Recent Articles

Learning from Nature: Biomimicry

Man, in all his intelligence and arrogance, has been struggling for years to find solutions to hundreds of little problems from ‘How to conserve water’ to ‘How to cool our environment naturally.’ If only […]

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What is Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy?

Introducing CyTOF: Cytometry of the Masses

An Easy Way to Start Using R in Your Research: Exploratory Data Analysis

Western Blot, ELISA or PCR; which technique should I use?

Recent Webinars

Basic methods for immunohistochemistry

You want to do histology? Here are the options!

Latest Products

Looking for high-quality DNA-free RNA? The solution is Quick-RNA™ from Zymo Research

EZ DNA Methylation Kits: The most trusted, cited and efficient kits on the market for bisulfite conversion for DNA methylation analysis

Introducing optiMOS from QImaging: A Camera to Address your CCD Camera Challenges

Protein Analysis, Detection & Assay

You did a Co-IP…now what?

You spent the last few weeks tweaking your Co-immunoprecipitation conditions, testing different antibody/bead combinations, and sampling a panaply of solutions and FINALLY! You have your Co-immunoprecipitation (Co-IP) elution… Now what? Well, you have a […]

The Top 10 Western Blotting Mistakes (and Solutions!)

    As bitter experience has likely taught you, not all Western blots are pretty.  Sadly this is usually due to mistakes on the experimenter’s part. While some of these mistakes are perplexing, others […]

Do Your Proteins do a Slow Dance Together in the Dark? Find out! Learn to do a Co-IP.

Do you wonder if your favorite protein is entwined in a delicate dance with another protein? Do you wish you could shine a spotlight on your protein to determine its dance partner? Well good […]

Ten Tips for Turning Beastly Western Blots Beautiful

Western blots can be ugly. I mean down-right, horrifically, wall-of-shame ugly.  Not only can they be embarrassing to show to your colleagues, but the ugliness can obscure your results, making it impossible to interpret […]

Let me introduce you to ELISA…No, not the girl…The assay.

An ELISA (Enzyme-Linked ImmunoSorbant Assay) is a popular assay that uses antibodies and color change to detect proteins, peptides, antibodies or biomolecules in complex mixtures. ELISAs are popular because they are reliable, specific, easy […]

Microscopy & Imaging

What is Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy?

Fluorescent microscopy not only makes our images look good, it also allows us to gain a better understanding of cells, structures and tissue. With confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) we can find out even […]

Verhoeff-van Gieson Stain: A Special Histology Stain for Elastic Fibers

What is Verhoeff-van Gieson’s stain? Ira Van Gieson first described the Verhoeff-van Gieson (VVG) staining protocol in 1889 as a method of evaluating collagen fibers in neural tissue. Frederick Herman Verhoeff, an American surgeon […]

Fun With FRAP! Fluorescence Recovery After Photobleaching for Confocal Microscopy

FRAP – one of those cool-sounding techniques that you hear people say along with FLIP, FLAP, FRET and FLIM and have always wanted to try or maybe you just want to know what it […]

Two Photon Confocal Microscopy: What it is and How to Use it to Your Advantage

“A two photon microscope has higher sensitivity than a normal confocal microscope, because it uses two photos instead of one!”  Yes, I can bear witness that this phrase has actually been uttered, and it […]

Dots, Probes and Proteins: Fluorescent Labels for Microscopy and Imaging

If you remember from one of my previous articles (if not, you can read it here!), we introduced ‘fluorophores’. These are basically substances (natural or synthetic) which have the ability to absorb light at […]

Nucleic Acid Purification and Analysis

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 […]

How to quality control check your RNA samples

You finally have your RNA in hand.  Now what? The success of downstream applications, such as microarrays and quantitative RT-PCR, relies upon having high quality, intact RNA. So it is worth your while to […]

Troubleshooting RNA Isolation

Isolating RNA is one of the more finicky protocols there is, and everyone who does it has their own personal tips and tricks to successfully isolate intact RNA from their samples with consistency. Although RNA […]

DIY Phase Separating Gel: Clean and Cheap!

Phenol/chloroform extractions are a common lab technique to remove proteins from aqueous solutions containing DNA and RNA.  They can be tedious and a bit time consuming if you are working with a lot of […]

Next Generation Sequencing

Don’t Get Lost in RNA-seq Translation: RNA Sequencing the NGS Way

DNA sequencing (PCR, Sanger or next-generation sequencing (NGS)) is a now familiar part of any molecular biology lab. But ‘RNA-seq’, the so-called “Cinderella of genetics”, is now becoming the belle of the ball, providing […]

I Put a Smell on You: Next Generation Sequencing Sniffs Out Olfactory Signals

Chances are you spent some of your teenage years fretting about your social status. You may have even taken steps to change your status. New haircut. New clothes. These are very human behaviors: our […]

Tower of Babel: Next Generation Sequencing Provides New Insights on Chromosome Construction

Biologists have long appreciated the complexity of genome organization, but until recently lacked the tools to discern the intricacies of this puzzle. Now, thanks to some handy cross-linking, careful amplification, and (of course!) next […]

Ancient RNA: Does Next Generation Sequencing Offer a New Window into the Past?

