This weekend, I attended several seemingly-disparate panel discussions on agriculture, statistics, science playwrights, and doomsday theories, but in the end, a theme-type message started to form itself. The conference focuses on educating the world about science, and that goal requires facing one particular major challenge. Education isn't just about offering up new information, it is also about battling misinformation, which somehow manages to sneak into everything. False information even makes its way into the world of the scientist, despite all best efforts towards safeguarding against such an invasion.
1. In which we learn how to survive an earthquake, and how to really scare people that need scaring.
One day last year, I had just finished attending to some brains in lab, when I suddenly felt very dizzy. Once I finally figured out that it was the earth that was shaking and not me, I really freaked out. As a child I was terrified of natural disasters, but just then I realized that I had absolutely no idea what to do in the actual event of one. I ran out into the main corridor of the lab, and then, intent on saving my life, left the building.
I. In which I make an apple pie almost from scratch.
"If you want to make a pie from scratch, you must first create the universe" --Carl Sagan
I had the butter, flour, sugar, and requisite spices, but no apples. And I didn't exactly know how to make a universe. How would I ever learn that?
The first problem was easiest to solve, so after spending the day at the San Diego Conference Center attending the American Academy for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting, I drove to Vons. After circling the apple portion of the produce department, I determined that I probably should just create a universe, because then I could create one in which Vons carried pie-variety apples. I settled for some random type, although in my universe, the Macoun would have made it into my pie. I was making an apple pie specifically for a party I was attending that very evening at the home of some physics PhD students. My friends have a wonderfully obsessive love of nerdiness, wine, and cheese. Put these all together, and you have a group that spends their Sunday nights watching old episodes of "Cosmos: A Personal Voyage," an 80s tv show written by and starring Carl Sagan, a famous scientist, astrophysicist, and teacher. Tonight was our last party -- the viewing of the ultimate episode, entitled:
"Through the use of special effects [hahaha "special effects" from the 80's] we retrace the 15-billion-year journey from the big bang to the present. This is the famous episode on nuclear war in which Dr. Sagan argues that our responsibility for survival is owed not just to ourselves, but also to the cosmos, ancient and vast, from which we spring." - (From http://science.discovery.com/convergence/cosmos/episodes/episodes.html)
You're at a rockin' party. You see this guy or gal alone across the room who's reeeeally easy on the eyes, and you would love to say hello. You start walking over when suddenly, the strobe lights go crazy.
It's like a million camera flash bulbs going off one after another. Blinding, flashing lights overload your senses. It stops after a minute, but by the time your eyes adjust, your potential date has moved off, whereabouts unknown.
That's what it's like for baleen whales in the modern world of human sonic technologies and shipping lanes.
Christopher Clark discussed the impacts of sound pollution on whales during the AAAS 2010 sessions on Sunday. An acoustic ecologist at Cornell, Clark says whale song is the equivalent of visual communication for human beings. When miles and miles of water separates you from your nearest neighbor or potential mate, singing in very low frequencies is the only way to "see" and talk to one another across a room.
A new visualization reveals the dramatic impact of shipping traffic on Right Whales in New England
Before the invention of the Diesel engine, life was good for the Right Whales living off the coast of Boston. For thousands of years, the calls and songs they produced to keep track of each other over great distances were the only sounds probing the murky depths.
"The place in which these animals live is defined not only in terms of space, but in terms of sound - they live in an acoustic habitat," says Christopher Clark from Cornell University, who has been listening in on the whales to get a better understanding of how noise impacts their acoustic habitat. "Imagine living in a village where people can't see each other or where they're going. They have to rely on sounds and calls to keep track of each other and go about their lives."
Once a shire shrouded in peace and quiet, the Right Whales' village has since been drowning in the cacophony of cargo ships' and ocean liners' propellers that churn the waters.
I was first time in 2010 AAAS meeting this year but it was great opportunity to learn and meet the scientist in different fields. I served as a judge in Student Poster Competition. Most of the posters are from students of undergraduate entry level but I was surprise to see the quality of knowledge and work presented by budding scientist. It was really tough to give first rank between two equally good students. We discussed with other judges in same group and finally went again to poster but it was hard to finalize which one will be first and then we decided to give two first and second places to two equally good students. Most of the quality posters are from UC Irvine, California Institute of Technology, Arizona State University SDSU and some other places, in Developmental Biology, Physiology and Immunology group. These types of competitions are encouraging the young scientist to attract towards science. I hope AAAS will start some more these type of competition for young scientist. I will also suggest to undergraduate students that they have to prepare poster for next 2011 AAAS meeting.
