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Ethanol Precipitation of DNA and RNA: How it works

Ethanol precipitation is a commonly used technique for concentrating and de-salting nucleic acids (DNA or RNA) preparations in aqueous solution. The basic procedure is that salt and ethanol are added to the...
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miRNAs Get Flipped

On a couple other blogs, a study published in Science by Joan Steitz1 is being called "One of the biggest findings of the year," and "If it turns out to be true, this finding just flipped the whole field on its...
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Entosis: Cellular Canabalism

There might be more to cell death besides apoptosis and necrosis. In a paper that sounded a bit fishy to me, Michael Overholtzer, Joan Brugge and coworkers1 introduce "Entosis": A non-apoptotic cell death...
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The Limits of Horizontal Gene Transfer

Looking at the tree of life, descent with modification is an obvious theme, where genes are passed on through 'vertical' lines of ancestry. It so happens though that genes can jump from one lineage to another,...
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Around the Blogs

Here are the highlights of what I've been reading around the blogs this week: Rosie Redfield explained her radical ideas on quorum sensing in bacteria at RRresearch At A Blog Around The Clock, Coturnix...
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Electroporation on a (96 well) Plate

I just came across a neat device now being offered by BioRad that may interest those of you who do a lot of electroporation of difficult-to-transfect mammalian cells, where tedious optimization of the...
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Science, Ethics and Controversies

An essay in today's issue of Nature struck a contentious cord at the intersection of modern science and politics: that of the ethical regulation of science. The context of ethics and science was succinctly...
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Enzyme Commission (EC) Numbers

In the early 1950's so many new enzymes were being discovered in the burgeoning field of biochemistry that enzyme nomenclature was in danger of getting out of hand. With no guidelines on how to name enzymes,...
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Please, don’t take Bitesize Bio “on Faith”

Science is an endlessly fascinating, challenging, and intellectually-satisfying endeavor. So it saddens me any time that I see someone mistakingly make claims about taking science on faith. This isn't the...
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10 Simple Rules For Doing Your Best Research

Last month, Thomas C. Erren and colleagues published an editorial in PLoS Computational Biology entitled 10 simple rules for doing your best research, according to Hamming. The article provides some great...
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