The Luciferase Reporter Assay: How it works

The luciferase reporter assay is commonly used as a tool to study gene expression at the transcriptional level. It is widely used because it is convenient, relatively inexpensive, and gives quantitative measurements instantaneously. It […]

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What To Do When Whole Genome Sequencing Yields Unexpected Results: Is There A One-Size-Fits-All Answer?

Whole genome sequencing (WGS) is becoming increasingly common. Doctors now routinely order it for patients with puzzling diseases. The NHS (National Health Service in the UK) has declared that it will sequence 100,000 genomes over […]

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Fluorescent Tyramides In Histology: A Versatile Approach For Multiplex Molecular Tissue Probing.

If you are a researcher who is using fluorescent staining on your cells and tissue sections, you should seriously consider using tyramide reagents. Why? Well, because they can have exquisite sensitivity, are easy to […]

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Where to publish negative results

I met a final year PhD student once, who told me a sad story. His supervisor had a plausible idea that exercise reduces the chances of developing bowel cancer. To test the hypothesis, the […]

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8 more helpings of free PC Software for biological scientists

It's been while since we talked about free PC software for biologists. So we thought we'd treat you to 8 more ideas that can turn you PC in to a super-bio-research-enabling-machine….. 1. Silvernote Standard Electronic […]

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Breaking Up is (Not That) Hard to Do: Sonication for Cell Lysis

To answer some of the more interesting research questions, you often need to get a good look at what’s going on inside the cell. Whether you’re running a Western blot or measuring enzyme activity, […]

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An Easy Way to Start Using R in Your Research: Basic Tutorial

So now you’re convinced that R is the language for you, you’ve downloaded R-Studio (from  and opened it, and. . .what the hell do you do now? Great question! I always find it […]

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Why you shouldn’t be slow in your response to prospective employers in science

We live in an age if instant gratification. Instant streaming, instant Facebook updates, instant Tweets. When do I want it? Right now, of course. In this age of "instantness", it is crucial as the […]

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Pandascape: Applying Next Generation Sequencing To Conservation Problems

You can now add ‘panda conservation’ to your list of next-generation sequencing applications! Earlier this year in Nature Genetics, a team of Chinese and Danish researchers published new findings on genetic diversity and population structure […]

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How to properly analyze and troubleshoot DNA sequencing results

As part of my job ensuring plasmid quality at Addgene, I analyze 50-100 sequencing reactions a week. So I have developed some good habits that I wanted to pass on to you to make […]

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