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Mar 01, 2021

Best Practices: Plant Sample Preparation

Like other sample types, plant samples need to be sufficiently homogenized to extract nucleic acids, proteins, and other target analytes, however some plant samples are particularly resilient and difficult to break, such as seeds, roots, pine needles, and fibrous leaves. Homogenizing tough samples is laborious and often results in low yield of target analytes, creating frustrating bottlenecks in your sample preparation workflow.
With the right tips and practices, you can consistently break down the tough cell wall of recalcitrant plant samples, get high yields, and remove impurities to run successful downstream analyses.

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Feb 26, 2021

Choosing Spin Columns for DNA Extraction

It’s not always necessary, but it can make your life easier. Spin columns for DNA extraction or RNA extraction can help you consistently get clean samples, accelerate your workflow, and generate repeatable results from your downstream assays. Using commercial spin kits to purify nucleic acids is particularly useful when your downstream application is sensitive to sample contaminants and reagents that are commonly used to precipitate DNA/RNA, such as ethanol, because the spin filter can effectively remove the contaminants and vendors provide optimized protocols.

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Feb 07, 2021

How-To Guide: Forensic Hair Analysis

Hair is important evidence found at crime scenes that is commonly tested for drugs or nutritional deficiencies and processed for DNA analysis, but evidentiary sample preparation is a frequent bottleneck. The right lysing matrix could minimize bottlenecks while maintaining, or even boosting, the yield of your target analyte.

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Feb 07, 2021

Research Review: Mapping SARS-CoV-2 RNA

Where does SARS-CoV-2 migrate throughout the human body and how is this linked to tissue damage?
As of January 2021, over 92 million people have been infected with COVID-19 globally, resulting in nearly 2 million deaths (https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/). Although most recover, 14% suffer from respiratory distress1 and 5% become critically ill with diverse complications involving one or multiple organ systems—suggesting COVID-19 is a systemic disease.

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Feb 03, 2021

Protein Extraction from Leaves for Mass Spectrometry

Sample impurities can turn what should be easy-to-interpret mass spectra into a mess of peaks, but this can all be avoided with the optimal protein extraction method.
Plants are particularly challenging samples due to their rigid cell wall and abundance of non-protein components such as polysaccharides, lipids and phenolic compounds that can be detrimental to your downstream applications.

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Feb 03, 2021

How-To Guide: Lysing Nail Samples

Fingernails are used for retrospective substance use analysis and DNA analysis in both forensic and research settings. Before analysis, you first have to process the sample, which includes the following general steps:

  • Nail sampling
  • Washing/Decontamination
  • Homogenization
  • Extraction or digestion
  • Clean-up

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Feb 03, 2021

How-To Guide: Stool Sample Processing

Stool samples are complex, loaded with a diversity of microorganisms, macromolecules, metabolites, and particulate non-digested matter. Fecal composition is influenced by a variety of factors, such as the host’s diet and health status, making stool samples interesting specimens to study.
When working with complex samples, it is important that the homogenization protocol effectively lyses all microorganisms so that you get an accurate representation of the microbial community in downstream analyses.

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Jan 16, 2021

Critical Cleaning in Biotechnology

Critical cleaning in biotechnology refers to a very specific type of cleaning in a highly regulated environment, where finished products (or validation tests) can be negatively affected if cleaning is not performed adequately.

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Jan 16, 2021

Choosing the ideal laboratory cleaning product

The optimal cleaning products for your application depend on cleanliness requirements. In some cases, simply removing the soil or oils is sufficient, whereas sterilization may be required in other situations where sample contamination, or bacterial growth, is of high concern.
The level of cleanliness needed depends on the piece of equipment, application, environment, and any regulatory guidelines—such as those associated with cGMP and critical cleaning.

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Jan 15, 2021

Tips and Best Practices for extracting RNA from leaves for qPCR

Pure, high-quality RNA is necessary for real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). While the general steps for isolating RNA are consistent between sample types, there are some key considerations when extracting RNA specifically from plants and leaves.

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