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Truncated gRNAs for Regulating Gene Expression

Posted by Guest Blogger on Jan 10, 2017 10:37:46 AM

This post was contributed by guest bloggers Alissa Lance-Byrne and Alex Chavez, researchers at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering.

CRISPR/Cas9 technology has revolutionized the fields of molecular biology and bioengineering, as it has facilitated the development of a simple and scalable means of making targeted genetic edits. Cas9 is a DNA binding protein that can be directed to virtually any genetic locus when complexed with an appropriately designed small RNA, or guide RNA (gRNA). The gRNA conventionally contains a 20-nucleotide sequence that is complementary to the target site, or protospacer, in the genome. Native Cas9 has two catalytic domains, each of which cleaves one strand of DNA upon binding the protospacer. The resulting double strand break (DSB) stimulates DNA repair mechanisms that can be exploited to either inactivate a gene or introduce a desired genetic alteration.

Listen to Our Podcast Intervew with Alex Chavez

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Topics: CRISPR

Mesothelioma - Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

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

This post was contributed by the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance.

We have learned much about the causes of cancer and the different avenues that can be used to treat it. For those who are running out of hope with more traditional treatments, such as surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy, immunotherapy is coming to the fore as a cutting edge form of cancer treatment. With the goal of the Cancer Moonshot Initiative being to cure cancer, more funding and research opportunities are being provided to immunotherapy than ever before. Although different types of cancer have different challenges and obstacles to overcome, mesothelioma sufferers can see great promise in up and coming treatments like immunotherapy.

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Topics: Cancer

Bricking Science: Portraying Scientific Reality Through LEGO

Posted by Guest Blogger on Nov 29, 2016 10:30:00 AM

This post was contributed by guest blogger, Dalila Cunha de Oliveira.

Bricking Science is an idea built, literally, 'brick-by-brick' to introduce people all around the world to the lives of researchers and PhD students.

Everybody in science knows that there are many ways your experiments can go wrong. Whether it be a bad fridge freezing your samples, or a dysregulated water bath boiling your experiments, just about anything can disrupt your bench work and sometimes no culprit can be found…. In our lab we call this mysterious source of failure the lab gnome.

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Topics: Fun, Scientific Sharing, Science Communication

Tips for Improving Your Next Manuscript

Posted by Guest Blogger on Nov 22, 2016 10:30:00 AM

This post was contributed by guest blogger Sean Stacey who recently attended both online and on site courses with the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Scientific Writing and Publishing Institute.

Writing is the cornerstone of any scientist’s career. We use writing to communicate our findings and share them with the world. If one doesn’t write and publish in some way, then the data produced isn’t likely to have an impact because it will be difficult or (more likely) impossible to find; therefore all the time spent collecting it will have been worthless. But simply writing down your data doesn’t guarantee a publication. There is an art to composing manuscripts and the ASM Scientific Writing and Publishing Institute (SWPI) is an extremely beneficial guide to becoming a successful writer.

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Topics: Scientific Sharing, Career Readiness

Antibiotic Resistance: An Old Solution but a New Problem

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


This post was contributed by guest blogger, Jennifer Rivers, a research microbiologist specializing in bacteriology and drug resistance. 

It seems as though, nowadays, we cannot make it a full month without a new, drug-resistant ‘superbug’ making headlines in one part of the world or another. Bacterial resistance to antibiotics is certainly a topic of great concern in healthcare today, but it doesn’t have to be some looming, abstract, convoluted scientific concept. It is imperative that we all understand what antibiotic resistance is and how it develops so that we may take an active part in our own health and the health of our loved ones, and become a positive force for public health.

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Topics: Microbiology

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