Inter-Tech Overload

Common Therapeutic Applications for Oligonucleotides

January 19, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Oligonucleotides continue to enhance medical research.

Oligonucleotides play a large role in both therapeutics and research. Their capabilities have led to researchers developing enhanced forms of these oligos to aid in the systemic enrichment of life’s challenges. Here are some common applications of oligos that are used today.

Allele-Specific Oligonucleotides

These probes are generally utilized in testing for diseases such as cystic fibrosis and sickle-cell anemia. Common point mutations are what this type of oligonucleotide specializes and thrives in. How they go about determining whether or not the samples mutate is by comparing two different types of oligonucleotides, one with a standard sequence and the other with the proposed disease. This indicator has proven to enhance the way laboratories catch diseases in their early stages.

Nucleic Acid Aptamers

These DNA or RNA sequences bind to a specific protein and are used as a sensor for cellular processes. In other words, they assist with the delivery of drugs in clinical trials for a variety of disorders and diseases such as: cancer, muscular dystrophy, and cardiac degeneration. Through either DNA or RNA synthesis, these aptamers become an enriched protein that offers a lot to the medicinal world.

Antisense Oligonucleotides

Antisense oligonucleotides are used to minimize the levels of protein synthesis. This type of oligonucleotide is the foundation for many clinical trials that are being performed in laboratories today. One of the most successful transitions into actual medical work, antisense therapy is available to help treat cytomegalovirus retinitis and certain cancer treatments. The sequences of these oligonucleotides allows for them to be susceptible to degradation and enter the cells with minimal resistance.

The Midland Certified Reagent Company carries only the highest quality of equipment and reagents to assist you in experiments such as DNA synthesis and other activities.

How Deposition Plays a Role in the Food Industry

October 30, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Written by: Denton Vacuum, LLC

Summary: Learn how the food industry utilizes the process of deposition.

In the food packaging industry, plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) and Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) are both important applications that are widely used throughout the industry.

Two of the most important types of application in food packaging in regards to coating are silicone oxide and amorphous carbon solely based on their properties.

PECVD is a process where a thin film is produced on top of a particle. It utilizes plasma to allow for deposition at lower temperatures. The process consists of a substrate, the target, being layered with a film that starts out as a gas but through chemical reactions becomes a solid. The food industry has been using this type of technique for a long period of time which proves how efficient it has been – and still is today.

PVD is a physical method that also creates a thin film but does not involve chemical reactions. These types of thin films take on the appearance of foil, but are a lot stronger and thinner. In the food industry, these metallization processes were used for microwave-heating susceptibility purposes. This method continues to be utilized today and has become a basis for further enhancement and research to uncover more efficient techniques.

Another application still used in the food industry today is thin film evaporation which, hence the name evaporates the thin film coating from a liquid to a gas. Done through heat and mass exchangers, these types of evaporators give workers the ability to retain certain physical and chemical features needed when packing food.

This Medical Breakthrough Will Change Debilitating Injuries

August 14, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Meet the world’s first recipient of a mechanical hand.

Imagine a world where someone who loses a hand or a foot is able to carry on exactly the way that they used to. We already saw some of this amazing work on display at the Olympics, where we’ve seen runners with missing limbs, but a new breakthrough is promising to unlock the potential of robotics in medical science.

Staff Sergeant James Sides was on his second tour in Afghanistan when he uncovered an improvised explosive device buried in the road. He attempted to utilize his training in ordinance diffusing, but the bomb went off close to his body. The blast threw him from his position, and completely severed his right hand from his wrist.

Upon recovery, Sides found that his body felt fine but everyday life was difficult. He was wrestling with things like getting a drink of water, or getting dressed. The Alfred Mann Foundation stepped into help. Their role, in addition to furthering the research behind robotics and medicine, is to help develop practical robotics that can be utilized all over the world. They utilized Rogers & Cowan, led by Executive Vice President Steve Doctrow, to help bring attention to Sides and his fight for normalcy.

Sides was the first of seven people who received this equipment, which is part of a test to see how these devices work long term. The hope is that soon we’ll see more artificial limbs on the market, and we’ll see improvements to existing technology. For now, Sides has three ranges of motion but he may soon have more. This technology will also become more affordable as time goes on, which means it may soon be part of one’s insurance policy coverage.

What Oligos Mean for Medical Research

December 20, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Medical research is an expensive endeavor, and results can sometimes produce more questions than answers. Costs are also spread out over several months or years, the time it takes to conduct the test. It can be difficult to use live test subjects for a number of reasons, like the costs of having them come to the facility for testing. A synthetic nucleotide/polynucleotide can solve many of these challenges effectively.

Precise Testing

When a researcher wants to study how a disease reacts with certain chemicals, he or she needs a specific strand of DNA in bulk. This is far more efficient than waiting for live patients, especially in times of crisis when there is a growing demand for vaccines. Poly c, for instance, is known to interact with macrophages and dendritic cells. As a result, it’s widely used in research involving the human immune system.

Bulk Availability and Costs

Not only is it difficult to find patients that exhibit the symptoms scientists want to test for, it can be expensive to provide a facility to perform the testing. It’s far easier to use oligos that exhibit the traits one needs for the research. Even polymers can be too expensive, and time consuming to produce, to make research feasible in all but certain circumstances.

