Special Stains for Histology: An Introduction and Basic Overview

Routine tissue staining Haematoxylin and eosin (or H&E- see our H&E 101 articles here and here) is the most commonly used stain in histology labs, representing the ‘bread and butter’ stain for most pathologists […]

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Choosing the right plasmid vector: A Guide for beginners

If you’re picking up a list of available plasmid vectors for the first time, it can be mind-blowing to decide on the best one for your experiment. What cloning sites do you need? What […]

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How to Make Sure You Never Lose a Lab Sample Again

It’s 11 PM…do you know where your samples are? If you dread the thought of having to hack through ice, snow and the bone-chilling depths of every freezer to locate them, flirt with frostbite […]

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Alternatives to Paraffin: Cryo and Resin Embedding and Sectioning for Histology

In most areas of research, the chances are that you have done some kind of histology and most probably used paraffin-embedded tissue. However, the process of embedding in paraffin can be a lengthy one […]

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The lac Operon as a Microscopy Tool

The lac operon is an amazing tool in molecular biology.  It has been used for decades to turn on protein expression in an inducible manner with IPTG. The result is synthesis of vast amounts […]

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10 Tips for Safely Using Liquid Nitrogen in the Lab

The image of liquid nitrogen has been glamorized recently in TV cookery programs by chefs such as Heston Blumenthal. However, whether you are going to use it to make home made ice-cream or to […]

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Internships During Graduate School: How to Start a Side Career Without Quitting Your Day Job

The clock strikes 10:00 pm, your thumb has a raging case of carpal tunnel syndrome, the trash is full of tubes containing unsuccessful PCR reactions, and you wonder…Is this really what I want to […]

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Banish Those Insecurities: Tips on Giving Scientific Talks

Every once in a while you are forced to abandon your comfort zone.  You have to leave behind your comfortable territory of the lab bench or your desk in the reading room and stand […]

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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 […]

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The Ten Lab Commandments: Or the Guide to a Happy Lab

I was lucky enough to do my PhD in an extremely friendly and well-organised lab.  In my opinion, these two key traits are required for a successful research experience. This environment, while appearing effortless, […]

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