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Ideal lab glassware cleaner for molecular biologist

Ideal lab glassware cleaner for molecular biologist


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I'm using Alconox powder detergent to clean my laboratory glassware, the powder is a pain to store near the sink and to use. Would like to make a concentrated liquid to use in its stead.

I have tried a few things, obviously just water and mixing, even up to overnight. It really doesn't go into solution very well, even at seemingly low concentrations. Ive got it up to about 20% w/v but I've tried heat, glycerin, adjusting pH to ~8.8, adding EDTA. I have not added these things in any scientific way, just kind of pouring glycerol or EDTA in.

Wondering if anyone in here has experience with detergents like this , or has done something like this before. Thanks in advance!


If you're just using it for hand washing, you probably don't need an ultra-concentrated solution. A very small amount of detergent goes a long way. (Think about it - what would you do with an ultra-concentrated solution? Probably squirt a small amount on the glassware and then add water.)

What I've seen done is to make your "dilute" solution of Alconox, put it in a squirt bottle, and then use a healthy squirt of it when washing. In fact, you probably find you don't even need a healthy squirt of it. A small amount of even the dilute solution is fine.

The approaches I've seen have been rather cavalier - basically just throwing a bunch of the powder in the squirt bottle and filling it with water. You quickly get a sense of how much will dissolve, and if you use a squirt bottle with a drop tube that doesn't go all the way to the bottom, you don't need to worry if not all of it dissolves.

Alternatively, as you you seem the fastidious type, you can fill another (non-squirt) bottle partway with Alconox, the rest of the way with water and let that sit (perhaps with occasional mixing). This should give you a saturated Alconox solution, which you can use to fill the squirt bottle, being careful not to transfer residual powder from the bottle. Then you can add more Alconox powder and water to the stock bottle, let dissolve, and you should be ready for the next time.

Again, this may only give you a 10-20% solution of Alconox in water, but that should be more than sufficiently concentrated for most usages.


In our labs we just use something like palmolive or bleach followed by a 95% EtOH rinse and finally rinsing with DI water.


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Sample Biology Resume Template

Dedicated biological researcher with more than 4 years of experience using molecular biology techniques including sample preparation and sequencing. Looking to leverage mastery of biolyzers and electron microscopes in biological research at Qyl Inc.

  • Performed DNA/RNA detection using full automated systems
  • Supported test method validation from internal and external labs
  • Performed DNA cloning tests with team of 3 research interns
  • Running PCR and submitting samples for sequencing
  • Training biology research interns
  • Synthesized organic compounds on both small and large scales.
  • Created encrypted database for compiling lab results of plant dissections and distillation.
  • Collaborated with state authorities to control disease outbreaks in farm crops.

Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI

  • Developed reference for future habitat monitoring of groundhog nesting using mapping and survey techniques now used by the State of Michigan.
  • Analytical thinking
  • Creative problem solving
  • Mutagenesis
  • Data entry
  • DNA and RNA analysis
  • Attention to detail
  • Grant and proposal writing
  • Run blog &ldquoBiology Every Day&rdquo, breaking down newest research and biology findings into layman terms.

This is how to write a job-winning biology resume:


I’ve loved science ever since I can remember.

I have a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, a master’s in Engineering Physics (concentration: Solid State Physics), and a bachelor’s in Engineering Physics (concentration: electrical engineering.)

As a NASA Graduate Fellow, I worked with NASA on a series of material science microgravity missions that were conducted aboard the Space Shuttle, and I conducted research as a Graduate Fellow with Oak Ridge National Lab on new materials in their Solid State Physics Division.

I switched to life sciences and went into Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. I started a biotech company that developed new tools for discovering drugs to combat drug resistant forms of HIV. I now love researching ways we can fix the body more naturally.

I also am an avid innovator, and have developed concepts for new medical devices, 3D printing technologies, cellular assays, nanotechnologies, sensors, new materials, etc— I have competed against a pool of 350,000 engineers and scientists from around the world and won licenses with private and public entities for further development of

30 of these technologies. For these awards, I was named a Super Solver. For these awards, I am featured as a Super Solver in the book :”One Smart Crowd” (see below for a partial list of challenges I have won)

I am a Christian and believe that God is the author of all science, mathematics, logic, reason, life, and love.

I have a beautiful wife and 4 wonderful children who I love dearly.

Check out my blog on this site, as well as my books. I think you will find the information interesting and engaging.

I’ve written a book titled, “The Author of Light”, which you can learn more about by —-> CLICKING HERE

If you would like me to speak at your group, organization, or event, please send me an email –> [email protected]

Partial List of Innovation Challenges I’ve Won:

  1. Design and Method to Fabricate a 3D Printed Kidney Glomerulus on-a-Chip.
  2. Use of Microfluidic Pulsed Jets to Produce Artificial Cells.
  3. Real Time Measurement of Steroid Metabolites in Single Cells.
  4. Phenotypic Assays for Screening Chemogenomics Libraries.
  5. Innovative Method for the 3D printing of Cotton Fabric.
  6. Novel Methodology to 3D Print High-Index Glass at Low Temperatures.
  7. Nanosensor for Real Time and Sensitive Detection of Volatile Organic Compounds within the Atmosphere.
  8. Design of a Microarray Assay for Evaluating Biological Efficacy.
  9. Device and App for Real Time Monitoring of Sleep Apnea.
  10. Method For Manufacturing Nano-Ordered Magnetic Biphasic Composite Materials
  11. Design of Artificial Neural Network for Predicting the Global Impact of Climate Shocks.
  12. Application of Electroactive Polymers to Develop a Tactile Digital Interface for the Visually Impaired.
  13. Innovative Use of Aragonite as a Neural Biomatrix.
  14. Method for Producing Flexible and Thin Light Emitting Panels for Residential and Commercial Lighting.
  15. Design of Game Control System for Disabled Individuals.
  16. Innovative Method to 3D Print Electrical Wire Harnesses and Connectors.
  17. Nanoporous Solid Phase Biocatalyst to Increase Mass Transfer Rate of Gas Phase Reactants in a Bioreactor for Fermenting Long-chain Hydrocarbon Biofuels.
  18. Design of Nanocomposite Coating for Increasing Corona Resistance
  19. Process to Produce Sterile Food Pellets at Low Temperature.
  20. Novel Applications of a Smart Shape-Shifting Material.
  21. Novel Nanoparticle Technology to Protect Hair from Excessive Heat
  22. Application of Ultrahigh Molecular Weight Polyethylene Tape for Wind Turbines.
  23. New Cleaning Technique – Supersonic Steam Jet Carpet Cleaner.
  24. Novel Application of Nanoferromagnetic Particles for Optically Active Coatings.
  25. Design of a New Nanoparticle Odor Blocking Technology.

