emilycrow

Emily Crow has a PhD in Life Sciences from Northwestern University. She is currently working as an editor for a scientific publishing company. Her many scientific interests include microbiology, parasitology, and prion diseases.

Articles by emilycrow:

How To Preserve Your Samples In Western Blotting

When running a quantitative Western blot, it’s crucial that your sample preparation is consistent.  Incomplete protein extraction from one sample will skew your results when you compare it to the protein content of a sample that was extracted more thoroughly.  And after the protein extraction, it’s important to handle the samples in an identical manner…

19 Mar 2012 Protein Expression & Analysis

3 Approaches to Western Blot Transfer

I think that transferring Western blots is one the most enjoyable tasks to do in a lab: it’s quick, it’s messy, and on some gleeful level, it feels like a child’s art project gone wrong.  Of course, it’s also finicky and slippery and prone to tiny pitfalls that can noticeably affect the quality of your…

05 Mar 2012 Protein Expression & Analysis

How Do YOU Make Sure That Your Western Blots are Evenly Loaded?

For Western blot data to be reliable, it is important that you load known amounts of sample into each lane of the gel.  This is of particular importance if you are doing a quantitative blot, where you really need to be able to compare band intensity in each sample.  In this article, we’ll talk about…

27 Feb 2012 Protein Expression & Analysis

Mind Your P’s And Q’s: A Short Primer On Proofreading Polymerases

For applications such as site-directed mutagenesis, it is often recommended that you use a proofreading polymerase (also known as high-fidelity polymerases) to minimize the risk of introducing unintended point mutations.  But what is a proofreading polymerase?  What makes them different from other polymerases?  And when should you use them?  Read on to learn more… What…

11 Jan 2012 PCR, qPCR and qRT-PCR

Are Purified Primers Really Necessary For Site-Directed Mutagenesis?

Most site-directed mutagenesis protocols strongly recommend that you use only PAGE- or HPLC-purified primers to mutate plasmid templates.  Using purified primers is supposed to minimize the introduction of unintended mutations, thus drastically improving the probability of generating your desired mutant.  However, specially purified primers can be extremely expensive, and take longer to synthesize than standard…

06 Jan 2012 DNA / RNA Manipulation and Analysis

What Do You Get For The Grad Student Who Has Everything?

As the holiday season approaches, I’m sure many of you are asking yourself what to get for that special grad student in your life.  Or perhaps you’d like to treat yourself this year!  But what do you get for the grad student who has everything? Why, more ways to procrastinate, of course! Looking for something…

22 Dec 2011 PhD Survival

Is Google making Scientists Dumber?

The last time you forgot an address what was your first instinct: to look it up on a map, or type out the bit you remember into GoogleMaps and wait for it to auto-complete?  What about looking for a new restaurant: did you ask a friend for recommendations, or search for restaurants in your area…

08 Dec 2011 Software & Online Tools

Your Enthusiasm for Science: Free Refills Here

Do you often get lost in the tedium of day-to-day research?  Have you forgotten the passion and curiosity that drove you to science in the first place?  As biologists we are privileged to be asking the big questions and probing the mysteries of nature. That our jobs actually involve messing around with DNA, looking inside…

28 Nov 2011 Inspiring & Thought Provoking

BioConference Live: a Free Online Conference for Life Scientists!

It’s that time again: BioConference Live is hosting its (free!) virtual life science conference next week. This two day, all-online event brings speakers on a huge variety of topics right to your desktop and is a great way to catch up with the latest and greatest in the life sciences without having to travel further…

19 Oct 2011 Of Interest

How To Fail In Grad School

Graduate school is a challenging experience for everyone. The hours are long, the pay is low, and the prize often seems unattainable. So how do you ensure that you get the most out of your years in grad school, and emerge on the other side ready to tackle an exciting new career? Here are a…

14 Sep 2011 PhD Survival