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:: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 08-02-2012
It’s the little things in life that frustrate me the most. Like fumbling around with a fine tipped Sharpie trying to label a strip of 0.2ml PCR tubes. Now that’s frustrating. Then there are people that use their brains for finding creative solutions instead of just whining about the problem to their lab mates. Here is one such example. I wish I had thought of that!
What tips do you have for your fellow biotechnologists that can help save them both time and sanity?
:: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 07-19-2012
OK. Perhaps not in the way it was presented by Monty Python in The Meaning of Life, but a new study out of Stanford University Medical Center has shown that sperm cells exhibit a significant degree of genetic variation even when produced by an individual male.
According to study co-author Barry Behr:
For the first time, we were able to generate an individual recombination map and mutation rate for each of several sperm from one person. Now we can look at a particular individual, make some calls about what they would likely contribute genetically to an embryo and perhaps even diagnose or detect potential problems.
:: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 03-12-2012
In a brief paper in the journal Bioinformatics, Brown University researchers describe a new, freely available Web-based program called Spliceman for predicting whether genetic mutations are likely to disrupt the splicing of messenger RNA, potentially leading to disease.
“Spliceman takes a set of DNA sequences with point mutations and computes how likely these single nucleotide variants alter splicing phenotypes,” write co-authors Kian Huat Lim, a graduate student, and William Fairbrother, assistant professor of biology, in an “application note” published in advance online Feb. 10. It will appear in print in April.
:: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 02-17-2012
The cure for cancer comes down to this: video games.
In a research lab at Wake Forest University, biophysicist and computer scientist Samuel Cho uses graphics processing units (GPUs), the technology that makes video game images so realistic, to simulate the inner workings of human cells.
“If it wasn’t for gamers who kept buying these GPUs, the prices wouldn’t have dropped, and we couldn’t have used them for science,” Cho says.
Now he can see exactly how the cells live, divide and die.
:: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 02-02-2012
Traditional RNA isolations kits and techniques usually isolate linear RNA transcripts while discarding circular material that are thought to be unimportant. However, a new study at the Stanford School of Medicine suggests that circular RNA may play a more important role in gene expression than previously thought.
In the classical model of gene expression, the genetic script encoded in our genomes is expressed in each cell in the form of RNA molecules, each consisting of a linear string of chemical “bases”. It may be time to revise this traditional understanding of human gene expression, as new research suggests that circular RNA molecules, rather than the classical linear molecules, are a widespread feature of the gene expression program in every human cell. The results are published in the Feb. 1 issue of the online journal PLoS ONE.