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Basics

Category archives for Basics

This is a video that a friend made that shows, very clearly, how to pour an agarose gel, load the samples and run it. I especially like the way he used a bit of time lapse photography to show the dyes separating as the gel ran.

Vaccines work by stimulating the immune system to respond to a specific thing. Most of the vaccines we use are designed to prime the immune system so that it’s ready to fight off some kind of disease, like whooping cough, polio, or influenza. Some vaccines can have more specialized functions, like stimulating the body to…

RFLP is an acronym that stands for “Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism.” That’s quite a mouthful and once you’ve said this phrase a few times, you realize why we use the initials instead. I know a Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism sounds like something that must be impossibly complicated to understand, but if we take the name…

This morning I had a banana genome, an orange genome, two chicken genomes (haploid, of course), and some fried pig genome, on the side. Later today, I will consume genomes from different kinds of green plants and perhaps even a cow or fish genome. I probably drank a bit of coffee DNA too, but didn’t…

I love the way you show me secret things. All I do is type: Select * from name_of_a_table And you share everything with me. Without you, my vision is obscured, and all I see is the display on the page. In fact, this was the push that finally made me decide to learn SQL.

If you’ve read any of the many stories lately about Craig Venter or Jim Watson’s genome, you’ve probably seen a “SNP” appear somewhere. (If you haven’t read any of the stories, CNN has one here, and my fellow bloggers have posted several here, here, here, here, here, and here.) You may be wondering, and rightly…

Science labs are not for all people.

What made me sick?

How do microbiologists determine which microbe caused a disease? As Tara has eloquently described (I, II), we are covered with bacteria and other microbes. A reasonable question then, is when we get sick, how do we which little devil deserves the blame?

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son! The jaws that bite, the claws that catch! Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun The frumious Bandersnatch!” – from Jabberwocky, by Lewis Carroll I’m certain that if we ever sequenced DNA from the frumious Bandersnatch it would match hypothetical and putative proteins.

How to win the X PRIZE in genomics In October, 2006, the X PRIZE foundation announced that second X prize would focus on genomics. The first team to successfully sequence 100 human genomes in 10 days will win $10 million dollars. And I would venture to guess, that the winning team would also win in…