SKennedy

Suzanne is Director of R&D at Mo Bio Laboratories in California, and the author of their blog, The Culture Dish. She has a PhD in Microbiology and Immunology from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Articles by SKennedy:

10 Tips For Better DNA Gel Extraction Results

What is it about DNA gel extraction that makes it a pain? Maybe it’s poor product yields or maybe it’s because the process uses harsh chemicals (chaotropic salts, ethidium bromide, ethanol, heat) that will damage or denature DNA and potentially decrease cloning success. In this article I share some tips, both from experience and from…

09 Jul 2016 DNA / RNA Manipulation and Analysis

The Key to Unlocking DNA from FFPE Tissues

Formalin fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) tissues are valuable samples that typically come from human specimens collected for examination of the histology of biopsies for the detection of cancer. But each sample contains much more information just waiting to be unlocked. Despite the tiny sample size, DNA can be extracted from the tissue sections and used…

09 Jul 2016 Microscopy & Imaging

There’s No Need To Be Paranoid About RNA Purification

RNA purification may be a common procedure in molecular biology but it is by far the one that people fear most. Why? Dreaded RNase. It’s everywhere… all over your bench and pipettors, and floating in the air, waiting for the chance to creep into your prep, shred your RNA into nucleotides, and ruin a day’s…

09 Jul 2016 DNA / RNA Manipulation and Analysis

No More White Elephants! – Consider this Before Buying a Real-time PCR Cycler

Does your lab have a closet full of white elephants; once expensive instruments that are no longer fit for purpose, or have broken down? In many cases, all of that wasted money and resource could have been saved if the buyers had made smart choices about matching the instrument more closely to their needs. A…

09 Jul 2016 PCR, qPCR and qRT-PCR

10 Tips for Consistent Real-Time PCR

Real-time PCR is a specialized technique that delivers far more information about your DNA or RNA than end-point PCR. Essentially, real-time PCR is a way to visualize the amplification of specific DNA fragments as it is happening (in real time) and allows for the ability to quantify exactly how much DNA (or RNA) was in…

09 Jul 2016 PCR, qPCR and qRT-PCR

How DNA Extraction Kits Work in the Lab

We give a lot of troubleshooting help on RNA and DNA extraction here at Bitesize Bio because almost everything we do in molecular biology requires DNA or RNA at the very first step.  These days, most labs use commercial DNA extraction kits, which employ spin columns, for the isolation of DNA and RNA. The spin columns…

28 Jul 2015 DNA / RNA Manipulation and Analysis

DNA Precipitation: Ethanol vs. Isopropanol

Since our most popular article of all time (“The Basics: How Ethanol Precipitation of DNA and RNA Works”) was published, many of our readers have asked us to further explain the difference between precipitating DNA with ethanol vs. isopropanol and which is the better choice. So today, I’ll meet the challenge and discuss the pros…

23 Jun 2015 DNA / RNA Manipulation and Analysis

5 Types of Bad Boss and How to Handle Them

Science attracts so many different and quirky personalities that you are bound to have a problem with some people. But when your boss is the problem, its a big problem for you. So what do you do when you don’t get along with your boss? Well sometimes the best advice is really to just move…

10 Dec 2014 Dealing with Fellow Scientists

Plasmid vs. Genomic DNA Extraction: The Difference

To isolate plasmid DNA, you crack your cells open and perform a miniprep, trying hard to avoid contaminating genomic DNA. For genomic DNA, you crack your cells open in a different way and try to isolate as much of the contents as possible. So what’s the difference in the protocols? In this article, we will…

08 Oct 2014 DNA / RNA Manipulation and Analysis

Better Plasmid Midipreps Part II: What Causes Low Yields?

