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How to Keep a Lab Notebook for Bioinformatic Analyses

Posted by Guest Blogger on Jun 2, 2016 10:30:00 AM

This blog post was contributed by guest blogger Kate Palozola

Traditional lab notebooks just won't cut it for bioinformatics. All kinds of biologists are finding themselves using computational approaches to analyze large data sets (myself included) and we are faced with finding the best system to document these types of analyses and their results. We are adept at recording wet-lab experiments using a “traditional” lab notebook; however, keeping track of computation work comes with new sets of challenges. One challenge with computational analyses is to keep track of why you are doing what you are doing. Another common challenge is to keep track of what works, and what does not work. Careful documentation will keep you on task and will prevent you from getting lost in the wide word of informatics.

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Topics: Lab Tips

PiggyBac-ing Through the Genome Editing Field

Posted by Guest Blogger on May 31, 2016 11:30:00 AM

Addgene is proud to announce that we recently acquired the ability to distribute plasmids with the piggyBac™ transposon. These plasmids, when combined with a source of piggyBac™ transposase (available from Transposagen or a licensed distributor) allow you to quickly transfer a DNA sequence from the transposon vector to one of many TTAA sequences distributed throughout the genome. We encourage you to deposit your piggyBac™ transposon vectors with us to help us expand this useful resource. While Addgene cannot distribute plasmids with the piggyBac™ transposase itself, please read on to learn more about this exciting technology from the folks at Transposagen.

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Topics: Plasmid Technology, Genome Engineering

Plasmids 101: Optimizing Plasmid Yields

Posted by Julian Taylor-Parker on May 26, 2016 10:30:00 AM

Most of the time, plasmid prepping is a breeze. You get your stab from Addgene, streak for single colonies, sub-culture, and prep with one of the many commercially available DNA prep kits or your lab's favorite in-house protocol. DNA yields for this procedure are typically in excess of 100 ng/ul, more than enough DNA to proceed with most applications, such as PCR, cloning, transfection, or long-term storage. But what about those pesky situations where your plasmid yield is sub-optimal? If you have already purifed your plasmid, you can try to concentrate the DNA using a speed-vac, ethanol precipitation, or other chromatographic methods. But wouldn't it be nice to avoid an extra concentration step? If you are consistently getting sub-optimal plasmid yields from your prep, you may want to consider optimizing your growth conditions. In this blog, we will outline many of the variables that could affect DNA yields and suggest steps to super-charge your plasmid preps.

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Topics: Lab Tips, Plasmids 101

Podcast: A Malawian Professor's Path to Biotech Research

Posted by Tyler Ford on May 24, 2016 10:30:00 AM

Born to a family in Malawi that pushed science education, Kingdom Kwapata grew up to be one of the best of the best students in his home country. He was selected as one of 600 scholars among 100,000 eligible to attend the University of Malawi where he focused on agricultural engineering through biotech. After graduating with a masters of science in Horticulutre Biotechnology, he did his PhD in Plant Breeding, Genetics, and Biotechnology at Michigan State University with the backing of a prestigious Fulbright Fellowship. Dr. Kwapata now works as a lecturer in molecular genetics and biotechnology for Horticulture and Forest Crops at the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources. He recently received an award from nonprofit and Addgene collaborator, Seeding Labs, for lab equipment that will help accelerate his research. Listen to learn more about Dr. Kwapata’s current work and thoughts on the need for more scientific collaboration across the globe.

Subscribe to the Addgene Podcast on iTunes!

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Topics: Podcast

Lentiviral Vector Uses and Overview

Posted by Mary Gearing on May 19, 2016 10:30:00 AM

Lentiviral vectors
are one of the most popular and useful viral vectors in the lab. Advantages of lentivirus include a large genetic capacity and the ability to transduce both dividing and non-dividing cells. Lentiviral vectors are the vector of choice for many CRISPR applications, and they’ve also had success in clinical gene therapy applications. Read on to learn more about the current (and future) applications of lentiviral vectors!

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Topics: Viral Vectors

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