by Vivek
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Protein Knots: a Tangled Story

My first talk in a Journal Club session

Journal Club is a weekly paper presentation session organized in our department by us, where one could present an remarkable research finding, discuss a new experimental technique or simply introduce everyone to a new or less explored field in the area of biology. I have mentioned about this initiative in my earlier posts, and it is something that I really feel excited to talk about. The audience size is pretty decent (around 15-20 people) consisting of professors, research scholar, graduates and undergraduate students.

Cover page of my presentation. A first page of my 25 minute talk presentation delivered to a group of professors and students in a Journal Club session organized within the department.

This semester marked the second session of our initiative, and I had the opportunity to speak to people about a topic of my interest i.e., Knotted Proteins. Since I didn’t have much time to do a thorough literature survey, I summarized a review-like presentation of the topic along with the motivation of study, questions we ask, and general techniques and approaches adopted by the scientists. I thought that explaining a protein knots can be greatly simplified by using a rope, and it did. I used it throughout my talk to convey several important ideas like closure, crossing number, deep and shallow knots etc.

The talk was well received, and I’m glad to have raised a lot of questions in everyone’s mind. I received several questions and duly addressed them to the best of my knowledge and with assistance from research scholars in the audience who had worked on similar protein structures. The discussion was fruitful, and I received numerous questions from my fellow class mates as well.

A crucial feedback that I received post presentation was that I should include some experimental (hands on) studies which prevent the talk from being tagged as plain theoretical and boring.

All in all, it was a good experience, and I’m really looking forward to further chances to speak again.

My presentation for the talk can be found here. A video will be uploaded shortly as well.