Getting inside the brain of a killer and decreasing research costs – your latest issue of BioTechniques

Written by Francesca Lake (Editor-in-Chief)

BioTechniques logo issue release brain imaging

This issue of BioTechniques brings you a look at neuroimaging inside the courtroom, cell-free protein synthesis and new method updates to make lab life easier. 

Technology news 

It’s been a question asked at various times in history: can biology predict a killer? Here, Editors Jennifer Straiton and Francesca Lake examine whether neuroimaging can – or should – be used to explain a criminal act. 

Read now: Inside the brain of a killer: the ethics of neuroimaging in a criminal conviction 


Biopharmaceutical products represent a growing share of the pharmaceutical market, but current cell-based protein synthesis technology can be a bottleneck. This Review, from Marco Antonio Stephano and colleagues at  Universidade de São Paulo (Brazil), delves into cell-free protein synthesis – how it works, recent advances using the technology and what we might expect from the future. 

Read now: Cell-free protein synthesis: advances on production process for biopharmaceuticals and immunobiological products 

Reports & Benchmarks 

This month’s myriad of method updates make your lab work faster, cheaper and easier! 

Urea-based amino sugar agent clears murine liver and preserves protein fluorescence and lipophilic dyes 

An online tool for fetal fraction prediction based on direct size distribution analysis of maternal cell-free DNA 

Assigning immunoglobulin class from single-cell transcriptomes in IgA1-secreting versus membrane subpopulations 

Simple and efficient custom transcription activator-like effector gene synthesis via twin primer assembly 

Protocols for the preparation and characterization of decellularized tissue and organ scaffolds for tissue engineering 

New cloning vectors to facilitate quick allelic exchange in gram-negative bacteria 

A low-cost platform suitable for sequencing-based recovery of natural variation in understudied plants 

 If you missed last month’s issue update, take a look here >>>