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Cells and Model Organisms

How to Transform Microalgae

What is the first image which comes to mind when you think about microalgae? Green scum that covers the surfaces of ponds? Unsightly stains on pavements and walls? Far from being a nuisance in ponds, lakes, drains and on surfaces, microalgae are fascinating microorganisms which are used to understand various biological processes. Microalgae have been…

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Assays: Wellular to Cellular

Out with the Old… Well-based assays have been the standard for common laboratory experiments, such as fluorescence cytometry. A researcher places a small amount of sample into a well on a plate and assays it, which produces a single data point. However, this so-called single data point is actually an average of the measurements of…

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An Invisible Bug Ate My Experiment: What to Do about Greenhouse Infestation

In theory, the greenhouse is a controlled laboratory environment where only the organisms you’ve introduced live. But in practice, just as other laboratory environments suffer from ‘unwelcomed guests’ (e.g. contamination and infestation), greenhouses are not always as sterile as you would like. To avoid any experimental issues, you have to be vigilant about these pesky…

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The Mysterious World of Macrophages: How to Harness Them for Your Research

The Mysterious World of Macrophages: How to Harness Them for Your Research In this tutorial, you will learn: How to work with mouse and human macrophages The best methods for culturing macrophages The difference between M1 and M2 macrophages, and how to differentiate each population from monocytes What data to expect based on the conditions…

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How to Feed Fruit Fly Larvae Small Molecules

Generally speaking, fruit flies are a great model system. Not only are they small, thus taking up very little space in the lab, but their adult lifespan is only 40-60 days, so you can track age-dependent changes without having to wait months and months. Fruit flies also display complex behaviors and more than 75% of…

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Mastering the Art of Isolating Pure Alveolar Epithelial Cells

Alveolar epithelial cells (AECs) are one of the major types of lung cells that can be used to analyze the response of lung epithelia to external agents. AECs from mouse lungs can thus be utilized as an in vitro model of diseases. AECs are indispensable for studying lung development, injury, and repair. People working on…

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Emerging Model Microorganisms Take to the Stage

Estimates indicate that there may be up to 2 billion living species of organisms, each with conserved and unique biological mechanisms that are vital for survival. How do scientists understand them all? Enter model organisms. Model organisms, as the name implies, are living things which are used as representative models for understanding other organisms. They…

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Gender Reveal: How to Determine the Gender of Drosophila Larvae

Drosophila melanogaster, otherwise known as the common fruit fly, is one of the oldest and most powerful model systems used in biology. Fruit flies are cheap to maintain, and have a shorter life cycle and higher fecundity than mammalian models. They also have extraordinary genetic tools with which to investigate many molecular and cellular questions.…

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Greenhouse Maintenance: Keeping Your (Green) Laboratory Clean

Cleaning the lab is one of the hardest jobs because it’s dull and repetitive. However, nobody in their sound scientific mind would argue that this can be avoided. Dust accumulates bugs, bacteriophages, and RNAses that can stray into your experiment and ruin it. Old boxes piling up is a fire hazard. Anybody who refuses to…

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10 Tips on Mating Mice Successfully

Tiny, furry, spinning around a wheel – few creatures are as endearing as the lab mouse. Trying to obtain reproductive success with them, however, can leave you spinning your own wheels. Why is it that what works so well for the animal facility staff, or experienced technician, seems to be beyond your reach? After all,…

Sweet talk ^_^Read More

3 Ways to Use Flow Cytometry for Your Activation Experiment

Studying immune cell activation allows scientists to understand the way the body mounts a response to a specific infection, autoimmune diseases, or cancer. This knowledge plays a direct role in developing more efficacious vaccines and therapies. When tasked with capturing information on immune cell activation, flow cytometry remains the gold standard due to its versatility,…

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The Rites of Passage: Subculturing Microorganisms

Anyone who has worked with microorganisms, be it bacteria or yeast, is familiar with subculturing – the act of transferring some cells from a previous culture to a fresh growth medium. You do it either to reset the growth phase of your culture or to increase the biomass for downstream experiments. But there’s more to…

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Reduce, Reuse, Refine Your Animal Model Resources with the ‘3Rs’

Russell and Burch first described the ‘3Rs’ concept in 1959. It acknowledges that animals are a valuable resource through which great discoveries can be made, but it is up to you to use them ethically and judiciously. The ultimate benefit is that people and animals will be able to live longer, happier, healthier lives! So…

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The art of generating single cell clones

Making mutations in mammalian cell lines is becoming much easier, especially with advanced molecular engineering techniques such as CRISPR/Cas9, among others. However, after making a mutation, do you know if all of the cells contain the same mutation with the same expression profiles, and are therefore homogenous? If you have 100% transfection efficiency using a…

This is what Salmonella looks likeRead More

How to Eliminate 99% of the Water from Your Culture, or Solid State Fermentation

When you think about culturing bacteria or fungi in large quantities, you likely envision flasks shaking or maybe bioreactors filled to the brim with liquid media. But did you know that many bacteria and fungi can grow on solid carriers without being submerged in liquid? Enter solid state fermentation (SSF). In this article, I’ll introduce…

2017.10.14 Workshop: Grow your own FungiRead More

How to Fool-“Proof” Your Experiment: An Introduction to Yeast Plasmids

A lot of research experiments require the use of a eukaryotic host as opposed to E. coli due to its greater conformity and suitability in expressing eukaryotic proteins. This is the reason why yeast cells have gained importance as cloning and expression hosts. For protein expression studies to hybrid screens, many applications require insertion and…

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Breaking the Wall: How to Make Protoplasts

Non-mammalian cells, including bacteria, fungi, and plant cells, have a cell wall that maintains the shape of the cell. These cell walls are particularly strong, due to their composition as they contain polymers that create a rigid sphere around the vulnerable cytoplasm contained inside the plasma membrane. In bacteria, the cell wall includes several layers…

Herbaceous Dicot Stem: Cortex Collenchyma in Older RichinusRead More

“Viable But Non-Culturable (VBNC)”: Zombies of the Bacterial World

Imagine that you want to test the efficiency of an antimicrobial treatment in inhibiting a certain bacterial pathogen. As part of the experiment, you expose the bacteria to the treatment and monitor the cultivability of the microorganism by counting the number of colony forming units (CFU) formed on culture media. If the microorganism is sensitive…

"Viable But Non-Culturable (VBNC)": Zombies of the Bacterial WorldRead More

How to Ensure Your Cell-Based Assays Are Reproducible

How to Ensure Your Cell-Based Assays Are Reproducible Join us in this webinar featuring Dr. Vicki Doronina as she takes you through vital components of assay design.In this tutorial, you will find: How to choose between immortalized cells and primary cells for your assay How to avoid sources of bias in your cell-based assays How…

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Couples Counselling for Zebrafish: How to Optimize Breeding Efficiency

It’s Sunday morning, the sun has just begun to rise, and you find yourself on the way to the lab (again!), sipping hot coffee and melancholically thinking of your abandoned bed. But something is different this time. Today, the freezing-cold wind blowing from behind is not the only motivation pushing you to sacrifice another weekend in…

Couples Counseling for ZebrafishRead More
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