Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Having a Family in Grad School

Having a Family in Grad School 

The question that many graduate students have is “can I have it all?” A successful, productive PhD and marriage? And kids too? There is no doubt that having a family in grad school takes away your focus for a while especially around the time your baby is born, but it can also increase your productivity.…

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Microsoft Excel Can Help You Set Up Multi-Well Plates

Microsoft Excel Can Help You Set Up Multi-Well Plates 

When you are a newbie to qPCR or qRT-PCR, it is quite common to write everything down in your lab notebook and then tediously mark off reagents or samples as you add them. People typically start with a master mix for items you add to multiple samples such as (Mg2+, dNTPs, 10X PCR buffer, additives,…

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Monday, 14 August 2017

Those Site-Specific Recombinases in Your Tool Kit

Those Site-Specific Recombinases in Your Tool Kit 

Most of us are aware of genetic engineering systems like Cre-Lox, TALENs, Zinc finger systems, and of course, CRISPR-Cas9.  These are all examples of CSSR- Conservative Site-Specific Recombination. We use these site specific recombinases routinely, but do we really know about them or what the future hold for these tools? It turns out that CSSR…

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Thursday, 10 August 2017

How to Genotype T-DNA Insertion Mutants in Arabidopsis

How to Genotype T-DNA Insertion Mutants in Arabidopsis 

If you are a plant biologist and working with the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, undoubtedly you are a great fan of The Arabidopsis Information Resource (TAIR).   You also probably order seeds/materials from the Arabidopsis Biological Resource Center (ABRC), or request them from fellow scientists. Of course, seeds are one of the basic materials you…

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Thursday, 3 August 2017

Intercalating Dyes or Fluorescent Probes For RT-qPCR?

Intercalating Dyes or Fluorescent Probes For RT-qPCR? 

The unique feature of real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) is that it associates the amplification of your target gene with a fluorescent signal in a quantifiable manner. Presently, there are numerous fluorescent tool kits/methods to consider when designing your RT-qPCR experiment. However, the two major categories to choose from are fluorescent intercalating dyes and…

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Thursday, 27 July 2017

Crash Course in Microbial Identification

Crash Course in Microbial Identification 

Welcome to this crash course in microbial identification methods! Here, you will get an overview of the traditional and modern methods available for the identification of bacteria, yeast or filamentous fungi to the species level. Species level identification allows you to discriminate confidently between two species from the same genus, something that is often essential in the treatment of infectious…

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Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Defend Science Funding! A Brief Guide

Defend Science Funding! A Brief Guide 

With the scientific community potentially facing deep cuts to grant-awarding agencies, like the NIH, advocacy for funding research efforts has been re-ignited. Not only does science funding provide financial support for academic and government scientists, it fuels product development and collaboration opportunities for scientists in industry and scientists abroad. Engaging in the advocacy process and…

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