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LOHA Comprehensive Assay for Single Nucleotide Polymorphism, Copy Number Variants and Loss of Heterozygosity Using SureSelect Target Enrichment
Kyeong Soo Jeong, Arjun Vadapalli, Ashutosh Ashutosh, Paula Costa, Brian Peter, Stephanie Fulmer-Smentek, Magnus Isaksson, Jayati Ghosh, Douglas Roberts, Holly Hogrefe

Here we describe a comprehensive assay that enables researchers to identify SNP, INDEL, CNV, and LOH using SureSelect target enrichment. This design can be employed as a standalone entity or in concert with other bait designs for SNP and INDEL detection. We also describe methods for data analysis and visualization.

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The Power Decoder simulator for the evaluation of pooled shRNA screen performance
Jesse Stombaugh, Abel Licon, Žaklina Strezoska, Joshua Stahl, Sarah Bael Anderson, Michael Banos, Anja van Brabant Smith, Amanda Birmingham, Annaleen Vermeulen

Power Decoder (written in R and Python) simulates shRNA pooled screening experiments in silico to allow for the estimation of a screen’s statistical power. Populations of shRNAs were engineered in such a way that the magnitude of depletion and enrichment was known, then using the negative binomial distribution, an in silico model was developed to successfully resemble data from an actual laboratory experiment.

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Knockdown of long noncoding RNAs in breast cancer
1 Jennii Luu, 2 Jesper Maag, 1 Yanny Handoko, 3 Richard Redvers, 3,4 Robin L. Anderson, 5 Maren M. Gross , 2 Marcel E. Dinger, and 1,3 Kaylene J. Simpson 1 Victorian Centre for Functional Genomics, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre; 2 Genome Informatics, The Kinghorn Cancer Centre, The Garvan Institute of Medical Research; 3 Metastasis Research Laboratory, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, 4 Sir Peter MacCallum Department of Oncology, University of Melbourne;

RNAi global collaboration study using Lincode siRNA in a primary screen of tumor and nontumor breast cell lines. Hundreds of lncRNAs are found to affect viability and cell morphology of breast cancer. Presented at Keystone Symposia on Long Noncoding RNAs: From Evolution to Function, Mar 15 - Mar 20, 2015.

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Improved Small RNA Library Preparation Workflow for Next-Generation Sequencing
Sabrina Shore, Jordana Henderson, Anton McCaffrey, Gerald Zon, Richard Hogrefe

We describe an optimized small RNA NGS library prep workflow using chemically modified adapters which suppresses adapter dimers, allows for RNA inputs down to 1 ng and eliminates the need for a gel purification step, thus allowing full automation not previously possible.

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Non-invasive Liquid Biopsy
Frauke Henjes1, Lise Aagaard1, Darren Ellis1, Hannah Lindstroem1, Morten Oksvold2,3, Axl Neurauter1, Ketil W. Pedersen1.

Paramagnetic Dynabeads® magnetic beads provide a versatile, automation friendly tool for fast sensitive and high throughput isolation that can be tailored to isolate specific circulating biomarkers such as cells, exosomes and nucleic acids.

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Specificity of highly potent miRNA inhibitors
Barbara Robertson, Andrew Dalby, Yuriy Fedorov, Jon Karpilow, Anastasia Khvorova1, Devin Leake, Annaleen Vermeulen

miRNA inhibitors are invaluable tools for elucidating the roles of miRNAs. However, potent inhibitors may also affect other miRNAs. To understand the potential cross-reactivity of miRNA inhibitors, various miRNA inhibitor designs were systematically tested. We demonstrate that mismatches both within and outside the seed region of the miRNA interfere with inhibition. Our findings indicate that features important for natural miRNA target recognition are also important for inhibitor specificity.

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Alternative miRNA design for therapeutic RNAi applications
Anja van Brabant Smith, Barb Robertson, Annaleen Vermeulen, Christina Yamada, Angela Reynolds, Anastasia Khvorova, Devin Leake

For in vivo applications, the design of miRNA inhibitors and miRNA mimics must be optimized for stability and potency. However, stabilized miRNA mimic molecules can lose functionality compared to standard miRNA mimic molecules due, in part, to the activity of the stabilized passenger strand acting as a miRNA inhibitor. We discuss how mismatches affect the activity of the stabilized miRNA mimics, perhaps by generating a passenger strand that is less functional as an inhibitor molecule.

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Cas9 driven by an optimal promoter improves gene editing in eukaryotic cell lines when paired with synthetic crRNA and tracrRNA
Amanda Haupt, Emily Anderson, Žaklina Strezoska, Hidevaldo Machado, Shawn McClelland, Maren Mayer, Adam Rocker, Annaleen Vermeulen, Amanda Birmingham, Melissa Kelley, Anja Smith

Presented here are results on the efficiency of using synthetic crRNA and tracrRNA to introduce gene editing events when co-transfected with a plasmid expressing Cas9. We explored the use of antibiotic and fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS) methods for enrichment of cells that have undergone gene editing, and the use of multiple promoters to increase efficiency of gene editing with Cas9 and synthetic tracrRNA and crRNAs.

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Specificity and functionality of microRNA inhibitors
Barbara Robertson, Andrew Dalby, Jon Karpilow, Anastasia Khvorova, Devin Leake and Annaleen Vermeulen

Our findings indicate that features important for natural miRNA target recognition also appear to be important for inhibitor specificity. Understanding the specificity of inhibitors allows for better interpretation of inhibitor activity in endogenous systems.

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Scientific News
Research at St Thomas’s Hospital Exploring Causative Factors of Atopic Eczema and Food Allergy in Infants
Carsten Flohr and his research group at St Thomas’s hospital, London are currently investigating the interaction between skin and gut microbiota in relation to the associated risk of atopic eczema (AE) and food allergy in infants.
Gut Bacteria Can Dramatically Amplify Cancer Immunotherapy
Manipulating microbes maximizes tumor immunity in mice.
Proteins Crucial to Loss of Hearing Identified
Proteins play key role in genes that help auditory hair cells grow.
New Virus Identified In Blood Supply
Scientists have discovered a new virus that can be transmitted through the blood supply.
Far-reaching Genetic Study of 1,000 UK People
300,000 gene variants from 1,000 people made publically available via F1000Research.
DNA Alterations as Among Earliest to Occur in Lung Cancer Development
Genetic footprints of precancer detectable in some blood samples.
Targeting DNA
Protein-based sensor could detect viral infection or kill cancer cells.
Genetic Sleuthing
Sabeti team applies Ebola methods to shed light on spread of Lassa fever.
Seeking “Gold Standard” Wastewater Treatments
Metagenomic analyses lend insights into how microbes break down wastewater contaminants.
Using Genetic Sequencing to Manage Cancer in Children
A team of scientists have investigated the feasibility of incorporating clinical sequencing information into the care of young cancer patients.
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