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What is gel electrophoresis | Types and principles

What is gel electrophoresis | Types and principles

Gel Electrophoresis is a widely used analytical method in molecular biology and biotechnology.

Widely practiced for the separation of particles like viruses, small DNA fragments and nucleic acids and proteins. Also used after the PCR, to separate the DNA copies according to their quality.

Moreover, the electrophoresis method relies on the basic principle that the charged particles in a sample will migrate if an electric field applied to it.

Therefore, once electric field applied, the particle in the solution will migrate according to the charge or size.

Above all, widely used gels like polyacrylamide and agarose are commonly used .

This gel gives sieving or separating effect, and the particle separated by both size and charge.

Small molecules can travel faster than the larger one, also the negative charged particles will move towards anode. Similarly, positive charged particles will move towards cathode, in this way particle gets separated by size and charge.

Electrophoresis of cationic particle is called cataphoresis. Likewise, that of anionic particle called anaphoresis.

what is gel electrophoresis

Types of Electrophoresis

There are different types of electrophoresis but the most commonly and vividly used are mentioned below:

Capillary electrophoresis – molecules separated on the electrophoresis basis by using a capillary tube. To clarify, the molecules separated by running them through the capillary tubes. Accuracy higher but less quantity samples can be loaded at a time.

Native gels electrophoresis – protein run without SDS. Therefore, no proteins will get denatured in this method.

SDS – PAGE – Full form : Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate – Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. To clarify, SDS a detergent which can denature the protein and binds to the hydrophobic site of the molecule. Therefore, becoming the most dominant negative charge of the complex.

Here, the proteins are run through gel, polyacrylamide. Therefore, the particle density and size can be varied.

Electrofocusing gel – A gel with a pH gradient used here. As the particle travels through the gradient.

Meanwhile, it will loose protons and finally gets stucked at a point with no pH.

DNA Agarose gels – Here, agarose gels used to separate large fragments of DNA. The method used to separate according to the particle sizes. Here, no SDS needed because, DNA being negatively charged.

Above all, particle size sensitivity can be adjusted by adjusting gel density.

Sequencing gels – method used to separate smaller DNA fragments with a greater resolution. Firstly, the DNA denatured using heat and at the same time passed through polyacrylamide gel. Moreover, DNA which differ by 1 or 2 base can be separated more accurately.

The glowing DNA under the fluorescent light

Gel Electrophoresis applications

Applied for the estimation of DNA molecules.

Helps in mapping cloned DNA.

Analyzing the PCR products.

Gel electrophoresis widely used in forensics, molecular biology and genetic engineering.

Used in verification of amplified DNA using PCR.

Checking the quality of extracted DNA.

Gel electrophoresis a widely used technique, more modernized. Moreover, to determine the DNA fragment quality. In addition, used after the PCR to seperate and extract the DNA products.

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What is RT PCR? |Reverse Transcriptase PCR

What is RT PCR? |Reverse Transcriptase PCR
What is RT PCR

RT PCR or Reverse Transcriptase PCR is a test used to detect retroviral diseases like AIDS. It gained popularity during coronavirus outbreak.

Before knowing about RT PCR, please refer PCR or Polymerase chain reaction first here – https://sciencebirdie.com/2020/06/17/what-is-pcr-polymerase-chain-reaction-explained/

PCR or polymerase chain reaction is the technique in which the DNA is amplified and the billion DNA copies are made. But, it has exceptions like it can only detect only DNA viruses. Therefore, detection of RNA viruses like retroviruses cannot be possible.

What is RT PCR

This is where the RT PCR has the significance.

Working mechanism

Viruses like Coronavirus have RNA as the genetic material, therefore, the detection using the traditional PCR becomes impossible.

So, scientists convert RNA to DNA using an enzyme called Reverse transcriptase, the process known as Reverse Transcription. On the other hand, the conversion of DNA to RNA is called Transcription.

What is RT PCR
Thermocycler or PCR machine used in PCR technique

Steps in RT PCR

Firstly, the RNA converted to DNA using reverse transcription.

The DNA then transferred to the thermocycler machine or the PCR machine.

Afterwards, the steps denaturation, annealing and extension followed and the billion DNA copies extracted.

Please refer the PCR steps here – https://sciencebirdie.com/2020/06/17/what-is-pcr-polymerase-chain-reaction-explained/

Advantages

Coming to advantages, it had got more in addition than the traditional PCR.

