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Anti-CRISPRs: Switching Off CRISPR-Cas9

Posted by Beth Kenkel on May 23, 2017 10:30:00 AM

CRISPR-Cas9 technology is constantly evolving. Variants of Cas9 can be used for genome editingactivating gene expression, repressing gene expression, and much more. But there’s one thing that’s been missing: a way to shut off Cas9’s activity after it’s been turned on. The concern is that the longer Cas9 remains active in a cell, the greater chances there are for off-target edits to occur. Although methods to switch on Cas9 activity using light or drugs have been developed, the field lacked an “off-switch” for Cas9.

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Topics: CRISPR

Plasmids 101: Fluorescent Biosensors

Posted by Jessica Welch on May 18, 2017 10:30:00 AM

Addgenie Mary Gearing contributed to the content of this article.

Biosensors (‘biological sensors’) are biological tools that monitor a process or detect a given molecule. The sensor component is usually a protein that undergoes a conformational change in response to the molecule it detects. This change then generates a reporter signal. Reporter signals may be electrochemical or light-based, with luminescent and fluorescent reporters being especially popular. We’ll give you an introduction to fluorescent biosensors, but keep in mind that there is a lot of variety in how biosensors work, and you should always check the associated publication for the specifics of your chosen plasmid.

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Topics: Fluorescent Proteins

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

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

Activate Addgene's "Find Plasmids" Badge on Pubmed Abstracts

Posted by Caroline LaManna on May 12, 2017 8:58:59 AM

Have you ever thought - Is there an easy way to find published plasmids? Do you spend a lot of time in PubMed searching for research articles? Well then, my scientist friend, do I have a handy tool for you.  

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Topics: Scientific Sharing, Inside Addgene

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