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The University of Southampton
NEXUSS - Next Generation Unmanned Systems Science

Emma Langan


The Nanopore MinION is a DNA sequencing machine approximately the size of a mobile phone. It is portable and doesn’t require extensive laboratory equipment and so is ideal for using on research ships, where currently samples are stored until the ship returns to land, which can result in DNA degradation.

My project will use the MinION to perform sequencing of polar microbe communities – mainly diatoms and other phytoplankton – while on-board a research ship. Diatoms are an important part of the polar marine ecosystem and are also involved in carbon fixing, but polar species are under threat due to increasing water temperatures. MinION sequencing will allow for real-time monitoring of polar microbes to determine the effect of climate change on microbe communities and give researchers real-time information on which species are present in samples, reducing wasted resources.


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