The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) plays a leading role in today’s biology. PCR started with an endpoint approach that detected a particular nucleic-acid sequence. Then, real-time PCR provided relative quantification of the sequences. Most recently, digital PCR (dPCR) allowed scientists to absolutely quantify sequences of nucleic acids.
Genome sequencing of head and neck cancers may quickly—and soon—spur new therapies. There are 20...
Combining two biological approaches, a research team from University of Michigan broke down the...
DNA sequencing is busting Moore’s Law by getting far cheaper, far faster than expected. But it is also getting far more sensitive. Researchers can sequence DNA samples 25 times smaller than they could a year ago. For whole genome sequencing, in recent months, one group has routinely gone from sequencing as little as one microgram of input to 100 nanograms.
Identifying cell types and sorting cells based on RNA expression levels without any transfection reagents or intrusive sample preparation can improve live cell sorting efficiency, physiological relevance, and post-sorting survival rate. SmartFlare RNA detection probes can detect levels of RNA inside living cells, providing the ability to sort and propagate live cell populations based on gene expression levels.
Separating samples and then analyzing them often requires liquid chromatography (LC) and mass spectrometry (MS) instrumentation, respectively. To explore the ongoing advances in LC/MS technology, we talked with experts from leading vendors.
Mail-based bioterror attacks made headlines last week when traces of ricin, a poison derived from the castor bean and a common by-product of castor oil, was found in letters addressed to President Barack Obama, Mississippi Republican Sen. Roger Wicker and Lee County, Miss., Justice Court Judge Sadie Holland, according to reports from the Associated Press.
It already has its own peer-reviewed journal, its own economic index and its own institute. As Earth Day dawns, it is clear the 15-year-old field of “biomimicry” is robust. Peer-reviewed articles have doubled every two to three years to some 3,000, and there has been a tenfold expansion in biomimicry over 12 years.
The popularity of Big Data projects was highly evident at the April 6-10 American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) meeting, whose theme was “personalizing cancer care through discovery science.” Session after session featuring TCGA was Standing Room Only (SRO). Washington Convention Center attendants struggled to keep up.
Neural stem cells are sensitive to microenvironmental cues, including cell-cell contact, cell-extracellular matrix interaction, nutrient and waste transport, and environmental oxygen composition. How these parameters affect the stem cells’ morphology, proliferation, and differentiation remains an open area for research.
In Uganda, crowds of them gathered curiously outside a grass-thatched hut, surrounded by chickens pecking at grains leaking from malwa pots, to do it. From Kazakhstan to Cape Cod, thousands of closet nerds are sneaking out of house-and-hut each month to drink at one of the world’s 750-plus science cafes, or Café Scientifique.
The development of the 3D reconstructed human skin micronucleus (RSMN) assay is the first to overcome the limitations of traditional cell culture methods. It can provide a more biologically relevant result than standard 2D in vitro genotoxicity assays, since it provides a functional stratum corneum, which accounts for permeability and appears to have a normal dermal metabolic capability.
A drug-induced similarity between the brains of rats and the brains of humans led National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) researchers to a procedure that effectively wipes away compulsive cocaine addiction in rats—and they discovered a similar approach to curing human drug addiction along the way.
For 42 years, Muammar Gaddafi ran a ruthless regime in Libya. Although deposed in 2011, one of his sad legacies is a series of mass graves containing an estimated 20,000 human remains. But with this discovery comes a chance to solve decades-old missing person cases. Using forensic DNA identification technologies, scientists employed by the Libyan government will soon begin this process. But first they need the tools and the training.
Most of us born after 1960 have missed out on what was, since ancient times, “mankind’s first stem cell transplant.” For umbilical cords of most born after 1960 were—are—clamped right after birth. This denied us a last blast of stem-cell rich placenta blood, 40% of our circulation, before our first breath.
An intuitive approach, which co-opts the body’s own molecular machinery, has led to massive expansions of umbilical cord blood cells. It and other new approaches “will revolutionize all transplantation,” says University of Minnesota Blood and Marrow Transplantation Director John Wagner.
Some of science’s most interesting stories arise from accidents or unexpected results. Sir Alexander Fleming’s discovery of penicillin is probably the most famous example, but a more recent discovery could lead to a way to block disease transmission between insects and, ultimately, lead to healthier humans and less crop damage.
Microarrays started as research tools and now often appear in clinical applications. To survey some of the hybridization systems available for this technology, we talked with experts from Agilent, SciGene, and Tecan.