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Molecular Biology Instruments & Equipment

Thermo Fisher Scientific offers a broad range of instruments, equipment, plastics, and service plans providing complete solutions for productivity at all stages of your molecular biology workflow.

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Applied Biosystems PCR plastics have been designed and verified to work with our thermal cyclers for more than 25 years. That’s why they are Engineer Approved to enable optimal PCR performance.

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High performance PCR plastics for optimal PCR results

Shake 'n' Stack Hybridization Ovens

Hybridize bottles with rotisserie or shaking platforms in the versatile Shake 'n' Stack hybridization oven. Ideal for molecular biology labs looking to obtain uniformity with a small footprint.

OWL electrophoresis systems

Separate and analyze macromolecules and their fragments like DNA and RNA for applications in molecular biology. Includes tanks, chambers, casters, plates, spacers, combs, power supplies, and other accessories.

Digital dry baths/block heaters

Designed for basic to advanced applications in a molecular biology lab workflow to safely heat samples. Our dry bath block heaters offer a range of configurations with interchangeable modular blocks with a max temperature of 130°C and a timer. Available in 1, 2 and 4 block sizes.

LP Vortex mixer

Vortex mixers employ precision temperature control at various mixing speeds which make them ideal for a wide variety of molecular biology applications including immunochemical reactions, enzyme and protein analysis, and microarray analysis.

Laboratory hotplates and stirrers

Get a large selection of choices in hotplate stirrers that offer precise control of solution temperature for molecular biology applications.

Thermo Scientific Barnstead GenPure xCAD Plus Ultrapure Water Purification System

Designed for flexibility in the lab with advanced technology allowing for simultaneous dispensing from up to three remote dispensers. The water system comes with leak detection, electronic dispensing for fully automatic volume control, and feed water monitoring that alerts users to fluctuations in the feed water quality. The GenPure UV/UF models produce water free of DNA, RNA, endotoxins, and particles.

Thermo Scientific Orion Versa Star Pro pH/LogR Benchtop Meter

Meet your most challenging applications for pH, mV, ORP and LogR temperature. Easily view measurements on the stunning color display and customize the four meter channels with interchangeable modules. Use LogR technology to measure both pH and temperature using the glass-bulb of most pH electrodes. The unique LogR technology allows for pH and temperature to be measured simultaneously using one probe, which condenses the measuring process for small sample vessels.

Thermo Scientific Orion PerpHecT ROSS Combination pH Micro Electrode

Utilizing ROSS technology to deliver fast, high-accuracy responses in varying temperature, micro-electrodes enable measurement in small, confined spaces. The smaller bulb size allows for measurements within MCT’s and plates. Partnered with the Orion Versa Star Pro pH/LogR measurements, you can measure temperature without the bulkiness of a separate ATC probe.

Thermo Scientific Versette Automated Liquid Handler

Utilizing automation in liquid handling molecular biology applications can reduce hands-on processing time and facilitates consistency, accuracy and a streamlined extraction workflow. The Versette automated liquid handler is a compact, easy-to-use 96/384-channel instrument providing excellent reproducibility, offering a convenient solution for in plate reformatting, plate replication, and plate filling applications.

Thermo Scientific Multidrop dispensers

Increase walk-away time by filling plates with automated precision and reproducibility. Compact Thermo Scientific Multidrop reagent dispensers utilize peristaltic pump dispensing technology and work with detachable autoclavable Multidrop cassettes for the dispensing of reagents, diluents, cells and beads. Choose the right multidrop reagent dispenser for your molecular biology applications.

Thermo Scientific ART Barrier Pipette Tips

Discover the only pipette tips that provide 100% security against liquid and aerosol contamination to better protect the qualitative and quantitative results obtained in your molecular biology applications. ART Barrier Pipette Tips include a one-of-a-kind self-sealing barrier to completely prevent cross contamination of your pipettes and associated samples, by blocking aerosols, liquids, radioactive isotopes and biological materials. Use ART tips on virtually any brand of manual handheld pipettes in your lab.

Thermo Scientific E1-ClipTip Pipettes and My Pipette Creator

Connect your E1-ClipTip pipette to My Pipette Creator, a new web-based pipetting app designed to revolutionize the way you pipette. Create programs and share with multiple connected pipettes and colleagues at once, all from the comfort of your PC. You can also download and share pre-programed prototocols that are specifically optimized for many of your favorite molecular biology sample prep, qPCR, and ELISA reagent kits as well as additional workflow protocols including serial dispensing, dilute and serial dilute.

Thermo Scientific Microcentrifuges

Support micro-volume protocols such as nucleic acid or protein lysate preparation and PCR reaction set-up all in a small footprint with Thermo Scientific microcentrifuges. Combining intuitive controls, easy-to-read displays, and fast one-click centrifuge lid closure with fast acceleration and deceleration, these microcentrifuges provide the flexibility and convenience you need to maximize your lab's productivity.

Thermo Scientific Precision General Purpose Baths

Thermo Scientific Precision general purpose water baths play an important role in the sample prep stage of any molecular biology workflow. Designed to maintain water temperature from ambient to 100°C, you can rapidly thaw frozen samples in a controlled environment, bringing the samples to a precise temperature in preparation for further analysis and cell manipulation. These rugged, high-performance baths range from 2L to 28L, including shallow models to support a wide range of applications and feature auto-on and auto-off timers to optimize operation schedules.

