Fieldwork: West Bengal, January/February 2012
Dr. Tom Osborne recently travelled to Kolkata to conduct fieldwork in the Bengal basin as part of the investigation into the microbial contributions to arsenic pollution in groundwater. I was accompanied and assisted by project collaborators Prof John McArthur (UCL, London, UK) and Dr Pradip Sikdar (IISWBM, Kolkata, India). Over a one week period we obtained >40 sediment samples from the upper aquifer in the Joypur-Ardivok-Moyna area, NE of Kolkata, which have been transported back to the UK for various analyses. The trip also served to demonstrate the scale of the arsenic problem in this area of the world, and highlighted some of the programs in place that provide people with arsenic-free drinking water.
Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL) January, 2012.
In late Tom Warelow travelled to the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL), Stanford California. There I conducted collaborative X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) experiments with Prof Graham George and his team of researchers investigating the coordination of the molybdenum atom within the molybdopterin cofactor of the recombinantly expressed arsenite oxidase. Being new to the technique it was an invaluable experience to work with true experts in the field and conduct research at such a historically significant facility. With Graham, myself, Julien Cotelesage, Olena Ponomarenko, M. Jake Pushie and a few days with visiting researcher Roger Prince, we maintained a 24hr XAF’s vigil for a week, while also enjoying the Californian sunshine and hospitality. We are still in the process of analysing the data but hopeful there will be some exciting results to follow.