In The Field Articles
Conservation Genetics: High School Students Use Biotechnology Explorer™ Products to Help Save California Redwoods
“If we want students to be biologists, let’s start being biologists,” says Ray Cinti, a science teacher at Convent of the Sacred Heart High School in San Francisco. Find out how Cinti’s class is accomplishing this by doing real research on Coast Redwoods genetic diversity using the Biotechnology Explorer Cloning and Sequencing Explorer series.5
Dr. Tim Inglis of the University of Western Australia seeks better ways to conduct surveillance and respond to outbreaks of tropical infectious diseases. For over a decade he’s been developing detection assays for a slate of pathogens. Find out how Bio-Rad’s MiniOpticon Real-Time PCR system allows him to effectively run these assays in such remote locations as the Kimberley Wilderness in Australia’s Top End.5
When Dr. Fred Bauzon started his research, he worked with bioinformatics specialists to functionalize suitable gene candidates based on their expression levels with HMGCR transcript levels. All his experiments demonstrated a reduction in low-density lipoprotein receptor protein (LDLR) and candidate gene protein levels after the candidate gene was silenced. Here Bauzon discusses how TGX Stain-free precast gels have aided his research toward future drug targets for the therapeutic control of LDL uptake.5
Melanoma is an aggressive cancer where early detection is essential for patient survival. The Facchiano lab is developing new anti-proliferation molecules against melanoma and is working to identify new molecular markers at the very early stages of pathology. Here Dr Antonio Facchiano discusses the merits of using the Bio-Plex technology to measure dose-dependent changes in expression levels of growth and angiogenic factors in cell lysates and supernatants.5
The significant drop in leprosy worldwide is attributed to the development of antimicrobial multidrug therapy (MDT). Resistance to rifampicin — the backbone of MDT treatment — has appeared. Controlling leprosy transmission requires routine surveillance for mutations in the drug target genes before, during, and after the course of treatment. New high resolution melt (HRM) assays offer leprosy researchers a faster, more economical method to investigate resistance targets.
Dr Hunseok Lee has known since childhood that he wanted to grow up to become a scientist. “You get to wear white gowns, look through a microscope at various substances so small they can’t be seen by the naked eye — those things were very attractive to me when I was young,” says Lee. But the realities of putting research into practice and translating ideas into experiments have proven far more strenuous than the young Lee anticipated.5
"The first opportunity I had to lay my hand on a human heart I knew that was that — I knew that I wanted to know how the heart works, but more importantly, how it doesn't work," says Dr Francis Spinale, describing his inspiration to both research and treat cardiac disease. Using the Bio-Plex® suspension array system, researchers in his laboratory are discovering protein signatures that have the potential to inform decision strategies in cardiac patient treatment.4
Dr. Steven Kornblau has been on faculty at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, for 20 years, where he divides his time between research into further understanding leukemia disease states, and a clinical practice where he treats a small number of patients with the disease. Recently, his laboratory used the Bio-Plex® suspension array system to discover how cytokine and chemokine profiles alone can be prognostic for patients with the disease, and therefore have to potential to assist development of personalized treatments.5
Rossi considers the discovery of RNAi as pivotal to antiviral discovery. "RNAi has become another important, powerful genetic tool we can use to further our antiviral work," he says. Rossi's lab became the first to publish research demonstrating the expression of small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) to inhibit HIV replication in human cells. Various aspects of RNAi and siRNAs continue to play a key role in his research on viral diseases and lymphomas.4
Bedtime stories in Dr David Schaffer's — one of today's pioneers in stem cell research — childhood home were often not standard fairy tales. With both parents in careers as biomedical researchers (his mother in drug development and clinical trials for a major pharmaceutical company and his father, in cardiovascular research and a pharmacology professor) much of the conversation as far back as Schaffer can remember centered on biology and science.