yevgeniy

Yevgeniy grew up in New York, but decided to transplant himself to the West Coast for his PhD studies at the Scripps Research Institute, where he studied mechanisms of gene regulation in the immune system. Recently, Yevgeniy again found himself in New York City, pursuing a post-doctoral research project in oncology. Realizing that his true passion was writing, Yevgeniy decided to leave academia and pursue science writing as a freelancer to share his passion for fostering communication between the scientific community and the public. In his spare time Yevgeniy works as a Krav Maga self-defense instructor.

Articles by yevgeniy:

Cell Counting with a Hemocytometer: Easy as 1, 2, 3

Many biological applications such as microbiology, cell culture, blood work and many others that use cells require that we determine cell concentration for our experiment. Cell counting is rather straightforward and requires a counting chamber called a hemocytometer, a device invented by the 19th century French anatomist Louis-Charles Malassez to perform blood cell counts. A…

08 Dec 2014 Cells and Model Organisms

Interview Techniques: Interview like a STAR

During your time interviewing for different jobs, more likely than not you will encounter employers who conduct behavioral interviews. What is a behavioral-based interview, you may ask? Behavioral interviewing is supposed to uncover your past job-related behavior to predict how you will behave in the future. It is based on the assumption that your past…

14 Oct 2013 Career Development & Networking

Mycoplasma: The Hidden Anarchist of Cell Culture

It is the black death of cell culture. Scientists don’t dare utter its name and many a graduate student has fallen victim to its indiscriminate menace. These stealthy anarchists infiltrate quietly but deliberately until their numbers swell and then they attack in strength, overwhelming their victims before they can put up a fight! What is…

04 Sep 2013 Cells and Model Organisms

5 Ways to Really Screw Up Your RNA Prep

Unlike DNA, which can last for eons (if stored correctly!), RNA is a fragile and degradation-prone cousin. After working with RNA for a while, one becomes quite paranoid about handling RNA because even a single sneeze or drop of saliva can potentially affect your results. The reason, which was discussed earlier, is that there are…

29 Jul 2013 DNA / RNA Manipulation and Analysis

Crush Like an Elephant, Soak Like the Rain: Old-School DNA Gel Extraction

In my previous article on DNA gel extraction, I explained how most commercially available DNA gel extraction kits work. However, there was a time before our society was blessed with these convenient marvels of technology and scientists had to summon the gods of “Crush and Soak”. This method has been proven for millennia, as people…

07 May 2013 DNA / RNA Manipulation and Analysis

How DNA Gel Extraction Works

Isolating pure DNA is key to many downstream applications for molecular biologists.  Isolating large quantities of pure DNA used to be a laborious task.  But thanks to commercially available kits, older methods have been streamlined to allow efficient recovery of pure DNA. In this article, I will talk about a method called DNA gel extraction,…

01 May 2013 DNA / RNA Manipulation and Analysis

The A-Z List of Things that go “Missing” in the Lab

Here is a fun list of things that you are most likely to lose to light-fingered colleagues or nocturnal ghosts of academia. The emphasis here is on fun, so as disclaimers often go, if your experience proved somewhat different, this list “does not represent the actions of every individual or ghost who you might encounter…

01 May 2013 Organization & Productivity

Blast your way to quicker, cheaper bacterial transformations

If you want a more efficient, cheaper way to do bacterial transformation, if using a small DIY cannon to create a shockwave that forces bacteria to take up DNA from its surroundings sounds like your type of fun (if not, why not?!), you are definitely going to like this article. In a study published in 2011,…

08 Apr 2013 DNA / RNA Manipulation and Analysis

Isolation of total RNA, including microRNA, from cells and tissues

Whereas DNA can survive for millennia, RNA is short-lived, which is a bummer if you are trying to isolate it. The reason – as we discussed recently – is that RNA is prone to degradation by enzymes called RNases. Therefore, isolation of total RNA from cells and tissues requires a method that will efficiently isolate…