Thermo Scientific Orbital Shakers

Every molecular biology lab needs a reliable, flexible orbital shaker to mix, blend, or agitate bacterial cells. Thermo Scientific MaxQ 6000 or 8000 orbital shakers offer a stackable, space-saving design that provides outstanding drive mechanisms for continuous 24-hour operation, easy-to-use controls, and a choice of incubation or refrigerated solutions.


How to kill your RNA

It all started with a petunia. Now, one Nobel prize later, this technique could prompt molecular medicine’s long-awaited revolution. The technology is RNA interference, and enthusiasts predict it could soon be used to treat every ailment - from cancer and pandemic flu to type 2 diabetes and heart disease - by shutting down rogue genes.

RNAi has gone from discovery into clinical trials with astonishing speed. Large pharmaceutical companies are signing billion-dollar deals to access gene silencing know-how - hedging their bets on its clinical potential. The stakes are high, but the rewards could be colossal.

There is a catch, however, and that is delivery. ’RNAi reagents don’t necessarily go where you want them to,’ says Dmitry Samarsky, vice president of technology development at RXi Pharmaceuticals in Worcester, Massachusetts in the US. He presented his company’s latest research and spoke to Chemistry World at the RNAi Europe conference in Barcelona, Spain on 21 September 2007.

Getting RNAi therapies into specific parts of the body and across the cell membrane is the main challenge. ’The great promise of selective gene silencing has been tempered by many barriers. The major barrier to using RNAi as a therapy is to move it from blood to inside the cell,’ says Paul White from Monash University in Australia.

Given that the hurdle is considerable, is the hype over RNAi therapeutics warranted? ’People in the pharmaceutical industry are saying "the delivery issue needs to be resolved",’ Samarsky said in his presentation. ’Pharma always looks at it from the small molecule perspective: you gulp down an aspirin, it floods the body, it goes everywhere and does the job. We should be looking at RNAi in a different way.’

Fortunes are likely to be made from whoever resolves these issues, so no one is about to give up on medical applications. In fact, quite the contrary. The first generation therapies for age-related blindness, cancer, and respiratory syncytial virus are already being cautiously tested on humans.

Flower power

Clinical interest is such that it is easy to forget that RNAi is a natural process that operates in mammals as well as in lower organisms and plants. The mechanism probably evolved as a way to fight off pathogenic viruses. Many viruses have their genetic material made from RNA. So when they infect a cell, the RNAi pathway strikes back, shutting off key viral genes and aborting the infection.

The first clues of gene silencing were spotted in petunias in 1990. Dutch researchers were trying to produce more vibrantly coloured purple flowers by inserting extra RNA into normal plants. Instead, they lost pigmentation and turned white. Scientists were intrigued, though exactly what triggered these effects was not clear at the time.

Nobel winners Andrew Fire (left) and Craig Mello (right) (seen here with a statue of Paul Ehrlich) discovered RNAi in worms

A few years later, scientists discovered that the silencing mechanism is triggered by double-stranded RNA molecules, just 20 to 30 base pairs long, known as small interfering RNAs or siRNAs. These short strands target matching pieces of messenger RNA (mRNA) that contain the information necessary to manufacture a particular protein. Adding a few of these siRNAs to a cell disrupts that message. With no message there is no protein and the target gene shuts down.

Scientists soon found that it is relatively easy to create a piece of artificial RNA to trip up the cell’s mRNA machinery and turn off gene expression. They began exploiting RNAi to discover the function of thousands of genes.

This tool became so useful that in 2006 the Nobel prize for physiology and medicine was shared by US scientists Andrew Fire of Stanford University and Craig Mello of the University of Massachusetts, barely eight years after their discovery of the phenomenon in worms.

Strike back

It soon became obvious to biomedical scientists that, at least in theory, short snippets of RNA could be used to treat every disease imaginable. From bird flu to permanent hair removal, there are companies racing to harness
RNAi’s tremendous therapeutic potential.

RNAi is a natural process that was first spotted in petunias

Ahead of the game is Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, of Cambridge Massachusetts. The company is entering Phase II studies with a treatment for respiratory syncytial virus, a childhood lung infection for which there is no treatment. If the strategy works, it could lead to a slew of anti-viral therapies.

RNAi could also be the ideal solution for the notoriously unpredictable HIV. Scientists already know that in the lab, a gene silencing mechanism prevents the virus’s replication in T cells, by cleaving its RNA and turning off its main proteins. But the virus mutates and evolves resistance so rapidly that fighting it will take more than a single RNA target. ’The virus always manages to escape from a single RNAi molecule, admits Karin von Eije from University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The team has been testing different short hairpin (sh)RNAs and their ability to stop viral replication in human T cells in culture. ’It works well at first but eventually the HIV virus sneaks out. It mutates to become RNAi resistant,’ she says.

It takes four different types of RNA molecule, each designed to interfere with a different aspect of the virus, to stop HIV-1 escaping from RNAi. To turn this finding into a therapeutic, the researchers from the Berkhout lab in Amsterdam envisage taking progenitor cells from patient’s bone marrow and genetically modifying them with a lentivirus vector carrying the four therapeutic RNAs. The cells are then returned to the patient, who develops a healthy immune system protected against HIV.

Trials for HIV/Aids using a similar strategy are taking place at the City of Hope biomedical research centre in California, US, directed by John Rossi, and in collaboration with Australian biotechnology company, Benitec.

Simone Hess, a molecular biologist at the Max Plank Institute for Infection Biology in Berlin, Germany, is bullish about this approach. ’If the virus mutates too much, you can easily switch RNA sequences. It’s much faster than developing another small molecule,’ she says. Finding good drug candidates is costly and time consuming. If, at the end of that effort, the molecule fails, it’s back to the drawing board. By contrast RNAi relies on tweaking a few bits of RNA. ’It is several orders of magnitude faster and more specific than conventional drugs,’ says Hess.

Topical RNAi applied to the genital tract could be especially effective. Judy Lieberman, senior investigator at Harvard Medical School, US has found that vaginal applications of siRNAs protect mice from a sexually transmitted infection - lethal herpes simplex virus type 2.
An siRNA used as a microbicide could protect against viral infections with a similar infection route.

