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Adam Bonislawski is the editor of GenomeWeb's ProteoMonitor. He covers proteomics and life science mass spectrometry. E-mail Adam Bonislawski and follow his GenomeWeb Twitter account at @ProteoMonitor.
Winning Westerns: Tips and Techniques for Improved Western Blotting Workflows
Western blotting is a powerful and sensitive technique used to detect low amounts of proteins in complex samples, or to monitor protein expression and purification by protein blotting and immunodetection. Difficulties with this technique arise from poor protein transfer and antibody performance, both complicated and critical parts to the procedure, but completely optimizable with some key knowledge on membrane and antibody mechanics. Please view this online seminar, recorded Nov. 5, to gain more technical insight on the science and optimization of Western blotting.
The first speaker, Dr. Tim Nadler, is a Western blot veteran. Running hundreds of Western blots per year and assisting with customer technical issues, his group has amassed a wealth of information on this technique. In his presentation, he shares some tips and techniques that may enhance your current capabilities to run "Winning Westerns."
Following his talk, Dr. Natalie Tronson discusses how the use of optimal detection reagents and systems has enabled her to speed up her Western blotting workflow.
Alex Pearlman hopes his discoveries will affect the way prostate cancer patients are treated. With other researchers, he has developed a genomic copy-number alteration-based prognostic model to predict, at the earliest stage possible, the likelihood that a local prostate cancer will metastasize.
The model was featured in a recent issue of the Journal of Probability and Statistics, a paper that he calls the "culmination of 10 years of work" and the "methods paper" for what he hopes will soon be a clinical test. "The finish line is pretty clear," says Pearlman, who is at New York City's Albert Einstein College of Medicine. "It is to develop a US Food and Drug Administration-approved kit to predict prostate cancer metastases and to alleviate men of needless surgeries and radiation treatment."
Long non-coding RNAs can contribute to processes that switch on the expression of inducible genes in yeast. Purdue University researchers used a combination of cell biology approaches to profile a pair of lncRNAs found in and around S. cerevisiae GAL genes, which get turned on when the sugar galactose is available. Based on their findings, they propose that "these lncRNA molecules poise inducible genes for quick response to extracellular cues, triggering a faster switch in transcriptional programs."
A combination of transcriptome and somatic rearrangement profiling helped a team from the Netherlands characterize heterogeneity within advanced ovarian cancer tumors that had not yet been exposed to treatment. Using multiple samples from three women with ovarian cancer, the researchers identified a wide range of rearrangements and expression patterns, even within individual patients and tumors. The findings "highlight the plasticity of ovarian cancer genomes," study authors say, "which may contribute to their strong capacity to adapt to changing environmental conditions and give rise to the high rate of recurrent disease following standard treatment regimes."
People on the Move
RainDance Technologies has appointed Alfred Merriweather as CFO. He most recently served as CFO of Verinata Health prior to its acquisition by Illumina.
Previously, Merriweather served as CFO and in senior executive positions with several life science and clinical diagnostics companies, including Celera and Monogram Biosciences.
NuVasive, a medical device company that develops spinal surgical products and procedures, has appointed Greg Lucier to its board of directors.
Lucier is the chairman and CEO of Life Technologies, which is in the process of being acquired by Thermo Fisher Scientific. He has also held senior management positions at General Electric.
PerkinElmer has appointed Jon DiVincezo to be president of its Environmental Health business and senior VP of the PerkinElmer. Maurice Tenney, who has led the Environmental Health business for four years, will start in a new position at PerkinElmer overseeing global operations and customer logistics. DiVincenzo will assume the new post on Dec. 2, and will report to Chairman and CEO Robert Friel. Prior to joining PerkinElmer, DiVincenzo served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Enzymatics, and before that he worked at Millipore for 18 years where he last served as president of the Bioscience division.
Francis deSouza has been named president of Illumina. In his new role, deSouza will report to CEO Jay Flatley and will lead the San Diego company's business units. He will also join Illumina's executive management team. DeSouza will join Illumina in December. He currently serves as president of products and services at Symantec, which he joined after Symantec acquired Imlogic, a company he co-founded and led as CEO. DeSouza was also the co-founder and CEO of Flash Communications, which Microsoft acquired in 1998.
An international team, led by Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology Director Svante Pääbo, used specialized DNA extraction and enrichment methods to sequence a nearly complete mitochondrial genome from a 400,000-year-old hominin's thigh bone — believed to be the oldest non-permafrost sample successfully sequenced so far. As they reported in Nature, researchers' phylogenetic assessments at the mtDNA sequences suggested that the ancient individual belonged to a mitochondrial lineage that split from the Denisovans roughly 700,000 years ago.
23andMe was hit with a class action lawsuit just a few days after the US Food and Drug Administration told the firm that it must stop marketing its spit test and genome service to consumers because it has failed to address FDA's questions about the clinical and analytical validity of the product. The suit alleges that 23andMe "falsely and misleadingly" advertises its services as providing health reports on 240-plus conditions and traits as well as other information, such as carrier status, "when there is no analytical or clinical validation for the PGS for its advertised uses."
The UK government and Genomics England are collaborating to award £10 million ($16.4 million) to small businesses seeking to develop genomic analysis technologies. For phase I efforts, the partners plan to provide grants of up to £200,000 for six-month projects, and only those that complete this phase will be eligible for phase II funding, which is generally used to develop and evaluate prototypes or demonstration units. The funding call will run alongside the 100K Genomes Project, a five-year effort to sequence and analyze 100,000 patients, or infections in patients.
GenomeWeb and Asuragen invite you to view a webinar discussing the use of next-generation sequencing to illuminate druggable targets in oncology while addressing the limitations in DNA quality and yield from formalin-fixed specimens.
Register here to view the playback or download the recording.