Archive for the 'Science' Category

Fluorescent-labeled Oligonucleotides’ Role in Genetic Diseases

January 19th, 2016 | Category: Science,Technology

Written by: The Midland Certified Reagent Company

Oligonucleotides aid researchers in allocating certain issues within genetic diseases.

Advanced techniques have greatly simplified labeling oligonucleotides and their conjugates. Studies have shown that they are now less tedious, more cost-efficient, and more effective than ever before. These new techniques have given researchers the ability to utilize moieties such as a fluorescent label that’s consisted of a dye or biotin. There have been huge strides taken in the development of new, and improved, labeling methods that give a more “refined” role for oligonucleotides.

What is their use?

There are some key procedures that fluorescent-dye-labeled oligonucleotides take part in, including PCR, restriction mapping, genetic research, and DNA sequencing. They have also become one of the most reliable dye attachments when it comes to either DNA or RNA synthesis.


The dye labeling of synthetic oligonucleotides is extremely important in analytical biotechniques. The production of these synthetically-dyed oligonucleotides is done in a shorter time and in high yield with a high purity.

The importance of their design translates beyond the procedures as they have proved to assist in things that surpass simple research purposes. Genetic diseases are being evaluated with these oligonucleotides and researchers are uncovering more information and details about them than ever before. The details that come from this research also affect how various treatments can be developed to help minimize the effects and even prevent lives from being consumed by the genetic disease as well. Researchers are constantly battling to find an effective cure for these global diseases and by advancing small role players such as these oligonucleotides and uncovering more about their structures in both RNA and DNA synthesis, progress can be made little by little.

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This Incredible Gesture from the Alfred Mann Foundation Helped a Retired Marine Reclaim his Life

September 04th, 2015 | Category: Science,Technology

Meet the recipient of the world’s first robotic hand.

Soldiers are devoted to this country in a way that few professionals are. They are willing to sacrifice life and limb, and sometimes their duty calls them to do just that. During his second tour of Afghanistan, when Staff Sergeant James Sides encountered an IED he did not hesitate to act. He immediately began the process of disarming the bomb, but something went wrong.

An explosion threw him from his position, disorienting him. As he tried to pick himself up he realized that his forearm had shattered from the impact. He had also lost his entire right hand.

Although Sides made a full recovery, he lamented that his life would never be the same. That’s where the Alfred Mann Foundation found a way to step in and help. The Foundation began in 1985. Alfred Mann, who himself had a long history making prosthetics and bionics for multiple parts of the body, wanted to tackle the challenge of assisting individuals with debilitating handicaps. With the help of Rogers and Cowan, and Executive Vice President Steve Doctrow, the Foundation set out to debut their scientific breakthrough.

The Alfred Mann Foundation fitted Sides with a revolutionary device that relies on embedded electronics to function. A small transceiver was surgically inserted into Sides’ muscles. This device reads the movements of his muscle and his arms and translates that data into motions of the hand. All of this happens in mere moments.

The future of medicine will deal extensively with this interaction between man and machine. The technology used to produce the hand for Sides demonstrates an acute knowledge of the human body. Prosthetics, especially robotics, will lead to dramatic improvements in the quality of life for these individuals.

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Identifying the Genes Inside Humans

July 06th, 2015 | Category: Science,Technology

Written by: The Midland Certified Reagent Company

One of the most significant scientific breakthroughs of the twenty-first century is the ability to decode the human genome and essentially read our own genes. We’ve learned a lot since that point, but we still have a long way to go applying this knowledge in a way that benefits patients. Someday, dual-labeled probes will be able to screen DNA from parents to analyze a child’s potential for disease. First, we need to identify the genes that cause these mutations, so we can better understand how to deal with them.

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Identify Harmful Genes

Scientists hope that soon we’ll be able to identify a disease based on its genetic makeup, which an important step in curing. The challenge lies in what to attack. Without knowing the genetic makeup of diseases, any vaccines engineered to fight them might hurt well-meaning cells too. Medical scientists are beginning to use the automated process of oligo synthesis to study how a disease might react before we try to use a cure on a live subject.

Synthesize Cures

Part of understanding the body means understanding how medical science impacts it. We might not know that a particular vaccine could alter someone’s genetic structure and cause mutations we don’t want unless we experiment for those outcomes. A modified oligo allow techs to simulate the disease with normal human DNA, literally diagramming how a potential cure alters the genetic material involved.

Final Thoughts

With a greater understanding of the human genome, we can fight disease at a molecular level instead of treating symptoms as they arise.

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Applications for Thin Film Evaporation

November 08th, 2014 | Category: Science,Technology

Written by: Denton Vacuum, LLC

Summary: Thin film applies a smooth coating to a substrate, often changing its properties entirely.

Thin film evaporation allows manufacturers to coat devices with substances that can alter their properties entirely. This process is used in metallization of screws, where plastic pieces are turned into durable objects used in high-performance settings.

This manufacturing technique is used by many industries that produce products that live in your home.


Thin Film is only one technique used to apply coatings to a substrate. In ion beam assisted coatings, a laser is used to guide the application of materials onto the substrate. Plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition superheats chemicals to a gas state, and is used in manufacturing solid objects like eye glasses.


To extend the eyeglass example, PECVD allows a manufacturer to break down a chemical into gaseous form. The molecules are applied to the lens as they cool, coming to settle on the surface of the lens as it is carefully rotated for an even coating. You may see this process at work in medical devices as well, especially in those that use hydrophilic coatings for better interaction with organic material.

