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Advice for Choosing a Research Project

Posted by Margo R. Monroe on Apr 17, 2014 10:45:00 AM

After joining a lab, the focus shifts to choosing an unexplored and impactful research topic that aligns with your interests. We've outlined some important factors to consider and summarize helpful advice from the successful PIs who were previously featured in "9 Tips to Achieve Success in Academia".

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Topics: Career, Interview, Investigator Feature

The Stingy Scientist: How the Baby Gel Box Was Born

Posted by Joanne Kamens on Apr 15, 2014 11:11:00 AM

It is probably good news for our environment that more people are paying attention to living a “green” life and creating less waste.  Most communities seem to have recycling programs and it seems to me that most Addgenies make an effort to avoid plastic bags and to conserve resources where possible.  At the lunch table, for instance, we have a plastic container problem…reusable containers pile up by the sink after lunch as fewer and fewer people use plastic bags.  We also try to recycle our discards according to the Cambridge, Massachusetts guidelines and wear an extra sweater so we don’t have to turn up the heat when there is a bad Northeastern chill.

Check out Joanne's Reddit AMA 

Few of us spend much time thinking about conserving resources in the labs. Disposable plastic materials are fairly inexpensive in this country and we are quick to throw out chipped or imperfect equipment.  We can’t safely recycle these materials either. 

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Topics: Fun, Lab Tips

Finding and Joining Your Dream Lab

Posted by Margo R. Monroe on Apr 8, 2014 10:50:00 AM

Choosing a lab can be a major decision. A science trainee will spend 4-7 years working for one person and with a group who all strive for a common big-picture goal. It is worth doing some some serious pre-work to find a lab that will be a good fit for you and your career ambitions. First, how does one stand out amongst a pool of successful applicants and get chosen to work in his or her lab of choice? Is the group micromanaged or does it thrive in an off hands environment? Does the group expect each other to be physically present at certain times during the day?

We asked three lab heads how they go about selecting new hires. This is followed by some perhaps surprising, yet important, factors to consider when seeking your dream lab.

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Topics: Career, Interview, Investigator Feature, Career Readiness

Plasmids 101: The Promoter Region – Let's Go!

Posted by Kendall Morgan on Apr 3, 2014 4:05:00 PM

Thus far in our Plasmids 101 series we've worked our way through the plasmid map: antibiotic resistance, origin of replication, and so on. Up to this point we can replicate our plasmid and make sure cells maintain it; the next step is getting the plasmid to express our gene of interest. Enter the promoter-- the element responsible for initiating the transcription of your insert into RNA.

In practice, the term "promoter" describes the combination of the promoter (RNA polymerase binding site) and operators (response elements). Promoters are about 100 to 1000 base pairs long and found upstream of their target genes. The sequence of the promoter region controls the binding of the RNA polymerase and transcription factors, therefore promoters play a large role in determining where and when your gene of interest will be expressed. 

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Topics: Plasmid Elements, Plasmids 101

9 Tips to Achieve Success in Academia

Posted by Margo R. Monroe on Apr 1, 2014 1:33:00 PM

This blog post is the first in a series that will feature advice for students, postdocs, and young Principal Investigators (PIs). We've interviewed Addgene depositors who are at various stages in their careers to get advice on choosing a lab, picking your research topic, starting a lab, and more. Before we start, we'd like to extend a special thank you to Dr. Tom Ellis (Imperial College London), Dr. Connie Cepko (Harvard Medical School), and Dr. George Church (Harvard Medical School) who took the time to answer our questions.

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Topics: Career, Interview, Investigator Feature, Career Readiness

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