There’s been so much going on that I haven’t posted in TWO DAYS! I hope I don’t flunk…
On Friday, we entered the lab to find that (YES!) our slides from our ISH treatment developed! Unfortunately, it wasn’t too clear what was what on the slides, but Sarah et al are working on figuring that out. Also, A HUGE shout-out to Monica and Ruth who successfully created a ISH probe for our putative sea star pathogen. It’ll be really exciting to see what comes out of them in the coming week!
On Saturday, we really began the festivities with the EIMD Research Coordination Network (which we simply call RCN for brevity). It was a great day full of talks about the research and approaches towards marine disease being done by some very incredible researchers. I’m particularly excited to see the products of the working groups, who will be looking at forecasting disease outbreaks (cleverly named the “outbreak breakout”) and setting up diagnostic and policy pipelines to assist with future disease work.
All through this we’ve been working on our sea star transcriptome to figure out what the stars are doing as they’re getting ill. Preliminarily, we’re seeing a huge immune response in our differentially expressed genes and enriched processes. Also, we have an inkling that our transcriptome might be telling us quite a bit about the pathology of the disease: the twisty and melty nature of the disease might be due to changes in neurological and connective tissue function. Of course it’s only speculation at this point, but it’s an exciting avenue to investigate.