Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is one of the most universally used techniques in biology. It’s an integral part of any student’s curriculum and most biomedical scientists have performed PCR or, at the very least, relied on PCR data. Clinical labs also frequently employ PCR to help diagnose patients. With so much relying on one technique, it’s worth revisiting the origins of PCR and how its current iterations—real-time PCR (RT-PCR) and digital PCR—came to be.
Cryogenics is one of the most important fields that has been integrated into biomedical research. It’s employed to store a variety samples, including human tissue specimens, blood samples, and primary cells, making cryogenic storage an essential tool for hospitals and research facilities alike. Here, we’ll briefly explore how the field of cryogenics has developed within the last century to produce the storage equipment used throughout the world to perform ground-breaking research and to discover new medical advances.
Most of us are familiar with the mainstream image of Santa Claus, with his reindeer, sleigh, and a country full of elves that love nothing more than to make presents for children. However, Saint Nicholas was not always the goofy bearded man we picture today, having gone through many facelifts since his humbler beginnings in the 4th century, a time when Saint Nicholas, otherwise known as Nicholas of Bari or Nicholas of Myra, lived.
Histology is one of the most varied fields of research, with a host of practical applications. Scientists have used the histological staining of tissues to understand how our bodies work, to discover novel therapeutic targets for disease, and to help diagnose patients suffering from illness. The term histology was coined in 1819 by Karl Mayer, who combined the two Greek words histos (tissues) and logos (study).1 However, the origins of histology date back even further with the advent of microscopy and the initial investigations into how tissues and organs work inside the body.