Posts Tagged ‘molecular biology’

Extracting and Purifying Human DNA in Under Three Minutes

 :: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 05-07-2013

University of Washington engineers and NanoFacture, a Bellevue, Wash., company, have created a device that can extract human DNA from fluid samples in a simpler, more efficient and environmentally friendly way than conventional methods.

Conventional methods use a centrifuge to spin and separate DNA molecules or strain them from a fluid sample with a micro-filter, but these processes take 20 to 30 minutes to complete and can require excessive toxic chemicals.

UW engineers designed microscopic probes that dip into a fluid sample – saliva, sputum or blood – and apply an electric field within the liquid. That draws particles to concentrate around the surface of the tiny probe. Larger particles hit the tip and swerve away, but DNA-sized molecules stick to the probe and are trapped on the surface. It takes two or three minutes to separate and purify DNA using this technology.

Read the full story on the UW website.

James Watson: How we discovered DNA

 :: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 11-29-2012

Very entertaining!

Why didn’t I think of that?

 :: 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?

Scientists prove why every sperm is sacred

 :: 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.

Click here to read more.

Spliceman to the rescue

 :: 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.

Spliceman can be found at fairbrother.biomed.brown.edu/spliceman.

Read more…