While siRNAs work well if delivered into tissues that are relatively easy to access, systemic delivery remains a vexing problem. The challenge is in getting them to cross the cell membrane. They need to be bound to liposomes, cholesterol, aptamers (small DNA molecules), chitosan or nanoparticles to get across and maintain high levels in the body. Flooding the system with RNA molecules does not work either - most particles remain in the liver.

By contrast, a guided missile strategy using antibody fusion works beautifully, says Lieberman. ’You can deliver your drug specifically to the cells you want to target, you use less drug and it is less toxic.’ The Harvard researcher has fused an antibody fragment (for instance an antibody to LFA1, a protein manufactured by active T cells) to a fragment of protamine. While the protamine binds to siRNAs, the antibody discriminates between disease-activated T cells and resting T cells. ’It’s an advantage when treating autoimmune disease or in transplant rejection, where you may not want to globally reduce the immune system, only to stop those cells causing the problem,’ she notes.

Collagen carrier

The idea of a simple switch-off is especially appealing in cancer, where tumours generally arise from aberrant genes. But unless the RNA therapeutic reaches every tumour cell and wipes it out, the cancer will return. Takahiro Ochiya, from the National Cancer Centre Research Institute in Japan, is pinning his hopes on one formulation: the atelo-collagen molecule. This pepsin-treated collagen has all the attributes of an excellent drug carrier. ’It’s charged, stable and well-accepted by the body. It resists digestion,’ he says.

In prostate cancer, atelo-collagen RNAi has yielded encouraging results. Bone metastasis is the main problem in the human disease, and Ochiya has created a luciferase (bioluminescent enzyme) mouse model to track progress. After a systemic injection, atelo-collagen-based RNA therapy rapidly disappears from all tissues, but it persists in the tumour for up to a week, probably due to poor lymphatic drainage. The Japanese researchers designed siRNAs for two prostate cancer genes to attach to the carrier. ’It was a hit. Both those genes were good targets and there was no recurrence for two months.’

Ochiya has also silenced the breast cancer ’slug’ gene with atelo-collagen RNAi. Although tumour growth was unaffected, the lymph nodes were clear - the cancer had not spread. ’Slug could be a novel target to inhibit metastasis,’ he says.

Forever young

RNAi therapies could shut down troublesome genes that kick in with ageing. As baby boomers grow older, the toll of Alzheimer’s disease, for instance, is expected to rocket. The ideal therapy would stop beta-amyloid protein - associated with the formation of Alzheimer’s disease plaques - from accumulating in the brain. Xavier de Mollerat du Jeu, at Invitrogen in San Diego, US, has shown that, in a mouse model of the disease, injecting siRNAs (StealthTMRNAi) against the human amyloid precursor protein directly into the brain ameliorates the neurodegeneration. ’The neurons took it up - we were very excited.’ But, the Invitrogen scientist stresses, ’I don’t see grandma with a pump on her head. We are looking at some delivery reagents which will allow us to do a single injection rather than using a pump.’

RXi Pharmaceuticals is tackling ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), a neurodegenerative disorder also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. ’ALS is rare but it’s gruesome, and there is nothing to help these patients,’ RXi’s Samarsky explains. A mutation in a gene called SOD1 triggers this devastating, progressive motor-neuron degeneration, leading to paralysis and death. So far, a pump delivering RNAi into the spinal column of a mouse ALS model shuts down up to 50 per cent of the harmful gene and extends lifespan by 20-35 per cent. It is a promising start. ’When it works, it will be a great proof of principle for other neurodegenerative diseases - Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s, even pain. That’s our vision.’

At RXi, obesity and type 2 diabetes are also in the therapeutic firing line. Because the RIP140 gene is the body’s overall metabolic controller, it makes an excellent target. Mice genetically engineered to turn off RIP140 production are lean and resistant to diabetes even on a high fat diet. It’s a dream scenario for many consumers - to avoid a health risk commonly associated with eating a fatty diet, and even resist gaining weight. Traditional small molecule approaches have failed to tackle this key protein, but it may be treatable with RNAi.

So how long will it be before the delivery issue is resolved? ’Having it in every cell is probably not going to happen. But maybe you don’t want that,’ says Samarsky. He suggests that investigators should see whether any of the 110 different administration routes approved so far by the US Food and Drug Administration is good for their particular application.

Despite the hurdles, the RNAi field is set to grow aggressively. RNAi-based therapies could be in the clinic by 2009, and their arrival will shake up healthcare.

Set against the backdrop of the traditional, small molecule approach, Samarsky says RNAi is ’a completely different story’.

Lisa Melton is a freelance writer based in London, UK

The next big thing is tiny

Small pieces of RNA, no more than a couple of dozen nucleotides long, are stirring up the cancer field. ’If you look in tumour tissue, you will probably identify microRNAs 80 per cent of the time,’ says Stephanie Urschel, an application scientist from ThermoFisher Scientific in Germany - a company that provides tools for microRNA analysis. As the results from pioneering labs flood in, it seems that miRNA profiles could be used to distinguish normal from cancerous cells, and even to classify human cancers.

Because they play important roles in embryonic development, scientists suspected these small, 20 nucleotide-long RNAs might be involved in cancer. Some researchers are finding that microRNAs can act as cancer-triggering oncogenes. Reuven Agami at the Netherlands Cancer Institute has traced their involvement in human testicular germ cell tumours. Work by David Bartel at MIT suggests approximately 1000 human microRNAs regulate around one third of our genes.

MicroRNAs turn human genes on and off, not just individually, but as whole networks. So antagonising microRNAs could correct an entire disease pathway in a way that is impossible by today’s medicines. How microRNAs operate, however, remains largely mysterious. ’Scientists are intrigued and challenged by microRNAs,’ says Urschel.

The field is exploding, but some results suggest that microRNAs could be constitutively expressed in a number of tissues, which could put a dampener on therapeutic efforts, as inhibiting microRNAs could lead to toxicity. ’Everyone was so excited when it happened, but there are microRNAs everywhere, and people have realised it is very complex,’ says Susan Magdaleno, a scientist with RNAi company Ambion, in Austin, Texas.