I've been to three AAAS meetings in the past 20 years, the first in San Francisco, about 14 years ago, the second in Seattle, about 6 years ago and now this past week in San Diego. I am a Medical Oncologist / Hematologist and go to one or two major meetings a year, usually in Clinical Oncology or Basic Science Oncology.
I guess I am spoiled by the annual meetings of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the American Association of Cancer Research because they actually teach one about Medical Oncology at those meetings. For the most part, AAAS meetings discuss the politics (in a very broad sense) of Science rather than Science itself.
Now, of course, that is not entirely true. There were a few seminars on basic science and the family series event was much about science and the lectures on Neutrinos was a fairly decent review of neutrino science. But the seminars on Neutrinos was very much the exception. One has only to read the titles of the lectures to see that the subject matter was bent towards politics, or economics of science rather than reviewing science itself.
"I want to study coral reefs, but, I hear that they probably won't be around for much longer, so I am not so sure that is such a good career choice." Prospective student, Steve Palumbi's office, a few months back.
Dr. Steve Palumbi is not easily ruffled. A veteran field scientist, he has taken on Japan's powerful whaling industry (conducting clandestine tests of commercially sold whale meat by cloning the DNA in hotel bathrooms to accommodate CITES restrictions)-- and successfully exposing the rampant illegal hunting that exists. He has used molecular techniques to determine historic abundances of whales, challenging pro-whaling countries' argument that some species have receovered enough to lift the global moratorium. But, all this experience didn't prepared him for that prospective student's decidedly depressing proclamation about an inevitable demise of coral reefs.
A rabbi, a theologian, and a geneticist walk into a conference room...it's not the start of a joke, but rather the start of yesterday's session on Genetics and Ethics, at which the session's speakers really tried to reach beyond their disciplines to talk to one another.
Walter Doerfler, one of the session's organizers, emphasized that science "should seek a wider perspective" and encouraged a dialogue between academic cultures to further understand the complexity of life. Since new technology in genetics and genomics is growing at a rapid rate, it's sometimes difficult for society to comprehend the ethical implications of these advancements. After thinking so much about translational research and personalized medicine over the past few days, I found it really refreshing to take a step back to think about some of the ethical challenges that these new discoveries could imply.
Each cell in your body suffers 10,000 to 100,000 DNA lesions per day. But repair systems in your cells are hard at work eliminating this damage. One of the most troublesome kinds of DNA damage a cell can suffer is a double strand break - losing genetic material on one strand isn't too much of a challenge for a cell since DNA machinery can use the complementary strand to repair it, but if both strands are broken, it can be a major problem. Cells have repair mechanisms and back-up systems that kick in when double-strand breaks take place, but cancer cells, which are pros at accumulating mutations and dividing rapidly, may not have as many layers of back-up repair, making them more dependent on one repair mechanism and potentially vulnerable if that mechanism fails. At a session on Saturday morning and press conference Saturday afternoon, Graham Walker from MIT, Richard Kolodner from UCSD, and Tanya Paull of University of Texas, Austin discussed DNA repair and how understanding it could lead to cancer treatment. This was another cool topic that linked basic research using humble model organisms to profound implications for cancer in humans.
Take that you doubters of scientific vigor! Yesterday, the session, "Denial, Détente, and Decisions: Fisheries Science at the Crossroads," provided a shining example of the power of the peer review process to root out inaccuracies and refine results, and bring us one step closer to unraveling the mysteries of the universe. Amidst the growing din of skepticism and doubt surrounding the validity of the scientific process, fueled most recently by the slip-ups by the IPCC (which really should have been caught earlier), this story emerges a reminder that the scientific endeavor remains alive and well and worthy of our confidence; it just requires our patience.
Dr. John Lynham, at the University of Hawai'i, presented a fantastic talk about the relationship between catch share management systems in fisheries, and declining fish stocks. This research, conducted with colleagues and published last year, provided the first evidence of a positive effect of catch shares to halt or sometimes reverse declines in fish populations. And while the authors were careful to emphasize that the relationship they found was correlative, and not necessarily cause and effect, their publication caused quite a stir, as catch shares have been fairly controversial in the U.S.A.
