Digging deeper

Our pilot study

Details of our pilot study can be found at Antibiotics under our feet: pilot study For those wishing to explore our data, the raw DNA sequence files and next generation sequencing results from the pilot study are Open Access. Download the pilot study dataset from the University of St Andrews as a .zip file as the “Microbiome of Scotland” Public Engagement Activity (dataset). Instructions on how to view the sequencing results using QIIME 2 View are included in the dataset download as a readme.txt file.

Soil samples and DNA extraction

To find out more about DNA, how DNA is extracted from soil samples and see inside the laboratories at the University of St Andrews, watch the videos made by the St Andrews iGEM team that explain step-by-step what we do with the soil samples send in as part of this project.

What changes have we made since our pilot study?

Instead of using teaspoons to collect soil samples, we are shipping soil augers to schools as part of the project kit. This is so that pupils can experience what it is like to be a scientist and collect soil in the same way that our project partner scientists at the The James Hutton Institute collect soil samples. Scientists used soil augers to collect a number of samples from each site at a fixed depth when creating the National soil map of Scotland. Collecting soil in a similar way means that researchers can work together to use our stored soil samples in future.

After community engagement, we are also asking project participants to collect environmental data about their soil sample collection sites or patches of ground. We would like photos of the sites along with descriptions of the site, what grows there and how the site is used by humans and animals. This will help pupils, community members and scientists start to come up with scientific questions to ask about how the environment affects soil and the different bacteria found there.

What’s new?

Information about soil samples collected as part of this project will be added to the Mapping our microbiome “What’s under our feet?” interactive map and tables, graphs and preliminary analysis of our results can be found in our scientific results section.

Download the project dataset from the University of St Andrews as a .zip file as the “Antibiotics under our feet” Public Engagement Project (dataset)

Look out for further updates in our news and events section! This includes our Twitter feed and Nuffield Research Placement blogs.