Fall 2016 project update

Project BeeOmics is marching ahead but has suffered some set-backs over the last few months. It was a very sad day when we received a bee sample shipment from Quebec and found, to our horror, that the samples were useless. Apparently Purolator was overwhelmed with shipments because of the bubbling talk of a strike at Canada Post, and they fell far behind their deadlines. For most shipments, that wouldn’t be a serious problem, but these precious samples that many people worked days or weeks to prepare had to be kept frozen. This is because a major goal of Project BeeOmics is to analyze the proteins in bee tissues, looking for ones that correlate with useful traits; however, the proteins break down at room temperature (think: rot). Of course, sitting in the depot for an extra weekend meant all the dry ice evaporated and the samples became degraded and unusable. Very sad. Also, with the end of the summer came a big loss in helping hands – our summer students have helped immensely with processing the samples, but there were too many samples to complete by the end of the summer. In time, we will get there, but it means there will be another issue or two before we can put together some preliminary reports to share.

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