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Celebrating Outstanding CRISPR/Cas9 Achievements at the Dr. Paul Janssen Award Dinner

Posted by Joanne Kamens on Sep 15, 2014 2:05:00 PM

Scientists are excited by somewhat unusual things. For example, I am not that interested in meeting movie stars, but when I met the astronaut Jim Lovell I was speechless (the club of people who have been in space is pretty small). Therefore, I was delighted to be invited to the ceremony for surely what is one of many awards that will be bestowed upon discovers of CRISPR/Cas9 genome engineering, Dr. Jennifer Doudna and Dr. Emmanuelle Charpentier. I was joined by Addgene Scientist Matt Ferenc (one of our resident CRISPR experts) at the 2014 Johnson & Johnson’s Dr. Paul Janssen Award dinner which took place at the New York Public library. Being in the presence of scientific heroines is always inspiring. I was especially excited to attend this event because Jennifer did her graduate work one floor above mine in the lab of Dr. Jack Szostak, who went on to win the Nobel Prize. Dr. Doudna has had a host of other impressive mentors including Tom Cech, Robert Tijian, Tom Steitz and Joan Steitz.

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Topics: Fun, CRISPR

Plasmids 101: Multicistronic Vectors

Posted by Melina Fan on Sep 9, 2014 4:20:00 PM

Co-expression of multiple genes is valuable in many experimental settings. To achieve this, scientists use a multitude of techniques including co-transfection of two or more plasmids, the use of multiple or bidirectional promoters, or the creation of bicistronic or multicistronic vectors. Unlike promoters which will create unique mRNA transcripts for each gene that is expressed, multicistronic vectors simultaneously express two or more separate proteins from the same mRNA. We've discussed promoters before so in this blog post we’ll cover basics of multicistronic vectors: why they are useful, how they work, and how to get started with them.

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Topics: Plasmid Technology, Plasmids 101

A Conference By Postdocs For Postdocs: Future of Research

Posted by Joanne Kamens on Sep 2, 2014 11:05:00 AM

This post was originally published on LinkedIn. Follow Addgene on LinkedIn for repository news and updates.

Scientists must do science to be happy. What do we have to change to ensure that all scientists can have successful careers doing science in some form? There is a lot of talk about the state of scientist training in the US and around the world. There are rumors that we are training too many scientists and some propose radical changes to the way we view the graduate school and postdoc training years.

There is no doubt that there are too many scientists in the pipeline were they all to pursue jobs in academia. Certainly funding for academic research and training is getting tighter and competition is fierce. However, I believe there are plenty of great jobs out there for science PhDs. The problem is that too few of these trainees are sufficiently prepared during their 6-12+ (!) years of training to get jobs. They are not exposed to the vast non-academia career landscape and there is insufficient (or no) emphasis on developing transferable skills to enable pursuit of these diverse opportunities after training.

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Topics: Career

Plasmids 101: How to Verify Your Plasmid

Posted by Lianna Swanson on Aug 28, 2014 11:34:00 AM

Congratulations, you have a plasmid expressing your gene of interest (YGOI) and are ready to dive into your functional experiments! Whether you’ve cloned the plasmid yourself or obtained it from a colleague down the hall, it is always a good idea to take some time to confirm that you are working with the correct construct, and verify that the plasmid you received matches the expected sequence. Here at Addgene, we use NGS-based quality control to confirm the sequence of all the plasmids we distribute. This method is time-intensive, so we recommend two other methods for quick plasmid verification: Sanger sequencing and diagnostic restriction digest.

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Topics: Plasmid How To, Lab Tips, Plasmids 101

Advice for Moving Into Sales After Your Science Postdoc

Posted by Guest Blogger on Aug 21, 2014 11:15:00 AM

This guest blog post was contributed by Seán Mac Fhearraigh, PhD, of www.phdadvice.com.

I sold out, well in part that’s what leaving academia feels like for a lot of researchers. For many years I struggled with the questions of “Will I leave academia?” and "What type of science careers would would make a good fit for me?" Whatever would I do next and what options lie ahead of me? Like a considerable number of researchers, I had high hopes of securing tenure in a British or Irish University where I would continue on with my academic dream of studying cell division. However, after 6 years in the business of western blots and cloning, I decided to pack it in. I had just started month 8 of my 3 year Post-Doctoral contract at the University of Cambridge and knew it was time to leave. I really enjoyed my time in the lab, my colleagues and what I was researching, but I decided I needed a new challenge.

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Topics: Career, Career Readiness

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