JYU Student Ambassadors


Nanoscience Days

Hey there, science people!

Just recently, University of Jyväskylä held Nanoscience Days event, , an annual conference that brings together “nano-researchers” from all over the world. Two-day forum included eight major speeches, three short-sessions and poster session where researchers could share and discuss their recent projects.

Photo by Ariane Vartanian | Instagram: @arianevartanian
What makes Nanoscience days event unique is its multidisciplinary nature of the conference. Invited speakers come from fields of chemical, biological and physical research but since they deal with objects at nanoscale they are warmly welcomed. This year's speeches were addressing protein engineering, DNA-based complexes,  quantum computing and some more topics which you can check here.
The most notable speakers of this year’s gathering were Wiliam Shih from Harvard University, Johnathan Clayden, University of Bristol, the author of the beloved “Organic Chemistry” textbook and Ariane Vartnian, chief editor of Nature Communications journal. 
Professor Shih is a leading researcher in the field of self assembling DNA-based structures, or simply DNA origami. He presented a creative concept of detecting an enormously small concentration of any compound (in far perspective) using DNA origami that can assemble itself into much larger structures on signal. Prof. Shih mentioned the concept is based on “Jack and the beanstalk” fairytale and playing around with Legos. They key issues of this project is to find a proper signal to start the assembly. More about prof. Shih research can be found here

Photo by Tanja Heikkinen
Professor Clayden had given enlightening presentation on how the information can be transferred across the large protein complexes. The mechanism can simply be visualized by rotating a rainbow sling toy  (what else can be discovered in a kid’s store?!) along the axis . Helical protein structures transfer signal in the same way, by rotation,that changes chemistry on the other end. This clever way to transmit a signal at molecular scale may be used for communication between different parts of protein and open new possibilities in protein engineering. You can check more here.
Professor Göran Johansson, Chalmers University, introduced the audience into a current state of quantum computing and speculated about applications which it can support and the upcoming milestone projects. Be sure to check the discussion on recent announcement of Google’s quantum supremacy here. And, by the way, new research group is starting a project to work silicon based hybrid quantum technologies, and recruiting new team. More on that -> here.
Nature’s Chief Editor, Ariana Vartanian, in an entertaining manner has discussed key aspects of how to make your paper be accepted, preferably, in a single go. Good question that everyone in academic field should have asked at least once! Ariane’s brief answer is “be honest and rigorous with your reporting and try to sell it to the editor but do not oversell”. That is definitely something to consider.

After the talks, it was a time for a leg-stretch while checking poster presentations in the main hall. Lively science chats were heard from every corner  - such a great opportunity to get to know people and their work.

Photo by Alexander Plyushch
The poster presentations smoothly transitioned into the dinner where everyone could relax and casually chat with other “nano-people” while raising glasses for the future of science. At the end of the evening, a resident rock band of JYU professors, called  “Tiny nano-band” played contemporary rock and pop hits. Time to practice my air-guitar skills! At the end, everybody was invited to relax in the nano-sauna (Yes, there is a sauna in the research center, and no, it is not that small),  where the bravest could jump into a lake. 
It was a great event! Huge thanks to speakers and organization team! We’ll see you next year!
Alexander Plyushch
Nanoscience Days Nanoscience Days Reviewed by ambassadors on 08:46 Rating: 5


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