Recent Articles

Using Word to Write your Thesis: Making a Table of Contents, Inserting Captions, and Cross-referencing

In the last post I showed you how to make an outline for your thesis in Word. You should now have a document outline with a list of headings for your sections (maybe even […]

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Insane in the Membrane! PVDF vs. Nitrocellulose – Which One Comes Out on Top?

Part 2: The Who’s Who of Super Resolution Microscopy – Single Molecule Localisation techniques

Where Are My Cells: Part 2

Which Cytokine Will I Get? How to Stimulate Human Cytokine-Producing Cells

Upcoming Webinars

Fundamental lab Survival Skills

What to Expect From Your PhD Supervisor, and What They Should Expect From You

Sponsored by:
Date: 27th of October, 2014
Time: 5pm London, 1pm Boston, 10am San Diego
DANA INFANTE, Assistant Professor, Michigan State Univ.
JONATHAN YEWDELL, National Inst of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
PHILLIP BLOWER, PHD, Professor of Imaging Chemistry, King's College London

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Stress in the lab - Common Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

Stress in the Lab – Common Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

Sponsored by:
Date: 28th of October, 2014
Time: 5pm London, 1pm Boston, 10am San Diego
IAN H. STREET, PH.D., Science communication consultant at HappiLabs

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Fundamental Lab Survival Skills

Making the Most Out of Your Data with a Digital Lab Book

Sponsored by:
Date: 29th of October, 2014
Time: 6pm London, 2pm Boston, 11am San Diego
FLORIAN HAUER PHD, Co-Founder & COO at Labfolder

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Recent Webinars

Just Go With the Flow Cytometry

Time – The Forgotten Parameter in Flow Cytometry

Director of Flow Cytometry

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Just Go With the Flow Cytometry

Cell Cycle Analysis by Flow Cytometry

ISAC Councillor, founder and Chairman of flowcytometryUK

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Latest Products

Zymo Research’s Universal Quick-DNA Miniprep Kit: The Only Superpower You Will Ever Need

To INFINITY and Beyond! A Detailed Look at Lumenera’s INFINITY3-3UR Microscopy Camera

CCD vs sCMOS Cameras for Microscopy. The optiMOS Camera from QImaging is Fast, Sensitive and Budget Friendly!

Protein Analysis, Detection & Assay

Insane in the Membrane! PVDF vs. Nitrocellulose – Which One Comes Out on Top?

When it comes to Western blotting, there’s no denying it: Your membrane is a key player. After all it is the physical scaffold that holds your precious samples and it needs to be up […]

Antibodies 101: Every Body Needs an Anti-Body!

Antibodies are one of the most important tools in molecular biology. Regardless of what species, cell type, or organ system you are studying, it is almost inevitable that you will use an antibody-based assay […]

Know Your Western Blot Jargon! A Quick Review.

It has been said that "Incomprehensible jargon is the hallmark of a profession" (Kingman Brewster, Jr) and while I cannot speak for other professions, as a biologist I am inclined to believe it. So […]

Get your stripping stripes! Find out how to strip and re-blot your Western

Westerns can be tricky and time-consuming, so make the most of your precious membranes and their proteins. Learn how to properly strip off your antibodies and re-probe with another primary antibody. Why you should […]

Getting started with Immunohistochemistry

What is immunohistochemistry… Immunohistochemistry (IHC) is a favorite tool amongst clinicians to help diagnose a range of diseases by identifying abnormal cells, such as those in cancer. In a nutshell, IHC uses antibodies to detect proteins (antigens) […]

Microscopy & Imaging

Part 2: The Who’s Who of Super Resolution Microscopy – Single Molecule Localisation techniques

In part 1 of The Who’s Who of Super Resolution Microscopy I discussed one way to overcome the diffraction limit of light: ensemble technique. In this article I discuss another way to improve resolution: […]

Through the Looking Glass: Picking the Right Microplate Reader

You are finished with your super-arduous experiment. Now the fun part! To “read” your results with a microplate reader, but do you know which microplate reader to use? Or even that there are different […]

