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View from the Bench

Insertion of two loxP sites to produce a knockout (KO) of an embryonic lethal gene

A client wanted a knockout (KO) of an embryonic lethal gene. We could not make this line using our standard methods. Instead, we inserted two loxP sites. One in the first intron of the gene and the second in the 3’utr. After we confirmed this line by PCR and sequencing, we injected this line with …

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Analyzing Small C. elegans Populations with the wMicroTracker

Most experiments are based on population analysis. However, some researchers are interested in the study of a single individual. In wMicrotracker it is possible to perform experiments with as few as 1 worm. Here are some tips for doing this type of assay. To increase data accuracy, it is important to use an appropriate number of …

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Reproducibility of behavioral data from C. elegans transgenics with the ScreenChip system

As a service provider, we often use the same technologies/products that we provide to our customers to run experiments in our own lab. Recently, we put our own ScreenChip System to the test. As part of a project for one of our customers, we used CRISPR-Cas9 to generate a complete gene knockout in C. elegans and assessed its effect on pharyngeal pumping. Pharyngeal pumping is …

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Genome wide associations and the nematode pharynx: ever the twain shall meet

Question: What might you get if you cross the feeding organ of a roundworm with a genome wide association study? Answer: A cornucopia of novel genes for synaptic transmission, neuromodulation, energy regulation, peptidergic signaling, learning and memory, and more. This riddle, and its answer, are prompted by the convergence of two exciting trends in research …

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Deciphering Breast Cancer with C. elegans – A Case Study

In recent years, the nematode C. elegans has emerged as a model for systematic dissection of the molecular basis of tumorigenesis. Many cancer genes and pathways are highly conserved and often easier to parse in C. elegans as the gene families involved contain fewer members, reducing genetic redundancy. This case study illustrates how C. elegans were used to decipher breast cancer. 

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Gastropod shell has been co-opted to kill parasitic nematodes

Robbie Rae from Liverpool John Moores University discussed his latest research on how he showed that snails use their shells to trap and kill parasites in a fascinating article published on the independent news site The Conversation. His study has shown that snails evolved to use their shells in this battle as a way to encapsulate and kill the parasites as part of their immune system.

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