Thursday, May 28, 2009

Leaving the fine city of Vancouver

Hello. Sorry I have not posted anything recently, but the hotel was charging me $15 a day to use the internet, which was starting to get expensive.

I am at the airport now waiting to board the plane home, so I just thought I would put up a few final thoughts about the conference (I will hopefully be able to upload some more talks and neurosceince related stuff when I get home).
- There seems to be a lot of promising new therapies for the treatment of stroke on the horizon. Between the use of neural stem cells, and the right kind of intensive rehabilitation, it would seem as if you may someday be able to show almost a complete recovery after the brain damage caused by stroke.
- There is more and more evidence that physical exercise is extremely beneficial to the brain. In one of the lectures the speaker talked about how exercise promotes the formation of new neurons, and actually also causes your old neurons to grow and enhance their dendritic arbors, forming new connections (he was showing actual images of neurons from rats that exercised compared to rats that did not).
- Adding "neuro" in front of words to make buzz words, is not necessary.
Anyway, I would add more, but it is time for me to board.
So long for now.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A few more pictures

Another view from the balcony

Saw this poster and thought it would be quite relavent to what I'm working on.

One of about 20 rows of posters. I think I heard someone say there were about 150 posters set up.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Interview with Sam Weiss

Well, I managed to muster all of my courage and asked Sam Weiss if I could interview him for this little blog I have going (that will be my brave thing for this month) and he agreed, which I was quite pleasantly surprised about. He was a really nice guy who seemed really excited about his work, which was awesome. I only asked him a couple questions because I didn't want to take up too much of his time, but I think it was pretty interesting none-the-less. So here it is:

Key note lecture

There is a bit of a break in the day right now, so I decided I'd come up and upload the keynote lecture. I apologize for the not-great audio quality, but my recording technology consisted of my mp3 player resting on my knee. Also, thank you very much to Dr. Sam Weiss for allowing me to upload his talk in full. When I have some more time, I might try to break the file up in to pieces so that it is easier to listen to.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The view here is nicer than the one from my Guelph house.

Just got to the hotel and took a bunch of picutes. I'm sitting at a desk in front of my balcony which overlooks a marina and a bunch of mountains.

Excited to be leaving and on a floor that does the walking for me.

probably Mt. Everest.

The view from the balcony.

From up here it's just like google maps...

We've hit a bit of a bumpy section, so I figured I would do a little writing to distract myself. I don`t understand why flying through a cloud makes things so rough... they look so peaceful from the ground. Anyways... The flight has progressed without a hitch so far. There was a brief moment of concern when Mandi was making jokes about bombs and other touchy airport subjects, but we made it onto the place without getting arrested, which is nice. So far I've had a ham sandwich and watched The Wrestler. I found both to be more than satisfying.

We should be getting in to Vancouver in about two hours or so I think, and then we have a bit of time to hang out before conference stuff starts. Registration starts at 3.00 and then there is a reception at 6.00. Tomorrow morning the day starts off with a talk about the future of Neuroscience funding from the president of CIHR. Perhaps he will know the status of my scholarship application. After that is the first Keynote, Dr. Sam Weiss who will be talking about applications of adult neural stem cells. Dr. Weiss was one of the first people to show that neurogenesis occurs in adulthood in mammals, replacing the idea that after birth we had a finite number of neurons and that was that. It should be an interesting talk, and I am quite looking forward to it. Next there are parallel symposia where there are several different topics and talks to choose from. I was planning on hitting up the talks on growth cone guidance, as I am hoping I might hear something that would be applicable to ShcD, but we`ll see what happens. There is also a session on receptor trafficking though, which could also be kind of useful. Decisions, decisions....

In the mean time, we have broken through the clouds so I can get back to not being paralysed with fear. I will check in again when we make it to the hotel.

So long for now.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

First post FTW

This will be my attempt at cataloguing my life in science on the "interweb". Mostly it will just be used to prove that I am doing things in Vancouver that are worth while, but perhaps it will become more in time... we will see.