Plasmids 101: TOPO Cloning

Posted by Lianna Swanson on Oct 27, 2016 10:30:00 AM

Toposiomerase based cloning (TOPO cloning) is a DNA cloning method that does not use restriction enzymes or ligase, and requires no post-PCR procedures. Sounds easy right? The technique relies on the basic ability of complementary basepairs adenine (A) and thymine (T) to hybridize and form hydrogen bonds. This post focuses on "sticky end" TOPO (also called TOPO-TA) cloning; however, the TOPO cloning technique has also be adapted for blunt end cloning.

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Topics: Plasmid Technology, Plasmids 101, Techniques, Plasmid Cloning

Changing Labor Laws Bring Increased Postdoc Wages

Posted by Guest Blogger on Oct 25, 2016 10:30:00 AM

This post was contributed by Future of Research Executive Director, Gary McDowell.

On Dec 1st, the threshold at which salaried workers receive overtime payment for working more than 40 hours per week will increase from $23,660 to $47,476 per year, under updates to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

This is having a major effect on scientists within academia, most particularly postdocs working in the U.S., whose current salaries are below the new exemption level (the current average postdoc salary is estimated at around $45,000, but as I’ve discussed elsewhere (slides here) there are many postdocs paid at much lower salaries).

Postdocs (who are not in a primarily teaching role) come under this ruling, regardless of visa or fellowship status, in addition to certain staff scientists and those in technical roles. Therefore, institutions are responsible for ensuring that either all affected scientists are paid above this threshold or for tracking the hours that these scientists work and paying them overtime accordingly.

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Topics: Career, News

5 Reasons to Use Reddit for Science Communication

Posted by Tyler Ford on Oct 20, 2016 10:30:00 AM

Addgene Executive director, Joanne Kamens, recently participated in a Reddit AMA (short for “Ask Me Anything”) on r/Science. You can see some of Joanne’s comments on the AMA process below, but we also wanted to share some thoughts on why we decided to do an AMA in the first place and give you some reasons why you should consider using Reddit to share your science. While Reddit isn’t for everyone, particularly if you’re more interested in selling a product than communicating your ideas with people or discussing science, it is a great way to establish yourself as a thought leader and have real conversations with other scientists.

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Topics: Career, Scientific Sharing, Science Communication, Networking, Career Readiness, Mentoring for Scientists

6 Tips for Grant Writing

Posted by Guest Blogger on Oct 18, 2016 10:30:00 AM

This post was contributed by guest blogger Sean Mac Fhearraigh, co-founder of

No matter what facet of academia you are in, grant writing can be the lynch pin that results in your success or failure and demands attention, practice, and honing of your skills from the start. Just like with any sport, hours of practice are required and no one lab or professor becomes an overnight success. Below I have detailed some tips to improve your grant writing and hopefully increase your success rate.

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Topics: Career, Career Readiness

Healthcare Consulting: A Door to the Business of Life Sciences

Posted by Guest Blogger on Oct 13, 2016 10:30:00 AM

This post was contributed by guest blogger Gairik Sachdeva.

Healthcare consulting is a fast-paced field, requiring people who are willing to quickly learn, and apply their knowledge to a variety of problems. In this post, I’ll share what I’ve learned as a healthcare consultant and give you an idea of what a career in this field involves, and why you might enjoy doing it. I’ll also talk about the skills you’ll need to do well as a healthcare consultant and what you could do to break into the field.

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Topics: Career, Career Readiness

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