While most agree that microRNA therapeutics set a new paradigm for treating disease, it may be some time before they can be fully exploited as treatments. ’That’s the next big thing: elucidating exactly how microRNAs do it,’ says Urschel.


  • Dr. Li-Meng Yan - who was among the first people to tout the Wuhan lab theory - said in her latest report COVID-19 is 'an unrestricted bioweapon'
  • She said the Chinese government and 'certain overseas scientists and organizations' covered it up
  • In an interview on Newsmax Wednesday night, Yan referenced a February 1, 2020 exchange from Fauci's email dump with one of his direct reports
  • Dr. Hugh Auchincloss wrote in email to Fauci that the 'experiments were performed before the gain of function pause but have since been reviewed and approved by NIH (National Institutes of Health)'
  • Yan's work has been heavily scrutinized, criticized and said to be 'deeply flawed' by other leading scientists
  • Fauci said multiple times in interviews over the last two days he still believes the coronavirus origin jumped species not from a lab leak

Published: 17:40 BST, 3 June 2021 | Updated: 12:18 BST, 4 June 2021

A Chinese virologist who was among the first people to suggest that coronavirus leaked from a lab has accused Anthony Fauci and top scientists of covering the leak up.

Dr Li-Meng Jan claims coronavirus is a bioweapon and accuses Dr. Anthony Fauci of being among scientists and organizations who knew about it and tried to hide it.

There are growing calls across the world for claims that coronavirus accidentally leaked from the lab in Wuhan to be taken seriously after US intelligence agencies launched an investigation.

A growing number of experts believe that China was conducting gain of function research on coronavirus, which genetically enhances viruses so that scientists can develop vaccines, and an accident resulted in its release into the world.

The Chinese communist party is accused of hiding this gain of function research at the Wuhan Institue of Virology with the help of US scientists who funded it, however claims that the virus is a bio-weapon are still regarded with scepticism.

Fauci and a host of scientists still insist that it is most likely that coronavirus spread to humans from bats or pangolins while failing to rule out the lab leak theory.

But a Wednesday night interview on Newsmax, Dr. Li-Meng Yan said Fauci's emails, which were published by Buzzfeed and the Washington Post on Tuesday, proved he knew about the Chinese gain of function research before the pandemic started.

They showed leading virus experts warning Fauci that COVID-19 may have been created in a lab while he publicly played such claims down.

'These people knew what happened, but they chose to hide for the Chinese Communist Party and their own benefits,' Yan said.

The emails show that on Jan. 1 2020, shortly after the first cases of the virus were detected, Dr. Kristian Anderson, an immunologist at the Scripps Research Institute emailed Fauci saying that some features of the virus could potentially be man made.

Dr. Li-Meng Yan said Fauci 's emails proved he knew about warnings that coronavirus could be the result of Chinese gain of function research before the pandemic started

President Biden has ordered the intelligence community to redouble efforts into finding out whether the novel coronavirus emerged naturally or from a lab. Researchers at the Wuhan Institute for Virology are seen in this February 2017 file photo

The Wuhan Institute of Virology is about 20 miles from the Huanan Seafood Market where the first coronavirus cases were first reported

How Fauci flip-flopped on the origins of COVID

April 2020 : Fauci repeatedly made public statements suggesting that that COVID was the result of an 'unusual human-animal interface' in a Chinese 'wet market' and that 'the mutations that it took to get to the point where it is now is totally consistent with a jump of a species from an animal to a human.'

May 2020 : Still adamant that he didn't believe the coronavirus was man-made. 'If you look at the evolution of the virus in bats and what's out there now, [the scientific evidence] is very, very strongly leaning toward this could not have been artificially or deliberately manipulated,' he told National Geographic in an exclusive interview published May 4, 2020. 'Everything about the stepwise evolution over time strongly indicates that [this virus] evolved in nature and then jumped species.'

Late May 2021 to early June 2021 : During an event called 'United Facts of America: A Festival of Fact-Checking,' Fauci was asked if was 'still confident' that the virus evolved naturally.

'No, actually … I am not convinced about that. I think we should continue to investigate what went on in China until we continue to find out to the best of our ability what happened,' Fauci said. 'Certainly, the people who investigated it say it likely was the emergence from an animal reservoir that then infected individuals, but it could have been something else, and we need to find that out.'

He added: 'So, you know, that's the reason why I said I'm perfectly in favor of any investigation that looks into the origin of the virus.'

Shortly after, Fauci sent an urgent email to a deputy of his, Hugh Auchincloss, asking him to review a document he was attaching, which was titled 'baric, shi et al nature medicine SARS gain of function.'

Although the contents of the attachment are unknown, the title, it's claimed that is likely a reference to Dr. Ralph Baric a US-based virologist, who had performed US government-funded research in collaboration with Wuhan Institute scientist Dr. Shi Zhengli, who specializes in coronavirus transmission in bats.

In other emails from early in the pandemic, British medical researcher Dr. Jeremy Farrar, who was involved in early top secret conference calls discussing the virus, shared an article from the website ZeroHedge suggesting that the virus could be a bioweapon.

On April 17, 2020 Fauci announced that it was believed the virus had emerged from bats in China.

In an email sent two days after the announcement, Dr. Peter Daszak, a virologist who was doing US government-funded coronavirus research in Wuhan, thanked Fauci for: 'publicly standing up and stating that the scientific evidence supports a natural origin for Covid 19 from a bat-to-human spillover.'

Daszak then persuaded 26 other scientists to sign off on a letter he had written to world-leading scientific journal The Lancet claiming the virus could only have been natural in origin and to suggest otherwise creates 'fear, rumours, and prejudice'.

The letter flatly denied the virus could have originated in a lab in Wuhan and dismissed it as a 'conspiracy theory'.

The letter was seen as so influential it cowed most experts into refusing even to consider that the virus could have been man-made and escaped from the Wuhan Institute.

Jamie Metzl, who sits on the World Health Organization's advisory committee on human genome editing and is a form Bill Clinton administration staffer, said Dr Daszak's letter was a 'form of thuggery'.