The wonders of ancient DNA (‘aDNA’) have become so commonplace that they almost cease to amaze. At this point, we’ve sequenced the genomes of Neanderthals, woolly mammoths, and Pleistocene Cave Bears, and each week […]

The Irish Potato Famine: NGS Unearths The Fungus Responsible For Over 1 Million Deaths

The Irish Famine (or ‘Great Potato Famine’ if you live outside the Emerald Isle) killed one million people and forced another million to leave the country between 1845 and 1852. It was caused by […]

PCR & Real-time PCR

Western Blot, ELISA or PCR; which technique should I use?

A pretty standard experiment in a molecular biology laboratory is where a scientist stimulates some cells/tissue with a stimulus of interest i.e. cytokine. They can then analyse the cellular response to the external stimulus and […]

Just What Do All These Additives Do?

Every PCR battle is the same: Too little amplification of your target DNA versus too much amplification of off-target DNA. But you can win the PCR battle and amaze your co-workers by mastering the […]

Apps that bring PCR to your mobile device

Mobile devices such as iPads and smartphones are increasingly being used by laboratory researchers to aid them in their research. One example is the move towards electronic lab books. As a result, app developers […]

What is Digital PCR?

Digital PCR (dPCR) is a quantitative PCR method that provides a sensitive and reproducible way of measuring the amount of DNA or RNA present in a sample. This method is similar to qPCR in […]

The future of PCR

After 30 years, what’s next for PCR? In the 80s, saying you were doing “PCR” was enough for everybody to know what kind of experiment you were performing. Today, the “PCR family” has gained […]

Flow Cytometry

Introducing CyTOF: Cytometry of the Masses

Flow cytometry remains unparalleled as a single-cell analysis technology.  The ability to analyze 14 or more fluorescent parameters on a million cells or more allows for detailed understanding of complex biological processes. One limitation […]

Herzenberg and the Invention of the FACS Machine

The flow cytometer that we have all grown to know and love may have only come into its own in the 1990’s, but who would have known that the first cell sorter was invented […]

“Pick ‘n’ Mix? A Basic Guide to Commercial Flow Cytometers”

  So having read our article on how a cytometer works, surely the next question is ‘what’s the right flow cytometer for me?!’ Basic Components of Flow Cytometers We know that at their most […]

Flow Cytometric Apoptosis Assays to Characterize Cell Death

Apoptosis, often called programmed cell death, is a carefully regulated process that is part of normal development and homeostasis. Apoptosis is morphologically and biochemically distinct from necrosis, which is conversely called accidental cell death. […]

An Introduction to Spectral Overlap and Compensation Protocols in Flow Cytometry

It strikes fear into the hearts of new cytometrists. Compensation. More fights have started over the proper way to compensate at meetings. This article will strive to shed some light on the principles of […]

Cell / Tissue Culture

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 […]

What is Sterile? Find Your Way around a Sterile Tissue Culture Hood

You’ve been told that maintaining a sterile environment in a tissue culture hood is vital to preventing contamination of cell cultures. But what exactly is meant by sterile? The definition of sterile is ‘completely […]

Cell Counting with a Hemocytometer: Easy as 1, 2, 3

Many biological applications such as microbiology, cell culture, blood work and many others that use cells require that we determine cell concentration for our experiment. Cell counting is rather straightforward and requires a counting […]

I can’t breathe: Is 20% Oxygen Always the Appropriate Level for Cell Culture?

Researchers spend considerable time and money on proper experimental design for in vitro cell culture, so why is it so difficult for cells in culture to have the same physiological function as in our […]

Cloning & Expression

BioBricks: Lego for Scientists!

Lego bricks are used, mostly by children, to construct vehicles, buildings, and even working robots. Surely the idea of bringing Lego to the lab is childish, but think just for a second… since the […]

Should PCR cloning be a part of your molecular cloning toolkit?

While the classic approach to molecular cloning – using restriction enzymes to excise a DNA fragment of interest – is as useful as ever, new techniques that make cloning faster, easier and more versatile […]

Ta-Da! The Magic of Taq and TA Cloning

Sometimes a clever little trick for cloning comes along that makes you just give an appreciatory “ahhh.” For me, it was TA cloning.  TA cloning is not a new technique (I am showing my […]

When Gibson Assembly is the best option: a case study with P. falciparum

Malaria continues to be a leading case of mortality worldwide. It is estimated that the parasitic disease, carried by infected mosquitoes, spread to over 200 million cases in 2010, resulting in 660,000 deaths. No […]

Gibson Assembly: an easy way of molecular cloning!

Every hard-core biologist knows designing the perfect construct can be a complex puzzle to solve. This challenge, if successful, can be extremely satisfying but can also drive you crazy for weeks. Luckily, Dr. Daniel […]