Highly sensitive as the RNA involvement in it.

Highly specific, with more accuracy than PCR.

Requires less than 4 hours in diagnosis, moreover, the laboratories take up to 6-8 hours.

As the genetic material placed in a closed tube with enzymes, it has low potential contamination.

RT PCR in Corona test

Nowadays, with Coronavirus being prevalent, the RT PCR use got very much boosted up.

What is RT PCR

Firstly, the victim’s blood sample is taken then using several enzymes the RNA is extracted and converted to DNA and with PCR many copies are made.

Now, the DNA bases are made to pair with another bases tagged with markers. Further, the pairs are examined through fluorescence technique. If there are abnormalities, in the pairs the pairing does not occur. In other words, the person stated positive in the test.

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What is PCR? | Polymerase Chain Reaction Explained

What is PCR? | Polymerase Chain Reaction Explained

What is PCR?

Polymerase chain reaction is a technique through which the DNA is ampified and desired copies of the DNA is extracted.

What’s with the name?

Polymerase stands for enzyme, chain means the type of reaction. PCR is a chain reaction. Therefore, it is an Enzyme linked chain reaction, which makes copies of the DNA.

PCR – Uses

This technique is used to diagnose infections, above all to detect viral infections.

For instance, The blood sample of the patient is taken and the viral DNA is extracted and amplified.

Used in crime investigation, as it involves DNA. Also, in branches of Biotechnology, Forensic and molecular biology.

Used in Genetic research

Materials required in PCR

Now, you have understood what is pcr and it’s uses. To run a reaction ingredients are required, so here are the ingredients or materials required for the PCR:

1) Thermal cycler or PCR machine

To understand the PCR, first of all it is necessary to understand what is PCR machine. PCR machine or thermal cycler machine is where the reaction takes place. Above all, it is the main machinery in which the DNA copies are made.

what is pcr

Contains small tubes to which the ingredients mentioned below are added.

2) Taq polymerase

The DNA polymerase used here in PCR, it is extracted from a bacteria called Thermus aquaticus which can withstand high temperature. Similarly, this enzyme too can withstand high temperatures.

It is ideal for PCR, because Taq polymerase is active around 70 degree celsius. Also, it is very heat stable.

what is pcr

3) Primers

Primers are short sequence nucleotides. It provides a starting point to initiate the reactions. Moreover, it helps to choose an exact well defined portion to amplify.

3) Nucleotides

These are the basic units of DNA. Required here to make copies with the denatured parts of the DNA.

4) DNA template

This is the original segment of DNA we want to amplify, the target DNA. To clarify, the amplification starts in this template.

Now, we are set with the ingredients. In addition, we are left to initiate the reaction.

what is pcr

The process of PCR is split into three parts:

Denaturation, Annealing and Extension

Here, is the explanation step by step:

Denaturation

The first step in PCR in which the temperature raised to 96 degree celsius. In other words, done to seperate the strands of the original DNA template. That is, one DNA template into two. Here, we will get two separate strands of the DNA.

Annealing

In this second step, the machine temperature is reduced to 55 degree celsius.

After that, it results in the primer attachment to the target sequence of the stranded DNA or denatured DNA,

Extension

The last step in which the free nucleotides are required.

The temperature is increased to 72 degree celsius, meanwhile , it results in the activation of Taq polymerase. It will extend the primers to make new DNA strands.

These are the steps and the reaction occurs like a chain in which from one DNA we get two copies, further from two we get Four copies and so on, so for 100 reactions it can produce billions of copies.

Nanotechnology used in medicine


By Ankita Chouhan Bsc (GEN)

Nanotechnology is a revolutionary technology to treat various medical diseases. Father of nanotechnology is Richard Feynman. It acts like a miracle for treating chronic diseases such as cancer and AIDS. It focuses on production of cheap medicines, reduce side effects of medicines, treat chronic diseases and manufacture to reduce pain and bleeding during surgery. It works on the principle of targeted drug delivery as a drug that directly injected into the effective cells as large amount of drugs affects the healthy cells.

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs)are very thin cylindrical tubes which can penetrate through the cell membrane and provide drugs to the affected cell. Nano sensor chips are also used to detect early stage of Cancer as it possess thousands of CNTs in it. Other than chips, gold nanoparticles are also used to detect cancerous cells. Doxil, cornel dots (C-dots), abraxane etc are some examples of commercially used drugs containing nanoparticles.

