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Mary Gearing

Mary Gearing is a Scientist at Addgene. She got her start as a Science Communications Intern writing for the Addgene blog and website. As a full-time Addgenie, she still enjoys blogging about CRISPR and other cool plasmids!

Recent Posts

REPLACR Mutagenesis: Replacing In Vitro Recombination Methods

Posted by Mary Gearing on Feb 10, 2016 10:30:00 AM

Site-directed mutagenesis (SDM) is one of the key tools researchers use to prove causation in molecular biology and genetics. It can be used to characterize the function of certain regions in a promoter or gene, as well as to study the effects of inactivating/activating mutations. In biomedical research, modeling patient mutations using SDM can help determine if a variant is causal for a given disease. CRISPR has made genomic SDM relatively straightforward, but plasmid-based SDM has lagged behind. While commercial kits are available for making small point mutations, large deletions/insertions require complicated, often costly in vitro assembly methods. A new method, REPLACR-mutagenesis, harnesses the power of bacterial recombineering to create insertions, deletions, and substitutions - at the same efficiency as Gibson Assembly and GeneArt cloning - but at a much lower cost. Read on to find out how to replace your SDM method with REPLACR (Recombineering of Ends of Linearized Plasmids After PCR).

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Topics: Protocols, Techniques, Plasmid Cloning

CRISPR 101: Multiplex expression of gRNAs

Posted by Mary Gearing on Jan 28, 2016 10:50:00 AM

This post was updated on Dec 5, 2017.

CRISPR makes it easy to target multiple loci - a concept called multiplexing. Since CRISPR is such a robust system, editing or labeling efficiency doesn’t usually change when you add multiple gRNAs. Sound good? Addgene has many tools to help you multiplex - we’ll use mammalian plasmids to introduce you to some of your potential options and cloning methods, but please scroll down for plasmids suitable for other model systems, including E. coli, plants, Drosophila, and zebrafish!

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Topics: Genome Engineering, CRISPR, CRISPR 101, Plasmid Kits

Treating Muscular Dystrophy with CRISPR Gene Editing

Posted by Mary Gearing on Jan 26, 2016 10:30:00 AM

Having seen CRISPR’s success in basic research, researchers are eager to apply it in a clinical setting. CRISPR is often used for animal germline modification, to repair or add in disease-causing mutations, but, until recently it hadn’t been used to treat disease postnatally. Now, three papers published concurrently in Science have shown CRISPR can treat a genetic disease in a postnatal mouse model, an important proof of concept for future preclinical and clinical work.

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Topics: CRISPR

Plasmids 101: Sequence and Ligation Independent Cloning (SLIC)

Posted by Mary Gearing on Dec 17, 2015 10:30:00 AM

If cloning methods had personalities, SLIC (sequence- and ligation-independent cloning) would be a true rebel. Not only does this system not use site-specific recombination, it also doesn’t require a ligation step! Based on the robust system of homologous recombination found in E. coli, SLIC is a cheap, standardized, and rapid multi-part DNA assembly method - read on to learn how to use it in your research.

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Topics: Plasmid How To, Plasmids 101, Protocols, Plasmid Cloning

Teaching an Old DOG New Tricks: Controlling Protein Activity with GFP

Posted by Mary Gearing on Nov 24, 2015 10:30:00 AM

At Addgene, we love GFP, and we’re always excited when depositors find new ways to make this workhorse protein even more useful! From FPs optimized for oxidizing environments to photoconvertible variants, it seems like GFP is always learning new things. Now, work from Connie Cepko’s lab allow researchers to activate transcription or Cre recombinase activity only in the presence of GFP. These systems, known as T-DDOG and Cre-DOG, respectively, repurpose popular GFP reporter lines for more sophisticated experimental manipulations, saving the time and money needed to develop new lines.

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Topics: Plasmid Technology, Synthetic Biology, Fluorescent Proteins, Cre-lox

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