Since RNA is so chemically fragile, working with the molecule can feel a bit like skydiving without a parachute. While we’ve previously discussed protecting RNA using ribonuclease inhibitor proteins (RIs), RIs have very limited utility and use due to their own fragility. So, are there other more robust measures that can be implemented to guard the safety and integrity of RNA during routine manipulation? Fortunately, the answer is yes. Protection of RNA begins with protection of the biological sample itself. The sample containing your RNA of interest is usually chock full of RNases. One way to protect your RNA is    Read More
RNase Inhibitor proteins (RI) by their very nature have an unusual dichotomy. Although they can be quite effective in binding RNases and preventing RNA degradation, they can also be the cause of RNA degradation if they are mis-handled. Although this at first seems counter-intuitive, the explanation is very straight-forward. Some RNases (RNase A and RNase T1, for example) are extremely heat resistant. These proteins can be heated to 100°C and still retain most or at least some of their activity upon cooling. They consist of multiple disulfide bonds which provide conformational stability and catalytic activity. It is these bonds that    Read More
As noted in our previous post, RNases are the number one enemy of RNA stability. So how do you keep your RNA intact when these ubiquitous molecules infiltrate your precious sample? Enter the Ribonuclease inhibitors (RI). These proteins are offered commercially under names like RNaseOUT and RNasin. They originate from different animal sources (mouse, pig, and human are among the most common) and are sold as recombinant proteins.  They are fairly large in size and structure but with a fairly average molecular weight (around 50kDa). This is much larger than that of the RNAses to which they bind (e.g., RNase    Read More
RNA Hygiene Microblog Series Introduction Novel techniques are being developed every day for use with RNA to help achieve more insightful results. This monthly microblog series will share an array of tips and techniques for hygienically working with RNA that the molecular lab newbie, as well as the 30-year RNA veteran researcher, will find helpful. Here at Advanced Biotechnologies we are cheering you on as you work to take extra care and precaution to ensure correct RNA experimentation outcomes. We hope you enjoy this series. RNA Hygiene (Part I) – RNases and Your RNA Hygiene (Cleaning Solutions) The primary enemies    Read More
You may have heard about the link between Epstein-Barr virus and Burkitt’s lymphoma. Did you know that it is associated with a lot of other malignancies as well? In today’s blog we look at the history of EBV, its link with cancer, and a hopeful new treatment that may curb the spread of the virus. At some point in our lives, we have all had a friend, classmate, coworker or family member that has had to stay home for a few weeks due to the “kissing disease” mononucleosis, or, if you don’t want to say that mouthful (pun intended), just    Read More
Oh, great. Another measles outbreak in the U.S. It was just earlier this winter that there were 187 cases in New York. How many has it been since Jan. 1? Hmmm…79 cases across 10 states. Compared to last year’s total of 372 cases in the U.S., it looks like 2019 may be a record year. I should have gotten the vaccine when I was a kid, but it wasn’t what my parents wanted. Now that I can legally make my own medical decisions, do they even have a measles vaccine for adults? It’s curious how one of the oldest diseases    Read More
  This fall, we lost a member of our Advanced Biotechnologies’ family.  Dr. Sukhendra Choudhury was one of our most dedicated scientists from 1998 until 2016. His expertise in viral growths, tissue culture, electron microscopy, quality control testing, infectivity studies, and veterinary sciences made him a critical part of the growth of our company. Dr. Choudhury was well known throughout the company for teaching people by asking them lots of questions, letting them find the answers and think through the process.  For many years he served as a mentor and educator to most of the scientists that passed through our    Read More

Posted:  11/29/2018

If you have ever read Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel, Frankenstein, or seen any of the movies based on it (including such gems as Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein), you at least know that the book is about a scientist, Dr. Frankenstein, a well-educated idealist who created life.  Only in this case, it regrettably took the form of a horrible monster. Of course, Frankenstein was just science fiction, and the scientific knowledge came from what was known in the early 1800s, a relative stone age compared to where we are today.  And yet, even with all our advancements, we are not    Read More

Posted:  10/11/2018

In June 1981, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) depicting five cases of a very rare lung infection, Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP), in young and previously healthy gay men living in Southern California. Besides PCP, these men had other unusual infections, which showed that their immune systems were also greatly compromised.  In fact, two of the men were dead by the time the report was published. What was significant about this edition of the MMWR was that it marked the first official reporting of what became known as the    Read More

Posted:  08/15/2018

Legionnaires’ disease is on the rise. The CDC reported over 6,100 cases of Legionnaires’ disease, a severe and often lethal form of pneumonia, in 20161. Its less potent cousin, Pontiac Fever, also affects many people each year. It is widely suspected, however, that both of these diseases are underdiagnosed. Some even speculate that there could be more than 100,000 cases occurring in the US alone. There is a general public perception that Legionnaires’ disease is rare. In fact, I suspect that if you stopped passersby on the street, the vast majority couldn’t even tell you what it is. This could    Read More