Plasmids 101: Environmental Plasmids

Posted by Jessica Welch on Jan 31, 2017 10:30:00 AM

Here at Addgene, we often refer to plasmids as lab or experimental tools. They certainly are very handy in research, but where did these tools come from and why do they exist in nature? Read on to learn more about environmental plasmids, and how they’ve helped us develop molecular biology tools for the lab.

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Topics: Plasmids 101, Microbiology

Plasmids: Simplified

Posted by Tyler Ford on Jan 20, 2017 10:26:04 AM

We recently worked with YouTuber, Tom McFadden, to create a Plasmid Rap and introduce newcomers to the world of plasmids. As part of this process, we sent Tom a primer on plasmids and some of the ways that they can be used. We present this primer to you now with the hope that you can use it to introduce plasmids to any novice molecular biologist. You can find much more information about plasmids and their uses in our Plasmids 101 series. Happy reading!

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Topics: Plasmids 101

Plasmids 101: Gateway Cloning

Posted by Maria Soriano on Jan 12, 2017 10:30:00 AM

When facing a cloning project, scientists are no longer limited to traditional restriction enzyme cloning. Instead, you can choose a molecular cloning technique that will work well with a given set of resources, time, and experimental needs. Since its invention in the late 1990s, Gateway cloning technology has become very popular as a rapid and highly efficient way to move DNA sequences into multiple vector systems. With the appropriate entry and destination vectors, one can use Gateway to clone a gene of interest into a variety of expression systems. Keep reading to learn more about the Gateway cloning method and its advantages.

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Topics: Plasmids 101, Plasmid Cloning

Uncertainty about Labor Law Brings More Uncertainty to Postdoc Wages

Posted by Guest Blogger on Jan 11, 2017 10:30:00 AM

This post was contributed by guest blogger, Gary McDowell, executive director of Future of Research.

On December 1st 2016, many postdocs working more than 40 hours per week could expect to see their salary raised to at least a new legal minimum of $47,476 per year, under updates to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This was due to the threshold at which salaried workers receive overtime payment for working more than 40 hours per week increasing from $23,660 to $47,476 per year. This post discusses how a nationwide injunction against the FLSA is affecting universities' decisions to alter postdoc salaries - in some cases reversing these decisions entirely.

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Topics: Career

Truncated gRNAs for Regulating Gene Expression

Posted by Guest Blogger on Jan 10, 2017 10:37:46 AM

This post was contributed by guest bloggers Alissa Lance-Byrne and Alex Chavez, researchers at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering.

CRISPR/Cas9 technology has revolutionized the fields of molecular biology and bioengineering, as it has facilitated the development of a simple and scalable means of making targeted genetic edits. Cas9 is a DNA binding protein that can be directed to virtually any genetic locus when complexed with an appropriately designed small RNA, or guide RNA (gRNA). The gRNA conventionally contains a 20-nucleotide sequence that is complementary to the target site, or protospacer, in the genome. Native Cas9 has two catalytic domains, each of which cleaves one strand of DNA upon binding the protospacer. The resulting double strand break (DSB) stimulates DNA repair mechanisms that can be exploited to either inactivate a gene or introduce a desired genetic alteration.

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Topics: CRISPR

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