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CRISPRainbow and Genome Visualization

Posted by Mary Gearing on Feb 28, 2017 10:30:00 AM

Colorful CRISPR technologies are helping researchers visualize the genome and its organization within the nucleus, also called the 4D nucleome. Visualizing specific loci has historically been difficult, as techniques like fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) and chromosome capture suffer from low resolution and can’t be used in vivo. Some researchers have used fluorescently tagged DNA-binding proteins to label certain loci, but this approach is not scalable for every locus...unlike CRISPR. Early CRISPR labeling techniques allowed researchers to visualize nearly any single genomic locus, and recent advances have allowed scientists to track multiple genomic loci over time using all the colors of the CRISPRainbow.

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Topics: CRISPR, Fluorescent Proteins

Science Career Options

Posted by Emma Markham on Feb 23, 2017 8:30:14 AM



When preparing to graduate from university, many students are confronted with the question ‘what now?’ This is often a hard question to answer if you plan on leaving academia, but don’t quite know what you do want to do or even what careers are available to scientists. It is all too easy to get tunnel vision when working towards a specific goal, and when you realise that your goal might not lead to a career you actually want, you can feel lost. Use this post to explore the wide range of careers available to scientists and open your eyes to the many opportunities available to those who are scientifically minded!

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Topics: Career, Career Readiness

Deep Mutational Scanning with One Pot Saturation Mutagenesis

Posted by Beth Kenkel on Feb 22, 2017 10:30:00 AM

Scientists use deep mutational scanning to simultaneously test how multiple amino acid changes affect a protein of interest’s function. This technique relies on the generation of a plasmid library that expresses all desired variants of a protein. Applying a selective pressure winnows the pool down to plasmids expressing variants with optimal function. High-throughput DNA sequencing is then used to measure the frequency of each variant during the selection process. Each variant is assigned a functional score based on its library frequency before selection compared to its library frequency after selection. Key to this process is the ability to generate full libraries of mutant proteins. Researchers from the Whitehead lab developed One pot saturation mutagenesis as a quick and easy technique that can be used to generate complex libraries of mutant plasmids ready for deep mutational scanning.

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Topics: Techniques

How to Write a Scientific Review Article

Posted by Leila Haery on Feb 16, 2017 10:30:00 AM

Writing a review article is a wonderful way to develop and exercise your scientist skill set. If you dread the thought of writing a review, or if you’re currently stuck trying to write one, hopefully this post will help you get things moving - remember you're becoming an expert in your field and are the perfect person to be writing the review! Doing so is a great way to develop your ability to write, to read efficiently, to search the literature, and to synthesize a large volume of information: basically, a scientist’s tool kit.

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Topics: Career, Career Readiness

CRISPR 101: Epigenetics and Editing the Epigenome

Posted by Mary Gearing on Feb 14, 2017 10:44:08 AM

This post was updated on Nov 29, 2017.

Epigenetic modifications are an additional layer of control over gene expression that go beyond genomic sequence. Dysregulation of the epigenome (the sum of epigenetic modifications across the genome) has been implicated in disease states, and targeting the epigenome may make certain processes, like cellular reprogramming of iPSCs, more efficient. In general, epigenetic chromatin modifications are correlated with alterations in gene expression, but causality and mechanisms remain unclear. Today, targeted epigenetic modification at specific genomic loci is possible using CRISPR, and Addgene has a number of tools for this purpose!

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Topics: CRISPR, CRISPR 101

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