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I am interested in the structure and evolution of animal genomes, with a particular focus on the genomes of non-model organisms. In my group, we use modern sequencing technologies to generate expressed sequence tag and genome sequence data for non-vertebrates (such as earthworms, nematodes and tardigrades), and analyse these with a variety of bioinformatics tools (including many we have written in house). In particular we are interested in the evolution of operons and trans-splicing in nematodes, the responses of soil invertebrates such as earthworms to heavy metals and pollutants, the origins of gene novelty, the deep phylogeny of animals and the evolution of development in the moulting animals such as tardigrades. We are also developing DNA barcoding techniques to identify meiofauna and other hard-to-identify taxa. We have collaborations with a wide range of colleagues round the world working on beautiful small invertebrates and their evolution. The Blaxter Lab also houses the School of Biological Sciences Sequencing Service, an internationally renowned unit that provides both traditional capillary Sanger sequencing and next generation SOLEXA and 454 sequencing to the University, NERC science and other users. The SBSSS has ABI3730, SOLEXA 1G and 454 GSFLX instrumentation. (from http://www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/biology/people?id=mblaxter&cw_xml=homepage.php) ... [Miscellaneous as indicated]
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