On the Horizon

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Technical tips

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Essential genes are defined as genes that are critical for the survival of an organism. These are considered to be genes that are absolutely required for the cell to grown, proliferate and survive. Deletion of an essential gene from a cell eventually leads to the death of this cell or a severe proliferation defect. As a consequence, it is impossible to generate cells with a knock-out or deletion of essential genes.

Thanks to next-generation sequencing (NGS), we are starting to understand the mutational changes that occur across the board in the cancer genome. With this knowledge comes potential - novel mutated genes and the proteins that they encode are candidates for prognostic markers and/or new drug targets.

Cell lines remain one of the most important research tools in many labs today, be it for the study of basic subcellular processes or disease biology. The cell line selection is therefore a critical first step in any research project. Here’s a number of factors to consider, as well as resources to refer to when choosing your cell line (or lines).

Whether it's a stock you've expanded following it's arrival from the cell bank, or a clone you've carefully nurtured from the single cell, banking down your cells in the right way is crucial if you're going to be able to return to them time and again, and revive them quickly so that you can get on with your experiments.