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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

Synthetic Photobiology: Optogenetics for E. coli

Posted by Mary Gearing on Sep 8, 2015 10:30:00 AM

As optogenetics turns 10 years old, it’s easy to forget that this technique isn’t limited to neuroscience. In fact, precise light-based control of biological processes is highly useful in other fields, including synthetic biology. Addgene depositors Christopher Voigt and Jeffrey Tabor have been working on making E. coli light responsive since 2005, when Tabor was working in Voigt's lab. Years later, these classic systems continue to be optimized by Tabor’s lab, making light-controlled gene expression in E. coli easier and more robust.

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Topics: Optogenetics, Synthetic Biology

Plasmids 101: Golden Gate Cloning

Posted by Mary Gearing on Aug 27, 2015 10:30:00 AM

Addgene’s plasmids are used with a wide variety of restriction enzyme-based cloning methods. Each method has its own pluses and minuses, but Golden Gate cloning has been especially useful within both the synthetic biology and genome engineering fields. We’ll walk you through how to apply this precise and easy-to-use system to your cloning efforts.

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Topics: Plasmid How To, Synthetic Biology, Plasmids 101, Protocols, Techniques, Plasmid Cloning

Mapping the 4D nucleome with CRISPR/Cas9

Posted by Mary Gearing on Aug 11, 2015 10:30:00 AM

It seems that there’s a new CRISPR advance or technique published every week! One of the newest applications is a colorful system that uses fluorescently labeled Cas9 to label multiple genomic loci in live cells. While other systems can be used to label loci, such as fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) or fluorescently labeled TALEs, CRISPR/Cas9’s ease of use and ability to label live cells make this system truly advantageous. This new technique, developed in Thoru Pederson’s lab, brings us one step closer to mapping the 4D nucleome, the organization of the nucleus in space and time, and to understanding how nuclear organization varies across the life of a cell, or how organization may be altered in disease states.

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Topics: CRISPR, Imaging, Fluorescent Proteins

Seeing Red: Simple GFP Photoconversion

Posted by Mary Gearing on Aug 4, 2015 10:30:00 AM

Since the first research applications of GFP were published in the 1990s, biologists have spent a lot of time making things glow. Chances are you’ve used a GFP derivative to conduct subcellular localization studies or make a reporter construct. Fluorescent proteins (FPs) are also the foundation of multiple important technologies, including FRET and optogenetics. Even though GFP has been so thoroughly characterized, it turns out this protein has a few more secrets - during a collaboration, members of Maureen Hanson’s and Rima Menassa's labs made the accidental discovery that laser treatment can photoconvert GFP from green to RED! This simple technique has been shown to work in plant, Drosophila and mammalian cells, and it may find wide use in biological research.

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Topics: Fluorescent Proteins

IDP and your PI: A Roadmap for Career Planning and Personal Development

Posted by Mary Gearing on Jul 21, 2015 10:30:00 AM

As we get closer to the start of another academic year, graduate students and post-docs alike are wondering where the time has gone. Are we any closer to graduating, publishing that key paper, or figuring out a career path? Many trainees are developing Individual Development Plans (IDP's) through Science Careers’ myIDP tool. Using myIDP, you can identify suitable careers based on your current interests and skillset. With this information in hand, you can then formulate a plan to further develop your transferable skills and reach your career goals.     

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Topics: Career, Lab Tips, Career Readiness

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