Yes, this weekend at the 2010 AAAS annual meeting, we've bridged science with society, science with the public, science with Hollywood (with the White House and White Castle), scientists with hostile regimes, scientists with other scientists, scientists with journalists, and not the least, scientists with a lot of wine and beer.
But what about that big bridge thing just outside the conference? What does that bridge?
That would be the San Diego-Coronado Bridge. It bridges, uh, San Diego with Coronado.
Here I am in the newsroom at the AAAS meeting, the most important scientific meeting in the country and perhaps the world, sitting shoulder to shoulder with giants of my profession. Well, not literally. There's a couple of yards between me and the editors of the two largest science journals in the United States. It's not a good time to pull up a YouTube video of yo-yo-chasing kittens. It is a time to be a true professional.
Professional science journalists, like scientists, look for good questions and the answers to them. As I sat down at my newsroom computer station, I was struck by a compelling question: Are professional science journalists any better with computers than the average Joe or Jane?
Literally struck, that is. I ran into the corner of the computer help desk, which, is thankfully, rounded and padded with a thick curtain. Michael Weisman sits behind the desk, and he was kind enough to act as an expert for my investigation.
Many scientists (and journalists, for that matter) argue that their job is to seek and deliver knowledge. They don't have much power over how people use it. Climate change historian James Rodger Fleming opened the Saturday morning symposium, "Can Geoengineering Save us from Global Warming?" He suggests that his next book on the subject ought to be called Losing It, because climate change scientists long ago lost control over the discourse on the subject.
Case in point: geoengineering. With international measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions still suffering from political inertia, the U.S. and U.K., at least, are beginning to consider engineering fixes for climate change. These fixes include things like pumping sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere or seeding clouds to reflect more sunlight, and dumping iron into the oceans to encourage the growth of plankton that suck carbon dioxide out of the air and convert it to biomass.
The students poured into Carlos Castillo-Chavez's office soon after swine flu struck Mexico last spring. The graduate students, some from Mexico, a few from Puerto Rico, knew the Arizona State mathematician was an expert in modeling disease spread.
"They were very scared because they had relatives there," said Castillo-Chavez. "They asked, 'Is there something we can do?'"
The cadre of concerned students worked Saturdays and Sundays to model the ensuing outbreaks of H1N1, which peaked three separate times in Mexico. In the model world they created, people were either susceptible or exposed, vaccinated or not.
SAN DIEGO -- Dams may not be causing the steep drop in Pacific salmon populations in Washington and Oregon. Instead, earlier plankton blooms in the ocean may mean salmon smolt reach the sea too late and starve to death.
A comparison of salmon populations in a Pacific coast river with dams and one without revealed that dams did not affect how many salmon made it out to sea.
Instead, earlier plankton blooms caused by climate change may be key. The findings were presented by Ron O'Dor in the "How New Tracking Technologies Can Help Manage Sustainable Fisheries" session of the AAAS meeting on Friday, February 19.
"It's not the dams that are causing the problems. It's actually happening in the open ocean as a result of plankton changes," said biologist Ron O'Dor of the Census of Marine Life in a presentation at the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences meeting in San Diego. "Less plankton means fish don't get to eat what they want to eat."
The salmon are born in river beds in Washington and Oregon, spend a few years growing into smolts and group together to migrate out to sea. They spend several years in the frigid waters near Alaska, then return to the rivers to spawn.
The judge sits at the front of the room. He has a distinguished look, graying at the temples, and a commanding air. Glasses perched on the tip of his nose, he addresses the room, "The Bailiff will excuse the jury at this time." And as he waves his hand dismissively at the jury, the audience breaks out in titters of laughter.
This is not actually a courtroom, and the judge isn't wearing robes. Instead, this is room 2 in the San Diego Convention Center and it is this morning's session, The Brain on Trial: Neuroscience Evidence in the Courtroom, at the AAAS 2010 meeting. The judge is a real judge, the Honorable Luis A. Rodriguez, from the Superior Court of California in Orange County. The session however, is not your normal scientific meeting, and boy is it refreshing and eye-opening.
