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Science communication: 9 Strategies to Get Your Foot in the Door

Posted by Guest Blogger on Sep 27, 2017 9:23:01 AM

This post was contributed by guest blogger Sarah Schmidt, a Marie Curie Fellow at The Sainsbury Laboratory.

Are you a science student or early career researcher looking to break into science communication? Everybody goes about this in their own way. The career paths into science communication are as varied as the field itself. Among other things, science communication comprises broadcasting, science writing, and certain aspects of art and education. If you suspect that science communication might be for you, don’t wait. Start communicating now. These 9 strategies will get you started: 

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Topics: Career, Science Communication, Career Readiness

Science Careers: Unruly Interests Feed Many Paths

Posted by Guest Blogger on Sep 26, 2017 8:12:28 AM

This post was contributed by guest writer Pamela J. Hines PhD, Senior Editor at Science Magazine.

Although we only walk one path at a time, the variety of paths in life is mind-boggling. Unlike a mountain – with many routes up and only one destination – a career in the sciences is more like an intergalactic network. Which planet will you visit? Where will you stop for refreshment along the way? What ecosystem makes your heart sing with delight?

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Topics: Career, Science Communication, Career Readiness

CRISPR 101: Targeting RNA with Cas13a (C2c2)

Posted by Joel McDade on Sep 21, 2017 10:07:21 AM

This post was updated on Nov 14, 2017.

CRISPR, and specifically Cas9 from S. pyogenes (SpCas9), is truly an exceptional genome engineering tool. It is easy to use, functional in most species, and has many applications (see a review of CRISPR applications here). That said, SpCas9 is not the only game in town, and other Cas proteins like SaCas9 and Cpf1 can circumvent the limitations associated with SpCas9. A novel protein, Cas13a (previously referred to as C2c2), has several unique properties that further expand the CRISPR toolbox. We'll cover how Cas13a was identified, the structure and function of Cas13a with a focus on what makes this molecule unique, and the various applications of Cas13a.

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Topics: CRISPR, CRISPR 101

Photosensitizer Induced Cell Ablation with FAP-TAP MG-2I-dL5**

Posted by Beth Kenkel on Sep 19, 2017 9:20:04 AM

Have you ever wanted to selectively kill a subset of cells in your model system? Turns out that with light-inducible photosensitizers and a quick zap of the proper color light, you can do just that.  Photosensitizing dyes and proteins have been around for awhile (check out this review), but the Bruchez and Tsang labs recently developed a photosensitizer composed of the protein complex complex and the MG-2I-dL5** fluorogen that can be used to ablate cells in culture and in vivo.  Read on to learn more about this killer illumination technique!

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Topics: Plasmid Technology

Some Like it Hot: Thermostable GeoCas9

Posted by Beth Kenkel on Sep 14, 2017 8:40:16 AM

Cas9 is the genome editing tool of choice for a number of model organisms: mammalian cells, yeast, drosophila, plants, worms, zebrafish, frogs, some bacteria; but not thermophilic (high heat loving) bacteria. Until recently the only available Cas9 proteins were isolated from mesophilic (medium heat loving) bacteria, such as Streptococcus pyogene’s SpCas9. These Cas9 proteins don’t work well at high temperatures, so to use them in thermophiles, bacteria must be grown at lower temps. This approach only works for facultative thermophiles (high OR medium heat loving), but not obligate thermophiles. However, the recent discovery of GeoCas9 by the Doudna lab has opened up the field of thermophilic bacteria to CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing.

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Topics: Genome Engineering, CRISPR

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