December 21, 2011

Happy Holidays 2011!

A big year for the Datta lab - we gained a new lab manager (Allison), a new tech (Ally), and three new graduate students (Dan, Alex and Tari). In addition to getting real some scientific traction on a bunch of fronts (more about that to come!), the long-awaited lab expansion finally started (more about that to come!). To celebrate all of this and more we decamped to Citizen Public House for their traditional pig roast, before joining the Stevens lab and the Sabatini lab for drinks at Eastern Standard. We got cut off by the bartender, which, in retrospect, was probably deserved. We'll leave off 2011 with perhaps the best rendition of any holiday song, ever - enjoy, and Happy Holidays to all!


The Datta lab, before the pork. And most of the drinking.
Our pig!!!

December 20, 2011

For all of those interested in Optical Highlighter Molecules in Neurobiology...

...Bob and George Patterson have recently written an aptly titled review for Current Opinion in Neurobiology entitled "Optical Highlighter Molecules in Neurobiology." Links to text on the Publications page and here at the CON website.

December 5, 2011

No hay alimentos raros, sólo la gente raro!

El Bulli chef and culinary genius Ferran Adria stopped by the lab last week - he wanted to see a bit of science, and was in town for the Harvard Science and Cooking lecture series, and so arranged visits to a handful of HMS labs.  Adria and Bob chatted for a bit about olfactory and taste perception - he was particularly taken with the relatively recent findings from Leslie Vosshall and Hiro Matsunami demonstrating that olfactory receptor polymorphisms underlie different perceptual responses to androstenone. After mulling it over a bit, he decided that our lab needed a new motto — "no hay alimentos raros, sólo la gente raro" which translates roughly into "there are no strange foods, only strange people." We agree!


Afterwards, Tari Tan and Stan Pashkovski did a great job recapitulating the parts of the seminal Lin and Katz experiment that showed that the functional representation for the odor of whole cloves contains within it the component functional responses to the individual odors found within clove headspace. Adria seemed to get a kick out of it - all in all, potentially the coolest day in lab ever!


Blurry pic of Ferran Adria in the scope room with Tari and Bob
during the functional imaging experiment. 

Bob and Ferran Adria in the lab.