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Catriona Paul

Catriona has a PhD in Reproductive Biology from the University of Edinburgh. A highly motivated and versatile scientist with over 16 years of research and writing experience. Educated to PhD level with international postdoctoral experience and success in obtaining fellowships both in the UK and Canada. A dedicated and highly organized professional with excellent team management skills and ability to work to tight schedules. Talented at critical analysis and great attention to detail. Motivated by challenge and a passion for scientific knowledge with a great interest in scientific and medical communication. Proficient and proactive team player and also comfortable as an independent worker.

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Articles by Catriona Paul

Image of a iced coffee (Frappe) as a play on words for the microscopy technique FRAP

Fun With FRAP! Fluorescence Recovery After Photobleaching for Confocal Microscopy

By Catriona Paul | February 1, 2021

If you’re thinking FRAP is short for frappuccino then you need to read this article. Discover the history, how it works, and why you’d want it in your confocal toolbox

Herzenberg and the Invention of the FACS Machine

Herzenberg and the Invention of the FACS Machine

By Catriona Paul | July 21, 2015

The flow cytometer that we have all grown to know and love may have only come into its own in the 1990’s, but who would have known that the first cell sorter was invented as early as the 1950’s? With the recent death of one of the key developers of fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS),…

Making The Most Out Of Your Commute To The Lab

Making The Most Out Of Your Commute To The Lab

By Catriona Paul | November 19, 2014

Power nap anyone? Depending on how long your commute is, and what type of transport you use, you could make your commute useful. If you are taking public transport, you can use that time to answer those emails you don’t have time to get to at the office/lab, or to catch up on reading some…

Using Flow Cytometry for Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer

Using Flow Cytometry for Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer

By Catriona Paul | November 4, 2014

A marriage of sorts Fluorescence resonance energy transfer, or FRET, is often done using a microscope, which means it can be difficult to analyze large numbers of cells in one sitting. One way to overcome this, is by combining FRET with fluorescent-activated cell sorting (FACS), giving you a high-throughput method to screen for protein interactions…

Protocols: Where Do You Get Yours?

Protocols: Where Do You Get Yours?

By Catriona Paul | September 29, 2014

Trying a new protocol is always a little daunting, especially if no one else in your lab is doing it. So it’s always good to find a tried and tested protocol from a reputable source before getting your hands dirty. Or at least one that can start you off in the right direction. It is…

accuracy in pipetting. photograph of arrows on target

How to Check the Accuracy of Your Pipette

By Catriona Paul | July 21, 2014

How much time do you spend thinking about the accuracy of your pipette? Probably not much. It’s one of those things that get brushed aside in the heat of experimentation. Pipetting accuracy though, is critical to successful experiments–especially in sensitive experiments. For example, qPCR relies upon accurate pipetting—calculations depend on having the same amount of…

10 Useful Tips For Improving Your Sorting Experiments

By Catriona Paul | July 1, 2014

After a very naïve start in flow cytometry thinking that published protocols will work without fault – needless to say, that did not work out in my favor – I realize now that following a few simple steps can go a long way, and will undoubtedly save you time in the end. So, here are…

An Introduction to Gating in Flow Cytometry

An Introduction to Gating in Flow Cytometry

By Catriona Paul | June 17, 2014

What is one of the first things you do when you sit down at the flow cytometer and start looking at your cells? You start drawing polygons and setting gates. To the neophyte the gating process can look a little random – why do you exclude those dots but not these?  But gating in flow…

Take Care of Your Tools: How to Clean a Pipette

Take Care of Your Tools: How to Clean a Pipette

By Catriona Paul | May 26, 2014

Like a Jedi’s light saber, your pipette is an extension of your arm and the lifeline to your (lab) existence. You probably should give it a little TLC once in a while to keep it free from contaminants.  Especially if you are doing experiments involving things like gene expression analysis. Sure, you can use filter…

10 Favorite Online Tools for Molecular Biology

10 Favorite Online Tools for Molecular Biology

By Catriona Paul | May 5, 2014

What did we do before the internet? And where would we be without handy online molecular biology tools? Apparently in the ‘olden days’ doing a simple gene or protein alignment required programs that used dynamic programming algorithms such as the Needleman-Wunsch and Smith-Waterman algorithms. These required long processing times and the use of supercomputers or…

What is Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy?

