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Cindy Duarte Castelão

Cindy received a Biomedical degree in 2011, and a MsC in Molecular Biology and Genetics in 2011. Her career so far has been in the Molecular Genetics field, working closely with deep-sequencing techniques, and how these techniques can help to unveil the secrets of the genome and epigenome. Join me in uncovering the mystery. Publications by Cindy Duarte Castelão

Articles by Cindy Duarte Castelão:

Multiplex Ligation-dependent Probe Amplification (MLPA)

Multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) is a molecular technique developed by MRC-Holland back in 2002. In a nutshell, MLPA is a sensitive technique that allows quantification of nucleic acid sequences, quickly and efficiently. It is performed in many laboratories worldwide, and can be applied to detect copy number changes (like deletions or duplications) of a…

DNA sequence MLPA
27 Dec 2018 DNA / RNA Manipulation and Analysis&New England Biolabs&PCR, qPCR and qRT-PCR

Studying the Epigenome by Next Generation Sequencing

The epigenome has been in the research spotlight, and for good reason. Not only has it been associated with the developmental stages of an organism, but epigenetic alterations lead to disorders and have been linked to many human diseases. So, the question stands: what exactly is an epigenome? What Is the Epigenome? Simply put, the…

DNA sequence
14 Dec 2018 Genomics and Epigenetics

Using dbSNP and ClinVar to Classify Gene Variants

As we discussed previously, the gaps in our understanding of the human genome make variant classification an extremely difficult job. However, with each passing day our knowledge increases, and the tools to help us become increasingly more efficient. Let’s pick up where we left off in our first article about variants. After checking Ensemble to…

18 Oct 2018 Genomics and Epigenetics

A Beginner’s Guide to Single-Cell RNA Sequencing

Since our early steps in Science we have been told that every cell in our body has the exact same genetic information (minus one or two alterations). Therefore, the great variety of cells in our body comes from gene expression – each cell must express one set of genes and repress another set to function…

Small child hiding in hallway, playing hide and seek
18 May 2018 Genomics and Epigenetics

How to Use Ensembl to Classify Gene Variants

Even though our knowledge about genomes grows daily, and in huge leaps, we sometimes need to remind ourselves that DNA was first isolated in 1869 and its molecular structure was only identified in 1953. The PCR reaction only hit the scientific community as recently as 1983! So even though we are growing fast, we are…

02 Jan 2018 Genomics and Epigenetics

How to Survive a Difficult PCR

I am sure many of you have been there. Everything is going smoothly, and your project seems to be working out perfectly. And then there is this one PCR. For some reason, it just won’t work. It is a black dot on your record. Even though I have a scientific mind, I have to be…

12 Oct 2017 PCR, qPCR and qRT-PCR

Next Gen Sequencing Challenges

Next generation sequencing opened the doors to our genome. It gives massive amounts of information in a week – whereas Sanger sequencing takes thrice as long, and causes lab lesions due to the abusive use of pipettes. Indeed, with minimal hands-on procedures we obtain a lot of data. But nothing in Science is ever easy.…

05 Sep 2017 Genomics and Epigenetics

Maxam-Gilbert Sequencing: What Was It, and Why It Isn’t Anymore

In the mid-1970s, two methods were developed for directly sequencing DNA: the Maxam-Gilbert sequencing (or chemical sequencing) method and the Sanger chain-termination method. Indeed, in 1980, both Walter Gilbert and Frederick Sanger were awarded The Nobel Prize in Chemistry for “their contributions concerning the determination of base sequences in nucleic acids”. Actually, each got a…

maxam-gilbert sequencing
26 Jul 2017 Genomics and Epigenetics

Oligo Purification Methods: How, Why and for What?

Who amongst us hasn’t had the need for oligonucleotides in an experiment? It is a cornerstone in many procedures and techniques. Depending on the goal, it can be very hard to design just the right oligo for your experiment.  Oligos must have the right length; the right amount of C-G, T-A; they can’t form secondary…

oligo purification
18 Jul 2017 PCR, qPCR and qRT-PCR

An Introduction to Nanopore Sequencing

DNA sequencing is the most powerful method to reveal genetic variations at the molecular level, leading to a better understanding of our body in physiological settings, and pathological conditions. It is the beginning of the long road towards better diagnostics and personalized medicine. Even though there have been great advances in DNA sequencing technologies there…

nanopore sequencing
18 Jul 2017 Genomics and Epigenetics

Demystifying NGS: Depth Coverage and Deep Sequencing

NGS is not a three-headed monster. However, it can be a difficult concept to grasp—especially when you are getting started.  There is a lot of new terminology, and a whole new world to discover: both in the lab bench and in interpreting your results. It helps to start somewhere. So, let’s start! Depth of Coverage…

deep sequencing
18 Apr 2017 Genomics and Epigenetics

How to Focus When Your Colleagues Are Wreaking Havoc Around You

Now, we all love our colleagues – true, some are more loveable than others, but still. However, sometimes they can be very noisy. Especially when you need to focus.  For example, when you are in the middle of some important breakthrough, or trying to decipher a cryptic, but important paper. If you work in a…

29 Mar 2017 Dealing with Fellow Scientists

Variations on the ChIP-seq Theme and Challenges of Befriending Large Datasets

ChIP-seq has proved amazing. Through these new techniques, we can obtain big datasets in a matter of days, making our lives in the lab easier and more efficient. ChiP-seq combines chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays with whole genome sequencing. This makes it possible to understand where proteins bind to DNA and epigenetic modifications. Humans are not only their…

31 Jan 2017 Genomics and Epigenetics

7 Tips for using Magnetic Beads for DNA Cleanup

Whatever molecular biology techniques you use, at some point you will have to clean up your DNA samples to remove things like buffers, contaminants and nucleotides from you precious sample, so that you have perfectly pure DNA for your downstream experiments. Magnetic beads are one DNA cleanup option. They are simple and effective—and their reassuringly…

03 Nov 2016 DNA / RNA Manipulation and Analysis

How to Fit in With a New Laboratory Group

Change is never easy, especially when you are trying to fit in with a new laboratory group. Here are some tips to make your transition bearable. Or even pleasant.

new laboratory group
09 Jul 2016 Survive and Thrive

Want NGS Success? Consider These Three Factors

NGS is still something a little scary for most operators. Mainly because of the price, which can make the pipette, in the hand of the best of us, shake a little with fear. And even though the protocols have a tendency for getting simpler, faster, and more appropriate for a routine, there are still crucial…

09 Jul 2016 Genomics and Epigenetics

How to Choose a PhD Topic

Choosing a PhD topic can be very hard. There are a lot of things to consider from the subject to the supervisor. Here are some tips to help you choose. Find out what you really like This is the first topic because it is the most important. My first advice would be to get some…

PhD topic
09 Jul 2016 Career Development & Networking&Lab Statistics & Math
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