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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

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: Cancer, SciComm Careers

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

Posted by Beth Kenkel on Oct 18, 2017 9:00:00 AM

In this post in the Careers in Science Communication blog series, you’ll learn about Caitlin Runne-Janczy, a Product Development Manager at eScience Labs, an educational company that creates hands-on science lab kits and digital curriculum to support them. Caitlin’s interview is broken into two parts, with part one detailing how she got into scicomm and part two focusing on what her job at eScience Labs is like. Find all the posts in this series here.

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Topics: Career, Science Communication, SciComm Careers

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

Posted by Beth Kenkel on Oct 3, 2017 8:11:55 AM

This series was written for selfish reasons: I wanted to learn about careers in science communication. When I started my Science Communication Internship with Addgene, I didn’t know a lot about scicomm, but had enjoyed writing a few Addgene guest blog pieces. Throughout my internship, my interest in scicomm has grown and now it feels like an awesome bionerd hobby but also a viable away-from-the-bench career option. So if you’re interested in learning more about science communication careers, you’re in the right place. For this series, I’ll interview three science communicators who work in the biotech, education, or nonprofit industries.

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Topics: Career, Science Communication, SciComm Careers

AAVs CREATed for Gene Delivery to the CNS and PNS

Posted by Beth Kenkel on Sep 28, 2017 10:01:35 AM

Adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors are the most frequently used gene-transfer tools in the study of the brain and spinal cord, which together are known as the central nervous system (CNS). AAVs are popular tools because: 1) their genomes are easy to manipulate, 2) they have long-term expression; and 3) they have limited toxicity. However, a key challenge of using AAVs for neuroscience research is the lack of a method for genetically manipulating neurons throughout the whole brain. Neurons of the peripheral nervous system (PNS), which connect the heart, lung, gut, and other organs to the CNS, are also an important target for gene delivery, especially for the study of pain. While many new capsids (i.e. the part of the virus that determines tropism) have been developed that increase transduction efficiency, none allow for simple and efficient transduction of both the CNS and PNS.That is until the Gradinaru Lab at Caltech stepped up to the challenge.

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Topics: Plasmid Technology, Hot Plasmids, Viral Vectors

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