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Colin Shepherd

Colin began his career with a BSc (Hons) degree in Biochemistry and then a PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology, both obtained from the University of Glasgow, UK. Colin then moved into the field of human molecular genetics with several postdoctoral positions at Newcastle University, UK. Laboratory techniques including PCR, cloning, qPCR, western blotting, cell culture and CRISPR gene editing were employed to characterise disease associated SNPs. In his free time, Colin has contributed articles to BiteSizeBio since 2016 and has since become Scientific Editor at Fios Genomics, a data analysis company in Edinburgh, UK. Google Scholar page: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=PXFLZ4MAAAAJ&hl=en

Articles by Colin Shepherd:

Dead Useful: CRISPR-Cas9 Epigenome Editing

Given the rapid pace with which genome editing technologies have been developed and adopted, it comes as no surprise that the original CRISPR-Cas9 system has been successfully modified by some very clever scientists. No longer are we limited to the ‘simple’ case of editing the genetic sequence of your biological system of choice, but there…

29 Nov 2019 Genomics and Epigenetics&Sigma-Aldrich® Advanced Genomics

CRISPR-Cas9 Genome Editing: Weighing the Pros and Cons

Genome editing is a hugely powerful tool which can help you to address a multitude of questions in your research. However, it is not necessarily the best tool for the job in every situation. Below is a discussion of the main advantages and disadvantages associated using CRISPR-Cas9 for genome editing. The Pros It’s Simple to…

23 Sep 2019 Genomics and Epigenetics&Sigma-Aldrich® Advanced Genomics

How to Confirm Your CRISPR-cas9 Genome Editing Was Successful

You have sweated at the lab bench and in the cell culture suite for weeks (or more likely months) to plan and optimize for successful genome editing. Finally, you’ve got the guide RNAs and the vectors into the cells. Yes! But your work is not yet finished. You can’t take for granted the fact that…

04 Sep 2019 Genomics and Epigenetics&Sigma-Aldrich® Advanced Genomics

Quantifying Allele-Specific Gene Expression Using PCR-Based Methods

Allele-specific expression can occur for various biological reasons, such as gene imprinting, or differential transcription caused by mutations, or single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), or epigenetic alterations. Traditional end-point RT-PCR or qRT-PCR-based methods only detect overall levels of mRNA expression from a given gene rather than mRNA transcripts originating from individuals. If your project requires more…

16 Nov 2017 PCR, qPCR and qRT-PCR

How to perform cell synchronization in specific cell cycle phases

The cell cycle has been very well documented over the years because of its dysregulation in diseases such as cancer. Many different processes contribute to cell growth and replication, which is ultimately controlled by a series of tightly controlled cell cycle phases. For some areas of research, especially within drug discovery and cancer research, cell synchronization in…

14 Mar 2017 Lab Statistics & Math&Flow Cytometry

Investigating an Expression Quantitative Trait Locus (eQTL)

Thousands upon thousands of genetic variants are now associated with every disease and trait you can possibly think of. Such traits range from cancers to blood pressure, intelligence, height, weight… and many more! This is largely because of the advent of genome-wide association studies (GWAS). However, the vast majority of genetic loci associated with these traits are…

07 Feb 2017 Genomics and Epigenetics&Sigma-Aldrich® Advanced Genomics&Software and Online Tools

Be More Objective in Your Approach to Science

Part of the fun of science is the opportunity to conjure up hypotheses and ways in which to test them. Of course, being scientists, our ideas are highly thought out and logical. We aim to test the hypothesis which we think is the most likely explanation using the available supporting evidence. In addition, it is…

16 Jan 2017 Personal Development

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…

16 Nov 2016 Genomics and Epigenetics&Sigma-Aldrich® Advanced Genomics

How to Approach your First Experiments as a New PhD Student

For many students, a PhD project is the first opportunity to really sink your teeth into your very own research project over a long period of time. This initial period is exciting but can also be a little daunting. Where do you begin? How do you actually design your first experiments? I mean, what are…

first experiments
17 Oct 2016 Survive and Thrive
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