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Visualizing Translation at the Single Molecule Level

Posted by Mary Gearing on Aug 1, 2017 9:15:16 AM

Regulating translation is key to cellular function, especially during development or stress. With ribosome profiling, researchers have been able to study the effects of various stimuli on global translation, but a visual technique to study translation remained elusive. Two techniques developed by Addgene depositors have made it easier to track translation in two different ways: by monitoring the first round of translation or by tracking the translation of a single mRNA over time. Both are helping researchers explore the complexity of translational control in cellular physiology.

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Topics: Fluorescent Proteins

Quick Guide to Working with Drosophila Part 3: Genome Engineering in Flies

Posted by Guest Blogger on Jul 28, 2017 9:30:50 AM

This post was contributed by guest blogger Jon Chow, an immunology PhD student at Harvard University.

In my previous two posts, I’ve described the fundamentals of how to work with Drosophila as an experimental model organism. I then described the Gal4/UAS system used by geneticists to study gene function. In this final installment, I’ll provide a brief introduction as to how you can engineer new transgenic flies to study your favorite gene (YFG). 

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Topics: Drosophila, Quick Guide to Drosophila

Fluorescent Protein Travel Awards - FLiPs and Fluorescent Protein Biosensors

Posted by Tyler Ford on Jul 27, 2017 9:11:09 AM

Fluorescent proteins have enabled scientists to pursue creative research avenues previously unavailable to them. With these fantastic tools it’s now easy to monitor protein expression, localization, and protein-protein interactions. Beyond these common applications, researchers are finding new ways to apply fluorescent proteins everyday. 

The late Michael Davidson and Roger Tsien played enormous roles in enabling researchers to utilize and develop these tools by making their own fluorescent protein technologies widely available to the research community. To honor their legacy, we recently launched the Michael Davidson and Roger Tsien Commemorative Travel Awards. These awards are intended to help scientists share their fluorescent protein research with the academic community by funding their travel to a conference of interest.

In this post, we’re proud to announce our first two Michael Davidson and Roger Tsien Commemorative Travel Awardees: Xin Zhou and Fatima Enam. There were many excellent applicants but Xin and Fatima stood out for their creativity in the use of fluorescent proteins and the potential for their work to enable future discoveries.

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Topics: Interview, Investigator Feature, Fluorescent Proteins

Lighting Up Cell Signaling with Photoswitchable Kinases

Posted by Beth Kenkel on Jul 25, 2017 9:20:50 AM

Signal transduction pathways are a lot like cell phone networks. Protein kinases deliver messages to the next members of their pathways, but where the kinases are located, their signal strength, and how long their signals last all impact transduction of the message. To study signaling pathways, scientists frequently use growth factors or serum to stimulate a pathway of interest, but there can be a lot of static since other signaling networks can also be non-specifically activated and, like the game of telephone, often the signal must be transmitted by intermediate messengers. Optical control of kinase activity can provide greater spatiotemporal resolution than pharmacological or genetic approaches, but only a few such methods exist and they only work for a subset of kinases.

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Topics: Fluorescent Proteins

Quick Guide to Working with Drosophila Part 2: Controlling Gene Expression in Flies with Gal4/UAS

Posted by Guest Blogger on Jul 21, 2017 8:48:55 AM

This post was contributed by guest blogger Jon Chow, an immunology PhD student at Harvard University.

In this second post in our quick guide to working with Drosophila, you’ll learn how to maniupate expression of your favorite gene (YFG) in flies. Read the first post here.

Once you’ve identified some fly stocks and other reagents of interest, the next question to ask is what to do with them. In some cases, there might be a mutation that disrupts the function of YFG. You could compare this mutant fly to one lacking the mutation in the same genetic background. In other cases, YFG or one of its mutant variants will need to be overexpressed or knocked down. To do this, Drosophila geneticists use the Gal4/UAS system. This incredibly useful, yet simple system allows you to systematically study gene function with temporal control and cell-type specificity!

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Topics: Lab Tips, Drosophila, Quick Guide to Drosophila

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