He said: ‘The Lancet letter was scientific propaganda and a form of thuggery and intimidation.

Dr Yan has published three reports on the origins of coronavirus - two last year and one this year. The latest report published on March 31 said: 'The causative agent of COVID-19, is not a naturally occurring pathogen but an Unrestricted Bioweapon.

'It is a product of the bioweapons program of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) government, the network of which includes not only the CCP scientists but also certain overseas scientists and organizations.'

All three reports were published without peer review on Zenodo.

The scientific establishment and liberal media for months dismissed the Wuhan lab leak as a conspiracy theory after Donald Trump suggested it was a possibility - until President Joe Biden announced that intelligence agencies are investigating.

British intelligence reportedly assessed the theory recently and upgraded its likeliness from 'remote' to 'feasible'.

Then came Fauci's email dump on Tuesday, when more than 3,200 of his emails from January to June 2020 were obtained and published by Buzzfeed and the Washington Post.

Yan referenced another of these emails during her interview with Newsmax.

On February 1, 2020, one of Fauci's direct reports, Dr. Hugh Auchincloss, wrote in an email to Fauci that the 'experiments were performed before the gain of function pause but have since been reviewed and approved by NIH (National Institutes of Health).'


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Keeping Your Laboratory Water Bath Contaminant Free

Anything in a bath or that was in a bath can cause contamination if a scientist sidesteps ways to avoid the problem.

Mike May, PhD

Anyone who has ever incubated anything has also fought contamination at some time&mdashprobably many times&mdashand sometimes it starts in a bath. When asked about sample contamination in water baths, David Hayes, product manager for Cole-Parmer Laboratory Equipment & Supplies (Vernon Hills, IL), says, &ldquoThe effect is as varied as the types of samples that get thawed or brought to a specific temperature for an experiment.&rdquo

So the contamination can arise in cell cultures, samples of nucleic acids, and so on. In fact, anything in a bath or that was in a bath can cause contamination if a scientist sidesteps ways to avoid the problem. Usually the contamination comes from the water in a bath or from cross-contamination, which is something&mdashthe bench, a glove, a vessel&mdashthat was contaminated and touched the sample before it was placed in the bath.

Sometimes even being careful is not enough. &ldquoContamination can beset any and all samples incubated in a water bath, even with proper bath maintenance,&rdquo says Alexander Cranson, technical sales support, North America, at Sheldon Manufacturing (Cornelius, OR). A bath kept at human body temperature, 37° Celsius, creates the biggest risk because it generates an ideal environment for microbial growth.

Cutting the odds

Although nothing is foolproof, scientists can reduce the odds of bath-related contamination of samples. As Cranson points out, &ldquoProper bath-cleaning protocols are paramount.&rdquo For one thing, that means not cleaning with anything abrasive that creates fine scratches that enhance the possibility of algal or bacterial growth.

Certain bath features can reduce contamination risk. A fluoropolymer coating, for instance, resists contamination.

How scientists use a bath also matters. Some top tips include the following: use only distilled water, float the sample so the lids stay dry, and keep the bath covered as much as possible. Keeping the samples in place with racks also helps. Cranson adds, &ldquoPlace your bath away from high-traffic doorways and out of direct sunlight.&rdquo Borderline-obsessive cleaning won&rsquot hurt. &ldquoSanitize and wipe down the vessels, benches, and anything that comes in contact with the water, and change gloves frequently,&rdquo Hayes encourages.

Benefits of beads

With water serving as the vehicle of contamination in so many cases, one option is this: get rid of it. Sakthikumar Ambady, a molecular biologist in the biomedical engineering department at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (Worcester, MA), says, &ldquoI can personally vouch for the success in eliminating contamination by avoiding the use of a water bath.&rdquo Instead, he uses a dry bath or keeps the reagents on the bench to bring the samples to the ambient temperature.

Ambady has trained more than 300 students over the past five years using this approach, and his students contaminated the cultures in only three instances. He points out: &ldquoThese students are novices, and as you can imagine, they are not attuned to the realities of contamination.&rdquo Still, omitting the water baths eliminated most of the contamination.

The beads also make it easy to hold a container at almost any angle without damaging the sample. If scientists use beads that do not collect moisture, it&rsquos easier to keep them clean. Still, beads need cleaning too. Nonetheless, Hayes says that the &ldquouse of metallic bath beads instead of water avoids splashing, dripping, and the majority of transfer contamination.&rdquo

Bead baths can also keep a lab greener. Some bead baths can heat samples while using less energy. In addition, the cleaners for beads can be less toxic than some things used in water baths.

Making changes in a lab might take some doing. &ldquoCell culturists are generally compulsively obsessive when it comes to their routine procedures,&rdquo says Ambady. But if contamination keeps coming up in your samples, it might be time to rethink your sample-heating approach.


Out On A Limb


Opening a freezer in his lab at the UF Cancer and Genetics Research Complex, developmental biologist Martin J. Cohn reveals dozens of glass vials containing tiny, embryonic organisms. He removes one of the bottles. Even blurred by condensation, there is no mistaking its contents. Sharks are instantly recognizable, even when they are embryos.

Cohn removes additional containers filled with embryos from other animals &mdash lampreys, mice, chickens, ducks, snakes, turtles, mollusks, more &mdash a menagerie of rudimentary life, frozen in time.

&ldquoPeople in my lab look at so many different organisms because we go to the species that is best suited to answer our questions,&rdquo Cohn says. &ldquoIf we want to understand how limbs were lost in evolution, we&rsquore not going to learn much by studying a mouse with a mutation that causes it to have no limbs. Uncovering the path that was taken by snakes or legless lizards or eels or whales requires us to study those organisms.&rdquo

With the sensibilities of an anthropologist and the techniques of a molecular biologist &mdash and the wide-eyed enthusiasm of a kid with a jar of tadpoles &mdash Cohn says the embryos have taught him about evolution and the molecular building blocks that shape appendages from feet to flippers.

His findings have shed light on evolutionary processes and human problems such as birth defects, including the recent rise in the incidence of malformed genitalia in newborns. And they&rsquove earned him recognition as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Early Career Scientist, the first in Florida and one of only 50 in the United States.