Recently we received a question from Bitesize Bio reader Sonia after our article How to: Get Better Plasmid Midiprep Yields. She asked: “What could be the problem when one sample gives a good yield while the other plasmid gives poor a one, when both the samples were processed simultaneously, and in the same way.” This is a…

12 May 2014 DNA / RNA Manipulation and Analysis

When Glycogen is not Your Friend – Isolating RNA from Glycogen-Rich Tissues

Bitesize Bio has had a lot to say about RNA isolation, mainly because it is one of the most anxiety-producing requirements for molecular biology; especially when you are first starting out (although isolating proteins from complex samples like soil and stool is far more difficult, let me tell you.  But that’s a future post.)  We’ve…

16 Apr 2014 DNA / RNA Manipulation and Analysis

Troubleshooting RNA Isolation

Isolating RNA is one of the more finicky protocols there is, and everyone who does it has their own personal tips and tricks to successfully isolate intact RNA from their samples with consistency. Although RNA can be somewhat unpredictable since it is so labile, there are a few common problems that occur which can be logically…

19 Mar 2014 DNA / RNA Manipulation and Analysis

10 Signs You’ll Like Working in Biotech

The decision to make the switch from an academic lab and career to a biotech company doesn’t come easy. Many scientists are wary of the lack of independence and doing science for profit.  But there are advantages too. Working in a biotech lab allows you to work on many varied and interesting projects that actually come to…

11 Aug 2010 Career Development & Networking

Important Considerations for a Career in Biotech

When I was in graduate school, it seemed that almost no one aspired to work in industry or be part of a company. But times are changing. Now, when I go to conferences and talk to scientists in training, I am asked, “how do I get a job in a company?” and “How did you get…

29 Jul 2010 Career Development & Networking

What it Takes to Take the Lead

I had the unique opportunity to attend a lecture by the CEO of Life Technologies, Greg Lucier, just recently here in San Diego. The lecture was organized by Leo Lee, the creator of a new group on Linkedin.com called Leadership Builder and the title of the presentation was “Developing Executive Leadership: What it Takes to…

06 Jul 2010 Personal Development

How DNA extraction kits work in the lab

At Bitesize Bio, we share a lot of troubleshooting tips for RNA and genomic DNA extraction because almost everything we do in molecular biology requires nucleic acid isolation as the very first step. These days, most labs use commercial DNA extraction kits based on spin column technology. Spin columns contain a silica resin that selectively…

28 Jun 2010 DNA / RNA Manipulation and Analysis

Kids Read Science Summer Reading Contest 2010

Joanne Manaster is a woman on a mission. She loves science and she wants to introduce kids to everything there is to love about science. So this summer, her mission is to stimulate the minds of children and teens everywhere by challenging them to read non-fiction science books. In collaboration with Jeff Shaumeyer, program director of  www.scienticity.net, she has organized a…

09 Jun 2010 Fun Stuff

MIQE Guidelines: Do Your RT-qPCRs Make The Grade?

Northern and Southern blotting are now a thing of the past. They’ve been replaced with a faster and more quantitative technique. No longer do we wait days to know whether a gene is expressed. We can have the answer in 45 minutes! Real-time PCR is now commonly employed in almost all molecular biology laboratories to…

04 Jun 2010 PCR, qPCR and qRT-PCR

Do Hand Sanitizer and Liquid Hand Soap Remove Viruses?

While reading my back issues of Applied and Environmental Microbiology (AEM), I came across an interesting paper that detailed an in-depth study on the effectiveness of hand cleaners to remove Norwalk virus (NV) from intentionally contaminated hands. Yes that’s right – intentionally contaminated, and how. The study volunteers allowed a 20% stool suspension containing Norwalk virus to be…

26 May 2010 Lab Safety

Important Considerations for Determining qPCR Efficiency

One of the very first things you need to do when getting set up for quantitative PCR (qPCR) is to determine the efficiency of the assay because knowing the assay efficiency is critical to accurate data interpretation. And you have to do this every time you design and purchase a new primer pair. Ideally, the…

19 Apr 2010 PCR, qPCR and qRT-PCR