Techniques / DNA / RNA Manipulation and Analysis

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Troubleshooting DNA Ligation Problems

In any experimental procedure, getting the controls right can save you a lot of work when things go wrong by allowing you to troubleshoot the source of the problem. DNA ligation is no different. In this article...
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History of Molecular Biology

As a freshman biology major in undergrad, I was introduced to molecular biology with the following description: Molecular biology represents the intersection of genetics, biochemistry and cell biology. Some...
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Solved: Heterologous Gene Expression Problems

When heterologous gene expression goes wrong it can be a real headache. Here's my checklist for the steps to take when you encounter problems with this dark art. 1. Check the construct by sequencing the...
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Plasmid archiving at Addgene

Addgene is a non-profit plasmid repository that stores and distributes plasmids for academic labs. It's great if you work in an academic lab and they happen to have your plasmid - drop them an order and get...
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An Attractive Genomic DNA Isolation Kit

I was becoming a bit bored with the tedium of column-based kits, so when I had to isolate genomic DNA from a range of micro-organisms for a recent project I decided to try something new. Invitrogen's...
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Choosing a Competent E.coli Strain

Of all the of competent E. coli cell strains available, which one should you choose? The choice of strain to use in a given experiment is determined in large part by the nature of the experiment and the set of...
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The World’s Fastest Miniprep?

I love this great time-lapse video entitled "a day in the lab". If only minipreps were this fast and easy! [youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKF_bItwkjk]
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Competent E.coli: To buy or not to buy?

Buying competent cells from commercial suppliers is convenient, provides a guarantee of quality and gives access to strains with a variety of in-built traits that assist with things like maintenance of...
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One Tube PCR Cloning Method

I love shortcuts, and this one is very good. Chun-Ming Liu of Plant Research International has a number of molecular biology protocols on his website,  but my favourite is his One Tube PCR Cloning Method. The...
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The Dark Side of Gene Synthesis

After writing my recent article on custom gene synthesis, I came across this article in the excellent Seven Stones systems biology blog that highlights the potential dark side of this emerging technology. The...
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