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Virology test

Introduction to virology and virology tests

Virologists are scientists that study viruses, which are found in astounding numbers on earth (1031!). Viruses survive only in the cells of organisms they infect, making them a parasite. Whether or not they are “living things” is a philosophical argument for a different article. One of the major reasons for studying viruses is to understand the diseases they cause in humans. Virology research has led to the development of many virology tests. It is important to diagnose as well as monitor the progression of disease of certain viruses. This means that virology tests need to be available in clinics as well as in point-of-care form to test people in areas with fewer medical resources or infrastructure. Proper diagnosis can ensure that the spread of virus can be contained and treatment can be given to those in need. A current example of a crucial virology test is SARS-CoV-2 virology tests that detect the presence of viral nucleic acid or antibodies from human samples.

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Rna purification kit

Brief introduction to the importance of RNA

RNA (ribonucleic acids) are important macromolecules that come in many varieties and play more roles across all living organisms. Some predominant RNA are rRNA, tRNA and mRNA. tRNA is part of the process of translating proteins, rRNA is ribosomal RNA, and mRNA is messenger RNA which carries transcription information. RNA biology is an ever-growing field of research. RNA has even become a popular tool, such as the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine or CRISPR technologies. Researchers are even finding more non-coding RNA with important biological functions.

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Macs cell sorting: technology and advantages

Quick Background on Cell Sorting/Cell Isolation

Researchers use magnetic activated cell isolation also known as macs cell sorting or macs cell separation to enrich a specific cell type from a mixed population. Scientists or companies sort or isolate cells so they can study or grow colonies of a single type of cell. They may use that type of cell for a specific type of functional assay crucial to that cell type or they might be interested in stem cells. Many labs use flow cytometry, also known as FACS (fluorescence activated cell sorting). This is a specialized and expensive technique that often resides in a core facility at a research institution. MACS has emerged as a cheaper alternative for cell sorting. Both these technologies use the highly specific antibody-antigen interaction to probe cells by their surface antigens by their specific antibody. Magnetic bead cell isolation has a more simple protocol and components than FACS, the process is briefly described below. 

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mRNA isolation

Introduction and inspiration of mRNA

There is a lot to learn from the mRNA (messenger RNA) that is present in cells, which makes up around 5% of the total RNA in cells. The presence of certain mRNA sequences can inform us about what proteins are most likely being translated at the moment so that biological processes can take place. mRNA has also emerged as a top vaccine for the novel coronavirus of 2019, also known as SARS-CoV-2. How can a messenger RNA be a vaccine you ask? mRNA works as a vaccine by providing our cells with the sequence to make the major protein found on SARS-CoV-2 called “spike” protein. Once our cells have made spike protein, our body will launch an immune response against it, and immune cells will make antibodies against the spike protein. To use and study mRNA, you must first perform mRNA isolation, which we will introduce in this article. 

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Protein purification system

Proteins are one of the four main macromolecules in biology. They have many crucial functions in all living organisms. Research laboratories all over the world study the many types of proteins to better understand the mechanisms of living things

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RNA purification protocol

RNA (ribonucleic acid) is found in all living things. It has several functions in cells including playing a role in transcription, translation, regulation and gene expression.

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Chemiluminescence examples

In this post we will cover in detail the definition of chemiluminescence definition and some chemiluminescence examples to get you familiar with the phenomenon and its uses. Chemiluminescence is defined by the release of light from a chemical reaction. This process occurs naturally in fireflies and several types of sea creatures such as jellyfish, in these cases it is also called bioluminescence. Glowsticks, the vibrant party favors, are also a form of chemiluminescence. 

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mRNA Extraction

Overview of mRNA extraction

The “central dogma” states that DNA gets transcribed into mRNA which is then translated into a protein. The mRNA strands for messenger ribonucleic acid as it is the messenger between the directions of DNA and the creation of proteins by the ribosome. Researchers and industry laboratories extract mRNA from cells to study processes occurring in the cell. mRNA only accounts for 5% of the RNA in the cell so it is important to have a technique which will specifically purify this type of RNA. RNA is also very sensitive to Rnase contamination, which is found all over your skin as an antimicrobial. To avoid contamination it is helpful to have an efficient and simple method for mRNA extraction. A common method for mRNA extraction is the use of magnetic beads

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Protein Isolation protocol

A protein isolation protocol aims to safely and efficiently separate a protein that you are interested in from a mixture. Isolation of proteins is done from mammalian, insect, plant, yeast, or bacteria samples. 

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Protein A vs Protein G

Protein A vs Protein G, what is the difference? They are both bacterial cell wall proteins that have primary binding sites for mammalian immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies, including human IgG. Protein G was first isolated from Streptococcal bacteria strains C and G. Similarly, protein A was originally found on the cell wall of the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus.  These proteins have primary binding domains for the Fc region of (IgG) antibodies, but can also recognize the Fab region of certain IgG subclasses described in more detail below.. For the bacteria this is useful because binding IgG’s at the Fc region prevents macrophages from recognizing them, which in turn prevents phagocytosis of the invading bacteria by the host immune system. For scientists this IgG binding can be used for probing in experiments such as purifications or immunoprecipitations.

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