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Alex Reis

In a previous life, Alex Reis was a research fellow in the University of Newcastle (UK) in the field of cell and molecular biology, following a PhD in embryology. After a ‘slight’ change of career, she is now a freelance science writer specializing in biology and genetics, but open to other interesting subjects!

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Articles by Alex Reis

Should PCR cloning be a part of your molecular cloning toolkit?

Should PCR cloning be a part of your molecular cloning toolkit?

By Alex Reis | July 2, 2014

While the classic approach to molecular cloning – using restriction enzymes to excise a DNA fragment of interest – is as useful as ever, new techniques that make cloning faster, easier and more versatile are available. As a smart molecular biologist, you should be examining each of them to see whether or not adding them…

When Gibson Assembly is the best option: a case study with P. falciparum

When Gibson Assembly is the best option: a case study with P. falciparum

By Alex Reis | February 26, 2014

Malaria continues to be a leading case of mortality worldwide. It is estimated that the parasitic disease, carried by infected mosquitoes, spread to over 200 million cases in 2010, resulting in 660,000 deaths. No vaccine yet Unfortunately there’s no vaccine yet! For the time being, treatment relies heavily on the use of a limited number…

The Future of PCR

The Future of PCR

By Alex Reis | February 17, 2014

After 30 years, what’s next for PCR? In the 80s, saying you were doing “PCR” was enough for everybody to know what kind of experiment you were performing. Today, the “PCR family” has gained so many new members that it can be confusing to decipher which type of PCR you’re using. Developed in 1983 by…

10 ways to improve blunt-end ligations

10 ways to improve blunt-end ligations

By Alex Reis | January 20, 2014

Blunt-end cloning involves the ligation of DNA fragments – usually between a plasmid vector and an insert – whose terminal ends are not “sticky”. Performing these ligations is notoriously difficult, particularly with large DNA fragments. But it is possible. And in this article I’ll give you some tips that I hope will increase your chances…

Choosing the right plasmid vector: A Guide for beginners

Choosing the right plasmid vector: A Guide for beginners

By Alex Reis | January 13, 2014

If you’re picking up a list of available plasmid vectors for the first time, it can be mind-blowing to decide on the best one for your experiment. What cloning sites do you need? What restriction enzyme sites? What insert size is possible? Let me help you with some pointers about what factors to look out…

Breaking The Code Of The Mummies With NGS: A Hallowe’en Special!

By Alex Reis | October 31, 2013

Ancient Egyptians believed in the afterlife. For them, death was merely a passage from a temporary body into a permanent spiritual existence. However, the preservation of the physical body was crucial for a happy eternity. The answer: artificial mummification. It’s a secret For most of us, the word ‘mummy’ immediately brings to mind images of…

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