Smart Balance provides $1M in research support

K.C. Hayes will get $1 million in research support for the lab as part of an agreement with the makers of Smart Balance, according to a recent press release.

Neuroscience: Dancing

Honeybee dancing, that is.

Stefan, Celine, Justin & Tepring wanted to remind everyone that Tom Seeley from Cornell will be visiting and giving a talk on honey bee social behavior next tuesday. Info on Seeley’s work can be found at

Time: Tue 11/11/08,12 noon     Place: Gerstenzang 121
Neurobiology Journal Club
*Thomas D. Seeley* (Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, Cornell University)
The decision-making process of a honeybee swarm as it chooses a nest site

IMPDH and retinal degeneration

Recent work from the Hedstrom Lab suggests an explanation for how mutations in this enzyme involved in nucleotide biosynthesis can lead to retinal degeneration and hereditary blindness. It seems it has to do with binding mRNA. Read more at:

Automatic Software Updates (YES)

“Should I let my computers update their software automatically” has traditionally been the subject of debate. Opinions vary on the merits of keeping your computer protected against the latest security threats versus the possibility of breaking your existing configuration.

At present, sadly, I am convinced that you must agree to automatic updates for operating system software and any other software that interacts with files you download from the internet. The threats seem to be imminent (an example) and you really won’t have enough time to decide before it’s too late.

As of today, the greatest threat is to Windows XP users, who should be double-checking that their computers are up-to-date.

For general advice on automatic updaters, see the Bio wiki pages for Mac OS, Windows, and Linux.


Quantitative Biology Lecture Competition

Trisha Murray wrote:

The Quantitative Biology Program at Brandeis University, supported by a grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, is now soliciting applications for an award for preparing an outstanding set of three pedagogical lectures on a subject at the interface of the physical and biomedical sciences. These lectures will be given at the Quantitative Biology Bootcamp to be held Sunday, January 11 & Monday, January 12, 2009. The award consists of a cash prize of $2,000.

Any graduate student or postdoctoral research associate currently at Brandeis is eligible to apply. The application packet should consist of short curriculum vitae and a one page outline of the three lectures. QB faculty will work with the successful applicant in preparing the lectures. Applications should be submitted before Monday, December 1, to Trisha Murray, either by campus mail (MS009), or via E-mail.

*An information session for potential applicants will be held Monday, November 10, Kosow Conference Room (2nd floor) 1 -2 pm.

Construction Updates

Work continues on the new building. Among next week’s tasks: installing fume hoods and environmental rooms.

To get updates on progress and warnings about potential disruptions, see the capital projects website

new Brandeis science building

new Brandeis science building


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