In case to treat AIDS we use HAART (High activity antiviral therapy). As we are aware HIV is not curable but through HAART therapy replication of HIV can be inhibited which in turn leads to a life long treatment. HAART therapy was founded in 1996 which involves a combination of three antiretroviral (ARV) which includes integration inhibitors which prevents the HIV inserting is genetic code into the DNA of the infected cell.

Nanotechnology also plays an important role in bone implantation or replacement surgery. Artificial bones made up nanoparticles are much lighter and stronger than standard artificial bones used in the surgery. With the help of nanotech tools such as Arthroscope are also developed which consists of numerous Nano cameras and Nano lights which help in less time consuming and incision free surgery.


What is Quantum mechanics?- Simplified

What is Quantum mechanics

What is Quantum mechanics?-simplified

Definition

The branch which deals with the mathematical explanation of certain factors. Foe example – Heisenberg principle, dual nature of particle and wave relation, etc.

It is a fundamental theory in Physics and one of the famous and complicated too.

Emergence

The theory emerged during the 20th century, at the time when Albert Einstein proposed the general theory of relativity. many scientists contributed for this theory and named in German as ”’Quantenmechanik’ by  Max Born, Werner Heisenberg, and Wolfgang Pauli.

Understanding the Quantum mechanics

Quantum mechanics was a breakthrough for the physics along with the theory of general relativity. Because, before that only classical physics existed which could only explain things in macro levels like astronomy. Afterwards, physicists noticed that there are some phenomenas in micro levels too.

Therefore, to explain the effects this branch came with Mathematical approach.

Quantum mechanics uses

Used for the explanation of atomic and subatomic particles like electron, proton and neutron.

The theory also influenced some other theories like String and super string theory. This complicated theory is used to explain the working of Universe.

Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle comes under this, it explained that it is impossible to determine the both velocity and position of an atomic particle.

Quantum mechanics also showed that a particle can also behave as a wave. Also, many weird things explained by this branch.

Quantum Entanglement

What is Quantum mechanics

This is one of the weird nature of particles. It states that two particles connected can influence the state and behaviour of one another no matter how much the distance is.

These spooky quantum connection can be 10000 times faster than the light.

Quantum mechanics on Universe

According to quantum mechanics reality only exists when you are looking at it. Likewise the Universe doesn’t exist when there is no one born to observe it.

This is somewhat weird… Just imagine a Universe without a conscious beings. This state would be shocking. Just a Universe working without a living thing.

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Sleeping trouble insomnia : symptoms, types, causes and treatment

sleeping trouble

Sleeping trouble are common these days mainly influenced by our lifestyle. So examine the cause and remedies change the lifestyle and fight insomnia.

What is Insomnia or sleeping trouble?

It is a sleep disorder which prevents enjoyable and quality sleep. It can lead to anxiety and depression and other problems.

Generally a human needs a sleep ranging from 6-8 hours. A person suffering from insomnia may wake up early, or they can wake between the sleep. It leads to interruption of sleep.

In the current scenario, mostly, people suffer from sleeping trouble. There are many sleeping trouble or disorders. But mostly it is more related to Insomnia.

So, here we present some of the causes and remedies (very easy one) all the way possible.

sleeping trouble

Symptoms of Insomnia

Check if these are the problems of your sleeping trouble…

Waking too much earlier in the morning.

Not falling asleep within half an hour.

Not staying asleep

Getting interrupted between the sleep

Feeling sleepy during daytime

Lack of attention and concentration

Unable to think clearly

Above are earlier symptoms which can lead to :

Mood swings

Tiredness even lethargy

Depression

Types of Insomnia

Insomnia is a kind of sleeping trouble with many types.

There can be distinction giving sleeping trouble differently.

Acute insomnia

Caused by life problems like stressful job, receiving bad news, tensions etc. It is mainly a mentally related issue and it can be solved without having treatment. In these conditions it is better to be positive and enjoy life. Yoga and meditation can be helpful for this.

Chronic insomnia

It generally occurs when a person falls asleep or has difficulty staying asleep at least three nights a week for three months or more.

Comorbid insomnia

It occurs with conditions related to mental and medical conditions. Mental conditions like anxiety and depression are found associated. Certain medical conditions can cause insomnia like arthritis or back pain and joint pain which makes it difficult to fall asleep.

