Laura is currently pursuing a PhD in Pharmacology/Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge. She is interested in how adaptations of “weird animals” have evolved, and having looked at retinal development in blind cave fish before, she’s now researching how naked mole rats have adapted to hypoxia.

Articles by lschuhma:

Analyzing Apoptosis – A Review of Analytical Techniques

Now that we’ve learned about the role of apoptosis in good health and disease, it will be useful to know how we can detect apoptosis in cells or organisms. A variety of apoptosis detection kits are commercially available, and here is a roundup of how they work: TUNEL and DNA damage assays The TUNEL assay…

24 Sep 2014 Lab Statistics & Math&Of Interest

Apoptosis Gone Wrong: Cell Death’s Role in Disease

Like yin and yang, apoptosis has a duality.  While it is is a pathway used in the normal maintenance and development of tissues in healthy organisms it also had a dark side. As you can imagine, apoptosis is a tightly regulated process – controlled by the integration of multiple pro- and anti-apoptotic signals. Ultimately the induction…

25 Jun 2014 Of Interest

Life or Death? Apoptosis in Healthy Organisms

Everybody has to die at some point. But fortunately, the death of a cell does not mean the end of the organism, at least for us metazoans. Indeed, controlled cell death a.k.a apoptosis, or programmed cell death, is an integral part of the biology of all organisms, from nematodes on up. Apoptosis is central to…

28 May 2014 Of Interest

Cell lysis 101: 8 methods to break down cell walls

In Part 1, I introduced the types of cell walls out there and what they are made of – now it’s time to learn how to get through them. 1.  Mechanical methods of cell disruption Mechanical cell disruption is really just that: forcing open the cell wall and spilling the contents. The advantage to mechanical…

01 Jul 2013 DNA / RNA Manipulation and Analysis

Cell lysis 101: 5 types of cell walls you need to understand

Did you ever encounter resistance from a mammalian cell line when trying to extract the contents? Probably not, because destroying cell membranes is easy. Cell walls however are a different story. They are rigid, protective layers that can be so strong that the organism gives up movement in favour of protection! Cell walls exist in…

03 Jun 2013 DNA / RNA Manipulation and Analysis

How Measurement of Concentration and Purity of Nucleic Acids Works, Part I

So you’ve isolated your DNA or RNA from your favorite sample. And now, if you are anything like me, the first thing you’ll do is scramble to check the quality and concentration of your extract. You have a few different options at your disposal to perform this crucial analysis, which will let you know whether…

16 Apr 2013 DNA / RNA Manipulation and Analysis

A Beginners’ Guide to Non-coding Sequence Alignment

There is no such thing as “junk” DNA Until recently, vast areas of the genome had been denounced as “junk” DNA, because they do not encode proteins. However, it has become clear that these regions have a large diversity of other functions, from transcriptional and translational regulation to the protection of genes and genome integrity.…

01 Mar 2013 Genomics & Epigenetics

How To Identify Conserved Elements In Genes

Conserved elements are stretches of DNA sequence that are under purifying selection. That means mutations leading to a change of function in this part of the DNA are detrimental to the organism and will not become fixed in the genome, but rather discarded by natural selection. The level of conservation between species gives an idea…

25 Jan 2013 Genomics & Epigenetics