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Optimal Conditions for Live-Cell Imaging

Live-cell imaging is the investigation of dynamic physiological processes in living cells using time-lapse imaging from milliseconds to hours. Live-cell imaging turns multiple snapshots to movies, which is in contrast to fixed-cell imaging that examines cellular activity at a time point. Typical applications of live-cell imaging that are used to study kinetic events include enzyme…

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Surviving the Big Chill: Freezing and Thawing Mammalian Cells

Cryopreservation is crucial to long-term maintenance of cells. Not even the most diligent and dedicated scientist is capable of maintaining a cell line day in and day out for years. Additionally, cells can change properties, senesce, or, ooops (!) become contaminated as the length of time in culture increases. Freezing and resuscitating your cells can…

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Get Great Yields by Optimizing Your Bacterial Cultures

Bacterial cultures may be much easier to grow than mammalian cells, but if your yields are suboptimal there are plenty of parameters to play with. Here we list a few of the things you should consider to maximize your culture growth. Shaking speed Shaking is performed to allow aeration of your culture, which is of…

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Buffering Your Life with Wellness

I don’t think I need to say that life as a grad student is hard… but I did anyway. When you’re in grad school there are many demands on your time and energy. Although research productivity is generally the main interest of PIs and grad students, it only relates to one, albeit major, area of…

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I Put a Smell on You: Next Generation Sequencing Sniffs Out Olfactory Signals

Chances are you spent some of your teenage years fretting about your social status. You may have even taken steps to change your status. New haircut. New clothes. These are very human behaviors: our complex social constructs include innate desires to broadcast information about ourselves to our peers. The nose knows Science has added layers…

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How do you Solve a Problem like Pseudoscience?

If you need hair advice are you more likely to scour the Trichological Society’s website, or head over to Pinterest? In the age of the search button, people have access to all sorts of “information,” and knowledge is power. No subject or discipline is shielded from social media, and now more than ever the public…

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Beginners Guide to Setting Up Migration and Invasion Assays

So you have a gene or protein that you think may be involved in migration or invasion and the next step is to embark on migration assays. These assays are useful for testing fundamental migratory processes, such as embryonic development, immune response, metastasis and angiogenesis. For a long time these have been an invaluable mainstay…

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Outgrown the Roost: A Quick Protocol for Passaging Adherent Cells

Your cells have dutifully “sat down”, stuck to the bottom of the dish and replicated, replicated, replicated. You see a swarm of cells that have reached confluency and filled the entire plate. It is time to split them. This can be a relatively easy ritual, but missteps can lead to dead floating cells and the…

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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…

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Is Your Bacterial Culture Still Growing? A Primer on OD­600 Measurements

This article is for anyone who has ever wondered, “How do I know when my bacterial culture is ‘done’ growing? When should I harvest my cells?” Bacterial Growth Curves Review Let’s start by reviewing the 4 basic phases of a bacterial growth curve: log phase, lag phase, stationary phase, and death phase (Figure 1). A…

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How To Fix Adherent Cells For Microscopy And Imaging

Many cell lines commonly used in research are adherent, meaning they attach and grow on a surface rather than just hanging out in suspension. If you wish to perform imaging of adherent cells, such as to undertake cancer cell microscopy, you need to fix them to your microscope slides. Luckily for you- this is fairly easy…

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Why You Should Defend Science

It’s probably safe to say that most people reading this article are big fans of science. As scientists, we love using rigorous methods to learn more about how the world works. So it may come as a shock to realize that science is often viewed as flawed, immoral or just plain wrong – especially when…

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Gel Filtration Chromatography Media: What You Need to Know

Do you use pre-packed Superdex 75 or Superdex 200 columns for gel filtration chromatography? Ever wonder if other media could better address your purification needs? Look no further. Your quest ends here! But if you’re looking for information on gel filtration principles, check out this earlier article. Choosing a Column for your Gel Filtration Experiment…

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AAV Production Part I: Tips for Setting Up

What is Adeno-Associated Virus? Adeno-associated virus (AAV) is a popular gene therapy vector. Different AAV serotypes infect different cell and tissue types with varying efficiency, so it’s a good idea to select the serotype most relevant to your work. The most commonly used AAV serotypes are 1, 2, 5, 6, 8, 9 and DJ, although…

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The Care and Keeping of Primary Murine B Cells

So you want to work with mouse B cells? Primary murine B cells are a difficult, yet fascinating system to work with and can help deepen your understanding of an immunological system. You can study many things with primary B cells, including: immune activation antibody production cell-cell interactions between immune cells and immune phenotype These…

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How to Overcome Minor Issues in Anchorage-Independent Assays

Anchorage-independent assays test the ability of cells to grow independent of a solid surface. The assay is used to check the malignant potential of cancer cells. Cancer researchers generally do this experiment for any kind of confirmation of the oncogenic potential of an oncogene or a tumor suppressor in cancer cells. However, we do encounter…

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How to Get Started with Algae

Do you know about algae and their potential in today’s world? Do you know how to work with algae? Algae are becoming increasingly important in the research world.

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How to Preserve Microorganisms: the long (and short) game

Given the importance of microorganisms as cell factories in biotechnological applications and as model organisms for the study of various biological processes, the preservation of microorganisms plays a key role in ensuring reproducible results and continuity in research. Maintaining a library of microbial stocks also enables microorganisms to be easily stored and retrieved, as compared…

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Five Ways to Help You Achieve Happiness in Graduate School

A number of studies have shown that work–life balance, as well as personal happiness, positively correlates with productivity, professional achievement and success. Looks like that happiness is not only a luxury but it might be a key ingredient for success.

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