Kick-Start Your Gut Microbiome Study in Four Easy Steps

Kick-Start Your Gut Microbiome Study in Four Easy Steps

Today, the gut microbiome is garnering a large amount of media attention for its role in human health and disease. From influencing immune responses to impact our brain, the gut microbiome is an important and necessary aspect of our life. So much so, that current investigations in the gut microbiome are focusing on developing biomarkers for…

Quantifying Individual Proteins Per Bacterial Cell

Quantifying Individual Proteins Per Bacterial Cell

I’m a simple molecular biologist. It’s awesome how computational biologists use math to reduce and rebuild biological phenomenon. In my own way, I also like to reduce my observations to numbers. As a budding biochemist, I need to assemble and quantify the players in my pathway to truly understand it. In particular, I am interested…

Why Isn’t My Culture Growing?  The S-Curve Explained

Why Isn’t My Culture Growing? The S-Curve Explained

Whether you work with human cell lines or microbes, their growth is governed by the same principles. I invite you to learn about something that lies at the base of any work with cell culture, whether cells have circular or linear chromosomes: the S-curve of the population growth. The length of each phase depends on…

Bacterial Transformation Troubleshooting for Beginners

Bacterial Transformation Troubleshooting for Beginners

The first time I did a transformation was when I worked with site directed mutagenesis. I cloned a protein sequence into the p15TVL vector, created my mutants (but that’s another story), and was finally ready for the next step: transformation and expression of my desired protein. Little did I know that my enthusiasm would fall…

How to Extract and Amplify Microalgal Genomic DNA

How to Extract and Amplify Microalgal Genomic DNA

There is a growing trend in using microalgae as the expression system for heterologous proteins. However, I find most protocols dealing with microalgae available online are not that great or informative! So I would like to share my experience in using Chlamydomonas reinhardtii as the model microorganism. Before you start expressing your protein, you need…

Open and Closed:  Two Ways to Grow Your Own Algae

Open and Closed: Two Ways to Grow Your Own Algae

In my last article, I talked about the basic protocols and experiments conducted in the process of converting algae into biofuel. Our ability to culture algae has efficiently improved over the years. Continuous improvisation in basic techniques has helped us to understand the growth limiting step of algae culture. In this article, I will discuss…

How to Shut Off Background Lac Expression in LB

How to Shut Off Background Lac Expression in LB

Here’s a tip that you may find useful if you are expressing proteins in E.coli using a lac promoter-based expression system, e.g. pET, in LB medium (L-broth). Lac expression systems are typically induced in the lab using IPTG (isopropyl-beta-D-thiogalacto- pyranoside), which is a non- hydrolyzable analog of lactose, the natural inducer of the lac operon….

Anaerobic Tents: General Tips for Use in Molecular Biology

Anaerobic Tents: General Tips for Use in Molecular Biology

Interested in whether your protein uses oxygen to mediate reactions? Wondering if oxygen is keeping your enzyme from its duty? Then what you need as an anaerobic tent! These tips provide some basic knowledge to help you perform experiments using an anaerobic tent. What is an anaerobic tent? Most biologists who work in oxygen-free environments…

What’s The Problem With Ampicillin Selection?

What’s The Problem With Ampicillin Selection?

Ever wonder what those small colonies, like satellites, surrounding a larger E. coli colony on your LB with ampicillin plates were? Or why, when you picked that colony, it never had the plasmid you just transformed? Well, it’s because those satellite colonies are “protected” from the ampicillin by the big colony. Read on for more… Ampicillin…

Practical Secrets of the Bacterial World for the Uninitiated

Practical Secrets of the Bacterial World for the Uninitiated

As a protein biochemist where bacteria were mere workhorses, imagine my surprise when I began work in a bonafide micro lab! I discovered that bacteria could be much fussier than my good ol’ cloning and expression friends E. coli DH5ɑ or BL21. One broth would not do for all, some even required blood! No, no,…

Microbiology 101 by Aunt Yersinia

Microbiology 101 by Aunt Yersinia

We are pleased to announce that the famous maid of microbiology, dear old Aunt Yersinia, has agreed to start writing a microbiology and molecular biology advice column for Bitesize Bio. She will be free to answer your most pressing questions sent to:  auntyersinia@bitesizebio.com By way of introduction, Aunt Yersinia is bestowing 8 spores of knowledge garnered…

Tips for Heating up Agar in the Microwave

Tips for Heating up Agar in the Microwave

One of our readers posted the following question to us and we decided to pass it along to everybody’s favorite microbiology expert, Aunt Yersinia: For one year I am working in different research laboratories, after I got from school. I keep wondering why EVERYBODY is using pre-made Agar solutions for pouring plates, and EVERYBODY is…