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Increasing Your Work's Visibility with Addgene: Citation, Search, and Collections

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

With many interesting articles coming out in a myriad of journals every week, it can sometimes be difficult for great work to gain prominence among all the noise. Scientists have a variety of metrics they can use to evaluate the impact of their work (H-index for instance), but these rely upon other researchers being able to find their publications in the first place. As a curator of the thousands of amazing plasmid technologies contributed by our depositors, Addgene strives to make it easier for you to find the plasmids and publications relevant to your research interests. We do this by promoting citation, supporting sophisticated search, and curating plasmid collections.

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Topics: Scientific Sharing, Inside Addgene

Optogenetics + CRISPR, Using Light to Control Genome Editing

Posted by Caroline LaManna on Mar 8, 2016 10:30:00 AM

Scientists around the world have been making major improvements to CRISPR technology since its initial applications for genome engineering in 2012. (Check out our CRISPR 101 eBook for everything you need to know about CRISPR.) Like CRISPR, optogenetics has also been making headlines over the past decade. Optogenetics uses genetically encoded tools, such as microbial opsins, to control cellular activities using light. In 2015, scientists combined CRISPR and optogenetics techniques to develop a variety of photoactivatable CRISPR tools. These tools allow scientists to use light to externally control the location, timing, and reversibility of the genome editing process. Read on to learn about the various light-controlled CRISPR tools available to researchers - some readily found at Addgene.

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Topics: Optogenetics, CRISPR

CRISPR Methods for Bacterial Genome Engineering

Posted by Mary Gearing on Mar 3, 2016 10:30:00 AM

This post was updated on Dec 5, 2017.

Although CRISPR systems were first discovered in bacteria, most CRISPR-based genome engineering has taken place in other organisms. In many bacteria, unlike other organisms, CRISPR-induced double stranded breaks are lethal because the non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ) repair pathway is not very robust. In many cases, homology-directed repair does not function effectively either, but scientists have devised means of co-opting phage genetic systems to facilitate homologous recombination in bacteria. These quirks change the way CRISPR-mediated genome engineering functions in bacteria, but have no fear - plasmids from Addgene depositors are making it easier than ever to do CRISPR editing in E. coli and other commonly-used bacterial species. Read on to learn about the tools available for bacteria and some of the applications for which they’ve been used.

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Topics: Genome Engineering, CRISPR

Call for Guest Bloggers

Posted by Tyler Ford on Mar 2, 2016 10:00:00 AM

Whenever possible, we love to give scientists the opportunity to share their knowledge. One of our goals is to be a go-to source of information on recent advances in the biological sciences and techniques that simplify and expedite research. We recognize, however, that we can’t do it all ourselves. Therefore, in this blog post we’re taking a moment to reach out to you, our readers, and ask you to share your expertise through our blog.

Do you have skill in a particular technique? Do you have a set of tips you give to every new lab mate? Do you have a trick to get the highest yield out of your minipreps? If so, we’d love to have you write for us!

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Topics: Career, Inside Addgene

Plasmids 101: Gibson Assembly and Other Long-Homology Based Cloning Methods

Posted by Brook Pyhtila on Mar 1, 2016 10:30:00 AM

Over the past decade, scientists have developed and fine tuned many different ways to clone DNA fragments which have provided appealing alternatives to restriction enzyme cloning. These newer technologies have become more and more common, and for good reason. They offer many advantages over the traditional restriction enzyme cloning we once relied exclusively on. In this blog post, I will go over some advantages, disadvantages, and examples of how scientists are using Gibson assembly to put together DNA fragments.

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

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