DEPC: The Wicked Witch of RNA?

If you have ever worked with RNA, you know about DEPC (diethylpyrocarbonate). You add it to water at a concentration of 0.1%, shake or stir, incubate at 37°C for two hours or at room […]

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Why Pick PAS for Histology?

Periodic acid-Schiff (PAS) is another commonly used special stain in the histology lab. What Does PAS Stain? (1) Polysaccharides: The technique is commonly used to identify polysaccharides- these macromolecules are composed of monosaccharide units […]

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A Quick Guide to pH, pKa and pI (Members Only)

They’re easy numbers to take for granted, so it’s a good exercise once in a while to remind ourselves what pH, pKa and pI stand for: pH—the measure of acidity. It’s the negative logarithm […]

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Science: Why Do We Do it?

Five months ago, I pranced into the office of a renowned research institution wide-eyed and full of hope. I was about to begin my MSc project, and nothing could bring me down. I no […]

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A Short History of Sequencing Part 2: the first of the next.

The Human Genome Project was successful, but hard work. The major improvements to the technology were the increases in parallelization and automation. In 2003, just as the HGP completion papers were published in Nature […]

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Four Ways To Keep Up With Your Field If You Are Out Of A Job

Keeping up with the latest developments in your field of research is important whether you are taking a sabbatical to travel the world or your funding has finally dried up. Whatever your situation, it […]

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Excited?! Emitting light?! An introduction to fluorescent microscopy

Fluorescent-based microscopy techniques are some of the most common ways to visualize biological structures. Almost any protein- or nucleic acid-based molecule can be tagged with a fluorescent marker or dye and subsequently detected by […]

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How To Write an Awesome Abstract

Let’s face it: when you said you read that paper, what you really meant was that you read the abstract. And that conference you went to? You probably scanned the abstracts of the posters […]

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Silver or Blue: What’s the Best Stain for Your Proteins?

Staining proteins following SDS-PAGE or 2-dimensional electrophoresis is a very useful technique for visualising a global population of proteins or checking expression of your recombinant proteins, but how do you know which stain to […]

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A Short History of Sequencing Part 1: from the first proteins to the Human Genome

It all started with proteins The earliest methods for sequencing were developed for proteins. In 1950, Pehr Edman published a paper demonstrating a label-cleavage method for protein sequencing which was later termed “Edman degradation”. […]

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