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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Using Word to Write your Thesis: Creating an Outline

When I started the third year of my PhD, I was advised to attend a course to learn to how to use Microsoft Word properly before I started writing. I laughed! Of course I […]

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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! […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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. […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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