My summer was a busy one that included traveling to Germany, Austria, and England (not bad for my first trip to Europe), plus a trip home to New Brunswick/Nova Scotia. My blog took the greatest hit as I tried to keep up with my research and manuscript writing, but I hope to get back to regular blogging again.
I was one of the thousands at ISMB 2007 in Vienna, Austria and I was presenting a poster on research that I hope to submit to Bioinformatics in the next week or so. Basically, I study genomic islands (large regions of horizontal gene transfer) in bacteria including their identification, their evolutionary origins and their relationship with virulence.
During one of the poster sessions I entered a nice discussion with someone about my research. After about 30 minutes of explaining my methods, background details, future plans, etc. I asked the standard question, "What do you study and is it related to my research in anyway?" and his chipper response was "Oh, no I don't study anything like this. I just like going around to these posters on oddball topics." Now I can take suggestions, criticism, or even indifference, but "odd ball" made it feel like my research was irrelevant; leaving me to puzzle his comment for the next couple of days.
Anyway, after a visit with the bacterial annotation group at Sanger Centre, where people knew what genomic islands were and actually took some interest in my research I was worrying much less about my "odd ball " research.