This is my second time attending the EMBO workshop on DNA topology and topoisomerases in genome dynamics in Les Diablerets. At both conferences I have been lucky enough to be given a talk in which to show off my ‘alternative’ methods for probing DNA topology and interactions. Despite being the only AFM-er at this conference, I have felt very included by this vibrant and varied multidisciplinary community. In addition to a very high level of talks, there is far too much (good) food, excellent cheese fondue, and cows to greet you on your morning walk to the conference centre.
This year was particularly exciting for me, as I was returning to present data that came from a new collaboration with James Provan, Sean Colloms and Andrzej Stasiak which came from the last EMBO meeting. This collaboration has been extremely fruitful, and we have developed systems in which we can explicitly determine DNA topology for individual molecules. In doing so we have observed some surprising conformational variations, which have been verified by simulations.
Its been another great meeting, and I feel very lucky to be part of such a supportive and encouraging field. Hopefully I’ll have even more exciting results to share at the 2021 meeting!