In the last 17 days we have collected numerous water and soil samples from variety of different and very interesting sites. We have been carrying them with us as we traveled around Iceland until today because, finally, we have arrived at the laboratory where we can extract the DNA from the water and soil samples. The laboratory is at the University of Akureyri which is about a 15 minute walk from the hostel where we are staying.
This morning we took all of our samples and the DNA extraction tools and headed to the lab. The Geology students, all nine of them, and their instructor Dr. Kathleen Affholter joined us. The lab technician at the university did an amazing job of preparing everything our group had requested, we recently learned that he is from Ohio. The world is truly becoming a smaller and a smaller place to live.
The first thing we did today was a crash course in pipetting. Some of the students had never used them before. A lack of material led us to be creative: we generated an innovative tool for pipetting practice. At the same time, we made a Google document with a table of different values in microliters and opened it on our Nexus7s. The unit of measure used for setting up reactions is the microliter (µl). One microliter is one millionth (10-6) of a liter. So: 1 L = 1,000,000 µl, and 1 ml = 1,000 µl. The students then practiced pipetting directly onto the glass surface of the Nexus 7’s