You are currently browsing the archives for the cool tools category.

Archive for the ‘cool tools’ Category

Want To Become An Official American Biotechnologists Correspondent?

 :: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 12-02-2013

Happy December!

We are seeking Official Correspondents from Professors, PIs, Graduate Students, Technicians and Science Educators in university and college labs, biotech start-ups and other institutions.

How to get involved?

  1. Subscribe to American Biotechnologist to receive all our posts.
  2. Leave a comment on our new American Biotechnologists page or email us at info (at) to indicate your interest in contributing to the blog.
  3. What to contribute? Well, we are open, as long your videos, podcasts, favorite links, images, selfies, infographics, posters, or text cover the field of biotechnology. If you are using Bio-Rad products we would be especially interested in hearing from you! Present your news, events, career aspirations, resumes, reflections, aspirations, gripes, pet peeves, research, unpublished musings, how to’s, how not to’s, fiction, art, or whatever. We are open as to length – short blog posts are fine – and how often you contribute- it’s up to you.
  4. As one of our Official American Biotechnologists Correspondents we will can put your picture and bio on the blog, if you want.

While we are still working out the details there will be special opportunities to our Official Correspondents. Perhaps field testing new Bio-Rad technologies, special offers, samples, etc. – cool stuff we assure you….

So as the Holiday season descends upon us and perhaps you have a bit of time, take a stab at contributing to an important community of interest – The Biotechnologists of America!


The American Biotechnologist Blog

Lab on a chip….on a cell phone!

 :: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 11-18-2013

In developing nations, rural areas, and even one’s own home, limited access to expensive equipment and trained medical professionals can impede the diagnosis and treatment of disease. Many qualitative tests that provide a simple “yes” or “no” answer (like an at-home pregnancy test) have been optimized for use in these resource-limited settings. But few quantitative tests—those able to measure the precise concentration of biomolecules, not just their presence or absence—can be done outside of a laboratory or clinical setting. By leveraging their discovery of the robustness of “digital,” or single-molecule quantitative assays, researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have demonstrated a method for using a lab-on-a-chip device and a cell phone to determine a concentration of molecules, such as HIV RNA molecules, in a sample. This digital approach can consistently provide accurate quantitative information despite changes in timing, temperature, and lighting conditions, a capability not previously possible using traditional measurements.

Read more…

Making high-end microscopy affordable for the masses

 :: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 07-29-2013

Engineers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have devised a method to convert a relatively inexpensive conventional microscope into a billion-pixel imaging system that significantly outperforms the best available standard microscope. Such a system could greatly improve the efficiency of digital pathology, in which specialists need to review large numbers of tissue samples. By making it possible to produce robust microscopes at low cost, the approach also has the potential to bring high-performance microscopy capabilities to medical clinics in developing countries. – See more at:

The Cell: An Image Library-CCDB Launches a New Tool for Cell Visualization

 :: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 06-13-2013

Guest Post by David Orloff:

The Cell: An Image Library-CCDB launches their new Pivot View tool for a new experience in exploring the images in the Library. The Pivot View, now featured on the home page, allows one to explore the whole library in just moments.

You can view images, by cell type, cell line, organism, image mode, attribution, and media format or any combination of these.

Want to re-use some of the images? Now you can search on the licensing requirements just as easily.

For a really interesting experience select the different criteria you are interested in and then be sure to hit the graph view button (circled in red here).

click to view image in new window

This is currently a beta release please, if you encounter any problems email

We welcome all feedback.

Fast new, 1-step genetic engineering technology

 :: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 05-22-2013

A new, streamlined approach to genetic engineering drastically reduces the time and effort needed to insert new genes into bacteria, the workhorses of biotechnology, scientists are reporting. Published in the journal ACS Synthetic Biology, the method paves the way for more rapid development of designer microbes for drug development, environmental cleanup and other activities.

Keith Shearwin and colleagues explain that placing, or integrating, a piece of the genetic material DNA into a bacterium’s genome is critical for making designer bacteria. That DNA can give microbes the ability to churn out ingredients for medication, for instance, or substances that break down oil after a big spill. But current genetic engineering methods are time-consuming and involve many steps. The approaches have other limitations as well. To address those drawbacks, the researchers sought to develop a new, one-step genetic engineering technology, which they named “clonetegration,” a reference to clones or copies of genes or DNA fragments.

They describe development and successful laboratory tests of clonetegration in E. coli and Salmonella typhimurium bacteria, which are used in biotechnology. The method is quick, efficient and easy to do and can integrate multiple genes at the same time. They predict that clonetegration “will become a valuable technique facilitating genetic engineering with difficult-to-clone sequences and rapid construction of synthetic biological systems.”

Thanks to the American Chemical Society for contributing this story.