Set up as a mock-trial, the session was designed to examine the increasingly common dilemma of whether evidence such as MRI images, which can be used to see damage in the brain such as lesions or tumors, should be entered into court cases. Besides the judge, there was also a Defense Attorney, Mr. Robert Knaier, and a Prosecuting Attorney, Mr. Henry Greely, both actual lawyers. There were also expert witnesses for both sides of the case, Dr. James Brewer for the defense, and Dr. Michael Rafii for the prosecution.
A paper published on Feb. 19, 2010 in the Annual Review of Marine Science tells a story of discovery and destruction in a world hidden from human eyes, shrouded in eternal darkness
Jason Hall-Spencer points to a slide on the screen. What looks like a satellite image of the world with a picture of the Milky Way superimposed on it, is actually a representation of the world's ocean floor, studded with hundreds of tiny, bright dots. Each dot marks the position of a seamount, submerged pinnacles jutting up from the vast expanse of the abyssal plains.
Carol Greider delivered a fascinating plenary lecture last night - the tale of telomerase is so thought-provoking!
Telomeres are the protective ends of a chromosome - I've heard them described as a bit like the plastic piece on the end of a shoelace, which protects the lace from fraying each time it's tied. Unfortunately, every time a cell divides, it loses a bit of the end of its telomeres - this is because the machinery that runs along DNA falls off just before the end, leaving off the last bit of DNA from the new copy. Telomerase is responsible for adding a bit back on to the ends of the chromosome. Dr. Greider and her fellow Nobel laureates discovered this important enzyme and she's devoted her research to the study of telomerase since then. Despite telomerase's reparative properties, eventually telomeres are shortened after enough cell divisions (programmed cell death eliminates the cell at this point if all is working well!). This is because telomerase is limiting - there's just not enough of it to keep up with cell division.
What happens when telomerase isn't present? The answer is completely fascinating! Dr. Greider talked about haplo-insufficiency - sometimes one copy of a gene isn't enough to produce enough enzyme. This is the case with telomerase. In families that are heterozygous for a mutation in the gene that encodes telomerase, telomeres shorten leading to a distinct disease. This disease affects younger and younger people with each generation in the family (i.e., affected grandfather develops the disease at 60, a father at 40, and a son at 20) - this is called genetic anticipation. Through studies using wild type and laboratory strains of mice, researchers have been able to model this disease. What they found was that even once the mutation was bred out of a generation, the mice that had two copies of telomerase still suffered from short telomeres. It took several generations for normal telomere length to reappear.
Billy Joel was right. The fire really has been burning since the world's been turning. But, thanks to global climate change, it may soon be burning in a much different way. During a Friday morning session titled "Fire and Climate," Meg Krawchuk, a UC Berkeley "pyrogeographer," described her efforts to model the impacts of global warming on fire patterns across the world. She found that hotter weather doesn't necessarily mean hotter blazes—in the next few decades, some ecosystems may see more fires, while others may see less.
From sea level changes to the fate of the pika, scientists have given concerned citizens a lot to be concerned about when it comes to climate change. Environmentalists' plates are full, but fires are well worth piling on, Krawchuk said. Like shaking an etch-a-sketch, they can rewire ecosystems. Savannahs, for instance, would be forests if blazes weren't around to clear the trees. And many organisms have evolved to like it hot: pine cones on many lodgepole pines won't open without tickling flames, she said.
"The question was, 'What's the largest single-celled organism in the world?'" said Cease, a doctoral student at Arizona State University. Cease studies the migration patterns of landscape-damaging locusts in Inner Mongolia.
With Cease's help, the student logged on to the "Ask a Biologist" website to submit the question. Cease says the site connects the public with over one hundred biologists who volunteer their time to the Q&A service.
"It's been great meeting all the people," Cease says. "The kids have really interesting questions!"
At an afternoon session titled "Genome Analyses and Sequencing to Advance Drug Discovery and Treatment" researchers discussed how they are use sequencing tools to reveal new mutations that may underlie cancer.
Dr. Rick Wilson of Washington University described whole genome sequencing as a way to identify genes involved in cancer. He said that this technique is yielding tantalizing clues about cancer development. Each person's cancer is a little different, but with a large collection of patient samples, he and his colleagues hope to expand the list of candidate genes.
