Archive for July, 2008

The Besieged Fortress

I wanted to watch the movie below, but all of the road shows were over around here…


Pea Aphid Genome Annotation Workshop

I’m now at Princeton, attending Pea Aphid Genome Annotation Workshop I.

Actually I am neither a genomicist nor a bioinformatist. However, I’ve been engaged in aphid studies for many years using some molecular techniques, so that I am a bit interested in a genomics.

I am not good at dealing large amount of information like genomic informations, but I think these genomics studies largely help us to understand the complicated biology of many organisms.

To use genome information in a smart manner, the annotation of genes seems to be important.


On the day before yesterday, at the campus, I found a brown aphid that did not move at all. That was so-called a “mommy” of aphid. It is a dead aphid that is parasitized and killed by a parasitoid wasp. At the time when an aphid becomes a mommy, the inside wasp has pupated. The host species of this picture is Acyrthosiphon pisum, the most famous aphid species.

This picture shows a mommy, from which the parasite has already emerged. The parasite species may be Aphidus sp. (maybe…)


I’m having a photo of the moment when the wasp just lay an egg into an aphid. This photo was taken last year in UK, so that the host and parasite species should be different from above.


After the Evolution meeting, I dropped in a laboratory in Wisconsin, where my colleague just moved this spring.

While Minneapolis in Minnesota was also nice place, Wisconsin-Madison is also a very beautiful place. The university campus as well as residential areas located near Lake Mendota.

We walked along the lake shore, where there are walk ways. The place was very beautiful with many trees and animals. In returen, we had lots of mosquitos there. They seem pretty large in comparison with mosquitos we often see in Japan. Furthermore, we met some gaggles of Canadian geese there too. Those included many youngs, and adults protected them by menacing us with honking.

 Because the university campus is just on the shore, sports like yachting or wind surfing are popular among students. Probably there are a number of clubs or schools for those lake leisures.

I just stayed there for only two nights, but felt the nice atmosphere of the town. I want to visit this town again in the near future.