Tradeoffs are a constant source of challenge in any research lab. To get faster results, you will probably need to use more resources (people, money, supplies). The powerful lasers used to do live cell imaging may well kill those cells in the process. Purifying DNA often leaves you to choose between purity and yield.
Working with biologics also involves a delicate balancing act. Producing compounds in biological models rather than by chemical synthesis offers many advantages, but it is not without certain challenges. One of those tradeoffs results from scaling up; the more plasmid that is produced, the greater probability of endotoxin contamination.
Protein Crystals. Image courtesy of NASA.
Formation of inclusion bodies is one of the most common complications in heterologous protein expression (1). Despite this complication, the E. coli
expression system is still highly used for eukaryote protein expression. Is this practice based on knowledge or historic consequence? Continue reading
We can probably all think of something we do, whether at work or play, that we would describe as being “both an art and a science.” I have a few hobbies that qualify, but I’m a software developer by trade, and would certainly say that’s true of my job.
Sure, coding has many scientific aspects: there are best practices, design patterns and proven protocols for solving particular problems or addressing specific goals, and software developers love to experiment and prove their own theories about the best way to do something. But, sitting down at the keyboard to code can also feel like sitting down at a blank canvas with a brush, waiting for the muse to strike. Continue reading
Escherichia coli remains the first choice of many researchers for producing recombinant protein for functional studies due to its ease of use, well established protocols, rapid cell growth and low cost of culturing. Researchers often need to clone using an E. coli host with good transformation characteristics first, then transfer the desired clone to the expression host. We have developed a new E. coli host KRX, that provides protein yields comparable to those of BL21(DE3) but with much higher transformation efficiencies. Continue reading