January is usually a buzzy month, all those things that should have been done before the end of the year but never got done. And add to that a bunch of application deadlines, maybe you do not need to apply for everything, but neither can you ignore everything. The people in the ancient DNA group all have amazing projects they are digging into. They all have some pretty cool datasets they have at different stages in the preparation-process. And this is important, the people in the group need to have things to work with and time to work these things. So what do I do to add my brick to our construction? Applications and some cleaning-work. I was in Ankara the other day to participate in writing an EU application (it is one Fusun Özer in Mehmet Somels team is coordinating), now I’m going to Texas to write up something we should have written up ten years ago, and as soon as I’m back I’m participating in writing another application. These are things that needs to be done too. Every application that is granted support provides for the ancient DNA group to get more things and time to work with, everyone that is not granted contains text that can be used in a new one, and every old study that has turned zombie on us that I manage to revitalize enough to get published somewhere will make it easier to keep the collaborations with our archaeologist-colleagues. And all this is fun work too, designing research-projects for applications and finally taking stuff all the way to manuscript-submission and publishing. But hanging over the shoulders of the people in the three different aDNA rooms on floor 4 and see what they have got going is really really fun at the moment.
If I can breath enough live into some of them old and half-mummified studies to get them out in the public, everybody who participated in them will be happy.