I joined Laboratory of Nematology in August 2009 to do my master’s thesis. Mine was supervised by Hans Helder and his group. The project is about sequencing DNA from small subunit ribosomal RNA of a, well, you know nematode.
What makes me very interested with the project is because those nematodes were extracted from my country, Malaysia and I can really feel the connection while working with those specimens. Using state-of-the-art technology developed by members of the lab, finally those sequences were revealed. The most exciting finding is to know that genetic information of nematodes isolated from the tropical country were more or less the same like the one we have in Europe! With slight different in less than 10 base pairs. Further study is needed to confirm this, of course. But out of the blue result really ignites curiosity in me to know more about nematodes genetic diversity from another continent too. Is it really not much mutation has occurred all these centuries across the continents or is it just a rare coincidence?
Being a part of the big family really makes me feel a little if not more “Dutcher”. Here I experienced some birthday celebrations a la Dutch where birthday boy/girl will bring a box full with various type of little cute cakes to share it with others. It is a nice way to show gratitude and everybody have a reason to be happy when there is/are birthday/s on the day! One thing I will never forget is our Christmas Lunch. The first ever in my whole life. The atmosphere was relaxed yet full with joy! My stomach too, with delicious foods! I also would like to thank everybody especially lab members; Hans, Jet, Hanny , Sven, Paul, Kasia, and Joost. A token of appreciation for you all who added a splash of colors in my life in nematology, to make it better than I thought it would be.