Plasmids 101: Introduction to FRET

Posted by Jason Niehaus on Jun 27, 2017 9:03:20 AM

Imagine being able to determine whether two proteins are within 10 nanometers of each other, or measure the tension in the helical structure of spider silk, or the activity of a protein in a synapse. What kinds of tools enable us to measure these properties, and what fascinating experiments could push these tools even further? All of these things can be done using FRET! Read on to find out more about this amazing imaging technique.

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Topics: Plasmids 101, Fluorescent Proteins

Who Gives a Tweet? 9 Facts About Scientists on Twitter

Posted by Beth Kenkel on Jun 26, 2017 9:31:32 AM

What are scientists up to on Twitter? Prior to writing this post, my interest in Twitter was fleeting. I’ve had an account for three years and have only tweeted 6 times: #fail. I’d hoped to use Twitter professionally to network, learn more about alternative careers for scientists, and share cool science. Unfortunately, it never clicked for me. Recently my interest was renewed in part due to FOMO  but mostly because of this article: “A systematic identification and analysis of scientists on Twitter.” This paper addresses the following questions about scientists on Twitter: who are they? What do they share? And how they are connected? Here are the highlights written as 8 tweetable facts.

Note: The images used in this post were created using data from or modified from Ke et al. 2017.

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Topics: Scientific Sharing, Networking

Plasmids 101: Visualizing Subcellular Structures & Organelles

Posted by Susanna Bachle on Jun 22, 2017 10:30:00 AM

The same way the human body is made up of organs, cells comprise compartments and structures, called organelles. Take a sneak peak inside a cell with the images from the Allen Cell Explorer (1).

When studying the function of a protein or its role in a disease, researchers often isolate proteins of interest and examine them using biochemical methods thus removing the context of the cell. However, much knowledge about functionality can be gained by understanding the location and transport of the protein within a living cell. Analyzing differences in protein localization and transport between healthy and diseased states can also provide interesting insights into disease mechanisms and protein function.

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Topics: Fluorescent Proteins

How Dry Ice Affects Sample pH & How to Avoid It

Posted by Leila Haery on Jun 20, 2017 10:30:00 AM

We’re always looking for ways to improve our shipment processes. After reading a publication describing how short term storage on dry ice can shift sample pH, we wondered whether or not the dry ice we use to keep viruses frozen during shipment was having an impact on the samples. We therefore devised a few experiments to determine if our tubes were permeable to the CO2 released from dry ice, and whether this affected the pH of our viral samples. Read on to learn how aqueous samples might be affected by dry ice, and specifically how dry ice can affect virus from Addgene.

Bottom line: there’s good news and there’s bad news. The bad news is that some of tubes’ o-rings are, in fact, permeable to CO2 at low temperatures (-80°C) and once in the tube, the CO2 can alter the pH of the liquid sample. The good news is that this effect is reversible and the pH shift can be prevented. Keep this information in mind if you’re planning on shipping something on dry ice or if you’re receiving samples on dry ice - it may prevent you from seeing some unexpected results.

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Topics: Viral Vectors

New Educational Resource: The Addgene Videos Page

Posted by Eddy Page on Jun 16, 2017 10:00:00 AM

Videos can save researchers time by quickly relaying key points about an unfamiliar topic or lab process. Along with our role as a plasmid repository, Addgene aims to be a vital educational resource for scientists around the world. With that in mind, we are very excited to debut our brand new Addgene Videos page!

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Topics: Science Communication

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