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Light Up Your Experiments with the Michael Davidson Collection

Posted by Lianna Swanson on Oct 31, 2017 9:22:25 AM

Michael Davidson (1950-2015) dedicated his scientific career to 3 major avenues – mentoring young students and instilling a strong work ethic in them, developing educational resources for microscopy, and building new fluorescent protein tools for the scientific community. Davidson took the fluorescent proteins originally developed by Roger Tsien, a frequent collaborator, and expanded on then to revolutionize the study of cell biology. In 2014, Mike Davidson deposited his plasmid tools with Addgene.

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Topics: Fluorescent Proteins

Fluorescent Tagging of Endogenous Genes with SapTrap

Posted by Michelle Cronin on Oct 12, 2017 10:26:13 AM

Since the discovery of GFP over 50 years ago, the growing spectrum of fluorescent proteins (FPs) has been an invaluable resource for studying the organization and function of cellular systems. FPs have been used to track protein localization, cell structure, intracellular trafficking, and protein turnover rates. Additionally, by engineering FP fusions associated with cellular organelles, scientists have been able to study many cellular processes, including mitosis, mitochondrial fission/fusion, nuclear import, and neuronal trafficking. Although FPs have enabled discovery of many cellular mechanisms, there are some limitations to working with FPs. Overexpression of fluorescently tagged proteins can lead to improper protein localization, protein aggregation, or disruption of normal protein function, and ultimately misinterpretation of the protein’s cellular role.

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Topics: CRISPR, Fluorescent Proteins

Fluorescence Microscopy Techniques - Which is Best for Me?

Posted by Guest Blogger on Oct 10, 2017 9:57:00 AM

This post was contributed by Doug Richardson, Director of the Harvard Center for Biological Imaging and a Lecturer on Molecular and Cellular Biology at Harvard University.

No matter whether you are a sports photographer at the Super Bowl, a medical technologist taking an x-ray, or a biologist imaging the smallest structures of life; the key to a great image is contrast. The human visual system relies primarily on contrast to identify individual objects and perceive the world around us. Without contrast, objects simply vanish into noise.

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Topics: Fluorescent Proteins

Plasmids 101: Monitoring Cell Mobility Using Fluorescent Proteins

Posted by Benoit Giquel on Aug 15, 2017 9:24:39 AM

In complex metazoans, rapid cell division and large scale cell mobility are essential processes during embryonic development. These are required for a growing organism to make the complicated transition from a clump of cells to a fully differentiated body. In contrast, these dynamic processes are largely absent in adult organisms, where tissues structures are more stable and local movements predominate (e.g. a basal progenitor cell migrating to the epithelium). At this stage, only cells from the immune system show wide scale mobility with movement from the bone marrow and other lymphoid organs to specific tissues where they can scan for any signs of danger. In this post we’ll focus on how fluorescent proteins can and have been used to monitor cellular movements in the immune system. The techniques used here could be adapted to studying other systems in which there is large scale cellular movement throughout an organism.

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Topics: Plasmids 101, Fluorescent Proteins

History of Fluorescent Proteins

Posted by A Max Juchheim on Aug 7, 2017 9:58:40 AM

Luminescent molecules are very useful tools because we can easily detect and measure the light they emit. Proteins that give off light include chemiluminescent proteins, like luciferases, as well as fluorescent ones, like Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP). These molecules occur naturally in bioluminescent organisms, but their real power lies in the clever ways sceintists have adapted them for use in the laboratory.

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Topics: Fluorescent Proteins

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