Advantages to Thin Film

This technique is preferable to sputter deposition, because the finish created is smoother. It’s free from defects, or small inconsistencies that would normally coat an object that has undergone sputter deposition. It also makes it easier for manufacturers to bind certain chemicals and create entirely new substances. Plasma-enhanced silicon nitride, for example, is a thin film used in the formation of high performance automobile parts.

Related Story: How to Make a Semiconductor

Related Story: Handbook of Thin Film Devices

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How Circuit Boards Are Made

July 25th, 2014 | Category: Science,Technology

The development of the modern circuit board really began in the early 20th century. It was German inventor Albert Hanson who first discovered how to laminate flat foil conductors on an insulated board. Since, circuit boards have become crucial to the operation of electronic devices in the home and workplace. These important components would not be possible without advanced manufacturing techniques.

Mapping Boards

The first step in the creation of a circuit board is to map the wafer and plot out where the circuitry will actually go. There is a process called photolithography that is used to add a kind of roadmap to the board. Next, a sputter deposition system is used to lay the conductive materials onto the board itself.

Conductive Materials

The primary material used in the creation of a circuit board is copper-based. Copper is highly conductive of electricity, and fulfills the requirements a circuit board needs. Copper thickness is usually specified in micrometers, and a square foot usually requires about an ounce of melted down copper. Using a PECVD system, manufacturers can apply three or more layers of copper to the board, creating a heavy copper layer.

Final Thoughts

Circuit boards need to be able to draw in power and then disperse that power to the proper units. The creation of these boards is highly regulated, with safety standards designed to limit flammability and document maximum temperature threshold. These boards are live electrical parts, so they must be able to operate safely without sparking or shorting out.

Denton Vacuum, LLC sells thin film evaporation devices for advanced manufacturing techniques. Find heavy duty manufacturing devices online at Denton Vacuum, LLC.

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The Hidden Civilizations of the Amazon

January 30th, 2014 | Category: Science,Uncategorized

Written by Phin Upham,

For a long time, scientists believed that it would be impossible (or very nearly improbable) for groups of people to reside in the Amazonian rainforest. Not only was it difficult to mount an expedition to uncover any ruins, the poor soil quality seemed to hint that the food needed to support civilization simply could not have come from the jungle.

But the discovery of ancient roads and earthworks seem to suggest that a group of people once thrived there. Those seeking further proof need only look at the ground. The secret was a treatment the natives gave to the land that turned the ground black.

So called “terra preta” is a black soil with bits of charcoal and Columbian pottery mixed in. Archaeologists estimate that the soil was made over 2500 years ago, before the Columbians ever set foot in the jungles.

What scientists found about the soil placement was also telling. The groups seemed to prefer settling on bluffs overlooking rivers, or the Atlantic Ocean. Civilizations did exist in the western portion of the Amazon, near the Andes where runoff from the mountains brought minerals organically to the soil.

Skeptics argue that the evidence is inconclusive. The absence of terra preta does not mean the absence of civilization. Because the original findings came from heavily trafficked sites, it’s arguable that we merely weren’t looking for civilizations before we stumbled upon them.

How these civilizations thrived is still a mystery, but their food sources no longer have to be. It appears people did once live in the Amazon, but what the region looked like before we found it is an image thus far lost to time.

Phin Upham is an investor from NYC and SF. You may contact Phin on his Phin Upham website

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Our Response to Social Rejection Might Be “All in our Heads”

October 15th, 2013 | Category: Science

By Samuel Phineas Upham

Researchers have known for a while that our brain releases natural painkillers when an individual experiences physical pain. However, Science Daily reports that a new study reveals that the brain releases the same chemicals when a person experiences social rejection.

In addition to being released during social rejection, the study found that opioid was also released in the brain during social acceptance. “The opioid system is known to play a role in both reducing pain and promoting pleasure, and our study shows that it also does this in the social environment,” said Hsu.

The findings of the study will be helpful to researchers who are studying depression and social anxiety. Senior author of the study, Jon-Kar Zubieta, M.D., Ph.D., told the paper that, “”It is possible that those with depression or social anxiety are less capable of releasing opioids during times of social distress, and therefore do not recover as quickly or fully from a negative social experience.”

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About the Author: Samuel Phineas Upham is an investor at a family office/ hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phin Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media and Telecom group. You may contact Phin on his Samuel Phineas Upham website or Facebook.

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Using Silicon Valley Power to Bring Clean Water to Africa

September 30th, 2013 | Category: Science

By Samuel Phineas Upham

Scott Harrison understands the perception of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs as being self-centered and unconcerned with the plight of others. It’s something that he’s hoping to change by taking tech hotshots directly to where help is needed the most. According to the New York Times, Harrison’s charity: water has installed wells and hand pumps in 20 Third World countries, giving more than one million people access to clean water.

The work of charity: water doesn’t just revolve around rich CEOs cutting a check to a charity. Their donors actually go to the countries to see that their donations are being turned into clean water for underprivileged people. The trip chronicled in the New York Times included the founders of Spotify and WordPress along with celebrities such as Tony Hawk.

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Samuel Phineas Upham About the Author: Samuel Phineas Upham is an investor at a family office/ hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phin Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media and Telecom group. You may contact Phin on his Samuel Phineas Upham website or Twitter.

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