June 10, 2013
Happy Monday! Today I met Bianca Scalvi’s group at Marco Lagomarsino’s lab at the Université Pierre et Marie Curie. The meeting’s purpose was for Bianca to explain the idea of ‘noise’ inside a genome to Marco’s theoretical team. There were nine people, a mix of experimental biologists and theoretical physicists. Marco and Bianca have received funding for projects that they have designed together in the past. They know how to use each other’s strengths to create a productive project. Marco’s team focuses on the physics behind the biology to produce models, while Bianca’s team explains the microbiology involved and the results of each experiment.
The meeting was hard to understand. The idea of ‘noise’ in microbiology is over my head, and so I was left to try to understand the interactions of the two groups present. The interactions between the individuals were hard to gauge. Marco and Bianca seemed to be on the same page the other day when we were at Marco’s seminar at Gif, but today the groups were strictly separate. It was clear that Marco and Bianca disagreed about at what point you have received enough data from an experiment. There was also the underlying question of what experiments were relevant and which were simply interesting. No one was rude to each other, and it was obvious that the two groups were there to help their joint project. Nevertheless throughout the meeting I could not understand why the two groups were interacting so differently than the other day at the seminar in Gif. Was it that there were different people present? Or maybe because it was a less formal environment? I’m not sure. Maybe it was simply how European scientists interact….
After the meeting I took the train out to the lab in Cachan. I ran some biological experiments for about three hours, and then returned to Paris in the evening.