Help survey New Zealand with metagenomics03/04/2014
Contribute to important New Zealand data by joining in this annual project.
Left: A scene from last year's Metagenomics Day.
Expose your students to the latest DNA sequencing technology by signing them up to KATOA’s metagenomics event this year.
The aim of the project is to use DNA sequencing technology to identify the microbial communities living in the soil of Aotearoa. A range of schools across the country will result in an interesting set of data and build on last year’s efforts. Science students will have the opportunity to contribute to interesting research.
Teachers and their Years 11-13 students are responsible for sample choice, data collection (e.g. site picture, GPS coordinates, temperature, average rainfall, soil type, etc.) and the actual soil collection. This is done manually, from a depth of 30cms. These samples will then be sent to Auckland University for DNA extraction and sequencing.
Last year, students from Dunedin collected samples from the Carisbrook sportsground.
In addition to the soil collection work, science classes are invited to take part in a unique Hands-On Day. This will take place on September 27, 2014 at the following centres:
- University of Auckland
- Waikato University
- Massey University (Auckland and Palmerston North)
- Victoria University of Wellington
- University of Canterbury
- University of Otago.
The Hands-On Day is free to attend and promises an interesting lab experience for all involved. Activities on offer include extracting DNA from the samples, perform a PCR, run this on an agarose gel, and do some bioinformatics on previous years’ data to identify bacteria in the soil. Also on offer are short lectures from leading New Zealand scientists.
KATOA is a consortium of leading New Zealand scientists who have a common goal: to share equipment and knowledge with young scientists.
How to get involved
Before May 10, contact KATOA and register your school, or email Justin O’Sullivan: firstname.lastname@example.org for further information and instructions. Time is of the essence: last year, 50 secondary schools took part and it’s hoped this year’s event will be even bigger.