Vicki Doronina

Vicki did her PhD in Molecular Biology at the University of Edinburgh. She had been working as a postdoc in several Russel group UK universities, while honing her skills in scientific and creative writing. She is now a pen for hire. Check out my proudest achievement, which may be useful for you: The BiteSizeBio Guide for Protein expression

Articles by Vicki Doronina:

How to Deal with Stress of a Research Project Examination

A scientist’s life is full of stress. An experiment is not working— stress, experiment working but producing results opposite to the previous one— stress, somebody using the last of the reagent you need now— more stress. But these are unexpected stresses, small and overcome easily. The ‘planned stresses’ such as meetings with your supervisor or…

09 Jul 2016 PhD Survival

What To Do About Rust in Your Incubator

Ideally, your tissue culture incubator should be polished stainless steel, gleaming and immaculate like a surgical theatre. And I am sure you keep it in order, like new. It’s just sometimes you start in a lab where the incubators already have brown spots – rust. There’s Rust in My Incubator! Usually rust occurs because of…

09 Jul 2016 Equipment Mastery & Hacks

More Than a Clever Name: Northern Blots

You might think Northern Blots are an old-fashioned technique. However, qRT-PCR is prone to false positives and negatives, and reviewers may require Northern Blot confirmation of your qRT-PCR results. So sometimes Northern Blots are a necessary evil.

09 Jul 2016 DNA / RNA Manipulation and Analysis

Sanger Sequencing: How the Genome Was Won

I’ve never run a sequencing gel in my life, but people around me did, and they spent a lot of time on getting it just right. Although the principle described by Sanger in 1975 sounds straightforward (1), sequencing gels are very long and very thin – less than a millimeter thick! They were easy to…

09 Jul 2016 Genomics & Epigenetics

Top Tips for Yeast Microscopy

Microscopy is one of the fun parts of working with yeast. If you fix your cells, you can get a snapshot of the structures. Live cells microscopy using fluorescent proteins tagged proteins is even better, as you can see the dynamics and cell machinery working before your own eyes. Light Microscopy to Check for Contamination…

19 May 2015 Microscopy & Imaging

Career Highlight: Technical Officer

An ad about a Technical Officer position is usually nebulous. For example: “The post holder work as part of a technical team and provide both routine and specialist services in support of undergraduate, postgraduate, outreach and revenue-earning activities.” What Does a Technical Officer Do? In fact, a technical officer role can be summarized in two…

18 May 2015 Career Development & Networking

Top Tips on How to Prevent Cell Line Cross-Contamination

Recently we wrote an article about widespread cell culture contamination and how to detect it. This follow-up article will provide practical tips on avoiding cross-contamination in the first place. Be Cautious While Working The first way of cross-contaminating cultures is by accidentally mixing two cultures together, which may lead to an unintended co-culture or the displacement…

22 Apr 2015 Cells and Model Organisms

Gene Synthesis: Cloning of The Future?

I remember the time when elves and wizards walked the Earth and DNA oligonucleotide synthesis was $5 a nucleotide. But the world has changed, nobody thinks twice about ordering an oligo. Whole gene synthesis, which is synthesis of long oligos and their assembly into a very, very long oligo. With prices of around 25–35 cents per…

20 Apr 2015 DNA / RNA Manipulation and Analysis

Cell Culture: a Case of Mistaken Identity

While working in a UK university, I met a researcher who loved Italy much more than the UK. I asked her why she had left her favourite country. She told me that before coming to the UK, she had a 2-year fellowship in Italy where she was getting some promising results and had the chance…

20 Apr 2015 Cells and Model Organisms

Banish the Background with Toxin–antitoxin Cloning Systems

One of the most annoying traits of “classical cloning” is an imperfect system of discriminating between the clones containing an empty vector and vector with insert after cloning. Even when your self-ligation control plate is empty, you can have a lot of colonies containing an empty vector on the “vector + insert” plate. Even the blue-white…

16 Feb 2015 DNA / RNA Manipulation and Analysis