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History of Biology

A Short History of Cell Biology

Our journey to understanding that single cells are the fundamental units of life traces back to groundbreaking scientific milestones, such as the invention of the microscope, which revealed individual cells, and advancements like the discovery of fluorescent proteins and electron microscopes that have enriched our insights into the intricate structure and function of cells. Dive into a short history of cell biology.

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Southern (blot) exposure remains a useful technique

At a meeting recently, I asked two PhD molecular biologists about the last time they used a Southern blot. After nearly a minute of unrestrained laughter, they asked “Who on earth still does that?” “Maybe for a very, very specific use,” conjectured one of the scientists. When I asked the scientist who taught me the…

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How Plasmids Became Embroiled in The Cold War

The humble plasmid. We now know it so well, but as little as 60 years ago the field of extra-chromosomal heredity was decidedly murky. Not only was it the subject of great debate, conflict and friction within the scientific community, it was even used as a politico-religious tool during the Cold War! The origin of…

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