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Plant and Animal Genome Conference concludes successful San Diego event

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How do scientists in a high-pressure, high-stakes field of investigation relax after an information-heavy conference? They throw a really good party. The twenty-second annual International Conference on the Status of Plant and Animal Genome Research (dubbed PAG XXII, for short) powered down its January 11-15, 2014 meetings with a dinner and dance on the last day of the conference.

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The group has been staging yearly gatherings at the Town and Country Hotel Conference Center in San Diego’s Mission Valley for 22 years. The last day of sessions on January 15th included a series of talks on host-microbe interactions and current- and next-generation software components for analyzing and visualizing the massive, complex, sometimes-imprecise data sets collected in genome research. The learning and expertise exchange sessions ended by mid-afternoon.

Earlier plenary lectures, poster sessions, workshops and computer demonstrations had run the gamut. Entertaining topics included whether racehorses who win in wet race conditions enjoy the benefits of a heritable physical capability, developing strains of yeast to brew tastier craft beers, and progress of the cacao genome sequencing project to preserve and enhance the key component of chocolate manufacturing. Weightier subjects covered such important medical implications as the modeling possibilities of polycystic kidney disease (PKD) in Persian cats for better understanding PKD in humans. PKD is second, after diabetes, in requiring human sufferers to succumb to kidney failure and require dialysis Other high-value medical issues included as well the translatability of squamous-cell carcinomas in certain horse breeds in the etiology and progressions of this skin cancer in humans.

At 7 p.m., PAG XXII attendees met to dine, dance, and resume their knowledge swapping in a social setting at the Grand Exhibit Hall, where academic and trade exhibitors had operated booths for the prior four days. The closing banquet dinner concluded at midnight.