Monthly Archives: July 2008

Spare household items

We have an oldish but (as far as I know) functional Electrolux vacuum cleaner going free if anyone wants it. Also an ironing board (if anyone actually uses one). Also a clothes drying rack that Kenta left behind that’s just about functional. And for anyone going the whole hog domestically we have lots of spare prams, stair gates etc…! Any takers?

Molecular Ecology Techniques Training Course

Dear All,


Please could you tell anyone who might be interested or benefit from the following free course.


The next course will be from the 11-15th August 2008

 (another course will be held late October / Nov 2008) The techniques involved will be taught by Andy Krupa( This course will consist of a week of practical work is aimed at giving you  basic molecular skills and in particular fluorescent microsatellite genotyping (it is quite informal and flexible so we can also touch on sequencing/AFLP etc. if required and also look at individual projects). Bird PCR sex-typing techniques will be included.    The course includes time for specific project trouble shooting if required. 

For further information or to register for this free course please contact Deborah Dawson (

Kenta’s multiplex paper

sent on behalf of Terry, following on last Fridays’s TAB group meeting.

Attached are the proofs for Kenta et al’s multiplex SNP-Scale paper. (A few typos are not corrected.)

The paper includes a number of techniques (not all necessarily original) that may be of wider interest beyond the SNP studies that it focuses on, for example:
The use of 2-ul PCR volumes – it should be a useful source reference for this.UFOs – Universal Fluorescent Oligonucleotides – these might be worth considering as an economical way of generating primers to use in the otherwise expensive ABI 5-dye set, or as a way of easily altering the dye attached to each primer when creating new multiplexes (no need to re-order primers).

PCR trouble shooting, including:

Use of Touchdown PCR program

Use of primer “weights” to adjust product sizes



Dear all,

Here the final results. There were three dopes stage wins, two by ricco and one by piepoli. I allocated the money to the rider that came second.

Thanks for taking part.

Jake had the best team:

Jake     37.8

Carole  43.25

Philine 55.22222222

Suzie   56.3

Gavin  61.63636364

Catherine         65.625

Juan     68

Jamie   75.625

Katie   79.6

alain     81.36363636

Otti      81.41666667

Hannah            90.44444444

Doro    91.2

Sophie 97.8

Brian   97.88888889

Stage wins:

alain 1

brian 5

carole 3

catherine 2

gavin 3

jake 1

Juan 1

Katie 1

Otti 1

Suzie 3

next TAB group meeting

hi guys,

let’s not forget cakes for our next meeting in 2 week’s time Friday 8th August ;-)

This time, the meeting will start at 10 and I imagine it will be shorter than today’s, approx finish time 11.30; we’ll still be in B52.


TAB group round table first meeting – tomorrow Friday 25/07 11am B52

***please note the change of time!***

You should attend if your supervisor is Terry, whether you are a member of staff or student or an MGF visitor.

Here is some more information about the new “TAB” group meetings, the first of which will be at 11.00 on Friday in B52.

The aim is to improve communication in the group and to simplify the arrangements for specific research project meetings, the organisation of which has sometimes become unduly complicated. It also means that we can have days when we expect most people (especially me!) to be available. We will  start with a reasonably fast moving “round table” discussion. The idea of this is that each person will say what they are currently working on (at least at this first meeting in this format), what they have achieved since the last meeting (on this first occasion this will be what you have done since you last had a chat with me, but usually it would be the last 2 weeks), and what they are planning to do next. Please be prepared to spend about 5 min or so on this  verbal report on this first occasion. I expect that everyone in the lab will have something to contribute (from postdocs to summer students). This is an opportunity to identify needs and share problems. After you have made your report we will agree, as necessary, to meet up for a more detailed discussion later in the day, and to include other members of the group as appropriate. This should greatly simplify the business of organising these progress meetings, and mean that we can keep them as short or long as necessary. Of course, if we do need to arrange to get together on a different day we can do that too.

We will probably mutually arrange for some short presentations where they would be useful, particularly so that everyone can see the data or results that are being discussed (could even be a single slide or sheet of paper). However, the Molecular Ecology lab (MEL) meetings will also continue (once an organiser has been volunteered!) so anything of broader interest should be shown there, and we don’t want to replicate that. Similarly, any information relevant to the whole lab should be saved for the MEL meetings.

We will try to plan the dates of the meetings well in advance. If however you really cannot be there, then I would like you to put the report you would have given verbally into an email to me. Of course, in any case you may find it helpful to put some information on paper to pass round the table.

You may have noticed that at the moment I am planning to have these round tables about every 2 weeks, and also that we have a separate session planned for the MGF staff (Debs, Gavin, Alain and Celine) and MGF visitors in the intervening week. I am inviting everyone including the MGF visitors to this first round table, but not planning to have individual discussions with MGF visitors until the end of next week (again, as required). However, I think it would be mutually helpful for the residents and visitors to hear what everyone else is doing.

Some people have multiple academic supervisors and it is not intended that they will have any more meetings than before (except possibly for the round table).



Seminar by our very own Dr Shinichi Nakagawa

Shinichi, now based in the University of Otago in New Zealand (Dept of Zoology) will give a talk today from 12 to 1pm: “Observational, experimental & meta-analytical approaches to a research question – an example from parental care in house sparrows.”

Location: BMS Conference room.

Postdoc on genetics of snail chirality

Hi all,

Angus Davison in Nottingham has asked me to spread the word about this 3 year BBSRC-funded postdoc – see attached poster.  unwinding-snails.pdf

Fieldwork on bats?

aushang-feldassi-engl1.pdfFieldwork on bats?

ABI 3100 now in the lab!

Hi folks- just to let you know that we now have an ABI3100 caoillary sequencer (primarily for use for fragment analysis and more specifically Reference Strand Complementarity Analysis- RSCA). Let me know if you would like to get to know the instrument!  cheers,