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Automating 2-D Gel Electrophoresis Courtesy of Amersham Biosciences Amersham Biosciences www.amershambiosciences.com The Ettan™ proteomics product line includes the Ettan IPGphor™ IEF system and Ettan DALT™ SDS-PAGE system, plus the standalone Ettan Spot Picker, Ettan Digester, and Ettan Spotter. Alternatively, the integrated Ettan Spot Handling Workstation performs spot picking, digestion, and MALDI spotting in an integrated unit. Applied Biosystems www.appliedbiosyst

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Proteomic Players Pick Plasma

By | March 10, 2003

Courtesy of Stephen Naylor, Beyond Genomics Inc. Like any good board game, proteomics requires a blend of strategy and serendipity. But while the former is about winning, the latter is about achievement, and its rules are still being made. Without such rules, it's hard to measure success, which is why nobody at a recent proteomics conference in San Diego could gauge exactly how far the field has advanced since the human genome was sequenced almost two years ago. Nevertheless, several speakers

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Technologies Vie for Dominance

By | March 10, 2003

Courtesy of Bio-Rad Laboratories  AUTOMATING DISCOVERY: Two-dimensional gel-based proteomics is traditionally derided for its technical difficulty, low-throughput, and lack of reproducibility. Instrument manufacturers have fired back with a range of automated and integrated options. Shown here is the ProteomeWorks product line. Thierry Rabilloud has been doing proteomics since long before the word proteome was even coined. For years Rabilloud, currently at the Atomic Energy Commission Re

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Putting Humpty Dumpty Back Together Again

By | February 24, 2003

Corbis For 50 years, biologists have focused on reducing life to its constituent parts, first focusing on the cell, then working their way down to the genome itself. However, such achievements created a new challenge--making sense of the huge amounts of data produced. As professor Denis Noble, Oxford University, puts it: "It took Humpty Dumpty apart but left the challenge of putting him back together again." Systems biology attempts to reconstruct Humpty Dumpty as a series of overlapping math

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The Alpha Project

By | February 24, 2003

One day, genomic data will be translated into language that can be used to find new diagnostic and therapeutic targets for disease. Computers will mine DNA codes to build nanomachines, and "smart fabrics" will contain sensing capabilities modeled on living things. So says Shankar Shastry, chairman of electrical engineering and computer sciences at the University of California at Berkeley. "Bio is my bet on where the new set of glamour technologies will be," he predicts. But even the small step

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The People's Biology

By | February 24, 2003

Erica P. Johnson Systems biologists envision a hulking database where all biological knowledge can be stored, freely accessed, and designed to interact. From it, researchers could easily extract data to construct virtual molecular pathway models working in their respective networks and in dynamic contexts of time, space, and various environmental cues. Hypotheses could be plucked like apples from the electronic tree of knowledge, and drug targets would fall like leaves. Some want to play out

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Postdocs Pick Institutions that Build Community

By | February 10, 2003

* Based on average score for 34 factors SURVEY METHODOLOGY We posted a Web-based survey and invited our postdoc readers to respond. From about 30,000 invitations, we received 2,800 usable responses from postdocs in the United States, Canada, and western Europe. We asked respondents to assess their postdoc experience by indicating their level of agreement with 34 positive statements about various factors. We identified responses from 681 separate institutions but included only the 150 instituti

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Quality of Life Trumps Prestige

By | February 10, 2003

Courtesy of University of Miami Conventional wisdom says to choose a place to do a postdoctoral fellowship in the same way that you choose a college or graduate school: Just go with the institution that offers the most money and has the most prestige and you can't go wrong. Right? Not according to The Scientist's "Best Places for Postdocs" survey.1 The top-10 list overflows with lesser-known schools that may lack the panache of the Ivy Leaguers or the big research institutes, and they certain

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Genome Evolution: First, a Bang Then, a Shuffle

By | January 27, 2003

Courtesy of Peggy Greb, ARS Photo Library Picture an imperfect hall of mirrors, with gene sequences reflecting wildly: That's the human genome. The duplications that riddle the genome range greatly in size, clustered in some areas yet absent in others, residing in gene jungles as well as within vast expanses of seemingly genetic gibberish. And in their organization lie clues to genome origins. "We've known for some time that duplications are the primary force for genes and genomes to evolve ov

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Birth of an Icon

January 13, 2003

Courtesy of the James D. Watson CollectionCold Spring Harbor Laboratory Archives Getty Images "An unknown Elvis Presley is preparing to graduate from Humes High School in Memphis, Tenn. Princess Elizabeth is preparing for her June 8 coronation. And at the Cavendish Laboratory at University of Cambridge, England, Jim Dewey Watson, 24, and Francis Compton Crick, 36, are trying to persuade Watson's younger sister, Elizabeth, to give up her Saturday afternoon to type a 900-word article that begin

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