Viral pneumonia in kids? Most people don’t realize it, but this disease is one of the leading killers of children under the age of five around the world.  People often think of malaria, diarrhea, birth asphyxia, or preterm birth complications as early childhood killers.  And they are. But so is viral pneumonia, often caused by the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). “Of the more than 30 million childhood cases worldwide, RSV causes 1.4 million hospitalizations in the first 6 months of life and 120,000 deaths before five years of age worldwide each year. Severe complications include pneumonia and bronchiolitis.” 1 The problem    Read More
Come along with me today while I broaden my knowledge of one of our newest products, an HIV RNA quantitative PCR control. I’ll be chatting with Thomas Parks, the lead molecular scientist on the development team for this highly innovative material. First, I’ll fill you in at rapid speed with what I know already. Advanced Biotechnologies released HIV-1 (IIIB Strain) Quantitative Viral RNA as a new product in 2018. This HIV RNA quantitative PCR molecular standard is especially helpful for validation of clinical laboratory tests and verification and validation of diagnostic laboratory tests because: It contains the entire viral genomic    Read More
How effective is UV sterilization? Does it work for bacteria and viruses? What are the pros and cons? These are questions I hear a lot working in the microbiology field, especially when people think about how dirty their cell phone gets. With more and more UV sterilization products coming on the market, you might be wondering if they are worth trying. So, let’s dig in! UV light has been used for sterilization and disinfection as early as the mid-20th century. With advancements in technology, and specifically in the UV bulbs themselves, its reliable long lifespan (thousands-of-hours) and smaller size (e.g.    Read More
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