FEBSX ADVANCED LECTURE COURSE MOLECULES TO FUNCTION IN INNSBRUCK MARCH 2011

This was the fourth biannual FEBS lecture course in Austria organized by the leading systems biology scientists with Hans von Westerhoff as the main coordinating force. Our team was represented by Valters Brusbardis, Martins Mednis and Egils Stalidzans. Traditionally the course has introductory day and we choose the topic presented by David Fell concentrating on mathematical aspects of systems biology.

We joined different computer and blackboard practicals. Four to five parallel topics were offered to choose from. Our Estonian colleagues from TFTAK were also on the course and we could share opinions as we have different background and viewpoint on the same course topics.

Scientifically the most important part was the poster viewing where experts of systems biology were analyzing our posters commenting both the content and the design of the poster.

Of course there was time for downhill skiing and snowboarding as well as usual at FEBS courses. So we enjoyed the white slopes of Axamer Lizum.

BOAT TRIP 2011

We were continuing the tendency of the last year choosing again a river of Kurzeme: Abava. We started in Kandava where the boats were brought by CAMPO right in time. 94 kilometers were in front of us to reach Nabes lakes. CAMPO people were sceptic about our plan to reach our destination in three days, so boats were reserved for four days for the price of three days. No idea how Agnese Kokina arranged that flexibility of CAMPO. Perhaps she did something criminal and as a consequence she had to stay in USA for some weeks until it settles down.

Starting the trip we realized that very heavy rain last days has helped us in two ways: 1) we had lots of water like it would be in springtime and 2) there was no water left in the clouds and we had no rain all the three days.

First day evening we spent at Abavas rumba enjoying voleyball and huge amount of boiled potatoes. Next morning started with extreme sports performed by the boat of Janis Liepins. They jumped over the Abavas rumba after good preparations for the case of failure. The boat sunk and the well packed bags were caught after some swim. Other boat teams were trying to avoid rumba choosing a small branch on the right side of the river. All of them succeeded. Some have got extra water on board.

Third day on the boat of Stalidzans family started by a conclusion that the both ends of the boat are not equal and the rest of the trip the boat was going front ahead. It became so easy to manipulate with the boat!!! So read the manual if you have one. Egils did not have it.

At the end it turned out that we finished third day about 15.00 and had to wait for boat pickup. So we had time for a lunch and a swim in the Nabes lake.

VISIT AT THE ESTONIA COMPETENCE CENTER FOR FOOD AND FERMENTATION TECHNOLOGY TFTAK

Coincidental meeting at the exhibition Biotechnica 2010 in Hannover, Germany led to renewal of old links between Estonian and Latvian scientists, more precisely between Raivo Vilu and Uldis Kalnenieks.

We had a joint scientific event in January 2011 in Tallinn, at the premises of TFTAK where scientific activities of Sysbio.lv group and TFTAK researchers were presented. Bioreactor control systems were demonstrated showing increasing tendency to control bioreactors via computer instead of standard embedded control system. We could conclude that the Competence center idea is very well implemented and works at a relatively large scale both in terms of involved specialists (very young team) and in terms of modern equipment. Very important aspect is the successful collaboration with industry where both sides are interested in the implementation of results. It was concluded that mutual cooperation should be started both at scientific and educational levels.

 

SB5.0 THE FIFTH INTERNATIONAL MEETING ON SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY

The Fifth International Meeting on Synthetic Biology took place at Stanford University from 15-17 June 2011. The meeting was organized by BioBricks Foundation, that is a public-benefit organization, a community of engineers, scientists, attorneys, innovators, entrepreneurs, and others dedicated to advancing synthetic biology to benefit all people and the planet.

Located between San Francisco and San Jose in the heart of Silicon Valley, Stanford University is recognized as one of the world's leading research and teaching institutions.

Two members of our team Egils Stalidzans and Jurijs Meitalovs participated in the three days of plenary and workshop sessions, two poster sessions and awards ceremony. Two poster were presented during the poster sessions. During the meeting were presented many new ideas by scientists from different fields of science connected to the synthetic biology.

 

Milk pack boat race- Piena paku regate 2011

First time Biosystems group took part in the milk pack boat race. This was 9th boat race which took place in Jelgava, 27.08.2011. Biosystems group was represented by organized team of some group members.

The team participated with unique boat that was equipped with specially designed crank mechanism that efficently boosted the boats speed. As a result our teem was almost only who managed to reach the finish line despite the strong wind.

 

COPASI course in Sigulda Latvia 16-18-th February 2011

Software COPASI (COmplex PAthway Simulator, www.copasi.org) has been recognized by our team members already since 2006 and was the first systems biology software we ever used. Finally it came so far that the Latvian company SIA Twinix organized a course in Latvia with two COPASI experts: PhD Juergen Pahle from COPASI development team in Manchester (UK) and PhD Sven Sahle from COPASI development team in Heidelberg (Germany). This was the first COPASI course which was not held in any of COPASI development sites or as a satellite event of a bigger conference.

Many members of our group participated in the course thus building the biggest fraction of the course participants. As a result of the course are practical skills in use of new functions, better understanding of the command line of the COPASI and a collection of wonderful sample models.

SUMMER CAMP OF THE ASSOCIATION OF LATVIAN YOUNG SCIENTISTS JULY 2011

After a fruitful scientific year it is time to get out of the office into the nature. The first full day of the camp – 23-th July - was organized in Ledurga, at the culture house of the city. After arrival the participants could see exhibition about Ledurga since the years of the first Latvian independence until seventies in photographs, journals and books.

Interesting lectures about different topics demonstrated the versatility of association members. The rector of the University of Daugavpils had very inspiring talk about management of scientific journals sharing his personal experience. Systems biology project (www.sysbio.lv ) was represented by Janis Liepins and Egils Stalidzans.

24-th July was dedicated to improvised defense of several doctoral theses. Hard questions were raised by freshly elected “commission”.

Join the Association of Latvian Young Scientists: www.ljza.lv

FIRST COMPUTER SCIENCE DAYS IN LATVIA 8.-10. AUGUST 2011

Three days long event (http://www.datorzinatnudienas.lu.lv/) was organized by the University of Latvia and mobile operator „Latvijas Mobilais Telefons” to facilitate exchange of experience and start new cooperations among Latvian IT scientists.

Our systems biologists were represented by Jurijs Meitalovs, Aleksejs Zacepins and Egils Stalidzans. We had opportunity to present our research.

The evening activities of both days were good addition to the interesting lectures of students and lecturers of six latvian universities. More than 60 participants could listen to the presentations given mostly by students and young researchers.

AWARDS OF STUDENT COUNCIL OF LATVIA UNIVERSITY OF AGRICULTURE

Each year The Student council organizes the annual award in several categories. Students are suggesting the best people, departments, organizations and most significant events at the university. The best ones are chosen by the Student council for the award.

Two Biosystems group related persons have got awards for the year 2010.

The leader of Biosystems Group Egils Stalidzans was one of three teachers awarded in the nomination “The Most Inspiring Teacher” and Jurijs Sulins (3-rd year bachelor student) was awarded in the nominations “The Scientist of the year”.