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GEN’s editorial staff interviews life science academic and biotech industry leaders on important research, technology, and trends. These podcasts will keep you informed with all the important details you need.

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign say they have found a solution to a problem that has plagued scientists for decades: the tendency of chemical buffers used to maintain the pH of laboratory samples to lose their efficacy as the samples are cooled. The team of chemists reports the development of a method to formulate a buffer that maintains a desired pH at a range of low temperatures.

During this week's GEN podcast, team leader Dr. Yi Lu and graduate student Nathan Sieracki provide the key details about their novel buffer solution. They talk about the steps the team followed to find the ideal buffer and explain why the results of this research are important to scientists working at universities, biotech, and pharmaceutical companies. The scientists also describe the implications of a temperature-independent pH buffer for both new and previously published research.

Listen to the podcast then give us your thoughts on the following question:

How do you think life science research can be advanced in light of the development of this new buffer solution?
Dr. Yi Lu received his B.S. degree from Beijing University, P. R. China, in 1986, and his Ph.D. degree from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1992, under the direction of Professor Joan Selverstone Valentine. After two years of postdoctoral research in Professor Harry B. Gray’s group at the California Institute of Technology, he joined the Department of Chemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1994, where he is now an HHMI Professor and an Alumni Research Scholar in Chemistry. He is also a Faculty at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology. He is a Fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has won HHMI Professor award, Beckman Young Investigator Award, Research Corporation Cottrell Scholars Award, Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, and Early Career Award, Society of Biological Inorganic Chemistry. His research interests focus on the design and engineering of metalloproteins as biocatalysts, directed evolution of catalytic DNA and aptamers as biosensors, and directed assembly of nanomaterials responsive to chemical stimuli.

Nathan Sieracki is a graduate student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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