Catriona Paul's Profile

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Herzenberg and the Invention of the FACS Machine

The flow cytometer that we have all grown to know and love may have only come into its own in the 1990’s, but who would have known that the first cell sorter was invented as early as the 1950’s? With the recent death of one of the key developers of fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS), […]

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In Flow Cytometry 21st of July, 2015
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Making The Most Out Of Your Commute To The Lab

Power nap anyone? Depending on how long your commute is, and what type of transport you use, you could make your commute useful. If you are taking public transport, you can use that time to answer those emails you don’t have time to get to at the office/lab, or to catch up on reading some […]

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In Organization & Productivity 19th of November, 2014
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Using Flow Cytometry for Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer

A marriage of sorts Fluorescence resonance energy transfer, or FRET, is often done using a microscope, which means it can be difficult to analyze large numbers of cells in one sitting. One way to overcome this, is by combining FRET with fluorescent-activated cell sorting (FACS), giving you a high-throughput method to screen for protein interactions […]

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In Flow Cytometry 4th of November, 2014
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Protocols: Where Do You Get Yours?

Trying a new protocol is always a little daunting, especially if no one else in your lab is doing it. So it’s always good to find a tried and tested protocol from a reputable source before getting your hands dirty. Or at least one that can start you off in the right direction. It is […]

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In Basic Lab Skills & Know-how 29th of September, 2014
accuracy in pipetting. photograph of arrows on target read on

How to Check the Accuracy of Your Pipette

How much time do you spend thinking about the accuracy of your pipette? Probably not much. It’s one of those things that get brushed aside in the heat of experimentation. Pipetting accuracy though, is critical to successful experiments–especially in sensitive experiments. For example, qPCR relies upon accurate pipetting—calculations depend on having the same amount of […]

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In Basic Lab Skills & Know-how 21st of July, 2014
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10 Useful Tips For Improving Your Sorting Experiments

After a very naïve start in flow cytometry thinking that published protocols will work without fault – needless to say, that did not work out in my favor – I realize now that following a few simple steps can go a long way, and will undoubtedly save you time in the end. So, here are […]

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In Flow Cytometry 1st of July, 2014
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An Introduction to Gating in Flow Cytometry

What is one of the first things you do when you sit down at the flow cytometer and start looking at your cells? You start drawing polygons and setting gates. To the neophyte the gating process can look a little random – why do you exclude those dots but not these?  But gating in flow […]

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In Flow Cytometry 17th of June, 2014
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Take Care of Your Tools: How to Clean a Pipette

Like a Jedi’s light saber, your pipette is an extension of your arm and the lifeline to your (lab) existence. You probably should give it a little TLC once in a while to keep it free from contaminants.  Especially if you are doing experiments involving things like gene expression analysis. Sure, you can use filter […]

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In Basic Lab Skills & Know-how 26th of May, 2014
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10 Favorite Online Tools for Molecular Biology

What did we do before the internet? And where would we be without handy online molecular biology tools? Apparently in the ‘olden days’ doing a simple gene or protein alignment required programs that used dynamic programming algorithms such as the Needleman-Wunsch and Smith-Waterman algorithms. These required long processing times and the use of supercomputers or […]

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In Software & Online Tools 5th of May, 2014
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What is Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy?

Fluorescent microscopy not only makes our images look good, it also allows us to gain a better understanding of cells, structures and tissue. With confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) we can find out even more. CLSM combines high-resolution optical imaging with depth selectivity which allows us to do optical sectioning. This means that we can […]

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In Microscopy & Imaging 22nd of April, 2014