Techniques

Transfection Toolkit

Engineering a mutation or overexpressing a recombinant protein to study and characterize its function in mammalian cells is no easy task. Luckily, Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells, which have been a mainstay in the lab since the 1950s, represent a relatively easy mammalian model system to engineer. There are several methods to choose choose from…

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Detecting Cell Apoptosis on Tissue Slides

Apoptosis, or programmed cell death, is a physiological process in which individual cells are set to die without harming their environment. It involves a cascade of complex and tightly regulated cellular events. Detecting apoptosis on tissue slides, involves either detecting the molecular participants of these events, or the morphological changes that occur on the cellular…

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Probability Theory and Molecular Barcodes

In biology, a molecular barcode is a characteristic DNA sequence used to distinguish and gather together similar items. Such a simple but powerful concept is useful in various applications. As an example, the Barcoding of Life project aims to identify specimens through the sequencing of standard gene regions, and use these as barcodes. On the other…

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Benzyl Isoamyl Alcohol: a Novel, Bizarre, and Effective DNA Purification Tool

DNA Purification We all use our favorite techniques for DNA cloning, such as Gibson assembly, TOPO cloning, ligation independent cloning (LIC), and TA cloning. However, DNA purification methods themselves, haven’t changed all that much since the 90’s. Historically, the introduction of phenol extraction in 1956, to purify nucleic acids from rat liver, rapidly replaced previous…

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Chromosome Analysis by Flow Cytometry

In most people’s minds a flow cytometer can sort, view and count cells e.g. lymphocytes, thymocytes, cultured cells and even non-mammalian cells such as yeast or bacteria. However, in reality, a flow cytometer is capable of providing information about any particle as long as it has detectable fluorescence. This fluorescence may occur either inherently or…

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