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Tyler Ford

Tyler J. Ford is an Outreach Scientist at Addgene. His professional duties include helping maintain the Addgene blog (blog.addgene.org), talking to people about Addgene, and improving Addgene's services. His non-professional duties include running, biking, drawing, hiking, playing tennis, reading, and writing.
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Recent Posts

Improved Plasmid Maps Powered by SnapGene

Posted by Tyler Ford on Jun 29, 2017 9:06:40 AM

In meetings, in surveys, on Twitter - there is one thing we've heard over and over from our users: "Please, please improve your plasmid maps!" After thoughtful design, vetting, and tweaking, we’re excited to announce that our plasmid and sequence displays are now powered by GSL Biotech's SnapGene Server Software. With the backing of SnapGene’s sequence viewer software and extensive feature library, our updated plasmid and sequence displays are now much easier to interpret and analyze at a glance. For a quick look at just how much things have improved, check out the example below. Our old map is on the left while the SnapGene powered map is on the right (click here to see the new map in action). Read on to learn more about the improvements we’ve implemented and how they’ll make it easier for you to find the plasmids you need. We'll be monitoring and improving the maps further after this initial launch so stay tuned for more updates.

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Topics: Inside Addgene, Using Addgene's Website

Choosing the B(right)est Fluorescent Protein: Aggregation Tendency

Posted by Tyler Ford on Jun 15, 2017 10:30:00 AM

This post was contributed by guest bloggers Joachim Goedhart and Marieke Mastop from the Section of Molecular Cytology and Van Leeuwenhoek Centre for Advanced microscopy, University of Amsterdam.

The previous two posts in this series described a practical approach to selecting a bright fluorescent protein and a photostable fluorescent protein. In the third post of this series, we will discuss how to select a non-aggregating fluorescent protein.

In the jellyfish Aequorea victoria, AvGFP forms a homodimer. In corals, the red fluorescent proteins form tetramers. In general, fluorescent proteins have a natural affinity and a tendency to form higher order aggregates. This property can be tolerated in some applications (e.g. labeling of cells or tracking promotor activity), but it is problematic in applications in which the fluorescent protein is used as an inert protein module. This is explained in more detail here. There are a variety of methods that can be used to measure your fluorescent protein’s propensity to aggregate. The basics and pitfalls of these experiments are discussed here.

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Topics: Fluorescent Proteins, Choosing the Brightest Fluorescent Protein

New Podcast Segment: Hot Plasmids

Posted by Tyler Ford on May 17, 2017 11:37:42 AM

We’re breaking into more audio and video on the Addgene Blog and Addgene website. As we push forward with these efforts, you’ll find new ways to learn about science careers, lab protocols, and, of course, plasmids. Today we’re trying a new way to present plasmid info with a new segment on the Addgene podcast - The Hot Plasmids Segment. Click on the player below to listen to a quick (~5 min) Hot Plasmids podcast that introduces you to 4 new plasmid technologies from one of our recent newsletters.

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Topics: Hot Plasmids, Podcast

Plasmids 101: Fluorescent Protein Timers

Posted by Tyler Ford on May 4, 2017 10:30:00 AM

Even before fluorescent proteins (FPs) came into wide use, there were a variety of ways to monitor cell, organelle, and protein localization. For instance, you might dye your cells and look at them under a microscope, fractionate samples to isolate particular organelles and their contents, or perform in situ hybridization experiments. In many cases fluorescent proteins have usurped old methods or complemented them in ways that make them much easier. A special class of FPs, the FP timers, add an entire new dimension to monitoring localization; using FP timers, researchers can look at a single image of a cell and understand how protein localization changes over time.
Download the Fluorescent Proteins 101 eBook
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Topics: Plasmids 101, Fluorescent Proteins

SciComm with the Experts at Science in the News Part 2

Posted by Tyler Ford on Apr 27, 2017 10:30:00 AM

This is the second half of a two-part interview with Vini Mani and Amy Gilson from Science in the News (SITN) at Harvard University.

There are tons of ways you can get involved in science communication. In this second half of our conversation with Vini Mani and Amy Gilson from SITN, we discuss some of the many things you can do start your own science communication student group and get more involved with your local community. What do Vini and Amy say is the quickest way to get things started? Set up your own Science by the Pint series and organize evens where scientists can grab a beer and chat about their work at a local bar. It doesn't have to be crazy complicated! Listen to the full podcast for more great science communication tips or listen to the chapters we've broken down below for specific topics discussed during the interview. Happy listening!

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Topics: Science Communication, Podcast

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