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:: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 06-02-2010
Transfecting cells can be a difficult task for even the most seasoned of cell biologists. Sure there are easy-to-transfect cell lines such as A10 Smooth Muscle Cells, COS Cells or p19 cells, but what about those pesky, hard to isolate primary cells? Or better yet, what about cells embedded in living tissue on animals or plants?! Sometime the task at hand drives you so crazy that you just want to shoot something.
Turns out that might not be such a bad idea after all. Bio-Rad’s Helios Gene Gun is a common tool for biolistic transfection of cells embeded in animal or plant tissue. The video posted below was published in the Journal of Visualized Experimentation and it will give you a great visual demonstration of the Gene Gun at work.
Woods, G., & Zito, K. (2008). Preparation of Gene Gun Bullets and Biolistic Transfection of Neurons in Slice Culture Journal of Visualized Experiments (12) DOI: 10.3791/675
:: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 05-26-2010
In this latest tutorial by the Bio-Rad Technical Support Team you will learn how to validate a SYBR Green I assay for real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR). It is important to validate all qPCR assays prior to commencing your experiment in order to confirm that your reactions will be efficient, specific, sensitive and reproducible. SYBR Green I assay validation should also be done when using a new set of primers or a new DNA template/primer combination regardless of the chemistry that you intend to use in your actual experiment.
Hats off to Linda Lingelbach and Kathy Silvey of Bio-Rad Technical Support who worked hard at putting this enlightening video together.
:: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 05-24-2010
As scientists we are “naturally obsessed.” We have a need to find the answer and can’t stop working until we get it. So how do we find the time to watch this one hour dramatic story by Richard and Carole Rifkind about life in a molecular biology lab? Although there are many health related stories in the media (1), it’s not every day that you get to see “our” story on television. Besides, what else are we going to do with ourselves during our next “one hour incubation time?”
(1) Wang, Z., & Gantz, W. (2010). Health Content in Local Television News: A Current Appraisal Health Communication, 25 (3), 230-237 DOI: 10.1080/10410231003698903
:: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 05-12-2010
Bio-Rad’s latest gadget is the TC10 automated cell counter, which accurately and reproducibly provides total mammalian cell counts in 30 seconds or less—eliminating the need for manually counting cells under the microscope using a hemocytometer.
The TC10 cell counter completes the counting of mammalian cells—suspended or re-suspended adherent—in one simple step, initiating a count immediately upon slide insertion. Unlike other cell counting devices, which may draw inaccurate conclusions from using a single plane of focus to assess cell viability, the TC10 cell counter scores each sample across multiple planes. The unique auto-focus technology and image analysis algorithm provide accurate and reproducible cell counts in less than 30 seconds for cell concentrations between 5 x 104 and 1 x 107 cells/ml and cells within a 6–50 µm diameter range. Since only 10 µl of suspended cells is required for counting, precious sample is conserved.
Cell viability can also be assessed with the TC10 cell counter with the use of trypan blue, a dye which is excluded from live cells and incorporated into dead cells. The system recognizes the presence of trypan blue without user intervention and provides both cell count and cell viability, in less than 30 seconds.
The TC10 cell counter saves time with its on-board dilution calculator which can determine the volume adjustments needed to achieve the cell concentration for the next passage or experiment. In experiments using trypan blue, the dilution calculation is based on the number of live cells.
Using the USB port, researchers can export annotated JPEG image files of their samples for further analysis or download counting data in a spreadsheet compatible format. Results can also be printed directly onto labels using the separate TC10 printer.
For an online demo of how to use the TC10 and other video tutorials including the TC10′s use in gene expression studies, a cell biology primer and a basic cell culture introductory document visit the TC10 website.