Maintaining insomnia People with this insomnia wake up during the night between the sleep and find it difficult to return to sleep. It is generally an interruption to a good sleep

Insomnia sleeping trouble causes

There are many reasons for sleeping trouble to occur :

Going to sleep very late

Not sleeping for at least 6 hours

Having a heavy dinner or going to sleep with empty stomach

Getting stressed and tensed

Sleeping too much like for more than 8 hours it can also cause lethargy

Sleeping during daytime

Too much exposure of smartphones and television

Remedies

There are remedies for sleeping trouble or insomnia. But I recommend you for a healthy self treatment without any side effects at home by these ways.

reduce sleeping trouble by yoga

Yoga and meditation

Practice yoga and meditation. Atleast perform pranayama it helps to get quality sleep. Pranayama is a good breathing technique and it transports good oxygen levels to whole body. Meditate silently with a good sound. There are many types of  meditation sound apps available to meditate.

For yoga tips for beginner’s step by step click the link – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCJmPCcVaD0tPbliR65MvNw

I am practicing yoga from this channel and I found it easier and helpful.

Normal Exercise

Lack of exercise can cause sleeping trouble. So, do regular exercise for at least 30 minutes. Cardio exercises or aerobics will be more effective.

Good sleep

Sleep for at least 6 hours and maintain a strict time for sleep. Always try to do the same thing every time before you go to sleep like reading a book. Also, try to avoid using smart phones for half an hour before you go to sleep.

Food habits

Food can influence sleeping a good balanced diet can help you to fight sleeping trouble or insomnia.

January can be rather a tricky month for me, when it comes to healthy food goals and maintaining a balanced diet..So, this week, I'm going to reveal more on that all important healthy, balanced diet and how you and I are going to achieve it on my blog!

Avoid drinking drinks with caffeine. Caffeine gives you energy but will snatch your sleep too.

Use poppy seeds in food (not too much), it will help you in getting a good sleep.

Cumin seeds are helpful in inducing sleep. It has been used in Ayurveda for sleeping troubles. Boil a glass of water and add some cumin seed (less than half a spoon) and drink with medium heat.

Eating Banana can also help as it can act as a tranquilizer.

So folks, I would love to hear your views, so comment down and let me know. It helps us to improve ourselves.

Also remember sharing is caring…. Share this to your dear ones….

#Stay safe #stay inside

CHEERS!

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SpaceX and Blue Origin -design NASA’s manned moon lander

SpaceX and Blue Origin -design NASA’s manned moon lander

Overview

SpaceX and Blue Origin -design NASA’s manned moon lander

NASA is aiming towards the lunar manned mission. The Artemis program for which the initial missions are going to be conducted. According to new reports, NASA had selected Elon Musk’s SpaceX also, Jeff Bezo’s Blue Origin and an Albama based firm called Dynetics.

These companies are collectively going to aim towards the biggest leap of colonizing the moon.

The Artemis program

This Artemis program by US space agency NASA aims to land the first woman and next man on the moon surface by 2024.

This will lead to the colonization of moon in future. Therefore, NASA had tied up with other companies for this mission.

MOON LANDER – CONTRACTS

NASA had done the deal for worth $967 million. For the three companies – $579 to Blue Origin, $135 to SpaceX and $253 million to Dynetics.

Moon lander designs

According to the reports the three companies have three different designs for the lander. SpaceX had designed the next generation spacecraft Starship which once landed will take the astronauts to the surface through an elevator. In contrast, Blue origin design is an Integrated Lander vehicle(ILV).

SpaceX and Blue Origin -design NASA's manned moon lander
Prototype concept for starship

SpaceX and Blue Origin -design NASA’s manned moon lander

Lander selection

According to NASA, the time period of contract will be up to February 2021. Therefore, after the time period NASA will evaluate and select the suitable lander from the initial demonstration mission.

Also, take a look how the tweets are trending…

All this shows that the space race is going much to an extent…

So, Friends! what do you think? Just comment down….

And remember sharing is caring!

CHEERS !

CSA announces the first unmanned Mars mission

by sciencebirdie 0 Comments
CSA announces the first unmanned Mars mission

CSA announces the first unmanned Mars mission

CSA (Chinese Space Agency) announced the name of its first Mars mission. The name Mars mission is named as Tianwen – 1.

