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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

Plasmids 101: Photoactivatable Fluorescent Proteins

Posted by Michelle Cronin on Apr 25, 2017 10:30:00 AM

Fluorescent proteins (FPs) offer scientists a simple yet powerful way to tag cellular proteins and investigate protein localization, interaction, and expression.  However, one caveat of FP-protein fusions (FP-chimeras) is that they undergo normal protein turnover. FP-chimeras are continuously synthesized and degraded within the cell, so at any given time, an FP-chimeric protein may be at any one of many stages of synthesis and degradation. For this reason it is virtually impossible to determine specific protein turnover or temporal expression using standard FP-chimeric proteins.

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Topics: Plasmids 101, Fluorescent Proteins

March for Science

Posted by Guest Blogger on Apr 21, 2017 10:30:00 AM


This post was contributed by guest blogger, Stephanie Hays, 
a scientist with a passion for photosynthetic communities, microbial interactions, and science education. 

Disclaimer: The views presented in this article are those of the author do not represent a formal stance taken by Addgene or its staff.

In Washington, D.C. as well as sister locations on April 22, 2017, scientists and non-scientists alike will march to advocate for science’s place in education, government, and civilization in general (1).

Science and Politics?

Science is an apolitical process for seeking knowledge. The process begins with a testable hypothesis - an educated guess about how some part of the world functions. Experiments come next, testing the correctness of the hypothesis. The results of experiments can help support or reject a hypothesis. Looking at the data, scientists then revise their hypotheses and the cycle begins again. No part of this process is inherently political so why is there a march in Washington, D.C., the seat of the United States government?

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Topics: Career, News, Science Communication

Addgene Depositors Get More Citations

Posted by Guest Blogger on Apr 20, 2017 10:30:00 AM

This post was contributed by guest bloggers Samantha Zyontz and Neil Thompson from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Professor Feng Zhang’s original 2013 gene editing paper on CRISPR/Cas amassed nearly 2,400 citations in its first four years (1). In addition to publishing in Science, Professor Zhang deposited the associated plasmids with Addgene. Since then, Addgene has filled over 6,500 requests for these plasmids. While clearly an outlier, this story had us wondering: is there a larger trend here? Do papers associated with Addgene deposits accumulate more citations than those without Addgene deposits? Even more interestingly, could we tell if depositing a plasmid with Addgene causes a paper to get cited more?

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Topics: Blog

The Power Behind NGS Plasmid Validation: seqWell

Posted by Guest Blogger on Apr 19, 2017 11:25:29 AM

This post was contributed by guest blogger Joe Mellor, Founder and CEO of seqWell Inc.

Plasmids and PCR products are the bread and butter of molecular biology labs the world over. Scientists have traditionally used Sanger sequencing to validate these constructs, as the relatively low cost and quick turn-around time of Sanger sequencing have historically matched the needs of most molecular biology labs. Recent and rapid advances in technologies that permit large-scale creation and synthesis (“writing”) of longer pieces of synthetic DNA, as well as the advent of extremely fast, cheap and accurate sequencing (“reading”) of DNA, have changed our collective thinking about the feasible size and scope of projects in many labs. However, the high costs of sample preparation for high-throughput next generation (NGS) sequencing have prevented laboratories from using these methods for routine processes like plasmid validation.

At seqWell, Inc., our mission is to overcome crucial challenges in NGS by developing technologies that can help unlock the potential of modern sequencing instruments by enhancing the efficiency and simplicity of library prep. As part of our mission, we’ve been working with Addgene to develop and apply our plexWell™ Library Preparation Technology for NGS-based sequencing and confirmation of Addgene’s large and growing collection of curated plasmids from all over the world. The rest of this piece will describe plexWell™ in more detail, and how we are using this technique in our partnership with Addgene to sequence large numbers of plasmids.

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Topics: Plasmid How To, Inside Addgene

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