Using Droplet Digital™ PCR to Quantify Early Rejection Biomarkers in Transplant Patients

 :: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 08-18-2014

Single gene controls jet lag

 :: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 08-13-2014

Scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have identified a gene that regulates sleep and wake rhythms.

The discovery of the role of this gene, called Lhx1, provides scientists with a potential therapeutic target to help night-shift workers or jet lagged travelers adjust to time differences more quickly. The results, published in eLife, can point to treatment strategies for sleep problems caused by a variety of disorders.

“It’s possible that the severity of many dementias comes from sleep disturbances,” says Satchidananda Panda, a Salk associate professor who led the research team. “If we can restore normal sleep, we can address half of the problem.”

Read more…

High-Performance Immunoprecipitation at an Affordable Price

 :: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 08-12-2014

Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. announced that it has launched its SureBeads Magnetic Bead System, which provides researchers with a faster and easier alternative to agarose beads for immunoprecipitation for as low as half the price of other available magnetic bead systems. Benefits include reduced antibody consumption and sample loss, very low nonspecific binding, and optimized IgG binding capacity.

Researchers have traditionally used agarose beads to precipitate and enrich proteins prior to western blotting or mass spectrometry. This process is time-consuming and labor-intensive, and often causes the beads to perform poorly. Since agarose beads are porous, the antibody can remain trapped inside the bead and therefore is unable to properly bind the protein of interest, requiring researchers to use more antibody.

Although magnetic beads are often more expensive, they are an attractive alternative to agarose beads for several reasons, including ease of use at the bench: magnetization is faster and more convenient than centrifugation for sample precipitation and washing steps. With the launch of the SureBeads System, scientists now have access to a high-performance, cost-effective magnetic bead system.

SureBeads Protein A and G Conjugated Magnetic Beads are designed to work with the proprietary SureBeads 16-Tube Magnetic Rack, which offers a one-piece removable magnetic strip to improve sample handling and eliminate repeated centrifugation steps, so researchers are able to achieve results up to six times faster.

“I have used magnetic bead–based systems for more than three years now, and the quality of the new SureBeads System is among the best in the field,” said Oliver Wueseke, PhD student at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden, Germany. “The real innovation resides in the rack. The slidable magnet, preferred fixation of tubes in the rack, and spacing between tubes that allows easy access to the tube lids make the SureBeads System easy to handle, faster, and more convenient.“

Visit www.bio-rad.com/NewSureBeads for more information about the SureBeads System and to learn about current product promotions.

Entertained by a Statistician

 :: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 08-11-2014

I have always found statistics to be quite dry and boring. I prefer to see results and let someone else figure out whether or not they are meaningful. In fact, I prefer to fool myself into believing that my data is statistically significant rather than crunch numbers. However, when I saw the title of this video “Own your body’s data,” I was intrigued and so I clicked through, and I’m glad that I did. I found Dr. Talithia Williams video to be quite entertaining and informative and I hope that you do too.

Children Ask “How Do I Become a Scientist?”

 :: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 08-07-2014

The National Eye Institute at the NIH recently released a kids video series called “Ask a Scientist.” In this series, children who are curious about science, ask “bonafide” scientists their burning questions about science. In one video, a child asks Dr. Chris Thomas, a science writer, how to become a scientist. Dr. Thomas responds by saying that becoming a scientist “is easy” and all that kids need to do is to love nature and be curious about how things work. He also says that kids can hone their scientific skills by taking either science or art classes.

Putting aside the fact that the target audience for this video is young, school-aged children, do you feel that Chris’ response is an oversimplification of reality? Is science really all about nature and curiosity?

While I happen to agree with Dr. Thomas that curiosity lies at the heart of what it takes to become interested in science, I believe that hard work and perseverance are tantamount to scientific success. Think about all of those times that you’ve had to repeat experiments over and over just to get your p values to a publishable level!

Have a look at Chris’ video below and let us know what you think.