ACS: My kind of town

I made it in to Chicago late last night (only two hours late, which for isn’t that bad for O’Hare…) There must have been a few chemists on my flight, as I wasn’t the only person who chuckled when they announced that our pilot’s name was Dave Evans…

I got up early this morning to check email, plan my day at the conference, and make a few last minute adjustments to an iPod playlist (it’s a 20-25 minute bus ride from my hotel to the convention center). When traveling for work, I usually create a playlist to ‘match’ the location of the conference: Radiohead works well if you’re heading off to an RSC conference, but a meeting in Chicago really calls for some Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters… (This isn’t always easy – I’m not sure what I’m going to do for the 2009 ACS meeting in Salt Lake City. Any suggestions?)

Anyways, this morning I saw a great talk from Dennis Dougherty – most of the talk focused on cation-pi interactions in ligand-gated ion channels (for example, the Cys-loop superfamily) and how his laboratory has used unnatural amino acid mutagenesis to dissect how nicotinic acetylcholine receptors work (click here for his Nature paper from 2005 – I think it’s a great demonstration of how organic/physical organic chemistry can be used to reveal how a biological system works…)

After grabbing a quick (and remarkably expensive) bite to eat, I went to Linda Hsieh-Wilson’s and Jotham Coe’s talks, both of which were great. Coe talked about Varenicline/Chantix, which looks like it’ll really be able to help people who want to quit smoking.

If you’re blogging from the conference, please let us know/please feel free to mention it in the comments section – so far, I know that

Richard from Chemistry World

Egon from chem-bla-ics

Kyle from The Chem Blog

are here (I’m not sure if all of them are blogging, though…) As Katharine mentioned, her news@nature blog posts can be found here.


Joshua Finkelstein (Senior Editor, Nature)