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Beth Kenkel

Beth Kenkel is currently a research scientist in the Department of Laboratory Medicine at the University of Washington. She is particularly interested in science communication and in vitro diagnostics. Follow Beth on twitter @ElizabethKenkel.

Recent Posts

Plasmids 101: Secondary Nanobody Toolbox

Posted by Beth Kenkel on Feb 27, 2018 9:04:41 AM

Western blots. ELISAs. Immunofluorescence. What do all of these techniques have in common? They all typically require secondary antibodies, frequently of the mouse or rabbit variety. While antibodies certainly aren’t “broken,” their production does require continued animal sacrifice. Could there be an alternative method for immunodetection? Enter the Görlich lab and their anti-mouse and -rabbit IgG secondary nanobodies toolbox. Nanobodies are like tiny antibodies which work just as well, if not better, than antibodies for all of the above listed molecular techniques, but they can also be expressed in bacteria and extracted with common protein purification methods. Read on to learn more about nanobodies and how their structure and function compare to IgG antibodies, as well as how to produce them for use in your lab.

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Topics: Hot Plasmids, Plasmids 101

Oh, The Places You Can Go: Careers in Science Communication - Writing for a Research Institute

Posted by Beth Kenkel on Feb 2, 2018 10:20:48 AM

In this post of the Careers in Science Communication blog series, you’ll hear from Susan Keown, a staff writer at the non-profit Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

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Topics: Career, Science Communication, SciComm Careers

PEI Calculator for Planning AAV Packaging Transfections

Posted by Beth Kenkel on Jan 23, 2018 9:04:28 AM

As the saying goes, “failing to plan is planning to fail.” Preparation is a key step to any experiment and can help prevent future headaches. To help you plan PEI transfections for AAV packaging, considering using this PEI Calculator. AAV packaging typically requires transfecting three plasmids at specific molar ratios. To get these ratios right, you need to do a few calculations. This calculator can do the math for you and it’s simple to make adjustments for the type of tissue culture dish and number of dishes used. Here’s to making AAV packaging a little easier!

Click here to download the PEI calculator for AAV packaging

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Topics: Viral Vectors

CAPTURE-ing Chromatin Interactions: Using CRISPR-dCas9 to Study Gene Regulation

Posted by Beth Kenkel on Dec 7, 2017 9:16:43 AM

Plasmids can be amazing and simple tools for studying gene regulation. They are used to study how transcription factors and other trans-regulatory elements (TREs) and some cis-regulatory elements (CREs), like promoters, influence gene expression. However, scientists frequently return to native chromosomes because chromatin context matters. The impact of TREs and CREs on gene expression is commonly investigated via Chromatin Immunoprecipitation (ChIP) and chromatin capture techniques, respectively, but these two separate methods are not without their own technical challenges. Enter the Xu Lab's CAPTURE, a method for identifying TREs and CREs that partners CRISPR’s targeting abilities with the strength of the biotin-streptavidin interaction. CAPTURE is capable of identifying old and new TREs and CREs, CRE-CRE interactions, and has even provided enough data for Liu et al to re-draw the beta-globin locus regulation model. Read on to learn more about this captivating tool!

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Topics: CRISPR, Techniques

Oh, The Places You Can Go: Careers in Science Communication - Product Management

Posted by Beth Kenkel on Nov 1, 2017 10:04:15 AM

In this post of the Careers in Science Communication blog series, you’ll hear more about Caitlin Runne-Janczy and her job as a Subject Matter Expert/ Product Development Manager at eScience Labs. To learn how Caitlin got into scicomm and landed her first post-grad school job, head over to part I of the interview.

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Topics: Career, SciComm Careers

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