Each embryo in Cohn&rsquos collection provides its own take on life&rsquos multibillion-year-old story. But common genetic plotlines appear in all of them.

In chick embryos, for example, Cohn found the master switch for limb formation &mdash a multifunctional protein called fibroblast growth factor, or FGF &mdash that is now known to initiate limb development in all vertebrates, including humans.

From the embryos of the catshark and the lamprey, Cohn&rsquos research group traced the origin of the genetic instructions that build our own arms and legs and found that they were actually being perfected in the dorsal fins of fish nearly half a billion years ago &mdash about 200 million years before limbs evolved &mdash a completely new notion about life on Earth.

Shark embryos have been especially revealing. Cohn and his students discovered that the genes for development of fingers and toes were beginning to flicker on in the fins of sharks more than 200 million years before limbs made their debut.

Previous work suggested that the transition from fins to limbs involved the addition of a completely new phase of gene activity. Instead, Cohn&rsquos team demonstrated that what was thought to be an evolutionary innovation had actually existed in fish eons earlier than anyone suspected.

Genetic Toolbox

&ldquoEvolution has been remarkably unimaginative when it comes to inventing new ways to solve problems,&rdquo Cohn says, paraphrasing Lewis Wolpert, an emeritus professor in cell and developmental biology at University College London and one of Cohn&rsquos mentors.

&ldquoIf you look at the broad classes of genes involved in developmental processes, there are relatively few, and they&rsquove been used time and again,&rdquo Cohn says. &ldquoFor instance, you see the same gene network involved in patterning a fly wing and a human limb. That is not because the limbs evolved from a common ancestral limb. Limbs evolved lots of times. But every time limbs evolved, nature went back to the genetic tool kit, and used the same tools to fashion those appendages.&rdquo

Now, Cohn is taking that thought a step further. Could the same gene network that initiated fins and then limbs have been employed to build genitalia?

About 365 million years ago, when animals with four limbs gradually began to spend more and more time in the terrestrial world, an external sex organ became necessary for reproduction.

In the water, the meeting of sperm and egg is possible outside the body and most fish and amphibians reproduce by external fertilization. But on dry land, a sex organ is essential for delivering sperm to an egg safely inside the mother. So, the conquest of land may have required not only the evolution of fingers and toes, but also external genitalia.

&ldquoWe&rsquore pursuing the idea that the same gene network that builds fins and limbs was recycled yet again by evolution to build a new appendage in a new location, the genitalia,&rdquo says Cohn, who is a professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology.

Already, Cohn&rsquos lab has noticed striking similarities between the processes that control limb development and those that regulate development of genitalia.

&ldquoThe embryo has to solve many of the same problems to build limbs and genitalia, like initiating outgrowth of an appendage, and telling cells whether they are positioned at the top or bottom or left or right. It makes biological sense that the same signals would be used to accomplish the same goals, albeit in different locations,&rdquo he says.

This knowledge is being used to investigate why an increasing number of boys are being born with a birth defect called &ldquohypospadias,&rdquo which involves incomplete formation of the urethral tube.

&ldquoThe incidence of genitourinary malformations in humans came as a huge surprise to me,&rdquo Cohn says. &ldquoA staggeringly high frequency of one in 250 kids has a urethral tube defect, and that number has more than doubled in the past 30 years without an explanation.&rdquo

Even more surprising to Cohn was how little was known about the genetic control of genital development.

He suspects that toxic chemicals in the environment, known as endocrine disruptors, are contributing to the problem, and that defective genes are not solely to blame. However, by identifying how these contaminants interfere with the gene networks that build the urethral tube, Cohn believes his research group will be a step closer to preventing the disruptions that cause the birth defect.

Comparative Approach

During the course of his research, Cohn has asked fundamental developmental questions: What initiates the formation of external genitalia? What is the trigger that makes limbs develop? What molecular processes are at work to position the limbs so precisely? You never see a vertebrate with six limbs, only pairs of upper and lower limbs. And people are not born with two left feet, no matter how it may seem on the dance floor. Toes grow in standard positions at the end of feet positioned at the ends of legs.

To find the answers, he looks to his assortment of embryos. If he wants to know how the first fins evolved, he identifies the event on the evolutionary tree of life, and then finds organisms that can &ldquotell&rdquo him what happened.

&ldquoThe ideal solution would be to go back in time and study an embryo of a primitive vertebrate that had no fins, then, study the first organism that developed fins,&rdquo Cohn says. &ldquoWe would determine what occurred differently in the body walls of these animals during their embryonic development. But since we don&rsquot have a time machine, we do the next best thing and take a comparative approach, using extant living organisms whose lineages can be traced to these critical positions in evolution.&rdquo

That&rsquos why lampreys &mdash jawless, eel-like creatures abundant in the Great Lakes &mdash and sharks play important roles in Cohn&rsquos studies. The lamprey has hardly changed at all since its ancestors first appeared in the early Cambrian period 540 million years ago. The shark is only slightly more recent &mdash its lineage goes back about 500 million years ago as the first jawed fish with paired fins.

&ldquoLampreys tell us about the prefin condition because they retained that primitive, finless state,&rdquo Cohn says. &ldquoWe can then go to the other side of that event by looking at sharks, the most primitive vertebrate that has paired fins. These animals are no less evolved or specialized than we are, but the difference is their lineages are very ancient and even the modern versions retain some very primitive anatomy.&rdquo

Similarly, by analyzing genes at work in embryonic porpoises and pythons, Cohn and his colleagues discovered how the ancestors of today&rsquos whales and snakes abandoned their legs over vast expanses of time.

Fossils show that the ancestors of today&rsquos whales and dolphins were tromping about on land more than 50 million years ago. They were four-footed animals about the size of large dogs. They became the sleek swimmers we recognize today during the next 15 million years, losing their hind limbs in a dramatic example of evolutionary change.

