Posted in Biology Basics

DNA Replication in Eukaryotes: The Cast of Characters

dsDNA: The double-stranded DNA molecule that needs to be copied! It contains specific sequences called origins of replication where the molecule can begin to be unwound and copied.

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An exosome is a small (diameter between 30 and 100nm) extracellular vesicle involved in intercellular communications. Exosomes contain protein, mRNA, miRNA, and dsDNA; they can transfer this cargo from one cell to another, influencing the immune system and activating the organism’s responses to events such as wounds. They have been harnessed by tumors for potential metastatic activity and by researchers for localized tumor-specific drug delivery.

Posted in Literature

Early Diagnostic Biomarkers for Lung Cancer: Exosomal miRNAs

Evaluation of tumor-derived exosomal miRNA as potential diagnostic biomarkers for early stage non-small-cell lung cancer using next-generation sequencing.

Xiance Jin, Yanfan Chen, Hanbin Chen, Shaoran Fei, Didi Chen, Xiaona Cai, Linger Liu, Baochai Lin, Huafang Su, Lihao Zhao, Meng Su, Huanle Pan, Lanxiao Shen, Deyao Xie, Congying Xie.

Clinical Cancer Research, June 12 2017. DOI: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-17-0577 Link to Article

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Posted in Science Stories

Barbara McClintock: Transposable Elements in Maize

Unexpected scientific discoveries are usually made by people who are so fascinated by the focus of their research that they probe deeply enough to find and illuminate the hitherto unknown lurking within it. They don’t begin their work hoping for acclaim or awards, but immerse themselves in it for the sheer pleasure of knowledge and discovery. (In this sense, it’s very much like free and self-directed play in small children exploring the world around them, and is powered by the same intrinsic motivation to find out why and how things work.)


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(formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded)

  • A method for preserving tissue samples
    • Can be stored at room temperature
    • Useful for immunohistochemical assays
    • Tends to degrade RNA, DNA, and proteins; not ideal for molecular analyses
  • Ubiquitous; samples can be obtained from biobanks for future studies