I attended the 2nd annual meeting of the Japanese society of genome editing in Osaka. Fortunately, our topic was selected for a talk, so I gave both oral and poster presentations, which I think went well. The biggest achievement in this meeting for me was to get to know other scientists, especially PIs, who use/study genome editing. To do so, giving a talk was huge, as I was able to easily talk to other scientists about our research. To be selected for a talk, we had to submit a good abstract, and to do so, we had to do good science. Good science is the basis of success (yes, of course).
In the field of genome editing, it is not unfair to say the innovations have happened outside of Japan. We tended to be just users of genome editing in Japan. However, now innovations have been happening in Japan, such as MMEJ-mediated knock-in by Dr. Yamamoto's lab, TET and dCas9-mediated targeted demethylation by Dr. Hatada's lab, deaminase-dCas9-mediated genome editing without cutting DNA by Dr. Nishida's lab, and so on. Hopefully, our lab will contribute to this list in the future.
I got a lot of inputs that directly help our project. I would like to participate in the meeting with the other lab members next year.
After that meeting, I attended the Conference for BioSignal and Medicine 2017 organized by Dr. Shibasaki in our Institute in Atami. I rushed into a Shinkansen at Shin-Osaka station, but still missed all the talks in the 1st day of the conference. I joined the conference during the dinner (which was great), and enjoyed onsen (Japanese hot spa). I gave a talk next day. This talk was a bit more on general focus of the projects in our lab, as the purpose of the meeting is to seek for potential collaborations and applications. It was nice to know people who work on applications that could help us in the future.
Dr. Mizokami from IBM talked about their AI, Watson, which was impressive. I believed that the scientist is one of the most difficult jobs for AIs to replace. However, are we (or probably am I) really that creative and imaginative? I hope so. Isn't it possible for AIs to go through all the literatures in this world to come up with new hypotheses? I hope not, but I do not know.
Atami is one of the most famous onsen places in Japan, but this was my first time to visit the city. I was able to enjoy sushi for lunch after the 2nd day.
Atami is in between Osaka and Tokyo, although it is way closer to Tokyo. Therefore, I took Shinkansens (super rapid trains) from Shin-Osaka to Atami. However, I had to change trains from Hikari (means "light") to Kodama (means "echo") at Mishima station. This was my first time to change two Shinkansens. While I was waiting for Kodama, several Nozomi (means "hope") passed Mishima station. It was rare to see Shinkansens running, as I usually get on Shinkansens at terminals like Tokyo, Kyoto, Shin-Osaka, and etc. Moreover, when Shinkansen is running, I am usually on that train. And, of course, the Shinkansen is so fast.
I gave two talks in two different meetings in two days. I was busy. While I was waiting for Kodama at Mishima station, I thought "yeah, now I am very PI-like".