Visiting Heriot-Watt University near Edinburgh, 2016
Hannah Schweitzer--a grad student in the same lab as me--and I traveled to Scotland to learn a technique called DNA-stable isotope probing (SIP) from Prof. Tony Gutierrez. DNA-SIP is super cool and it involves feeding microbes an isotopically heavy version of whatever they normally eat (eg, glucose, acetate, methane). Over time, they eat and grow and replicate, and when they do, they incorporate the "heavy" carbon into their newly replicated DNA. This makes the DNA itself slightly heavier than normal, which means it can be separated from normal DNA in a density gradient, which is SUPER cool. ANYWAY. Tony is a former colleague of mine from when I was at UNC-Chapel Hill. His graduate student Angelina Angelova gave us the run down on DNA-SIP and we currently have it up and running in our lab back in Montana! Successful trip! Also, lots of scotch.