Cohn says the gradual shrinking of the whales&rsquo hind limbs was the result of slowly accumulated genetic changes. Then, within a relatively short few million years, the limbs disappeared. What happened, Cohn&rsquos team determined, was that a gene called Hand2 became inactive in the hindlimb buds of those animals. Hand2 &mdash genes are often given names that make them memorable &mdash is essential for turning on yet another gene absolutely critical for limb development in vertebrates, called Sonic hedgehog.

Without Sonic hedgehog &mdash named after a video game character &mdash no creature with a backbone has a leg to stand on, including whales.

But why would any animal evolve to grow limbs, only to further evolve to lose them?

&ldquoWe&rsquove been able to answer questions about how limbs develop and evolve,&rdquo Cohn says. &ldquoWhy is harder.&rdquo

But you can tell he is thinking about it.

'Ardi' And Marty

The &ldquowhy&rdquo questions of natural selection &mdash Darwin&rsquos mechanism by which favorable traits such as limbs, or lack thereof, are passed along to succeeding generations &mdash began to grip Cohn while he was an undergraduate studying anthropology at the University of Texas. Later, when he met biological anthropologist C. Owen Lovejoy, his graduate adviser at Kent State University, Cohn figured out how to get a grip on the answers.

&ldquoOf course Marty is haunted by &lsquowhy,&rsquo&rdquo says Lovejoy. &ldquoAnybody who goes into anthropology is always going to be haunted by why. Here we are cognitive animals, talking about our evolution. It&rsquos a merry-go-round.&rdquo

Lovejoy is renowned for reconstructing the near-complete skeleton of &ldquoLucy,&rdquo a tiny female who was part human, part ape, and who lived at the edge of an African rainforest about three million years ago. But in October 2009, Lucy&rsquos days as the earliest-known human ancestor were at an end.

Lovejoy and colleagues had found an ancient ancestor that preceded &ldquoLucy&rdquo by an astounding million and a half years. The skeleton of a 4.4-million-year-old human-ape ancestor, a female dubbed &ldquoArdi,&rdquo was about to rewrite the story of human origins, and Lovejoy was reviewing proofs of 11 papers being prepared for the journal Science.

Even though sufficiently occupied with &ldquoArdi,&rdquo Lovejoy wanted to talk about &ldquoMarty.&rdquo

&ldquoHis most defining characteristics are a curiosity and drive that are unending,&rdquo Lovejoy says. &ldquoThere is no bottom to it. He gets so excited by every discovery &mdash and I&rsquom sure that is infectious for his students &mdash but it is like he has the discovery virus. When you have it, you can&rsquot put an experiment down until you finally have it all figured out.&rdquo

Cohn met Lovejoy at a pivotal time in the field of developmental biology, not long after fibroblast growth factor was discovered. Notions were growing about how FGF in its many forms seemed essential for normal development of vertebrate animals, and Cohn and Lovejoy were paying attention.

&ldquoThe whole discovery process of FGF and the early advanced work in limb bud development was going on,&rdquo Lovejoy says. &ldquoThose reports were being made almost weekly, and we would meet and read the latest article and get more and more excited.&rdquo

With Lovejoy&rsquos encouragement, Cohn spent a summer learning laboratory techniques at University College London from Cheryll Tickle, a world authority on the mechanisms of embryonic development. After three months, Cohn was offered Ph.D. funding, and Lovejoy advised him to accept. Cohn wrapped up his master&rsquos research with Lovejoy and would go on to receive his doctoral degree in developmental biology from University College London.

&ldquoAnthropology tends to lag behind the other sciences because it concentrates on descriptive things, like fossils, and we were both so excited by development,&rdquo Lovejoy says. &ldquoSo I thought he should take the offer. He did, and the next thing you know, everyone is reading about how he discovered that FGF is responsible for formation of the limb bud.&rdquo

Following The Blueprint

At this point, Cohn knew that if he was interested in anatomical changes over time, whether it involved hundreds of millions of years of evolution or 30 years for an increase in a human birth defect, his path was in developmental biology.

&ldquoOwen (Lovejoy) really got me thinking in a different way, less about why and more about how, which is a very mechanistic approach,&rdquo Cohn says. &ldquoI realized that if I wanted to understand how animal form changes during evolution, such as how limbs evolved from fins or how snakes lost their legs, I had to understand development, because that&rsquos when the genetic blueprint for the body is being executed.&rdquo

Since arriving in Gainesville in 2003, Cohn and his UF colleagues have discovered the evolutionary origin of the genetic program for fin development, shown how this program was modified to form fingers and toes, and identified the molecular basis for the loss of legs during whale evolution. The group has also published widely on the genetic control of external genital development.

Ultimately, it&rsquos hard to predict where Cohn&rsquos explorations into evolutionary processes will lead, Lovejoy says. Similar work has given the world the techniques of DNA analysis now used in medical diagnostics and criminal investigations, although that was never its original intention.

Cohn frequently cites the example of the developmental biologists who devoted 12 years of work studying a gene called &ldquopatched&rdquo in developing fruit flies. The same gene would later be implicated in the most common type of human skin cancer.

&ldquoAs soon as the link between patched and basal cell carcinoma was found, cancer biologists could utilize over a decade&rsquos worth of work on the function and regulation of that gene in the fly wing,&rdquo Cohn says. &ldquoIf none of that work had been done in the fly, I don&rsquot know if it would have even been discovered that this gene was involved in cancer.

&ldquoThat&rsquos the beauty of basic science. We&rsquore in the business of finding out how things work and we don&rsquot always know what sort of application will result,&rdquo he continues. &ldquoMy lab is trying to understand what causes evolutionary changes, and what causes birth defects, and the interesting part is how each of those areas can inform the other. By studying these weird animals and taking advantage of the diversity that evolution has produced, we are getting unexpected insights into disease.&rdquo

Reaching into his laboratory freezer, he removes another test tube and clears the mist from the glass to reveal a lump of unfamiliar contents &mdash nothing like the shark embryo, which looks like a miniature version of its adult self.

It&rsquos a duck embryo, and Cohn says its genetic thread in life&rsquos long, long story has some answers about the ever-increasing problems of birth defects in human genitalia &mdash once again, evolution and development, one informing the other.


Watch the video: Cleaning of laboratory glassware (May 2022).


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