University of Otago's Dr Andrew Cridge examines soil taken from Carisbrook. Photo by Craig Baxter.
University of Otago scientists hope to reveal some of
Carisbrook's secrets by running DNA tests on soil taken from
the soon-to-be-demolished ground.
Dr Andrew Cridge, of the Department of Biochemistry, said the
project was part of the ''Katoa New Zealand'' initiative
aimed at educating high school pupils and increasing
knowledge of soil sites around the country by testing for
''You can build up a picture of how the environment affects
the bacteria and how the human impact also affects the
bacteria,'' Dr Cridge said.
Carisbrook represented a ''unique'' opportunity because it
had been a sports field for such a long time.
''There has been a lot of blood, sweat and tears on
Carisbrook and whether that has affected the bacteria would
be quite interesting [to find out].''
With Carisbrook being demolished, it also represented the
''last chance'' to examine the soil.
As part of the project, dirt from the halfway and try lines
had been recovered and the samples would be sequenced.
He estimated, because of the uniqueness of the site, about
30% of the bacteria discovered at Carisbrook would be new to
Otago Boys' High School and correspondence pupils had taken
part in the project and it was hoped the experience would get
them ''excited'' about science and interested in pursuing
careers in the field.
Other sites' dirt examined as part of the project included
Hot Water Beach in Coromandel.