This day also coincided with the China’s annual space day. Also, the day marked the 50th anniversary of the launch its first satellite Dongfanghong I.

With the launching of this mission it would be a great day for the Chinese. The unmanned mars mission of CSA is expected to be scheduled this year.

The mars mission name comes from the chinese word “Tianwen” which means “questions to Heaven”, a poem written be Qu Yuan a Chinese poet who lived around 338 BC.

CSA announces the first unmanned Mars mission

The CNSA(Chinese National Space administration) announced that the future missions will be named Tianwen. The country ranks third in terms of space mission.

Till now, the country had failed many attempts in Mars mission. But the country expects that this mission will be a great success. China is in a race with the United States and Russia. With missions like Mars orbiter Mission(MOM) India is also rising to the points table in race.

So, folks what you think about the space race? Just comment down your views!

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NASA – SpaceX launching first manned crew flight!

by sciencebirdie 1 Comment
NASA - SpaceX launching first manned crew flight!

Overview

NASA – SpaceX launching first manned crew flight!

A new mission is going to embark on the American soil. NASA and Space X the two space program organizations are collectively going to launch the first crew manned mission to the International Space station.

As per the NASA reports their astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley will fly on SpaceX crew dragon spacecraft. Which is going to lift off through the Falcon 9 rocket.

NASA - SpaceX launching first manned crew flight!
The photo of crew dragon
Source : NASA
NASA – SpaceX launching first manned crew flight!

Mission

According to NASA, on May 27th at 4:30 pm EDT, the rocket will take off with the astronauts with a speed of 17000mph.

In about 24 hours the crew dragon will successfully dock with the International Space station.

The two astronauts will be working on board with Expedition 63 the members of the space station.

The members will collectively test the crew dragon also conduct various other research in the space station.

After the conclusion of the mission the crew dragon will undock with the two astronauts and will reenter the Earth. and will land on the Atlantic coast in Florida.

They will be collected by the Space x Go Navigator vessel and will be returned to Cape Canaveral.

The duration of the mission not announced till now. According to NASA, it will be announced afterwards.

Being estimated that the crew dragon has the capability to stay in the orbit upto 110 days.

Further Missions

There are many objectives to this space mission. NASA is the national space research body in America and the SpaceX, the private space research body.

Space X founded by Elon Musk with aims to colonize Mars and to start space travel program. The mission is a test for these requirements.

NASA has a future mission called the Artemis to colonize the lunar surface on 2024. Which will send the man and the first woman on the moon.

So guys, what do you think about the future? The craze for space mission is going to change the shape of human civilization….

Comment and write down your views……

Further readings

NASA finds Earth size planet likely – support life

by sciencebirdie 1 Comment
NASA finds Earth size planet likely – support life

NASA finds Earth size planet likely – support life

Imagine, how vast the space is, there are more planets to discover. The common questions that we ask ourselves is that “are we alone?” These are the questions that leave us perplexed.

In the way to prove this query, the United States national space agency NASA found an exoplanet with the size of Earth. With the features of a planet which can host life it gives us hope as a “second Earth”. According to the reports by NASA, the possible planet called “Kepler-1649c” was discovered by going through the old observations of the Kepler telescope data. NASA finds Earth size planet likely – support life .

NASA finds Earth size planet likely - support life
A comparison of Earth and Kepler-1649c
Credits: NASA/Ames Research Center/Daniel Rutter

Kepler-1649c features

  • The exoplanet is located 300 light years from Earth.
  • In contrast, the planet is 1.06 times larger than Earth.
  • Also, the temperature is same as that of Earth.
  • The planet receives 75% of light which is very likely suitable to host a life.
  • It was discovered by going through the data of old Kepler telescope by NASA.
  • The position of the planet is in a habitable zone that is neither too far or nearer to the star.
  • But the planet revolves a red dwarf star which is unlikely to support the life.

The data from this exoplanet shows the potential of the planet. According to the NASA, these reports shows the extra potential of the planet to host life than the previously discovered one.

Previously, scientists discovered another planet through Hubble space telescope. It had the potential to have water in a liquid state. Reports like these gives scientists new hope in search of life on another planet.

But the studies are not over, there are lot to discover for them also to study about the Kepler 1649c surface also the environment.

So folks, what are your thoughts regarding this? Comment and let me know!

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