Cindy Duarte Castelão

Cindy gained a Masters degree in Molecular Biology and Genetics from the Universidade de Lisboa.

Articles by Cindy Duarte Castelão

Multiplex Ligation-dependent Probe Amplification (MLPA)

Multiplex Ligation-dependent Probe Amplification (MLPA)

Multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) is a molecular technique developed by MRC-Holland back in 2002. In a nutshell, MLPA is a sensitive technique that allows quantification of nucleic acid sequences, quickly and efficiently. It is performed in many laboratories worldwide, and can be applied to detect copy number changes (like deletions or duplications) of a…

Studying the Epigenome by Next Generation Sequencing

Studying the Epigenome by Next Generation Sequencing

The epigenome has been in the research spotlight, and for good reason. Not only has it been associated with the developmental stages of an organism, but epigenetic alterations lead to disorders and have been linked to many human diseases. So, the question stands: what exactly is an epigenome? What Is the Epigenome? Simply put, the…

Using dbSNP and ClinVar to Classify Gene Variants

Using dbSNP and ClinVar to Classify Gene Variants

As we discussed previously, the gaps in our understanding of the human genome make variant classification an extremely difficult job. However, with each passing day our knowledge increases, and the tools to help us become increasingly more efficient. Let’s pick up where we left off in our first article about variants. After checking Ensemble to…

A Beginner’s Guide to Single-Cell RNA Sequencing

A Beginner’s Guide to Single-Cell RNA Sequencing

Since our early steps in Science we have been told that every cell in our body has the exact same genetic information (minus one or two alterations). Therefore, the great variety of cells in our body comes from gene expression – each cell must express one set of genes and repress another set to function…

How to Use Ensembl to Classify Gene Variants

How to Use Ensembl to Classify Gene Variants

Even though our knowledge about genomes grows daily, and in huge leaps, we sometimes need to remind ourselves that DNA was first isolated in 1869 and its molecular structure was only identified in 1953. The PCR reaction only hit the scientific community as recently as 1983! So even though we are growing fast, we are…

An Introduction to Nanopore Sequencing

An Introduction to Nanopore Sequencing

DNA sequencing is the most powerful method to reveal genetic variations at the molecular level, leading to a better understanding of our body in physiological settings, and pathological conditions. It is the beginning of the long road towards better diagnostics and personalized medicine. Even though there have been great advances in DNA sequencing technologies there…

Oligo Purification Methods: How, Why and for What?

Oligo Purification Methods: How, Why and for What?

Who amongst us hasn’t had the need for oligonucleotides in an experiment? It is a cornerstone in many procedures and techniques. Depending on the goal, it can be very hard to design just the right oligo for your experiment.  Oligos must have the right length; the right amount of C-G, T-A; they can’t form secondary…

Demystifying NGS: Depth Coverage and Deep Sequencing

Demystifying NGS: Depth Coverage and Deep Sequencing

NGS is not a three-headed monster. However, it can be a difficult concept to grasp—especially when you are getting started.  There is a lot of new terminology, and a whole new world to discover: both in the lab bench and in interpreting your results. It helps to start somewhere. So, let’s start! Depth of Coverage…

How to Focus When Your Colleagues Are Wreaking Havoc Around You

How to Focus When Your Colleagues Are Wreaking Havoc Around You

Now, we all love our colleagues – true, some are more loveable than others, but still. However, sometimes they can be very noisy. Especially when you need to focus.  For example, when you are in the middle of some important breakthrough, or trying to decipher a cryptic, but important paper. If you work in a…

Variations on the ChIP-seq Theme and Challenges of Befriending Large Datasets

Variations on the ChIP-seq Theme and Challenges of Befriending Large Datasets

ChIP-seq has proved amazing. Through these new techniques, we can obtain big datasets in a matter of days, making our lives in the lab easier and more efficient. ChiP-seq combines chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays with whole genome sequencing. This makes it possible to understand where proteins bind to DNA and epigenetic modifications. Humans are not only their…

7 Tips for using Magnetic Beads for DNA Cleanup

7 Tips for using Magnetic Beads for DNA Cleanup

Whatever molecular biology techniques you use, at some point you will have to clean up your DNA samples to remove things like buffers, contaminants and nucleotides from you precious sample, so that you have perfectly pure DNA for your downstream experiments. Magnetic beads are one DNA cleanup option. They are simple and effective—and their reassuringly…