It wouldn’t be a sequencing trip without some frantic last minute packing from Josh. This time he stole Tim’s pipettes and left the heat sealer on - sorry to the guys back home.

Unlike last time, armed with official paper work, we were spared the ordeal of a long delay in customs on arrival in São Paulo (wow, took me about 5 minutes to figure out how to wrote São Paulo - it’s option-n a for those with Macs). However at Birmingham Josh nearly caused an international incident with the powdered cranberry herbal remedy he was bringing for Charlys’ dog, which earned him an explosives check.

The 15-hour journey on the impressive 747-8i, via Frankfurt, passed uneventfully other than a night’s worth of elbow tennis and heavy snoring from my travel companion.

On arrival after a restorative lingua and a few cheese balls at the airport, we endured 2 hours of some of the worst traffic I’ve ever seen as we navigated into São Paulo’s epic sprawl. It is home to 18 million.

After another coffee Josh was straight in the lab, trying to put the finishing touches to his multiplexing protocol, either the stuff of genius or the stuff of madness on little sleep:

(We need a multiplexing protocol to reduce the number of pipetting steps per sample, and to minimise chances of cross-sample mixups and contamination. We’ll post the protocol</> as we improve it.).

I’ve been busy building a virtual machine image that we can roll out to the three laptops. We will be attempting offline basecalling with the nanonet software, so that we can perform real-time run assessment without a fast Internet connection. The multiplexing and barcode scheme means we need to have immediate feedback on how well sample preparation is working, rather than waiting for Metrichor 2D basecalling.

More on this in another post.

Nuno’s been finishing his fellowship application, which is a week overdue.

Our gracious host, Dr. Ester Sabino, head of the Instituto de Medicina Tropical at the Universidade de S-option n a-o Paulo took us for lunch (steak, of course) and then recommended an amazing churascaria for dinner:

This season's must have house accessory

A video posted by Nick Loman (@smokeandumami) on

Current ZiBRA status:

  • UK/São Paolo team: São Paolo
  • Minibus: Belem - Santa Ines - Teresina
  • Lab bus: Salvador - Maceieo