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Sandra Porter
Are there scientific terms or concepts that you'd like to know more about? Looking for a bit more of an explanation? Confused about the difference between DNA and RNA? Some of my fellow SciBlings, Tara, Chad, John, Janet, and Bora; have proposed that we consider going back to basics. Others have pointed out that we ScienceBloggers might be a little clueless ourselves about which basics that you'd like us to define. Here's my proposal: You can ask me a question in the comments here - or via e-mail (digitalbio at and I will pick one every week or so and try to answer it. Or, if I can't answer it, I probably tell you where to find the info. I'll put a link to this post in the side menu so you find it later on. What kinds of questions can I answer? I can do best with subjects that I've either studied or taught. As a graduate student, I studied bacteria that transfer DNA to plants. So, I know something about bacteria, plants, and DNA that moves around in the wild. As a post-doc, I worked on the molecular genetics of Trypanosomes (protozoan parasites that cause sleeping sickness). As a college instructor, I taught and developed courses in:
  • Bioinformatics
  • Biotechnology
  • Genetics
  • Immunology
  • Microbiology
  • Media and Solution preparation
  • DNA Technology: restriction mapping, cloning, sequencing, blots, PCR
  • Protein Purification: enzyme assays, columns, etc.
  • Immunochemistry: antibodies, ELISAs, blots
  • Tissue Culture: growing cells in the lab
And lately, I've been working on developing teaching activities with bioinformatics and doing research with bioinformatics on DNA sequencing, genetics, and genetic testing. Now's your chance, ask away!

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