During 2019/20, NERC recommissioned a new environmental omics facility under open competition. NBAF will therefore be ramped down in 2020–2022 as it completes its existing projects. Its successor, the NERC Environmental Omics Facility (NEOF), will begin operations in October 2020. NEOF will be provided by the Universities of Liverpool and Sheffield, and like NBAF, will be managed by the British Geological Survey (BGS). The University of Liverpool will provide expertise and technology in the areas of genomics, proteomics and metabolomics. The University of Sheffield will provide a visitor facility for laboratory training, sample preparation and environmental DNA analysis, and lead on phenomics to supplement other omic approaches. The capability and training provided by the two sites will be highly integrated. More information.
Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, we regret that we cannot currently accept samples for sequencing in Edinburgh, or provide access to our visitor facility in Sheffield. As of July 2020, The NBAF-Liverpool lab is now open to accept new samples. Due to limited capacity we ask all researchers to contact NBAF-L (using: email@example.com) prior to sending samples. Priority will be given to NBAF/NERC projects but nevertheless turnaround times are likely to be longer than usual due to continuing work as part of the COVID-19 Genomics UK Consortium. In Edinburgh and Sheffield, we will continue to discuss proposed applications and to support our users in the analysis and interpretation of their data. Future users wishing to apply to the facility, including NERC-funded investigators who have requested access to NBAF, can still submit their application forms. We will process applications and, where these are approved, we will organise access to the Facility when we reopen. In the meantime, we are assisting studies of Covid-19.
The NERC Biomolecular Analysis Facility provides access to high-level genomics, metabolomics and bioinformatics provision through its nodes. NBAF offers the very latest, class-leading technologies, including next-generation sequencing (Illumina and Pacific Biosciences), SNP genotyping, and high resolution MS and NMR metabolomic platforms. Applications include de novo sequencing, metagenomics, epigenetics, sequence-capture, sequencing-based genotyping and expression profiling (RNAseq, oligoarrays and NanoString). NBAF also supports metabolomics, medium-scale genotyping, bioinformatics and advanced data analysis techniques (genome and transcriptome assembly and annotation, expression analysis, etc.).
In 2019-20 NBAF serviced 110 projects, including 44 NERC grants, ran 26 courses, supported 267 academics and 44 students; NBAF published 55 refereed articles in 2019 alone.
If you are eligible to apply to NERC, you are eligible to access NBAF. NBAF supports projects which are not necessarily NERC-funded, although they must fall within NERC’s remit. We are also happy to help with your application to NERC if your project will benefit from access to NBAF. Here’s how to contact us.
NBAF is funded by the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and is supported by NERC Services and Facilities. You can read a copy of last year’s Facility Annual Report (2019-20) here: NBAF Annual Report 2019-20.