Genetically identifying nematodes with a portable lab

I’m so happy my first first-author scientific paper (which you can find here, if you’re up for the challenge) is published! Here’s a summary of what I have been doing these last four years, beautifully illustrated by my friend Rachel Glover.

The bottom line is that we combined a portable molecular biology lab, the Bento Lab, with a portable DNA sequencer, the MinION. With these two techniques combined we can now genetically identify nematodes all over the world, even in remote field sites.

Im my paper I looked at the DNA of nematodes, microscopically small worms. DNA is made up of letters, and the combinations of these letters create codons (like words) and genes (like sentences). Nematodes are common parasites of humans, great apes and other animals, they are a crucial component of soil ecosystems and are abundant in marine environments. Many researchers are interested in learning which species of nematodes are present in different environments.

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