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DIY DNA Ladders from Penn State University

Posted by Beth Kenkel on Jul 14, 2017 10:30:00 AM

Two plasmids that can be used to make inexpensive 100 bp or 1 kb DNA molecular weight ladders were recently deposited with Addgene. A team of undergraduate students led by Dr. Song Tan at Penn State developed the plasmids, pPSU1 and pPSU2. When restriction digested with PstI or EcoRV, these plasmids generate 100 bp or 1 kb DNA ladders, respectively. Unlike many commercially available ladders, the 100 bp ladder works well for both agarose and native polyacrylamide gels.

Get Tips on Verifying Your Plasmid

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Topics: Hot Plasmids, Lab Tips

Luminescent Imaging with Nano-lanterns

Posted by Mary Gearing on May 25, 2017 10:30:00 AM

Fluorescent imaging techniques have become indispensable tools for molecular and cell biologists over the last two decades, but their use can be limited by a few caveats. Since fluorescent proteins (FP) require external light activation, you can’t use fluorescence to monitor processes directly affected by light. Long-term light exposure can also lead to cellular phototoxicity, and experimental success can be affected by both autofluorescence and photobleaching. Researchers have long been interested in using luminescence to get around these issues, but this solution wasn’t practical due to the low intensity of luminescent proteins. To make luminescent imaging a reality, Addgene depositor Takeharu Nagai and colleagues at Osaka University have developed Nano-lantern technology. Nano-lanterns contain a Renilla luciferase variant fused to an FP; when supplied with a luciferase substrate, the luciferase transfers energy to the FP, resulting in a fluorescent signal. Since their first publication in 2012, the Nagai laboratory has assembled a collection of multicolored nano-lanterns for use in various applications, including optogenetics, biosensors, and fusion proteins.

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Topics: Hot Plasmids, Fluorescent Proteins

New Podcast Segment: Hot Plasmids

Posted by Tyler Ford on May 17, 2017 11:37:42 AM

We’re breaking into more audio and video on the Addgene Blog and Addgene website. As we push forward with these efforts, you’ll find new ways to learn about science careers, lab protocols, and, of course, plasmids. Today we’re trying a new way to present plasmid info with a new segment on the Addgene podcast - The Hot Plasmids Segment. Click on the player below to listen to a quick (~5 min) Hot Plasmids podcast that introduces you to 4 new plasmid technologies from one of our recent newsletters.

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Topics: Hot Plasmids, Podcast

Plasmids 101: SunTag and Fluorescent Imaging

Posted by Mary Gearing on Mar 28, 2017 10:30:00 AM

Quick Announcement from the Plasmids 101 Team: In preparation for the release of Addgene's Fluorescent Protein eBook - our next couple of plasmids 101 posts will gain a healthy, fluorescent glow. Stay tuned for more fluorescence-based Plasmid 101 posts in the coming weeks!

In biology as in life, more is often better. More transcription factor binding sites in a promoter lead to higher transcriptional activation. Multiple nuclear localization signals (NLS) increase protein import into the nucleus. In developing their SunTag technology, the Vale and Weissman labs took this biological lesson and created a system to amplify fluorescent signals. Named for the "stellar explosion SUperNova," SunTag can help you turn up the brightness in your fluorescent imaging experiments.

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Topics: Hot Plasmids, Plasmids 101, Fluorescent Proteins

27 Hot Plasmids from 2016

Posted by Tyler Ford on Dec 22, 2016 10:03:47 AM

Every quarter we highlight a subset of the new plasmids in the repository through our hot plasmids articles. These brief articles highlight the main features and applications of a partiular plasmid or set of plasmids. We hope that these articles make it easier for you to find and use the plasmids you need. You can find all the hot plasmids from 2016 below. With over 45,000 plasmids, we can't write posts for every great plasmid that comes into the repository, but be sure to let us know if you'd like to write about your plasmids in a future blog post. No time to read? Listen to our hot plasmids segment on the Addgene Podcast.

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Topics: Hot Plasmids, News

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