The Non-Coding Genome meeting held at EMBL in Heidelberg this past October was great. To me, this “European Keystone” bettered the two (American) Keystones I’ve attended (’08 and ’09), with more breadth, including prokaryotic regulatory RNAs and lincRNAs. NCG also ran a more functional schedule, with the full day comfortably broken up with ample coffee/tea and meal breaks. The food was also ten-times better, and the venue was nifty in the building interior boasting a true double-helical walkway. Neat. This year’s organizers mentioned they plan for NCG to continue bi-annually, so look out for it in twenty-twelve.
After Heidelberg I hurried down to Stuttgart to get my car fix at the impressive museums of Porsche and Mercedes-Benz (highly recommended even if you have only a casual appreciation for German autos). Next, in a blur of French countryside, I was whisked to Paris, where everything was lovely. Everything. The art, architecture, churches, food, parks, the ladies. I spent my visit there with a friend, former labmate, and esteemed blog contributor (Robin!) who just started a Postdoc in Paris at the Pasteur. To those with true visual and gustatory aesthetics, Paris will make you weak in the knees.
Sometimes good things happen to Ph.D. students!