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Fueled by Coffee at #SfN14

Posted by Caroline LaManna on Nov 18, 2014 2:15:14 PM

I have an important question: How much coffee does it take to fuel more than 30,000 neuroscientists over a 5 day conference? I feel like here at the annual Society for Neuroscience meeting in Washington, D.C., we must be making a dent in the global coffee supply… My back-of-the-napkin calculations put the daily consumption here at ~ 60,000 cups of coffee per day if everyone drinks 2 cups per day – which would mean ~ 300,000 cups of coffee would be consumed throughout the entire 5 day event. Though, to be fair, I think this is a conservative estimate. As a graduate student, I drank 3-4 cups of coffee a day, and I had colleagues who were much more wired. Here at #SfN14 there are thousands of posters being fueled by highly caffeinated grad students and postdocs, which accounts for many, many lattes and espressos.

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Topics: Fun, CRISPR

Introducing an All-in-One CRISPR/Cas9 Vector System for Multiplex Genome Engineering

Posted by Kendall Morgan on Nov 12, 2014 10:54:00 AM

A newly established all-in-one vector construction system for CRISPR/Cas9-mediated multiplex genome engineering is now available thanks to researchers at Japan’s Hiroshima University who described their new tool in Scientific Reports in June.

“The multiplexity is one of the most advantageous properties of CRISPR/Cas9 compared to ZFNs and TALENs,” said Tetsushi Sakuma of Hiroshima University. “However, there had been no systematically established way of making an all-in-one vector for multiplex genome engineering.”

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Topics: CRISPR, Plasmid Kits

Adenoviral Delivery of CRISPR/Cas9 Aims to Expand Genome Editing to Primary Cells

Posted by Kendall Morgan on Sep 30, 2014 4:50:49 PM

Researchers have shown that it is possible to deliver RNA-guided CRISPR/Cas9 nuclease complexes  using adenoviral vectors (AdVs), to a wide range of human cells, including mesenchymal stem cells, and in a rather straightforward manner. These adenoviral CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing tools developed and demonstrated by Manuel Gonçalves and his colleagues at Leiden University Medical Center are now available at Addgene along with a description of their experimental protocol. The three plasmids which have been deposited to Addgene are: pAdSh.PGK.Cas9, pAdSh.U6.gRNAS1, pAdSh.U6.gRNAGFP.

“Although AdVs are being deployed for delivering zinc-finger nucleases into human cells, we think they are still underused in the emerging field of genome editing,” Gonçalves said. “In contrast, AdVs are extensively being explored for genetic vaccination and oncolytic approaches. In genome editing, they are not used much, but we do think they have a very bright future.”

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Topics: Genome Engineering, CRISPR

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

CRISPR-Cas9 FAQs Answered!

Posted by Caroline LaManna on Mar 13, 2014 12:08:00 PM

As Kendall mentioned in Tuesday's blog post, keeping up with the newest CRISPR technologies and their applications can be exhausting. A quick search for "CRISPR", short-hand for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats, in Pubmed returned 728 articles (3/12/2014). With so many options for CRISPR plasmid tools and numerous experimental design decisions to make, it makes sense that scientists, many of whom are venturing into genome editing for the first time, have lots of questions.

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Topics: Plasmid Technology, Genome Engineering, Lab Tips, CRISPR

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