Looking good! A Guide to Adjusting and Maintaining Microscope Eyepieces

The magnification and viewing of samples using a microscope relies on both the objectives and the eyepieces working harmoniously together. If you buy a ready-to-use microscope, then the objectives and the eyepieces which are […]

Stereo (Dissecting) Microscopes 101

  Think a stereo microscope might be helpful? But you don’t know how to use one? Lucky for you I wrote this primer on stereo microscopes to help you figure out when and how […]

Taken for Granted: Position and Setup of Your Microscope

Although I say ‘taken for granted’, over the years of working in and managing microscope facilities, it quickly became clear that the position of the microscope, user position and set-up were aspects which were […]

Nucleic Acid Purification and Analysis

Plasmid v Genomic DNA Extraction: The Difference

If you want to isolate plasmid DNA, you crack your cells open and carry out a miniprep, trying very hard not to get any contaminating genomic DNA in your sample. If you want genomic […]

Look Ma, No Kit!: A DIY Method for Isolating Yeast Genomic DNA

I recently moved to a different research institute and was happy to discover that my new lab had not one, but several different kits for yeast genomic DNA isolation. I like trying new kits […]

Better Plasmid Midipreps Part II: What Causes Low Yields?

Recently we received a question from Bitesize Bio reader Sonia after our article How to: Get Better Plasmid Midiprep Yields. She asked: "What could be the problem when one sample gives a good yield while […]

How to: Get Better Plasmid midiprep Yields

I get many people complaining to me about poor DNA yields from commercial plasmid plasmid prep kits. In this article I will explain the main pitfalls in plasmid isolation and how to avoid them. […]

When Glycogen is not Your Friend – Isolating RNA from Glycogen-Rich Tissues

Bitesize Bio has had a lot to say about RNA isolation, mainly because it is one of the most anxiety-producing requirements for molecular biology; especially when you are first starting out (although isolating proteins […]

Next Generation Sequencing

A Beginner’s Guide to Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) Technology

The first whole DNA genome to be sequenced was the virus phage ΦX174, in 1977, by Fred Sanger. In that same year, Sanger developed the future backbone of the “genome era”: DNA sequencing technology. […]

Beware The Bane of Batch Effects

A promising study on using gene expression to develop personalized treatments for ovarian cancer. A report of surprisingly high levels of differential gene expression among different ethnic groups. The announcement of previously unsuspected levels […]

Sequencing the microbiome: re-discovering our invisible allies

Scientific breakthroughs have profound effects on how we view and treat the world that surrounds us. Especially in the microscopic level, scientific discoveries provide the only understanding we have of Nature. One such case […]

Obtain NGS-Grade™ Quality Extract, Purify, & Fragment Nucleic Acids from FFPE Tissue with the Covaris Process

In this webinar you will learn: about the truXTRAC™ sample preparation system from Covaris how this system produces high-yield NGS-grade nucleic acids Summary: The controlled generation of DNA fragments is a critical sample preparation step […]

Lessons on variant hunting in next-gen data sets

Understanding the general process of how to make sense of next-gen sequencing results as they pertain to human disease. Specifically, when we sequence the whole exomes (about 20,000 genes) of patients with rare disease […]

PCR & Real-time PCR

The History of PCR

As with some of the greatest discoveries in science, from penicillin to microwave ovens and play-doh, PCR was discovered serendipitously. Thanks to the work of many scientists, including Watson and Crick, Kornberg, Khorana, Klenow, […]

Mischief in the Mastermix: Bothersome Bubbles

It happens to the best of us. You’re minding your own business and suddenly out of nowhere your mastermix is a bubble bath and your primers are enjoying a froth party. Let’s talk about […]

MIQE Guidelines for Digital PCR

MIQE what's that? When writing dPCR materials and methods for a paper have you ever pondered what information you should include? This is where the MIQE guidelines will really help. Guidelines for minimum information […]

