We have data!!
For the last 2 months, I have been chopping up little pieces of gill or sea cucumber tissue, extracting the DNA from that tissue, selecting small parts of the DNA using specific primers, amplifying a ton of it using PCR, and then sending it through a machine that spits out all the A's, T's, C's, and G's making up each animals' genetic code. And the results are in!
Wellllll, kind of. :) We just successfully sequenced the first batch, which was only about 40 of the 298 samples we have in all. But progress is progress! And now that we have our procedures more or less optimized, things will move a lot more smoothly from here on out. Stay tuned!
To read more about the transition from fieldwork to labwork, or to see a photo of what my sequences look like, check out my latest (relatively short) blog post: