37 votes
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What was the breakthrough behind the “sudden” feasibility of mRNA vaccines in 2020?

Answering my own question after reading the 2018 Nature review article “mRNA vaccines — a new era in vaccinology” The resources and motivation engendered by the COVID-19 pandemic are a major factor in ...
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17 votes

How are we able to find the specific sites at which DNA binding proteins bind?

I will try to answer the question in the title: how can we know the sites where DNA binding proteins bind? I'll explain two experimental methods to identify binding sites on DNA. DNase footprinting ...
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11 votes
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Can any enzyme be produced?

No, not all enzymes (or other proteins for that matter) can be obtained in functional form by recombinant expression with today's methods. As you suspect, problems arise when complex post-...
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What are the difficulties/challenges against developing a coronavirus vaccine?

There are multiple challenges presented, and many of those are not limited to coronavirus vaccine. As mentioned above, it just takes time. Before a vaccine can be used in patients, clinical trials ...
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10 votes

What are the difficulties/challenges against developing a coronavirus vaccine?

Vaccine development is not as easy as just inject some inactivated virus as: Vaccine can have side effects such as inflammatory reactions. So for a good vaccine the side effects must be negligible ...
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7 votes

Is PCR a DNA cloning technique?

Short answer All of your sources are correct as they are not mutually exclusive. PCR is used to isolate and amplify DNA to yield small quantities of pure target product. Gene cloning can subsequently ...
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7 votes
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Why is a gene for a fluorescent protein used rather than one for an enzyme that produces fluorescent molecule?

GFP has a lot of advantages: The detection of the fluorescence works directly and doesn't need a lysis step or the uptake of a reagent. Fluorescence can be detected directly using a fluorescence or ...
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7 votes

What is synaptic bias?

Often artificial neurons are created with conventions that zero is "rest" and 1 is "threshold". The unit starts at 0, and when it reaches 1 it will send an input to all of its targets and be reset ...
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6 votes
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How to increase the shelf life of yogurt without refrigeration?

This article gives an excellent review on yogurt manufacturing, but to summarize: -Raw milk goes through centrifugation to remove somatic cells and other solid impurities. -Thermalization is ...
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How does NHEJ cause indels?

This is a very interesting question and I had not thought about it before. I am reiterating the background of your question. Background Cas9 cuts the both the strands of the target DNA at the same ...
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Why are there two abrupt changes in the genome sequencing price curve?

This graph from the Broad's Opinionome blog (ugh) is somewhat more annotated: As noted elsewhere, the precipitous drop in 2007 is almost certainly due to maturing next-gen sequencing (NGS), in ...
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5 votes
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What is a new biotechnology issue?

Biotechnology is a gigantic field. You should have a look at the wikipedia entry for biotechnology. Because of the size of the field "biotechnology", because the word biotechnology accept different ...
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Use of Gene Guns

I think one of the orginal reasons for using biolistic on plant cells was that it seemed to be the only method which proved to be effective. This is due to some reasons: A wide range of highly ...
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Alternatives to PCR

Edited after clarifications in question, Let's start with normal functions of both enzymes. Helicases separates DNA strands while polymerase synthesize DNA strands as shown in the following figure. (...
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Is it possible in modern biology to make any person's identical twin (or genetical clone) using his DNA?

I will assume that by "identical twin", you refer to "clones". Individuals who share the same genetics but of course do not necessarily share the same womb. I won't pay much attention in detail ...
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4 votes
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Consumption of NAD+ in glycolysis

NAD+ is important in this step, since it is co-factor for the glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (G3PDH), which acts as a acceptor for the hydrogen atom from the C1 (see below). If you look at ...
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Why does the pET- expression vector contain a LacI gene additionally to the one in the genome?

According to this article, a single lacI gene copy gives rise to about 10 copies of lacI protein per cell, and we can conclude, therefore, that this is the amount required to keep a single lac operon ...
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Appropriate Buffer for electerophoresis of DNA & Protein TBE or TAE?

There are already many great answers to your question, however I thought I put my comments in form of an answer. The standard for DNA agarose gel is TAE and for the protein, it depends on the size of ...
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Appropriate Buffer for electerophoresis of DNA & Protein TBE or TAE?

Grossly, it does not matter what buffer you use. It is the pH that matters. For DNA electrophoresis EDTA is added in order to chelate divalent cations that serve as cofactors for nucleases. Tris is ...
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Appropriate Buffer for electerophoresis of DNA & Protein TBE or TAE?

The question which buffer for DNA is better is quite old. Both have their pros and cons and I list a few of them: TBE is a better conductor and is thus less prone for overheating the gel Borate is a ...
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Appropriate Buffer for electerophoresis of DNA & Protein TBE or TAE?

I have had good experience using a lithium boric acid buffer from Faster Better Media. I use it for RNA gels, but it's advertised for DNA gels. I don't think it can do protein, but I've never tried it....
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Ethanol production by fermentation?

Yeast can produce up to 16-17 v/v% ethanol without dying according to this article. Yeast is a primary industrial ethanol producer, it produces ethanol even under aerobic conditions, in contrast to ...
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4 votes

Telomere and its effect on aging

Broadly speaking there are two classes of cell in an organism: Somatic cells These are by far the most numerous in your body, and are the differentiated cells including everything from retinal cells ...
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4 votes

Does opening the lid of the spectrophotometer affect my results?

It depends on the construction of the spectrophotometer, the wavelength of light you're detecting, and the sensitivity/accuracy that you're demanding of the result. In the past I have used ...
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4 votes

Best method to cure cancer as of now?

There is no general therapy for cancer - as there is no general cancer. Cancer is the umbrella term for a disease where you have body cells growing without control, leading eventually to death. But ...
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Why is western blotting used to confirm positive ELISA HIV tests?

One reason a Western blot is more specific than an ELISA - even one using the same set of antibodies - is background. Antibody-linked colorimetric reactions aren't completely on/off. There's always ...
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4 votes

Why is a gene for a fluorescent protein used rather than one for an enzyme that produces fluorescent molecule?

There are no genes that I know of that encode proteins, more specifically enzymes, that will catalysed the production of a fluorescent compound from intermediates present in the average cell. ...
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4 votes

What is the easiest way to measure a human body surface area?

How cost efficient does it has to be? Do you want these data to be comparable to another study? Fundamental issues What do you call surface area? The interior of the guts (interior of the mouth, ...
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Using nanodrop for analysing biological samples other than nucleotides

The Nanodrop is a generic UV-visible spectrophotometer. According to the manufacturer, the latest model can measure absorbance from 190 to 850 nm. Its dynamic range is also very good: from about 0.1 ...
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