A great example of genetic variability within one category of cancer is a mutation in the gene EGFR in cancer. Mutations to this gene determine whether a patient will respond to the drug Iressa. Iressa was nearly dismissed because it had an effect on such a minority of patients until this genetic quirk was discovered: it turned out that 80% of the patients who responded to the drug had this mutation. Testing for EGFR can help doctors determine if this is the right drug for an individual.
The Los Angeles Police Department may have a new ally who, while not as all-knowing as Charlie Epps from Numb3rs, will help reduce crime by predicting where and when it might occur. This morning, Professor Andrea Bertozzi spoke about models that she and her team of post-docs at UCLA are developing to model gang violence. Using statistical mechanics, bifurcation theory, and partial differential equations, she aims to predict where and when hot-spots of gang-related activity will emerge. These tools have a long history in the physical and biological sciences, and are similar to those tools used to study the behavior of swarms of insects, which is the subject of some of her past research. Dr. Bertozzi's newest paper on modeling gang activity will soon be published in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences.
In order to model crime occurrence, Dr. Bertozzi consults Anthropologist Jeff Brantingham , whose research shows that criminals tend to commit their crimes near their own homes in areas with which they are familiar. The model is designed with this in mind, and consists of a grid with a "house" situated at each vertex, freely moving "burglars", and an "attractiveness" function that depends on both space and time. Different factors determine the attractiveness of a house to a burglar -- these include how close the house is to the burglar's home, whether the house was recently burgled, whether any of its neighbors have been victimized recently, and constants like the presence of graffiti or the type of h. Two behaviors emerge from the simulations: one in which a police presence would simply displace the criminal activity and one in which a police presence would actually eliminate the problem. The model compares favorably to data collected over the period of a year in a particular LA neighborhood, and Dr. Bertozzi sees this as a first step in applying mathematical modeling to other social science issues.
Where are the gangs? Gang-related violence modeling is done by post-doc Alethea Barbaro , who studies gang networks, patterns in tagging, and how rivalries arise and dissipate. In response to a question concerning how this work might inform decisions concerning the balance between hiring more policemen and "cleaning up the streets" to reduce the "attractiveness",Dr. Bertozzi responded "Sounds like a good research proposal! These questions are excellent and hopefully will employ people like us for years to come."
The AAAS 2010 Annual Meeting is not the only tenant of the San Diego Convention Center this weekend:
The two events are housed side by side, an irony that has not escaped many an observer.
After a small break, I was back for more translational research! The second session I attended called "Evaluating and Funding Translational Research" addressed many of the same themes as the preceding talk.
The session's organizer, Maria Vassileva of the NIH, gave a nice introduction of translational research - the means by which tools make it from clinical researchers hard at work in the lab to physicians hard at work in the clinic. One of the speakers (Eric Topol) later showed a striking and haunting cartoon illustrating translational research; in it a clinical researcher stands on one bank while a physician stands on the other - in between is a rickety, unused bridge and at the bottom of the ravine between them is the skeleton of a patient. (Kind of dark, but gets the message across - we need to connect these guys.)
Dr. Vassileva left us with a quote emphasizing the importance of collaboration: "If you'd like to go quickly, go alone. If you'd like to go far, go together."
The first speaker for the session was Dr. Gary Firestein of UC San Diego. "I've been trying to explain 'translational research' to my mother for a long time," he said, "But she still thinks I'm in charge of hiring translators for the hospital." Communicating the definition of translational research is difficult but the field's utility is obvious.
Dr. Firestein outlined the process of drug development:
The scientific community is a bunch of elitist snobs that don't listen to or care about what other people have to say. Perhaps they are even setting up a conspiracy against all the rest of us!
How can scientists handle such images? How do you argue against them? How do you explain something in 20 seconds on tv?
Those kinds of questions were raised in the session Communicating on the State and Local Level: How can Scientists Support Policy Makers? at the AAAS annual meeting in San Diego yesterday.
Eugenie Scott, executive director of the National Center for Science Education, talked about the attempts in Lexington, Kentucky, to get permission to teach "creation science" in school, a debate that started in the 60s and went on until 1981. School boards, Eugenie underlined, consist of elected politicians - but scientists are not a political group. In order to influence decisions, scientists need to learn about and understand what politicians need and what their perspectives are. Think politically, and cooperate with others!
