This post describes a new technique for sampling the 'blow' (or exhaled breath) of large whales. Researchers were able to successfully sample several species by using a radio-controlled helicopter with a sampling device. The helicopter was poised approximately 15 meters behind the whale, and once the whale exhaled it was flown directly through it. Samples of several bacteria were obtained, one of which is a known pathogen to large whale species. Although it is still preliminary, this technique could be a helpful resource for the long-term monitoring of large whale populations.