To end the afternoon conference guests enjoyed a wine reception, kindly sponsored by Syngenta, while continuing to discuss posters and the earlier talks. Later that evening, the conference dinner was a good opportunity to cement earlier discussions with new acquaintances into future friendships and collaborations.
It always helps if the first talk the morning after the conference dinner is especially engaging and our keynote speaker Sarah Fiddyment from the Department of Archaeology at York, delivered in spades with a fascinating insight into European History and culture – with her analysis of ancient rare books and parchment. Sarah’s work, in a totally different field to most in the audience, is testament to the breadth and depth of analytical chemistry applications and of the fantastic scope of the Analytical Biosciences Group.
Keynote speaker Nick Tucker from the University of Strathclyde described his use of Next-generation DNA sequencing in the fight against bacterial resistance. By observing genetic evolution of bacteria in real time, his group have been able to search for new targeted therapies that are difficult for the bacteria to develop resistance to.
Lunch was sandwiched by a pair of talks from the University of Liverpool both focused on understanding the properties of stem cells to better enable their therapeutic use. The first by Eve Rogers, described the novel application of mechanical stretching to direct the cell’s circadian clock and successfully synchronise stem cells from different tissues. The second talk by Mohd Fuad, explained the development of new surface-modified materials for use as a minimally invasive tool for harvesting stem cells from blood vessels, without accessing bone marrow, and using this to generate new red blood cells.
The talks finished with an enthralling and sometimes gruesome talk by Julie Evans from Alere Forensics, whose most famous work was as the toxicologist for the Harold Shipman Murders.