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Leila Haery

Leila Haery is a Research Scientist at Addgene and is interested in science education.

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AAV Titers: Where do they come from and what do they mean?

Posted by Leila Haery on Nov 15, 2017 10:00:00 AM

Remember the game show “The $25,000 Pyramid” where one player tries to get the other to guess a category by listing off things that fall into that category? Okay, let’s play! I’ll list the examples and you try to guess the category:

ELISA...
qPCR...
Digital droplet PCR...
DNA dot blot...
Transduction assay...
SDS-PAGE...
Electron microscopy…

Any guesses?

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Topics: Viral Vectors

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

Beginner's Guide to Viral Vectors

Posted by Leila Haery on Jun 2, 2017 10:30:00 AM

You can use viral vectors for many experimental purposes. To help you make sense of all the viral vector information that's out there, Addgenie Leila Haery has summed up some of the most important characteristics of retroviruses, lentiviruses, AAVs, and adenoviruses in this easy-to-use guide. Print out the guide and use it for quick reference when you're designing your next virus experiment.

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Topics: Viral Vectors

Retrograde AAV: Making the Journey from Axon to Nucleus

Posted by Leila Haery on May 16, 2017 10:30:00 AM

The concept that the brain has a structure is not obvious. While it’s been a long time since Aristotle argued the heart was the thought center of the body, it wasn’t until the 1700s that scientists hypothesized and began to gather evidence that the brain has distinct regions with specialized functions. Phineas Gage, the man whose personality changed drastically after an accident where an iron spike was driven through his head, is a famous early example of the link between brain regions and behavior.  Also around that time, French scientists Marc Dax and Paul Broca independently discovered the speech production center of the brain when autopsies of speech-impaired patients revealed lesions in a particular brain region, later named the Broca’s area. In this post I’ll describe a new virus with retrograde function and how it’s enabling scientists to access neurons in a powerful way. Keep reading to find out what retrograde function is and how it gives us better access and ultimately a better understanding of the brain.

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Topics: Viral Vectors

Tips for a 1st Time CRISPR User (by a 1st Time CRISPR User)

Posted by Leila Haery on Mar 7, 2017 10:30:00 AM

We all know that in the lab there are often little tricks that are essential for experiments but that nobody talks about. After months of troubleshooting, those people who did not tell you that essential thing ask incredulously, “You seriously didn’t add 3 microliters of 5 mM star anise?” This is something I was expecting when I set out to make my first CRISPR/Cas9 gene edit. I wanted to inactivate the gene BRAF (a kinase implicated in several human cancers) in A549 cells (a human lung cancer cell line), armed only with viruses obtained through Addgene’s viral service and the methods sections of scientific articles (gasp). To my delight, not only was I able to make the edits without any reagent-grade endangered Martian chicory root, but considering this is a needle in a haystack type of objective, it was surprisingly easy. It’s true, I CRISPRed. In this post, I’ll summarize the basic steps and analyses, and give what I think are the main tips for each step of performing and analyzing a gene edit using Addgene’s lentiviral CRISPR tools.

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Topics: CRISPR

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