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Archive | February, 2017

HRM for the Detection of Important Poxviruses

A high resolution melt (HRM) is a powerful, post-PCR, analysis technique used to identify the DNA products present. First of all PCR is performed with an intercalating dye present. These dyes have the unique property of only binding to double-stranded DNA. Once incorporated into the newly synthesised amplicon the dye will fluoresce brightly. Performing a high-resolution […]

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New Zika test approved for CDC use

Zika, Dengue and Chikungunya; 3 viruses alike in their symptoms and their transmission by Aedes mosquitoes. Former PCR-based Zika tests were unable to rule out infections with Dengue or Chikungunya. A trioplex real-time RT-PCR assay has now been developed for the detection and differentiation of RNA from these three viruses. This qPCR assay has been approved […]

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PCR a valuable tool for diagnosing HIV infections

The World Health Organisation estimates that approximately 36.7 million people are living with HIV globally. This epidemic still poses serious public health issues. Diagnosis is a key factor in helping to prevent the disease spread as well as ensuring that patients receive the correct treatment as soon as possible. The polymerase chain reaction is used […]

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PCR to determine the likelihood of relapse in AML patients

Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) is a rare form of cancer affecting the Myeloid cells in the blood. It most commonly results from a mutation in the FMS-related Tyrosine Kinase 3 (FLT3) gene. The current treatment for AML is Allogenic Stem Cell Transplantation; the transfer of stem cells from a healthy donor to the patient following chemotherapy or […]

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The 6-letter genetic code

A collaborative project by The Scripps Research Institute, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique and Henan Normal University has seen a stable expansion of the genetic alphabet. Their paper has now been published in PNAS detailing the creation of a semisynthetic organism with a 6-letter genetic code.     Our genetic code consists of 4 bases: A, T, C, G. These […]

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The Story of the Polymerase Chain Reaction

 A recent article, by Maggie Koreth-Baker for Nautilus, details the story of the Polymerase Chain Reaction “from a Pink Squiggle to the Human Genome Project”. The article details the discovery of the thermophilic bacterium, Thermus Aquaticus, from which heat-resistant Taq DNA polymerase was obtained. “This Yellowstone bacterium sparked PCR, one of the great advances in genetics.” […]

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