Back from the International Herpesvirus Workshop, and from a mini-vacation in Statesboro, GA, where I managed to get my worst sunburn since I was a kid.1

This was the first Workshop I’ve been to since 1994 (13 years!), and I was alternately surprised by how much the field has changed, and how little it’s changed. Lots of the abstract titles could have been recycled from 1994, and we’re only a year or so away from figuring out how the latency-associated transcripts of herpes simplex work, just as we were a year or so away from figuring them out 16 years ago at my first IHW.

MicroRNAs seemed to be a big theme this year, as various herpesviruses were reported to have from 2 to 18(!) microRNAs encoded in their genomes, not to mention how they screw with the host microRNA complement. For some of the viruses, the presence of microRNAs have have already been published, but the numbers may be significantly larger than previously thought. I don’t know what the etiquette of blogging about conference proceedings and abstracts is. I think I’ll pass: Even though there were some cool things there, I’ll wait until they’re officially published. Anyway, there are lots of other things I can talk about. I see Suicyte has already mentioned one of the papers I was going to comment on, so I’ll just say that

Sequential E2s Drive Polyubiquitin Chain Assembly on APC Targets

Monica C. Rodrigo-Brenni and David O. Morgan

Cell, Vol 130, 127-139, 13 July 2007

is a very cool paper.

More when I dig my way out of two weeks’ worth of paperwork.

  1. Though compared to some of the truly epic sunburns of my childhood, this was just a minor and localized annoyance[]