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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Article Series: E.coli Plasmid Origins of Replication: The Origin

The literature is bursting at the seams with information about plasmids, sequences, origins of replication and more, and it can be overwhelming to sift through everything (at least for me!) when all you want […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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How to Clean a Tissue Culture Incubator

  A few years ago, I was doing research in a lab in Ireland. Our lab, among many others, was moving to a new building. Everything was chaotic. Half our equipment was in the […]

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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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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. […]

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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 […]

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