Declan Dunn's Profile

CRISPR read on

Four Ways to Get CRISPR Reagents Into Your Cells

Do you need to test the effects of mutating a gene in your system?  Then, CRISPR is the way to go. Your first step is to decide on good target sequences. Then, you have to get the two components of CRISPR: the Cas9 nuclease and “guide” RNA (gRNA). Even though you’ve read up on the technique […]

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Basic Bacterial Culturing Practices

Mastering basic bacterial culturing practices is a must if you are planning a career in microbiology! Growing bacteria might be one of the easiest things to do as a scientist. Also, as you’ve probably discovered, it’s even easier to do when you’re trying to prevent bacteria from growing where it shouldn’t be!! When we go […]

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In Cells and Model Organisms 9th of March, 2017
semiquantitative scoring read on

Analyze Immunostained Slides with Semiquantitative Scoring

A  routine task in the lab is to investigate the presence of your favorite protein in a range of histological samples. No doubt, staining your tissue sections using good old immunohistochemistry (IHC) would be your first choice. You just got to love a technique that has celebrated its 70th birthday, and is still used in […]

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ChemDraw: a Versatile Molecule Sketching Tool for (Bio)Chemists

Have you ever wondered how to make professional, easy-to-understand figures of molecules for presentations or publications? While several programs exist for this purpose, ChemDraw is like the Swiss Army knife of chemical sketching programs that most chemists and journals use to prepare figures. Beyond the ability to create chemically accurate and legible figures, ChemDraw can […]

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Extracting Better Ubiquitin Data from Your Samples: Beyond the Cellular Skip

The ubiquitin-proteasome system was discovered at the start of the 1980s, and people have been studying it ever since. Initially, researchers thought that tagging a protein with ubiquitin was the cell’s signal for the protein to be scrapped via the proteasome. But more research has shown that, as with all biology, once you’re up close and […]

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In Protein Expression & Analysis 14th of February, 2017
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How DNA Extraction Is Different in Plants

I know what you are thinking, everything is made of cells, so how different can DNA extractions be in plants? The answer is… sort-of different. The overall concept is the same. Cell membranes are lysed, DNA is separated from other cell materials, washed a few times, and then resuspended in water or Tris-EDTA buffer (aka […]

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In DNA / RNA Manipulation and Analysis 13th of February, 2017
eQTL read on

Investigating an Expression Quantitative Trait Locus (eQTL)

Thousands upon thousands of genetic variants are now associated with every disease and trait you can possibly think of. Such traits range from cancers to blood pressure, intelligence, height, weight… and many more! This is largely because of the advent of genome-wide association studies (GWAS). However, the vast majority of genetic loci associated with these traits are […]

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intravital microscopy read on

Tips for Peering into the Interior of Mice Using Intravital Microscopy

Intravital microscopy (IVM) is a newer approach for the imaging of living tissues and organs in live animals. A wide variety of organs can be imaged in rodents–eyes, kidneys, brain, lymph nodes, and gut, to name a few. Imaging the organ at the site (in situ)  provides more physiologically relevant results. IVM coupled with multiphoton […]

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In Microscopy & Imaging 1st of February, 2017
introducing foreign dna read on

The Three Ts of Introducing Foreign DNA: Transfection, Transduction, and Transformation

Introducing foreign DNA into bacterial or eukaryotic cells is a common molecular biology technique. Some of the terminology involved can be confusing: transformation, transfection and transduction. What do these words actually mean? To make matters worse, sometimes people use these terms interchangeably, resulting in confusion between colleagues and collaborating labs. Here then is your definitive guide […]

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Thesis writing read on

How to Reduce Panic Over Thesis Writing

The mere mention of thesis writing causes many students to instantly reach for their panic button. I was no different. I was freaking out about the mere thought of all that writing. However, after successfully preparing and defending my thesis, I learned that the process is just that, a process. Below are 5 points I […]

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In PhD Survival 23rd of January, 2017