What is Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy?

By Catriona Paul | April 22, 2014

Fluorescent microscopy not only makes our images look good, it also allows us to gain a better understanding of cells, structures and tissue. With confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) we can find out even more. CLSM combines high-resolution optical imaging with depth selectivity which allows us to do optical sectioning. This means that we can…

Herzenberg and the Invention of the FACS Machine

Herzenberg and the Invention of the FACS Machine

By Catriona Paul | April 15, 2014

The flow cytometer that we have all grown to know and love may have only come into its own in the 1990’s, but who would have known that the first cell sorter was invented as early as the 1950’s? With the recent death of one of the key developers of fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS),…

freeze thaw dog, plasmon resonance implications

Freeze-Thaw Cycles and Why We Shouldn’t Do It

By Catriona Paul | April 14, 2014

Freeze-thaw—you know it’s bad for your samples, don’t you? While working in the lab, you have most likely heard someone say ‘aliquot your protein/cells/DNA/RNA to avoid too many freeze-thaw cycles.’ But do you actually understand why? You probably thought that avoiding freeze-thaw cycles had something to do with damaging cell structure as well as proteins…

The Bio Laboratory Olympics

The Bio Laboratory Olympics

By Catriona Paul | March 31, 2014

What better way to commemorate an Olympic year than to have your very own Lab Olympics? Lab Olympics can boost lab morale when it is low or inject some fun into your daily routine*. If you work in a large lab it is even better; you can pit guys against girls, postdocs against PhD students…

The Pros and Cons of a Life in Academic Science

The Pros and Cons of a Life in Academic Science

By Catriona Paul | March 17, 2014

The great thing about being a scientist is, well… that you get to be a scientist!  And it can be fun and rewarding. But being a scientist can be a nasty stressful business too. As I come to a turning point in my ‘academic career’, I find myself making mental notes of the pros and…

Image of a paraffin lamp to represent paraffin alternatives to tissue embedding in histology

Alternatives to Paraffin: Cryo and Resin Embedding for Histology

By Catriona Paul | January 9, 2014

Looking for paraffin alternatives for tissue embedding? Find out the benefits of cryo and resin tissue embedding and how they work.

Imgae of hand choosing between different colors, representing the differnet choices of counterstains for immunohistochemistry

Counterstaining for Immunohistochemistry: Choices, Choices…

By Catriona Paul | November 26, 2013

Counterstaining can have a big impact on your histology result. This short guide will introduce you to some available counterstains providing you with a few more choices.

image of masks to represent unmasking antigens

Antigen Retrieval Techniques For Immunohistochemistry: Unmask That Antigen!

By Catriona Paul | August 27, 2013

Did you know fixation can mask antigen sites in your sample? Discover how you can unmask them and get your signal back on track!

I’m Sticking With You: Four Coatings To Help Cells Stick To Microscopy Slides

I’m Sticking With You: Four Coatings To Help Cells Stick To Microscopy Slides

By Catriona Paul | August 6, 2013

Have you ever isolated a great little population of cells after days or months of trying, got truly excited about doing some immunofluorescence with them only to find out (at the very end) that all your cells washed away?! If this has happened to you, then look no further; we will introduce you to some…

Image of a child looking puzzled at a microscope to represent uncertainty as to what histology fixatives are doing to samples.

Histology Fixatives: What Do They Actually Do To Your Samples?

By Catriona Paul | May 28, 2013

Do you know what your histology fixatives are really doing to your samples? Read on to learn what happens to tissue treated with two common fixatives.

Getting Those Chromosomes To Spread- A Beginner’s Guide To Meiotic Chromosome Spreads

Getting Those Chromosomes To Spread- A Beginner’s Guide To Meiotic Chromosome Spreads

By Catriona Paul | April 9, 2013

So you want to do meiotic spreads do you? Maybe it’s to check if meiosis is progressing the way it should, or even to look for sites of DNA damage. Whatever the case this technique can be a little tricky at first, but once you learn a few tricks it’s like riding a bicycle- so…

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