Comparing multiple biomarkers
This year has been very productive from a research perspective. We are at the point of the NERC project where all the results are starting to come in, and it has made me remember the excitement of doing research, rather than the headache of applying for grants and all the admin associated with a complex international project. The postdoc team, Dr John Blong and Dr Helen Whelton, are in Copenhagen this week, collecting the final set of samples for the project, currently archived at the University of Copenhagen's Centre for Geogenetics. Up until now we have been working on samples from the archive in Oregon, and samples we collected during our fieldwork. The samples at Copenhagen are some of the most important from Paisley Caves, the ones that provide the earliest occupation dates from the site, that were found to contain human aDNA. By applying lipid biomarker analysis to these samples, we will be able to compare the DNA and lipid results, something I have been keen to do from a general methodological perspective, but of course will also be very important from the perspective of site interpretation. I wish I could have gone to the lab myself, alas I am getting better at delegation, and am getting on with writing back at Newcastle. But here are some fun photos of John and Helen in action - as it's a clean DNA lab, they get to wear the most wonderful outfits. Thank you to the team at Copenhagen for all your help!