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Genomics & Epigenetics

Introduction to Linux for High-Throughput Sequencing Analysis

So, you’ve spent time planning your high-throughput sequencing experiment. You’ve chosen how many replicates to use, deliberated about sequencing depth, and kept everything RNase-free. Now you have many gigabytes of data available. What’s next? While the first step of RNA-Seq analysis is aligning your sequencing reads to a reference genome, first you need to get…

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How to Follow up on a GWAS (Genome-Wide Association Study)

So, the genome-wide association study (GWAS) data for your disease of interest was published, and it has thrown up some very interesting associations. However, at this stage, bear in mind that this is only an association. Your project is to provide the link between the GWAS single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) and pathological changes. Where do…

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How Does Automated Electrophoresis Perform DNA Size Selection?

Anytime lab processes get automated by a sophisticated scientific instrument, there can be a “black box” effect, leading users to wonder what’s going on in there. For DNA electrophoresis, it’s no different. It’s easy to see what’s happening in a manual gel, but the automated gel-based DNA size selection platforms can be more mysterious. Automated…

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An Introduction to Shotgun Sequencing: Fire in the Hole

In the midst of all the cool new sequencing techniques and technologies out there today, you may have overlooked the tried and true method of Shotgun Sequencing. What is Shotgun Sequencing Anyway? Shotgun sequencing gets its name from the concept that a large sequence is essentially broken up in to many, many smaller pieces, similar…

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How to Choose The Appropriate Genomic NGS Data Simulator

Let’s say that you’ve just finished gathering your NGS reads and you’re going to simulate the introduction of random mutations at specific rates into the reads. Before you move on to the next step, you need to determine which NGS data simulator will get the job done. With the ever-increasing advancement of NGS in the…

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P19 to the Rescue: How to Increase Protein Expression in Agroinfiltration

Plants are just not green gods—they can be more. You can cost-effectively express your recombinant complex proteins in a plant system. More interestingly, plants are ideal systems for producing functional monoclonal antibodies, enzymes, and vaccine components! They can also be used for protein localization studies. To save time, you can transiently express your protein using…

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DNA Sizing Tutorial: When to Use Manual Gels, Beads, and More

There are several methods for size-selecting DNA fragments prior to sequencing. How do you choose which is best? Here’s a look at various options, plus considerations to help you determine when to use each one. Manual Gels Virtually every student in a biology lab knows how to prepare and cut a manual gel—but their ubiquity…

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The Ins & Outs of Illumina Sequencing

The future of personalized medicine depends on affordable DNA sequencing. In the race for the $1,000 genome, several sequencer manufacturers are working on making equipment that can sequence DNA and RNA faster and more accurately. But so far, only one company – San Diego, California-based Illumina – has US FDA regulatory approval to use its…

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RNA-seq: The Challenges to Diving Right In

It’s the hot new technique. With a single procedure, you can get information about all RNA transcripts at once! It sounds like a dream. While RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) has opened the door to exciting new questions, scientists interested in pursuing this technique should be aware of the roadblocks ahead of them. While RNA-seq can be…

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For Better NGS Assemblies, Use More Precise DNA Size Selection

It may not be intuitive that a sample preparation step like DNA size selection would have a significant impact on downstream data analysis, but NGS users have proven that it does. Indeed, the precision of your size selection (or lack thereof) can make or break a genome assembly. Consider the alignment challenge for paired-end reads:…

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Nanopore Sequencing: An Update

People would have said that a USB sequencer not much bigger than a memory stick which could sequence genomes in 50kb+ read-lengths was impossible “’Star Trek’ technology!” Now, that futuristic technology is here.

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How to Express Proteins Across Kingdoms: Prokaryotes vs Eukaryotes

In the sci-fi novel Terminal World by Alistair Reynolds, a planet consists of zones with defined characteristics of matter interactions on a subatomic level. These conditions permit different levels of technology sophistication in various zones. For example, in the “Steamville zone” nothing more complicated than steam engines works – electronic schemes fuse irreversibly. Something like…

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Nanopore Sequencing

A disruptive sequencing technology Every new generation, a new concept is born and can completely reshape the landscape of biomedical research. Nanopore sequencing technology, although still at its infancy, is beginning to look like a “game-changer.” It’s a revolutionary concept in sequencing in which strands of nucleic acids are fed through a tiny pore (nanopore)…

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All in the Chip: Ion Torrent Sequencers

Ion Torrent technology, when it was introduced in 2010, was one of several machines that promised to revolutionize genetics. These were benchtop machines that showed their prowess in quickly sequencing smaller exomes and other DNA samples (about 10-20 million bases per run, compared to Illumina HiSeq, which could read 250 billion bases in a run).…

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Navigating the Sea of Human Genetics, Part I

Ahoy mateys! At my workplace we’ve recently become EXTREMELY excited about a resource called the HuGE Navigator. It’s so great that it’s going to take me a couple of articles to highlight its features. Hop on board to learn a little about it! So What is HuGE Navigator? HuGE Navigator is an integrated set of…

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Learn-omics! What is that “Omics” I keep Stumbling Upon?

Genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics – words that in 2015 sound very familiar even to a freshman in any biology field. Although most have heard those words before, I keep encountering students or even post-graduates who find it difficult to explain what they are. So, to make things easier here is a peek behind the curtains…

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2015 Staff Picks: Next Generation Sequencing

Celebrate the coming New Year with what’s next: Next Generation Sequencing. Our stunning (and wildly intelligent—if I do say so myself) editorial team picked out our favorites from the past year. We hope that you find them as interesting and helpful as we do!   Jen Redig, Managing Editor Free Resources for Teaching Yourself to…

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