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IDP and your PI: A Roadmap for Career Planning and Personal Development

Posted by Mary Gearing on Jul 21, 2015 10:30:00 AM

As we get closer to the start of another academic year, graduate students and post-docs alike are wondering where the time has gone. Are we any closer to graduating, publishing that key paper, or figuring out a career path? Many trainees are developing Individual Development Plans (IDP's) through Science Careers’ myIDP tool. Using myIDP, you can identify suitable careers based on your current interests and skillset. With this information in hand, you can then formulate a plan to further develop your transferable skills and reach your career goals.     

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Topics: Career, Lab Tips, Career Readiness

Light Sheet Fluorescence Microscopy

Posted by Guest Blogger on Jul 16, 2015 10:30:00 AM

This post was contributed by Jae Lee and Pantelis Tsoulfas of the Department of Neurological Surgery at the University of Miami.

The beginning of this century has seen some major advances in light microscopy, particularly related to the neurosciences.  These developments in microscopy coupled with techniques that make tissues transparent are enabling microscopes to visualize the cellular architecture of whole tissues in 3D with unprecedented detail.  One of these advances in microscopy has been light sheet fluorescence microscopy (LSFM). The underlying method was developed in 1902 by Richard Zsigmondy and Henry Siedentopf to enhance the microscopic resolution for studying colloidal gold (1).  The method was based on using a thin plane (sheet) of light generated by sunlight to observe single gold particles with diameters less than 4nm.

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Topics: Imaging, Fluorescent Proteins

A Match Made in Heaven: CRISPR and AAV

Posted by Mary Gearing on Jul 14, 2015 10:30:00 AM

This post was updated on Dec 4, 2017.

CRISPR genome editing has quickly become the most popular system for in vitro and germline genome editing, but in vivo gene editing approaches have been limited by problems with Cas9 delivery. Adeno-associated viral vectors (AAV) are commonly used for in vivo gene delivery due to their low immunogenicity and range of serotypes allowing preferential infection of certain tissues. However, packaging Streptococcus pyogenes (SpCas9) and a chimeric sgRNA together (~4.2 kb) into an AAV vector is challenging due to the low packaging capacity of AAV (~4.5 kb.) While this approach has been proven feasible, it leaves little room for additional regulatory elements. Feng Zhang's group previously packaged Cas9 and multiple gRNAs into separate AAV vectors, increasing overall packaging capacity but necessitating purification and co-infection of two AAVs.

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Topics: CRISPR, Viral Vectors

6 Steps to Submitting a Resume That Gets Seen

Posted by Joanne Kamens on Jul 9, 2015 10:30:00 AM

Expanding your network of relationships early and often is the most effective tactic a scientist in training can adopt to ensure opportunities in the future. Studies show that the majority of job offers arise as a result of existing professional (and personal) relationships. However, most job seekers will and should apply for jobs posted online as one part of their job search. This is especially true of scientists seeking a first job after the academic bench. Utilizing existing relationships as part of the job application process can dramatically increase the chances of being seriously considered for an open position. 

Check out Joanne's Reddit AMA

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Topics: Career

Even more elegant: Single injection CRISPR/Cas9 in C. elegans

Posted by Mary Gearing on Jul 7, 2015 11:36:00 AM

In the summer of 2013, a remarkable nine papers describing CRISPR/Cas9 genome engineering methods for C. elegans were released, signaling a new era in C. elegans research. Homology directed repair (HDR), which enables insertion of custom genomic modifications, is very robust in C. elegans, and the methods for HDR-mediated modification continue to be improved. New work from Bob Goldstein’s lab at the University of North Carolina has made CRISPR in C. elegans even easier - now, one can generate a fluorescent protein fusion, transcriptional reporter, and loss-of-function allele in just one injection step! The entire protocol takes about 2-3 weeks but requires less than eight hours worth of hands-on time.

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