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Top 5 Methods-Specific Newsletter Stories for 2010

12/27/2010
The Editors

Wind down 2010 with a look at the top 5 methods-specific newsletters stories for 2010, as chosen by the Editors.

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2010 marked the beginning of our Methods-specific Newsletter series. Covering cell culture, microscopy, PCR, and antibody technology, BioTechniques brought you the latest methodological and technical advances in these exciting fields through weekly feature articles and news stories. Look for additional topics to come in 2011, including cell biology, DNA sequencing, epigenetics, proteomics, and translational research. But for now enjoy the editors’ picks of our favorite methods-specific news features from 2010.

Microscopy:

Lighting up addiction studies

Optogenetics is transforming how scientists study neural activation. Julie Manoharan shines a light on several research groups using optogenetics to better understand the neurophysiology of drug addiction. 16 November 2010

Sequencing:

When reference genomes go bad

Recently, the quality of several reference genomes has been called into question. Andrew Wiecek investigates the issue of reference genome quality and talks with several organizations developing tools to help the researchers improve genome annotation. 29 June 2010

Cell Culture:

Ending cell line contamination by cutting off researchers

After 50 years of skepticism, finger pointing, and unenforced protocols, sentiments are growing for mandatory cell line authentication as a condition for funding and publication. Erin Podolak investigates the current state of cell line contamination and finds how raising awareness could help cut off the supply of contaminated lines. 10 August 2010

PCR:

Ancient DNA reaches a dead end?

When German researchers started looking for new ways to unlock the mysteries of ancient DNA they hoped improved methods might yield new insights. Instead they found today’s methods might be good enough – leaving doubt that additional genetic information can be gleaned from ancient samples. Andrew Wiecek reports. 28 September 2010

Antibody:

Standardizing antibody validation data

An international consortium envisions an online antibody warehouse where researchers can compare protein affinity reagents. The problem is that there’s no standardized format for the data. Aleszu Bajak reports. 2 February 2010