Choosing the Right Cell Health Assay

artists view inside a cell

Based on the Illuminations article by Dr. Terry Riss, from our Cellular Analysis group.

Choosing the most appropriate cell health assay for your experiment can be difficult.  There are several factors to consider when choosing an assay: the question you are asking, the nature of your sample, the number of samples being tested, the required sensitivity, the nature of the sample, the plates and plate readers and the reagent costs.

What question are you asking?

The first, and perhaps most important factor to consider, is the question you need answered. What do you want to know at the end of the experiment? There are cell health assays available that specifically detect the number of living cells, the number of dead cells, and for assessing stress response mechanisms or pathways that may lead to cell death. Matching the assay endpoint to the information you need is vital to choosing the appropriate cell health assay. Continue reading

Vitamin D: How Supplements Affect Serum 25(OH)D Levels

Sunlight helps make vitamin D.

Some sun on unprotected skin, can be a good thing.

A few years ago a dietician friend sent me an interview with Dr. Michael Holick about vitamin D deficiency. I was stunned by the long reach of this vitamin on human health and physiology. In the past 5–7 years interest in vitamin D deficiency and reports on its connection to various chronic conditions in humans, has skyrocketed.

Generally any health trends with skyrocketing interests, especially those that involve taking supplements, fall off my radar instantly.

In the case of vitamin D, however, I’m a believer but want more information. So when the C. F. Garland et al. report in Anticancer Research (1), “Vitamin D Supplement Doses and Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D in the Range Associated with Cancer Prevention” appeared, I thought it worth a read. Continue reading