19 Mar 2013 DNA / RNA Manipulation and Analysis

Outgrown the Roost: Passaging Suspension Cells

Previously, you have learned about passaging adherent cells and read a quick protocol to make it happen. In this article, I will talk about passaging suspension cells. Some cells naturally live in suspension in body fluids and do not attach to surfaces, such as cells of hematopoietic origin found in our bloodstream. Culturing these suspension…

06 Feb 2013 Cells and Model Organisms

Top Tricks for Isolation of miRNAs from Plasma and Serum

MicroRNAs (miRNA) are short, non-coding RNAs involved in post-transcriptional silencing of gene expression. miRNAs can be associated with exosomes and can function as cancer-specific biomarkers. This, coupled with the fact that they are stable in plasma and serum makes them valuable diagnostic tools, as long as they can be reliably isolated from the serum and…

05 Feb 2013 DNA / RNA Manipulation and Analysis

How Can A Single Mutation Affect Splicing Regulation?

Alternative splicing is a highly orchestrated process that uses a multitude of regulatory mechanisms. Splicing specificity involves a precise interaction between cis- and trans-acting regulatory elements, and factors that disrupt these interactions can result in aberrant splicing. There are multiple ways in which mutations can affect splicing fidelity: A point mutation in the cis-acting splice…

25 Jan 2013 DNA / RNA Manipulation and Analysis

How to Detect Alternative Splicing Variants

Alternative splicing events often occur in a spatiotemporal manner, and some are regulated by alternative splicing regulators, with striking variation across tissue types and developmental stages. Alternative splicing events are often differentially regulated across tissues and during development, as well as among individuals and populations, suggesting that individual isoforms may serve specific spatial or temporal…

11 Jan 2013 DNA / RNA Manipulation and Analysis

What is Alternative Splicing, and Why is it Important?

Genetic information of an organism is stored in the genes, the functional subunits of the genome, arranged in the strands of the DNA double helix in the nucleus. This information is transcribed from DNA into a messenger RNA (mRNA) template by a process called transcription. However, in eukaryotes, before the mRNA can be translated into…

28 Dec 2012 DNA / RNA Manipulation and Analysis

Principles and Mechanisms of Mammalian Cell Transfection

Mammalian cell transfection is a technique commonly used to express exogenous DNA or RNA in a host cell line (for example, for generating RNAi probes). There are many different ways to transfect mammalian cells, depending on the cell line characteristics, desired effect, and downstream applications. In this article, I will review the different methods of…

05 Sep 2012 Cells and Model Organisms

Book Review: “What Color Is Your Parachute?”, by Richard Nelson Bolles

“The clearer your vision of what you seek, the closer you are to finding it. For what you are seeking is also seeking you.” Finding a job or a career could feel very much like falling though a void. “What color is your parachute?” by Richard Nelson Bolles is as much a practical guide to…

20 Aug 2012 Career Development & Networking

How to Pursue a Non-Research Career While in Graduate School

‘Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?’ ‘That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,’ said the Cat. ‘I don’t much care where,’ said Alice. ‘Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,’ said the Cat.                                    From Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. According to a…

27 Jul 2012 Career Development & Networking

What Has Methylation Done For You Lately?

Epigenetics is the study of heritable changes in the phenotype of a cell or an organism that are not encoded by the genome (hence epi which means ‘above’ in Greek, and genetikos which means ‘origin’). In this article, we’ll discuss DNA methylation, a common epigenetic modification: what it is, how to detected it, and how…

18 Apr 2012 Genomics & Epigenetics

How To Use Your Department To The Fullest

“No one can whistle a symphony.  It takes a whole orchestra to play it.” – H.E. Luccock In my previous article on “Starting your PhD the right way”, I already mentioned the importance of using your department’s resources to your advantage. In this article, I will expand on how to use your department to the…

21 Mar 2012 Dealing with Fellow Scientists

How Much Information is Stored in the Human Genome?

The other day I was having a conversation with a friend of mine who had some background in computer science. The conversation shifted towards my research and the following question came up: What is the amount of digital information stored in a human genome? I started searching in the deep dark corners of my brain,…

16 Mar 2012 Inspiring & Thought Provoking