evolgen

This post is part of a series documenting Professor Steve Steve‘s recent visit to Philadelphia for the Drosophila Research Conference (aka, the Fly Meeting).

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In the previous two installments of Steve Steve in Philly, we finally managed to meet up despite the best efforts of the staff at the Marriott to prevent our rendezvous, and we got Steve Steve up to date on the newest developments in fly pushing and Drosophila genetics. It had been quite a tiring day, so we ventured down to the hotel bar for a few drinks. Some of us were ready to hit the sack, but Steve Steve would have none if it; he dragged us down to the neighboring brew pub for more drinking. Now, this was not drinking for drinking’s sake — Steve Steve wanted to celebrate the soon to be complete 12 Drosophila Genomes Project.

Pictures of Professor Steve Steve and the Drosophila geneticists can be found below the fold.

Steve Steve had been hearing all day about the really cool science being done using genome sequences from 12 Drosophila species. This collaborative effort is focusing on the evolution of protein coding sequences, transcriptional regulatory regions, and gene order within the entire Drosophila genus. And the entire project has a real open-access/Web2.0 feel to it — there’s even a 12 Genomes Wiki — in part because Mike “brother of Jonathan” Eisen is one of the key collaborators.

Professor Steve Steve was very eager to meet with Dr. Eisen; Steve Steve has been working on a double-blind pseudo-Markov-Chain near-miss algorithm for detecting functional cis-regulatory regions under balancing selection. But, for all his accomplishments, and despite his normally outgoing personality, he felt uncomfortable approaching Mike out of the blue. So, Steve Steve turned to the greatest of all social lubricants: tequila.

Now, Steve Steve could have purchases a shot for both Dr. Eisen and himself, but he felt that would send the wrong message to the rest of the Drosophilists in the room. Never one to turn down the opportunity to purchase a room full of grad students a drink, Steve Steve bought a round of tequila for everyone in the bar.

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Luckily, the brew pub took Steve Steve’s Discovery Institute Credit Card (don’t worry, he doesn’t plan on paying the bill). Once the happy bar tender finished distributing the shots — along with the gracious help of Erin — Steve Steve joined Mike Eisen in leading us all in a toast to the 12 Drosophila genomes.

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We all know how tequila can affect normal sized people, but it really does a number on dwarf pandas. Steve Steve was knocked out for a little while, and he never did get to discuss his algorithms for identifying conserved non-coding sequences with Mike Eisen.

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After getting some well needed shut-eye (keep in mind Steve Steve arrived in Philly on Thursday, and went without a room until Saturday morning), Prof. Steve was riding his second wind through the rest of the night. He was busy socializing with the geneticists and catching up on the newest developments in Drosophila evo-devo, population genetics, and genomics. He even got to meet another Project Steve member:

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That’s Steve Schaeffer, Associate Professor of Biology at Penn State University (trying to give himself rabbit ears), along with Peter Andolfatto (the guy behind this paper) and Amanda and Tim (from Andy Clark’s lab). It was quite a night of celebration for Steve Steve, and was glad to meet so many bright biologists. When we got back to the hotel, Steve (being an experienced drinker) knew he needed to rehydrate.

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Despite only getting to spend on night with us (once again, thanks to incompetent shits who work at the Marriott), Steve Steve had quite a fruitful visit to the city of brotherly love. Coming up next: you won’t believe where Prof. Steve Steve slept, Steve Steve attends the Sunday morning plenary session, and we head back to Central PA.