In the field of observation, chance favours only the prepared mind (Pasteur). While the power of high-throughput sequencing has transformed our perspective of microbial diversity and function, the insights gained are typically retrospective in nature. This often limits our ability to perceive the microbial dimension of changes occurring in remote yet rapidly changing environments.
Recently, we have experimented with Nanopore’s MinION platform as a tool for portable metagenomics, developing the “MetageNomad” - a DNA sequencing lab in a rucksack. Here I will share our experience in refining sample preparation, sequencing and bioinformatics analysis to conduct metagenomics at source in extreme environments from the High Arctic to the subsurface and even University classroom.
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