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Archive | July, 2012

desert soils phylogenetic trees

PCR finds biosynthetic genes in desert soils

Bacteria are incredibly diverse and live in most habitats on the planet, from intense cold to extreme heat, and even in radioactive waste – in fact, the biomass of bacteria exceeds that of all the animals and plants on the earth. Over the last decade or so, the number of bacterial species that scientists believe […]

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Science: It’s a girl thing

One of the first things I did as a PhD student was to attend Brunel’s annual PhD research conference.  I had only been here a few weeks so I didn’t have a poster to present but it was a good opportunity for me to learn about my new colleagues’ research.  The conference was held in […]

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PCR 101: An introduction to PCR

The polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, was first discovered in 1983 by Kary Mullis. But what is it? It is a method for amplifying small samples of DNA or RNA, creating millions of copies in just a few hours, and has been described as ‘molecular photocopying’. This makes it possible to analyse DNA when only […]

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