The A-Z of PCR variants

The wide range of applications of PCR has led to an ever-growing list of variants of the technique. While some are optimizations to suit specific requirements and are very similar to basic PCR, others […]

The Devil is in the Details: How to Setup a PCR Laboratory

There is a right way and a wrong way to set up a PCR laboratory. Because of PCR’s tremendous ability to amplify small quantities of DNA/RNA template, even the smallest of template contamination can […]

Flow Cytometry

Where Are My Cells: Part 2

The golden rule of flow cytometry, especially cell sorting is: ‘Put good cells in and get good cells out’. When you sort you might not get good cells out and you may not get […]

Using Flow Cytometry for Cell Proliferation Assays: Tips for Success

We all know, generally from bitter experience, that experiments don't always work first time and that sometimes the little things that govern success are the things that get left out of that online protocol! […]

Where Are My Cells: Part 1

If there are a million cells of interest in your sample and you pass them through a sorter, you might expect to get a million cells back. But you don’t – and here is […]

One For You, One For Me… How a Cell Sorter Works

Cell sorters do not operate by magic, even it looks that way. It’s about the application of physics, electronics, fast computers and formation of droplets. Whether you bring your cells to a flow core […]

Crap in, crap out: Flushing Out The Problems in Your Flow Cytometry Data

“What Have You Done To My Cells??!!!” This cry of pain from researchers, frequently aimed at core facility operators, is heard after receiving incomprehensible data for an invaluable tube of cells. Equally baffling to […]

Cell / Tissue Culture

Which Cytokine Will I Get? How to Stimulate Human Cytokine-Producing Cells

Cells are like people: depending on their current environment, past experiences and their genetic make-up they will react differently. Treat cells in different ways, and they will produce different cytokines. There are a lot […]

Tips for a Happily Functioning Tissue Culture Room

You walk into your tissue culture room to find a window open, the incubator’s humidity tray empty and a pipette lying on its side in the hood on a used glove… After you have […]

Getting in Deep: How to Deep Clean a Tissue Culture Hood

One of the most exciting aspects of being a biologist is getting opportunities to examine how and why living organisms behave the way they do. We have technology that enables us to obtain images […]

Seven Things That Really Annoy Me About Tissue Culture

The tissue culture facility can be one of the most important places in the lab.  Many researchers spend hours in the hoods isolating primary cell lines and tissue, generating samples for western blot analysis, […]

Mycoplasma: The Hidden Anarchist of Cell Culture

It is the black death of cell culture. Scientists don’t dare utter its name and many a graduate student has fallen victim to its indiscriminate menace. These stealthy anarchists infiltrate quietly but deliberately until […]

Cloning & Expression

Assembling the Puzzle: Cloning with Compatible Cohesive Ends

Consider a jigsaw puzzle. While most of the pieces have a different picture on their surface, all pieces fit together in an interlocking pattern. As unlikely as it may seem, restriction enzymes from different […]

How to identify supercoils, nicks and circles in plasmid preps

One of my favorite things to do with a student the first time they work with plasmid DNA is to have them run an agarose gel containing 2 samples:  uncut plasmid DNA, and plasmid […]

The Basics: How Alkaline Lysis Works

Alkaline lysis was first described by Birnboim and Doly in 1979 (Nucleic Acids Res. 7, 1513-1523) and has, with a few modifications, been the preferred method for plasmid DNA extraction from bacteria ever since. […]

Zymo Research’s Universal Quick-DNA Miniprep Kit: The Only Superpower You Will Ever Need

It’s a bird… It’s a plane… No, it’s a super DNA purification kit! Like the man-of-steel himself, Zymo Research’s new Universal Quick-DNA Miniprep Kit can handle anything you throw at it. Isolate DNA from […]

Don’t Have the Blues: Make the Lac Operon Work for You

Glucose is the preferred food source for E. coli, however when glucose levels drop, E. coli need to look for other ways to feed themselves. One way in which they accomplish this is to […]

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