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Protocol Primers

Technical briefs on current and emerging biotech protocols.

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Separating Blood into Cellular and Non-Cellular Components

Nov 30, 2021

A key diagnostic step in disease detection is analyzing blood components. Accurate separation of blood cells from plasma, which holds proteins and other constituents, is crucial in many assays.First introduced in the late 1980s, lateral flow devices, also referred to as lateral flow immunoassays, ar... More

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Saliva, Nasal Swabs, or Blood: Best Samples for Pathogen Detection

Nov 22, 2021

Most immunodiagnostic protocols and commercially available kits require serum, plasma, or blood samples. Collecting such samples requires the skills of a phlebotomist. For pathogen detection, particularly in largescale field studies, the collection of noninvasive samples such asnasal swabs, tears, o... More

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Qualitative, Semi-quantitative, and Quantitative Immunodiagnostics for COVID-19

Nov 10, 2021

While qualitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reactions (RT-PCR) are used to diagnose COVID-19, serologic tests for antibodies specific to the SARS-CoV-2 virus are used to detect past infection. Most serologic assays are qualitative and semi-quantitative but quantitative serologic assays ... More

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Benefits of Using an Electronic Laboratory Notebook

Oct 30, 2021

Electronic laboratory notebooks (ELNs) were developed to keep track of experiments and data so that scientists could review their work in a single place and easily reproduce experiments. Many ELNs started out as electronic versions of paper lab notebooks. Now, the most advanced ELNs offer an extensi... More

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Pathogen Detection Assays: Advantages, Disadvantages and Alternatives

Oct 19, 2021

Viral infections are difficult to diagnose based on the patient’s clinical presentation alone. A reliable and accurate diagnosis requires laboratory-based testing for the pathogen of interest. Such laboratory testing involves either the direct detection of viral antigens, or detection of virus-speci... More