Olwen Reina's Profile

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Don’t Be Arrested for B.I.T.E. (Bunsen Ill-Treatment and Endangerment)!

B.I.T.E., or Bunsen Ill-Treatment and Endangerment, happens every day. In the time since you started reading this article, somewhere out there, a Bunsen burner has been mishandled. This is a dark subject and while some flinch at the thought of discussing it (some stories may be too dark for the public to handle) this writer […]

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In Fun Stuff 27th of August, 2014
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The A-Z of PCR Variants

The wide range of applications of PCR has led to an ever-growing list of variants of the technique. While some are optimizations to suit specific requirements and are very similar to basic PCR, others completely turn the technique on its head to formulate novel creative applications in various fields. This article lists some variants of […]

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In PCR, qPCR and qRT-PCR 15th of August, 2014
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The Establishment of the Nobel Prize

Let’s play a game. I’ll say a word and you say what comes to your mind. Ready? Go! Cat… Kitchen… Doctor… Airplane… Nobel… I have no idea what you said when I said cat but I’d say most of you said “prize” when I said Nobel. Alfred Nobel’s name is most often remembered because of […]

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In Lab Statistics & Math 4th of August, 2014
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The different Phases of PCR and Why They Are Important

PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) is a biochemical technique developed by Kary Mullis in 1983 that is used to create large quantities of a sequence of DNA. Since this method of mass-producing DNA was first introduced, it has become significantly less labour intensive, more economical, and more routine. The technique relies on a few key players […]

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In PCR, qPCR and qRT-PCR 3rd of July, 2014
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Red light/Green Light In Aseptic Technique: When Is The Flame OK?

My mom is a microbiologist and so I was a lot more informed about bugs than most kids. In fact, I probably gave more than one classmate nightmares with my talk of there being 10 times more bacteria that make up the human body than human cells. I remember my mom working by a Bunsen, […]

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In Basic Lab Skills & Know-how 2nd of July, 2014
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10 Ways to Abuse a Pipette

It seems like every movie that needs a shot of a scientist doing their sciencey-thing either gets the person to pour one pretty liquid from one flask into another or to stare intensely at a test tube with a look of knowing so much more than you ever could. Another favorite shot is of someone […]

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In Basic Lab Skills & Know-how 18th of June, 2014
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Agarose versus Polyacrylamide: Not All Gels Are Created Equal

Like athletes running on turf versus sand, the gel you run your DNA through can highly affect your results. The two main types of gels that people use for DNA electrophoresis are agarose and polyacrylamide (PA) gels, but figuring out the differences can be confusing. Basically, you choose a gel based on two main factors: […]

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In Basic Lab Skills & Know-how 11th of June, 2014
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Gel Electro-For-Whatsit? Breaking Down How Gel Electrophoresis Works

Run to red!  It’s a mantra I learned when first using gel electrophoresis to separate DNA molecules.  This can save you a lot of frustration and humiliation in the lab (stage right: a complaining scientist who swears the equipment is broken as a supervisor facepalms in embarrassment). But what about how does this jell-o like […]

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In Basic Lab Skills & Know-how 4th of June, 2014
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Choosing the Correct Enzyme for PCR

A wide variety of enzymes are available for PCR and RT-PCR and the optimal choice depends on a range of factors specific to your experiment. Some of these factors will now be explored to help you to make the most suitable and cost effective choices when ordering. PCR Type and Other Factors to Consider First, […]

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In PCR, qPCR and qRT-PCR 15th of May, 2014