Latest Posts

All Posts

Editor's Choice, October 2016

Posted by Tyler Ford on Nov 4, 2016 10:30:00 AM

Read All of Our Editor's Choice Blog Posts

Last month there was plenty of excitement at Addgene. Our new viral service has begun to pick up steam (we already have over 70 orders!), we sent Outreach Scientists to Colorado, Berlin, Atlanta, Ottawa, Norwich, and Hannover, we raised money for the Superhero 5k and, of course, we had our yearly Halloween party (see all of our wonderful costumes in the pictures below, yours truly is dressed as Unikitty from The Lego Movie). October was no less busy for the Addgene blog which once again had record readership with over 75,000 views.


Read More >

Topics: Career, Career Readiness, Editor's Choice

Using Video to Share Your Science: We Share Science

Posted by Guest Blogger on Nov 3, 2016 10:30:00 AM

This post was contributed by Ryan Watkins, Professor at George Washington University and developer of wesharescience.org.

Sharing your research with the world can be challenging. After months, or years, of grueling effort to design, fund, and conduct a research project, the vast majority of what gets published in scientific journals flies under the radar and gains little notice. A 2009 research study found that 12% of articles in medicine, 27% in natural sciences, 82% in humanities, and 32% in the social sciences go uncited. Creative titles and controversial topics can garner some attention, though in reality much of our research still fails to reach our primary target audience – colleagues in our field. Secondary audiences that may also benefit, such as researchers in other countries or ot­her disciplines, are even less likely to read about our work. We therefore must discover new ways to reach our colleagues and other interested audiences quickly and concisely – video might be part of the answer.

Read More >

Topics: Scientific Sharing, Science Communication

FastCloning: A Newer, Simpler Cloning Technique

Posted by Guest Blogger on Nov 1, 2016 10:30:00 AM

This post was contributed by guest blogger Meghan Monroy, a graduate student in Protein Science at the University of Connecticut.

Molecular cloning is the isolation, insertion and amplification of a recombinant DNA without sequence alteration. Molecular cloning techniques are some of the most widely used techniques in the biological sciences and constitute foundational elements of biomedical research. Traditional restriction cloning is one of the oldest of these techniques and is a multi-step process consisting of digestion, purification, ligation, and transformation. While restriction cloning is still routinely performed by many labs, a variety of other cloning techniques with higher efficiency and simpler procedures have been developed. Some of these include, TA cloning, ligation independent cloning, TOPO cloning, one step cloning, and overlap extension PCR. Although each type of cloning has its advantages, most scientists still encounter several struggles with these techniques: unwanted mutations due to excessive PCR cycles or low fidelity Taq DNA polymerase, the construction of specific sequences for base pair overhangs, insert and vector purification, and, most importantly, excessive time requirements. FastCloning is a simpler yet reliable cloning technique that was developed by Chaokun, et al., in 2011. This method is ligation independent, it does not require purification of insert or vector products, nor does it require the use of specific sequences. Read on to learn how easy this process is and to get tips for applying it in your own lab.

Read More >

Topics: Plasmid Cloning

Plasmids 101: TOPO Cloning

Posted by Lianna Swanson on Oct 27, 2016 10:30:00 AM

Toposiomerase based cloning (TOPO cloning) is a DNA cloning method that does not use restriction enzymes or ligase, and requires no post-PCR procedures. Sounds easy right? The technique relies on the basic ability of complementary basepairs adenine (A) and thymine (T) to hybridize and form hydrogen bonds. This post focuses on "sticky end" TOPO (also called TOPO-TA) cloning; however, the TOPO cloning technique has also be adapted for blunt end cloning.

Read More >

Topics: Plasmid Technology, Plasmids 101, Techniques, Plasmid Cloning

Changing Labor Laws Bring Increased Postdoc Wages

Posted by Guest Blogger on Oct 25, 2016 10:30:00 AM

This post was contributed by Future of Research Executive Director, Gary McDowell.

On Dec 1st, the threshold at which salaried workers receive overtime payment for working more than 40 hours per week will increase from $23,660 to $47,476 per year, under updates to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

This is having a major effect on scientists within academia, most particularly postdocs working in the U.S., whose current salaries are below the new exemption level (the current average postdoc salary is estimated at around $45,000, but as I’ve discussed elsewhere (slides here) there are many postdocs paid at much lower salaries).

Postdocs (who are not in a primarily teaching role) come under this ruling, regardless of visa or fellowship status, in addition to certain staff scientists and those in technical roles. Therefore, institutions are responsible for ensuring that either all affected scientists are paid above this threshold or for tracking the hours that these scientists work and paying them overtime accordingly.

Read More >

Topics: Career, News

Blog Logo Vertical-01.png

Subscribe to Our Blog