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Protocol Primers

Technical briefs on current and emerging biotech protocols.


Analytical Weights and Balances: Minimizing Errors

Aug 15, 2022

Pharma companies that use balances for analytical purposes must check them regularly to ensure they meet required standards and to prevent human errors. The European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines Healthcare (EDQM) has recently published updated guidelines1 for analytical balancing that d... More


Nanomembrane Technology Rapidly Isolates Exosomes from Tears

Aug 11, 2022

Our tears reflect not only our emotions, but they also bear signatures of health and disease.Tears containnanoscale extracellular vesicles called exosomes that carryproteins and nucleic acids released from living cells. However, collecting exosomes from tears is restricted by low recovery, long proc... More


Fluorination Increases Bioavailability and Stability of Natural Therapeutics

Aug 9, 2022

A novel chemoenzymatic method can add fluorine atoms to natural compounds. The method uses an enzyme that acts as a gatekeeper for precursors and designs a pinch of precursor tolerance to create a more promiscuous bacterial enzyme that accepts fluorine-containing reactants.Fluorination of therapeuti... More


Orthogonal Validation in Genome Editing Discovery Work

Aug 1, 2022

Simply put, orthogonal validation uses additional methods that provide very different selectivity to the primary method to confirm or refute a finding. All methods are independent approaches that can answer the same question and are used to evaluate and verify the findings. According toClarence Mill... More


Solvent Precipitation Method Increases Protein Recovery for Proteomics

Jul 20, 2022

Study designs in proteomics aim for inclusivity—to characterize every protein in a sample. However, extracting proteins from complex biological samples involves the use of harsh buffers containing detergents and salts that are incompatible with the proteomics workflow. More proteins are lost in atte... More


Nanotip Stabilization Enables Prolonged Nanoscale Imaging of Large Samples

Jul 15, 2022

An innovation that stabilizes the nanotip used in tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (TERS) prolongs the imaging time window well beyond the current 30 minute limit. Scientists have demonstrated that the enhanced system is capable of imaging nanoscale defects over six hours in a micrometer-sized, two-d... More


Behavior of Metal Bearing Nanomaterials in Biosystems

Jul 11, 2022

Nanomaterials are being engineered to facilitate a range of applications in diagnosing diseases and delivering drugs. The widespread adoption of nanotechnological applications in medicine rests on the ability to safely target nanomaterials and understand how they behave in biological tissue environs... More


Cloning Mice From Freeze Dried Somatic Cells

Jul 8, 2022

As species continue to face massive extinction, preserving genetic material through judicious biobanking to enable cloning is key to promoting the survival of species and maintaining biodiversity.Embryos and germ cells are commonly stored at ultra-low temperatures in liquid nitrogen. But storing rep... More


Techniques to Detect Unusual Nucleic Acid Structures

Jul 5, 2022

Guanine quadruplexes (G-quadruplexes or G4s) are unusual nucleic acid structures with distinct biological and chemical functions. They have occupied significant attention in the nucleic acid world since they were first identified in 1962 as the basis for the aggregation of 5’-guanosine monophosphate... More


Rapid Detection of Diverse Infectious Agents in Skin Interstitial Fluid

Jul 5, 2022

A rapid and reliable skin-patch test1 can now detect the COVID-19 virus, and potentially other infectious agents in under three minutes, without the need to draw blood. This convenience overcomes a current challenge in identifying infected individuals who are averse to blood tests and could help res... More