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Apr 15, 2013 (Vol. 33, No. 8)

BD Biosciences Introduction to Flow Cytometry

  • Engaging graphics and very informative
  • None

Scientists have to learn new experimental techniques all the time. However, being given a protocol from a labmate or taking your sample over to the core facility does not actually endow you with any background knowledge related to that technique. When it comes to flow cytometry—a technique that is commonly employed to count and isolate specific populations of cells—the BD Biosciences website contains an excellent interactive resource that actually teaches researchers about the technique they are about to employ. The interactive course includes seven modules as follows: overview (an introduction to flow cytometry), fluidics, optics, electronics, optical measurements, data analysis, and sorting. While optimized for particular web browsers, I found the tutorial to run smoothly even with a “suboptimal” browser. Very informative and engaging, this website is a must-visit for anyone new to flow cytometry.

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*The opinions expressed are solely those of the author(s) and should not be construed as reflecting the viewpoints of the publisher, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., the publishing house, or employees and affiliates thereof.

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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

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