Pilgrimage to Taq polymerase’s roots

Our friend Pete Carr who’s at MIT’s Media Lab came by for a visit last week. Apparently, Pete used to work for Cetus and through his connections there managed to figure out exactly where in Yellowstone National Park is Mushroom Pool, the location where Thomas Brock first discovered Thermus aquaticus in 1966. The thermophile Thermus aquaticus is of course the source of the heat-tolerant Taq polymerase which was key to making PCR work robustly and easily.

On his recent trip to Yellowstone, Pete’s family waited patiently while Pete made his pilgrimage to this key place in biology and biological engineering’s history. Below are a couple photos that Pete had from his trip at Mushroom Pool. (Many thanks to Pete for letting us post them here.)

Pete Carr at Mushroom Pool in Yellowstone National Park
Pete Carr at Mushroom Pool in Yellowstone National Park
Mushroom Pool at Yellowstone National Park
Mushroom Pool at Yellowstone National Park

Posted By: Reshma Shetty