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Ilona Marecko

I received my PhD in Cell and Tissue Biology at the University of Belgrade, Serbia. My work is focused on molecular pathology, cancer genetics and translational research. I always loved reading about science as much as I loved the bench work, but I began writing purely by chance and I still surprise myself sometimes by how much I enjoy it.

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Articles by Ilona Marecko


Small Differences that Matter: Detecting Microsatellite Polymorphisms

By Ilona Marecko | March 21, 2018

If you have any training in genetics, chances are that during the course of your education you ran into those funny little sequences called microsatellites. These are repeated tandem motifs 1-6 nucleotides long, scattered all over our genomes. These used to be called “junk DNA,” because researchers thought that the repeats served no purpose. Nowadays,…


An Introduction to In-Gel Zymography

By Ilona Marecko | October 26, 2017

Enzymes are special among proteins. It is not enough to detect them. You need to know their activity level. If you have devoted a substantial part of your research to studying proteases, like I did, you’ll know how crucial it is to choose an appropriate enzyme assay. There’s a heap of lab techniques out there…

FISHing for miRNAs in Archived Tissues? Yes, It Is Possible!

By Ilona Marecko | July 6, 2017

We use fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) techniques routinely to detect DNA or RNA sequences in tissues, but what about micro RNAs (miRNAs)? No worries, FISH is now optimized to meet the challenge. To help you get going with the method, here’s what you need to know. The first thing that comes to mind when…


Detecting Cell Apoptosis on Tissue Slides

By Ilona Marecko | May 17, 2017

Apoptosis, or programmed cell death, is a physiological process in which individual cells are set to die without harming their environment. It involves a cascade of complex and tightly regulated cellular events. Detecting apoptosis on tissue slides, involves either detecting the molecular participants of these events, or the morphological changes that occur on the cellular…

In Situ Zymography: Let’s Catch that Enzyme in Action!

By Ilona Marecko | March 21, 2017

In situ zymography (ISZ) is the best choice to study proteases. Proteases are a challenge to study as proteases are extremely potent enzymes. As such, they need to be controlled at multiple levels to prevent them from being unleashed and making a cellular mess. Regulation of their activity occurs at virtually all levels: transcriptional control,…

semiquantitative scoring

Analyze Immunostained Slides with Semiquantitative Scoring

By Ilona Marecko | March 1, 2017

A  routine task in the lab is to investigate the presence of your favorite protein in a range of histological samples. No doubt, staining your tissue sections using good old immunohistochemistry (IHC) would be your first choice. You just got to love a technique that has celebrated its 70th birthday, and is still used in…

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