Quality oligos also make a big difference on expensive projects. Oligos orders are the cheapest aspect of a project, but impure oligos can cause a substandard reaction. Reducing costs means getting the experiment right the first time.

Bio: The Midland Certified Reagent Company manufactures oligos used in scientific and medical research, such as poly I, poly dT, poly dC and poly dA oligos. To order oligos for your research institute, contact The Midland Certified Reagent Company online.

The Uses for a Near Space Balloon

March 27, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

The French balloonist Jean-Pierre Blanchard set off on a record breaking journey from Paris in 1785. He brought his assistant John Jeffries onto a balloon that carried the pair high into the sky. Unfortunately, the balloon soon lost its lift and was in danger of crashing into the English Channel. They managed to lighten the load and save themselves, but today’s scientists use a much safer way to monitor the skies.

A high altitude balloon lets meteorologists and other experts document their observations from the safety of the ground. On any given year, more than 60,000 weather balloons will be launched in the name of science. Hobbyists launch them with cameras attached to participate in near-space photography, launching photos from distances of up to 200 miles in the air. Even NASA uses weather balloons to monitor the conditions of a launch site before a rocket launch.

A weather balloon kit includes gear that records readings from the upper atmosphere. These readings help scientists predict weather patterns, charting the movement of storms and helping give advance warning of catastrophic storms before they happen. A GPS unit can track the distance of the balloon, and help scientists retrieve it when it falls. An onboard computer can track atmospheric pressure, record moisture levels and other important readings.

These science experiments aren’t just a novel forays into the stratosphere, entire cities rely on this data to plan for natural disasters. Thanks to weather balloons, scientists are able to spot impending thunderstorms and flash floods just before they happen.

How to Metallize Plastic

February 2, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Written by: Denton Vacuum

Plastic does not innately conduct electricity. It’s also not usually reflective and glossy, unless you metalize it. The process leaves plastic pieces coated in a metallic shell, allowing usage in the same components that metal pieces would be used. Another advantage to metalizing plastic is that you can make a metallic component for cheaper than it would cost to make manufacture the metal piece. The final piece also has some protection against abrasion, and its lighter weight than a metal component would be. Here is how the vacuum metallization process works.


To begin, the piece is washed and coated with a base layer. This base layer helps the metallic coating get applied evenly over the surface of the piece. Then a metal, typically aluminum, is evaporated inside of a vacuum chamber. The vapors that are created during this process float around inside the sputtering systems, eventually settling on the plastic piece in a thin metallic layer.


To prevent the piece from oxidizing during the process, the entire metallization takes place within a sputter deposition system. The system creates the vacuum, preventing air from coming into contact with the metallic particles.

Final Preparations

If you want to increase the abrasion resistance on the piece you’re working with, a top coat can be applied after deposition is complete. These types of parts are found in automotive components and certain types of foils.

Thin Film Solar Uses Are Heating Up

January 23, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, thin film photovoltaic (PV) cells produced roughly 3,700 megawatts of power worldwide in 2010. But recent research by Wintergreen Research shows that this might just be scratching the surface of what thin film evaporation can mean for the solar energy industry. Wintergreen Research estimates that thin film PV cells will be a $44 billion market by 2017, a 15-fold increase from 2010 levels.

So why is this market expected to grow so much within the next decade? The growth can be partially attributed to the potential for new markets. According to Wintergreen Research, the auto industry is continuing to make inroads toward the acceptance of solar-powered vehicles, which will drive the need for more advanced solar technologies. Solar power will also be a growth factor in building construction.

Thin film optical coating systems have several advantages for the solar industry. Traditional solar panels have relied on silicon cells. These cells are very thick and rigid. By contrast, thin film solar panels are much thinner — they can be as little as one perfect of the total thickness of a silicon solar layer. This makes thin film solar layers much more flexible and gives end users greater application options.

Along with thickness and flexibility, thin film solar offers another advantage over silicon layers: production time. It is much faster to produce a high volume of thin film solar panels than it is to produce ones made from silicon. For high volume jobs that might need solar panels on a short timeframe, thin film panels offer a major benefit.

This blog post was contributed by Denton Vacuum, LLC. Denton Vacuum, LLC is one of the largest manufacturers and retailers of commercial thin-film devices such as PECVD machines.

Why Do Some People Always Focus on the Negative?

October 15, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

By Phineas Upham

Everyone has that one friend, the “negative Nancy” of the group who never seems to know how to look at the bright side of things. A new study suggests that it’s not entirely their point of view: they might be genetically predisposed to focus on the negative. Science Daily reports that a recent study published in Psychological Science reveals than a gene variant can cause people to process emotional events more strongly than others.

According to the article, the study consisted of showing participants a series of positive, negative, and neutral words. People with the gene variant in question were more likely to see negative words than other participants.

Prof. Rebecca Todd of UBC’s Dept. of Psychology told Science Daily that, “These individuals may be more likely to pick out angry faces in a crowd of people.” She added, “Outdoors, they might notice potential hazards — places you could slip, loose rocks that might fall — instead of seeing the natural beauty.”

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About the Author: Phineas Upham is an investor at a family office/ hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phin Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media and Telecom group. You may contact Phin on his Phineas Upham website or Twitter page.