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Next-generation sample preparation for liquid biopsy research

The use of next-generation sequencing (NGS) continues to grow due to several factors. Traditional Sanger sequencing performs a single read for each reaction, while NGS generates millions of sequencing reads simultaneously.  Although the accuracy of a single NGS sequence is lower, multiple reads are generated and aligned for a single run, generating an accurate consensus… Read article →



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Remarks from HandsOn: Biobanks

I recently had the pleasure of attending the 4th HandsOn: Biobanks meeting, held from July 29–31 in Milan, Italy. The conference featured several experts discussing the value of clinical biobanks and the relevance of personalized medicine. People attended from all over the world, including representatives from academia, industry and patients groups, medical doctors, policy makers,… Read article →


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Where to tread carefully – how to ensure reliability in microRNA biomarker studies

Accuracy, reliable controls and reproducibility. These are the foundations on which a healthy scientific literature is based. When we read papers, we check the methods section to see how the authors controlled for certain variables, whether the technologies used were appropriate for the question, and how many times the experiments were replicated. Everyone wants to find the… Read article →


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Maximizing quantity and purity of exosomal RNA for liquid biopsy

Exosomes are small membrane-bound vesicles ranging in size from 30 to 100 nm. They have been successfully isolated from multiple biofluids, including blood, plasma, urine and cerebrospinal fluid, and are being increasingly investigated for use in liquid biopsy. Although their primary function was once thought to be waste removal, further study has determined that exosomes… Read article →