Amplify Your PCR Success with the Right PCR Instrument!

By Jason Erk | September 21, 2017

Nowadays, almost every biology lab has a PCR instrument — from portable, battery-operated machines, to “PCR-by-water baths”, do-it-yourself PCR, or familiar vendor packages, including those with real-time quantification or droplet digital capabilities, DNA amplification depends on a robust thermal cycler. If you are looking to upgrade, add to, or even replace the lab’s current PCR…

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How UV Radiation Causes DNA Mutations

By Lynnea Waters | September 19, 2017

We all know that we are supposed to put on sunscreen in the summer months to protect ourselves from skin cancer, and the connection between sun exposure and cancer is well documented (Koh et al., 1996; Armstrong and Cust, 2017). UV-A and UV-B rays from the sun interact with the DNA in our skin and…

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What to Do During That Awkward One-Minute Spin

By Jennifer Tsang | September 18, 2017

We’ve all been there. Twiddling our thumbs. Staring off into space. Pacing back and forth. This is the dreaded one-minute spin. If you’ve dabbled in molecular biology, you’ve likely encountered this awkward time. Not exactly enough time to actually do anything else, but when you’ve got nothing to do but wait, one minute seems like…

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The Trouble with Disease Models: Case Study in Diabetes

By Carola Schellack Wenander | September 14, 2017

The development of new drugs requires reliable and robust animal disease models. Since the cause of many diseases is still unknown, it is often difficult to identify adequate and predictive disease models. For example, researchers developing treatments for neuropsychiatric diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s face a particular challenge given the subjectivity of many of…

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5 Digital Tools to Increase Your Productivity in Research

By Simon Bungers | September 13, 2017

Scientific research is a constant battle against time. Whether it is your Masters, PhD or Postdoc, you always feel the pressure to generate data for external validation. For that, you need to spend your time on the bench and not at the desk, but that can be hard. Unfortunately, non-laboratory tasks occupy a large segment…

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How to Prepare Biological Metallo-Proteins

By Chelsey Kline | September 12, 2017

The first thing one might notice when working with metallo-proteins is that they offer unique, colorful reactions.  These colorful reactions are based not only on the metal, but the ligand, or coordinating molecules.  Approximately 80% of proteins contain inorganic cofactors like iron (Fe) and copper (Cu) metals necessary to catalyze a reaction.  Understanding how these…

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Post-sorting Checks and Measures

By Vaidyanathan Subramaniam | September 12, 2017

In my previous article I discussed steps you can implement to ensure that a sample is ready for cell sorting. But now it’s time to make sure the sort worked. Here are a few sorting checks and measures to ensure that all’s well that ends well. Post-sorting Checks and Measures Re-evaluate Your Catch Tubes Sorting…

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Restriction Enzymes: Five Things to Consider Before you Chop!

By Ania Wronski | September 11, 2017

The use of restriction enzymes to characterize DNA has been popular since the 1970s. Today, this “old school” technique is still one of the easiest and fastest ways to assess DNA sequences. Like most lab reagents, restriction enzymes can be fickle and you should bear a few things in mind when using them. Generally, sticky-ended enzymes have greater…

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The Nitty Gritty’s of Cell Culture Techniques

By Chelsey Kline | September 7, 2017

Mammalian cell culture techniques are not something you learn from a book, per se. And because of this, it is important to be properly trained, especially in sterile techniques. It is important to keep your cell lines from contamination and just as important to keep yourself safe. Nevertheless, people tend to do things a little…

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Early Career Stage Funding – Advice for Graduate Students and Post-Docs

By Melissa Walker | September 6, 2017

Are you stressing about applying for grant funding early on in your career? Are you worrying about lack of preliminary data or lack of experience in your current field? Here are some tips that can help. Why Apply at an Early Stage of Your Career? All of your experiences build upon each other to strengthen…

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