Bob Goldstein and colleagues just published a wonderful open access Cold Spring Harbor Protocols issue summarizing the available toolkit for tardigrades (Hypsibius exemplaris). Check it out!
Organized by Mansi Srivastava & Bob Goldstein, the special interest subgroup Emerging Model Systems is again represented at this year´s ASCB | EMBO Meeting held in San Diego from December 8-12. A great line of topics and speakers, ranging from Arash Komeilo (Berkeley) talking about organelle biology in bacteria, Anne Brunet (Stanford) explaining aging and diapause in killifish to the analysis of host-microbe interaction in the Hawaiian bobtail squid presented by Spencer Nyholm (University of Connecticut) will bring the session to live on Saturday, December 8th.
Organized by Ira & Liz, the Guse lab enjoyed some professional sushi-making tips and tricks from Ira´s neighbour Chika. The result was pretty impressive and super-tasty. Oishii!
Aiptasia made an educational appearance at this year’s Deutsche SchülerAkademie, an academic summer camp for highly motivated and talented 15-19 year olds. Held in Urspring for two and a half weeks at the beginning of August, the aim of our course on “testing cooperation” was to give the young participants a chance to get some hands-on experience with the scientific method. We wanted them to come up with their own hypotheses and then proceed to test them experimentally. For this purpose, Aiptasia proved an excellent model system. Using colour as a proxy for symbiosis status, the students were able to investigate the benefits both partners draw from the symbiosis, the role of hydrogen peroxide in bleaching, and the reaction to stress more generally. A further group got interested in the movement of symbiotic Aiptasia towards light, looking into the effects of different colours. With very minimal lab equipment, the students were thus able to experience first hand the pains and pleasures of doing science, and they managed to collect some very nice data indeed. We thank Annika and Diana for making all this possible by providing us with Aiptasia and plenty of advice on how to handle them, Oliver Caspari and Agnes Köhler
Thanks to the CPS workshop in January, the Guse lab was inspired to continue improving communication and team building. We introduced “lab outings” as a way to connect and have fun outside of the lab. For our first lab outing, organized by Diana and Sebastian in April, we went bowling…
The winner of the evening was Sebastian, although we all played better than expected!
Philipp and Marie organized the second outing. In July, we went to a local Irish pub for trivia night. Our group has a diverse set of interests so we thought we would be good contenders for first place!
Because the lab has grown in the recent months, we had to split into two groups. One of these groups managed to get second place…a very close second. Five bonus points were awarded to the team with the best name; ironically, this team decided to name themselves “We don’t need the extra points,” when in fact, they did 😉 Either way, we all had a good time!
Looking forward to see what activity the next pair will choose!
On arrival this year the coral spawning had already happened and we could set-up experiments without delay. Thanks to our Japanese collaborators we had many bowls full of larvae to choose from. A big thank you to them for their help and support!
Acropora digitifera larvae were especially healthy this year and the abundance of material resulted in an abundance of cleaning and sampling, which often kept us busy until late in the evening.
But – of course – we made sure not to miss out on beautiful Okinawa snorkeling and delicious food.
Our outdoor activities were supported by the weather, which was a lot better than previously predicted.
A special pleasure was the meeting, greeting and discussions with old and new fellow researchers at the Sesoko Station.
After the big success of COSmic and SpartaCOS, this year´s motto of the COS party was CirCOS. And as expected, the party was awesome: great decoration, music and of course lots of creative costumes!
A handcrafted Flea Circus consortium was the contribution of the Guse lab:
And here are some more official lab pics of my favourites:
The Wittbrodt Freakshow
The Lemke Circus Protesters
The Acebron Circus Victims
The Guse Flea Circus
As part of the benefits of being an EMBO YIP lab, the Guse lab did a 1.5 day Creative Problem Solving (CPS) workshop at Seissmo in Mannheim. The CPS technique aims to generate a bunch of new and unforeseen ideas and solutions to issues that may occur in teams. The specific goal of our workshop, however, was to create a scientific roadmap for the lab by visualizing and integrating all ongoing and some future projects. Along the way we learned a lot about working as a team and of the internal lab communication. Of course, we can now also apply the versatile CPS techniques to any other topic to come up with new and unique ideas. All in all the workshop was, thanks to our fantastic coach Natacha, a big success and a lot of fun.