expression almost word for word.

We are now wondering, is this alcohol-seeking behaviour at specific times of the day controlled by our circadian clock?

IMG_0801

Photo by Prof John Brown.

Note: we must also remind you that chronic drinking can disrupt circadian rhythms.

EBRS/WCC Manchester Conference

EBRS

I’ve been in Manchester this week attending the joint European Biological Rhythms Society (EBRS) and World Congress of Chronobiology (WCC). I presented a short communication entitled ‘An hnRNP isoform switch links temperature perception to regulation of the Arabidopsis circadian clock’. It was a wide and varied programme – although plant-clock research was thin on the ground (I was one of only two plant-clock presentations).

The highlight for me though was Michael Menaker’s plenary talk – the ‘grandfather’ of chronobiology research gave an overview of his journey through chronobiology research from when he was a graduate student in the USA  the 1950’s. It was interested to hear him say how easy he felt it was to get funding back then – “…you would need to be a real idiot not to get a grant funded back then” and how the money sloshing about then was largely due to the space race. Another nugget of insight was “If you haven’t done any failed experiments, you haven’t tried hard enough”

Another quote that stuck with me was from Ueli Schibler’s Plenary lecture – the quote is, I think, attributed to Bertrand Russell – Mathematician/Philosopher/Writer and Nobel Laureate for Literature in 1950 – when he said “One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one’s work is terribly important”.

Tubus Tubulus

 

tubes species cropped
Figure(d) Tubus sp. from left to right; Tubus grandis, T. eppendorfis, T. minieppendorfis, T. pcr spp. flatlid and T. pcr spp. roundlid. Botton right; aggregates of T. pcr

 

Just a bit of fun on this remarkable day – 1st April 2015 – the first description of some new lab species that show remarkable developmental plasticity…..

https://lopsidedlablife.wordpress.com/2015/04/01/innovations/

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20 years of the the RNA Journal

RNA journal front cover cropped
Cover Art: Group in Sea, 1979, by Philip Guston

The RNA Journal is twenty years old and as part of their anniversary around 130 researchers in the field of RNA biology have contributed some of their personal reflections of working in this area. Contributors include Douglas Black, Michael Rosbash and Alberto Kornblihtt.

I’ve browsed through some of the essays and one that caught my attention was ‘Thoughts on NGS, alternative splicing and what we still need to know‘ by Kristen Lynch. Here she emphasises the need to determine the functional consequences of alternative splicing for an organism, and as she pointedly says ‘To truly appreciate the full impact of alternative splicing on biologic processes, and argue against those who wonder if it might all be “noise,” we need to do better. The question is how to achieve this goal’. [Note that NGS in the title of the article refers to Next Generation Sequencing]

As a relative newcomer to the field of AS, I think it’ll be useful for me to delve into these articles – they seem to be a refreshing way to learn how quickly research into AS has ‘evolved’ as well as providing an honest outlook as to what areas seem to be a priority for future work.

The cover art in interesting too – it is entitled ‘Group in Sea, 1979, by Philip Guston‘. He was an American abstract expressionist painter.

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Welcome

Bower Building chimney, University of Glasgow - view from just outside the lab
Bower Building chimney, University of Glasgow – view from just outside the lab

I suppose ‘It’s About Time’ we actually posted something!

It’s taken us a while but hopefully this is the start of an interesting way to disseminate what we get up to in our labs and provide a sort of diary of our activities.

During the establishment of this blog we’ve talked a lot about how time and seasons seemed to be a huge influence on artists and songwriters (I’ve been introduced to the delights of Fairport Convention & The Incredible String Band, for example) and I’m sure that this will be a subject of future posts – Time and the passage of Time sure seems to get under our skins, no?

Anyway, welcome to our blog! We are chronobiologists and we like splicing!