Steve Schneider, Stanford professor and member of the IPCC, did a very engaged talk about people's misperceptions of science. Science is not democracy! he stated. So, even if 98% of climate scientists agree that global warming is influenced by human activities (ref: Pew-AAAS 2009), that's not really relevant. There is no equal right to have a say about a scientific issue regardless of your scientific background. Trouble is, media seems to think so.
Whether you're an avid or accidental National Public Radio listener, at some point you've probably caught Talk of the Nation: Science Friday, hosted by Ira Flatow.
Attendees at AAAS San Diego had a chance to watch a broadcast of Science Friday. Flatow's crew set up in a Marriott ballroom while an eager audience filled the seats.
Here are two YouTube clips you can geek out on:
"We're Going to Break!" -- Catch a glimpse of all the production cues and signals that happens on the other end of the airwaves.
On today's show, the guests discussed ideas for preserving quality science journalism and outreach. Seated left to right are Pulitzer-winner Deborah Blum, former AP science editor Paul Raeburn, Stanford professor Stephen Schneider, and Jennifer Ouellette of the National Academy of Sciences.
To listen to the full broadcast, visit ScienceFriday.com
After a quick morning coffee, time to dive into the world of translational research with a seminar titled on "The Road to Personalized Medicine." Unfortunately, the first speaker for this meeting was unable to come to make it, so Dennis Vargo of Brigham and Women's and Harvard Medical School presented a talk on detection of kidney toxicity for him. Too bad the actual researcher couldn't be here - an interesting example of bench-to-bedside work.
The talk began with some basic info on the costs/consequences of damage to the kidneys (1 million hospitalizations, $10 bil. in excess costs). If doctors could test patients for a reliable biomarker of kidney toxicity, they might be able to prevent damage, but currently the biomarkers that are tested only show up after kidney damage is already far along. Wouldn't it be great to have a biomarker that showed up in the early rather than late stages of kidney toxicity? This biomarker would need to be sensitive, specific, and accurate. KIM1 is a biomarker that has a lot of potential.
In a speech titled "Bridging Science and Society," AAAS President Peter Agre naturally discussed examples such as how scientists assist in diplomacy with hostile nations, and how medicine improves rural livelihoods. But one subtle theme in his talk may surprise you -- the significance of the personal story.
Agre spoke to nearly a thousand attendees on Thursday evening to official open the 2010 AAAS Annual Meeting. The 2003 Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry said he wanted to share his personal "Facebook of science" -- which at first seemed like a throwaway punchline. But interspersed amongst jargoned explanations of the aquaporin protein which he is famous for were poignant and smiling portraits of the families and stories of the people who touched his career.
Today's weather is perfect for a day full of science talks: warm enough for a comfortable walk from the hotel to the conference center, but overcast, making spending the day in conference halls somewhat appealing. I just got out of a great talk on personalized medicine and can't wait to blog about it. As a staff writer at the Broad Institute, I'm incredibly excited to be here attending talks related to the future of genetics and genomics (and mingling with fellow science writers -- I'm refueling on coffee and sitting in the news lounge right now) and I'm really looking forward to sharing my impressions on this blog! I'm starting a longer, more substantive entry on this morning's seminar right now and hope to post that soon.
AAAS is the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the largest general scientific society in the world. AAAS members are some of the planet's most respected scientists and researchers, and this weekend, they're coming to San Diego.
AAAS members make discoveries in everything from AIDS treatment to nuclear waste removal, and from dinosaur paleontology to cosmic mysteries. At this weekend's AAAS annual meeting, researchers will present their work on earthquakes, the search for alien life, making fuel from algae, and many other cutting edge, life-changing topics.
But you don't need a Ph.D. to get a taste of the action. Whether you're online or if you're in the Southern California area, you and your family can be part of the the AAAS Annual Meeting buzz.
Here's How to Participate:
Greetings from sunny southern California! This is the official home of the 2010 Science / AAAS blogging contest. Here you will find guest blog posts from scientists, writers, and science enthusiasts attending the AAAS Annual Meeting in San Diego from February 18 to 22, 2010.
If you are attending the meeting and would like to contribute to this blog, you are invited to sign up for the contest. You might even win $250 in cash!
Otherwise, stay tuned for insights, reflections, and latest news from our bloggers at the meeting. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email Jue Wang--that's me, the blog moderator--at email@example.com..