Now, who didn't wake up this morning and think: "I wonder what it would be like to be a bumble bee?". OK, maybe just me. Nonetheless, now you can find out! As part of our NSF mountain bees grant Broader Impacts, my collaborator Michael Dillon and folks at the U Wyoming Biodiversity Institute (thanks Brian Barber and Kyle Summerfield, especially!) devised "Flight of the Bombus" an especially creative interactive video game that illustrates some of the interesting aspects of insect flight, especially the challenges of flight at altitude. I wrote a small grant to the European Society for Evolutionary Biology and got some additional outreach funds to build a version of the game here. Pretty neat eh! We are not entirely sure where this will go long-term, but we intend to bring it out for various events, take it to local schools etc. A pretty creative endeavor! Go Team!
Our collaborator in the Dept, Dr. Janna Fierst, recently purchased a starter kit for the Oxford Nanopore MinION mini-sequencer (the "flash drive" sequencer). She had a flowcell that needed to be used, and we happen to have a bee-nome we want sequenced, so it all worked out! So we'll be collaborating on assembling a new bumble bee genome, put the sample on the sequencer today! This method is great because it can sequence nice long reads and has a super easy library preparation. Once the long reads are done we can then layer on some shotgun sequencing data to increase coverage, correct errors, etc. If this works well, it'll be a game changer for assembling draft genomes. Fingers crossed!
Lozier Lab News
Dispatches from the lab and field!