Top Tips for Troubleshooting In Vitro Transcription 

Top Tips for Troubleshooting In Vitro Transcription 

The Phobia of RNases My first experience of troubleshooting in vitro transcription came when I was synthesizing RNA In-Situ Probes for the first time. A lab mate ominously warned me that I had just returned to lab after a bout of flu and that meant I’m a walking talking factory of RNases. I went ahead…

RNA Isolation from Drosophila – Don’t Let the Cuticle Scare You!

RNA Isolation from Drosophila – Don’t Let the Cuticle Scare You!

Isolating RNA from either Drosophila larvae or adult heads can seem a bit daunting, primarily due to the presence of the cuticle. The cuticle is a protective exoskeleton comprised of insoluble collagens, cuticlins, glycoproteins, and lipids. While it may take some force to remove the cuticle, you can do this easily and without compromising your…

Pre-Analytical Sample Handling: What Can You Do Better?

Pre-Analytical Sample Handling: What Can You Do Better?

If you study human disease, you will likely handle a pre-analytical sample or two (or hundreds).  For example, you could handle whole blood, serum or plasma, tissue biopsies, urine, fecal samples, cerebrospinal fluid, or synovial fluid—to name a few. You will probably use these samples to look for specific metabolites, proteins, or nucleic acids that provide…

Acid Phenol Chloroform Extraction of DNA, RNA and protein:  3 in 1

Acid Phenol Chloroform Extraction of DNA, RNA and protein: 3 in 1

In austerity times, nothing is in excess. Apart from saving reagents, which can be refilled with extra financial injections, there is a commodity that cannot be easily resupplied – tissue samples! If, like me, you have experienced the fear of not having enough sample for performing a qPCR, western blot, and conventional PCR from the…

There’s No Need To Be Paranoid About RNA Purification
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There’s No Need To Be Paranoid About RNA Purification

RNA purification may be a common procedure in molecular biology but it is by far the one that people fear most. Why? Dreaded RNase. It’s everywhere… all over your bench and pipettes, and floating in the air, waiting for the chance to creep into your prep, shred your RNA into nucleotides, and ruin a day’s…

Breaking Down the Assembly of Nucleic Acid Sequences

Breaking Down the Assembly of Nucleic Acid Sequences

Microbiome—a term that has become a hot topic in recent years—has scientists of all disciplines wanting to know more. Microbes are everywhere. On any type of surface you can think of. Our physical make up, by number, consists of 10 bacterial cells to every one of our own. What’s more, approximately 99% of microbes cannot…

4 Tips for Extracting RNA from Unfriendly Tissues
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4 Tips for Extracting RNA from Unfriendly Tissues

Some tissues are tricky to work with. This truth was lost on me in the early years of grad school because I worked with liver samples. If you’re extracting RNA from liver samples, you’re likely not losing sleep over your massive RNA yields. But for the folks doing RNA extractions with less willing donors, such…