Surfing the Light Waves: Shrimp, Coral, Turtles and Other Fluorescent Organisms

A branching torch coral, Euphyllia glabrescens.

Have you ever walked on a beach and noticed that the waves seem to glow as they roll onto shore? Perhaps you have seen fish or jellyfish that glow in the dark, or maybe you’ve chased fireflies in your backyard or on a camping trip. These are all forms of luminescence (the production of light without adding heat), but the manner that these organisms produce their light can be quite different. Continue reading

Methods for Quantitating Your Nucleic Acid Sample

Nucleic acid quanitation webinarFor most molecular biology applications, knowing the amount of nucleic acid present in your purified sample is important. However, one quantitation method might serve better than another, depending on your situation, or you may need to weigh the benefits of a second method to assess the information from the first. Our webinar “To NanoDrop® or Not to NanoDrop®: Choosing the Most Appropriate Method for Nucleic Acid Quantitation” given by Doug Wieczorek, one of our Applications Scientists, discussed three methods for quantitating nucleic acid and outlined their strengths and weaknesses. Continue reading

Synthetic DNA and Fluorescent Criminals

DNA in a test tubeA high-tech crime-fighting tool that uses synthetic DNA and a fluorescent dye to label would-be criminals is being implemented in the United Kingdom (UK), Europe and elsewhere and may be making its way to America soon. The system consists of a container of fluorescent dye and synthetic DNA with a nozzle that emits a fine spray. If a someone attempts to rob the store, the clerk can activate a panic button, which alerts police and causes a mist of the harmless solution to be sprayed over the everything in the shop, including the robber. This spray is not easily washed away, especially in hard-to-reach areas like nostrils and under fingernails, and can be detected for weeks after the crime. The robber may not even know he has been marked because the droplets are so fine. However, law enforcements agents will know. Continue reading