Editor's Choice, September 2016

Posted by Tyler Ford on Oct 7, 2016 12:00:00 PM

Read All of Our Editor's Choice Blog Posts

As I’m sitting in the San Francisco International Airport listening to the Lion King soundtrack and writing this post, it is my pleasure to announce that we once again reached new heights on the Addgene blog: we surpassed 60,000 views for the month of September! Historically we do better in September than in the summer months, but this is also our best month ever! Hats off to all of our wonderful writers and all those who have helped edit over the past couple of months. Read on to discover what new post contributed the most to this record breaking month and to find other posts that deserve a second look.

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Topics: Lab Tips, Techniques, Editor's Choice

5 Great Apps for Lab Life

Posted by Guest Blogger on Sep 22, 2016 10:30:00 AM

This post was contributed by guest blogger Sean D. Stacey. Opinions on the apps discussed in the article are those of the guest blogger and do not necessarily represent the views of Addgene.

I think it’s safe to assume that anyone reading this article has a smartphone nearby. We tailor these devices to our own interests with the content we store in them: music, emails, chats, pictures, and apps. Throughout my time as a graduate student, I have relied more and more heavily on adapting my smartphone to help me with my research in terms of preparedness, organization, and sharing data. Here are five FREE science lab apps that have been educational and great for lab life. These apps prevent you from constantly searching the interwebs for lab resources, and instead conveniently provide them on your smart phone.

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Topics: Lab Tips

Tips for Technical Support Calls

Posted by Eric J. Perkins on Sep 20, 2016 10:39:02 AM

I’ve answered hundreds of phone calls and thousands of customer service emails in my six years as a senior scientist at Addgene. Having spent that long in customer service, I've daydreamed about the ideal customer service interaction - one that gives our customers the most utility in the least amount of time. Though I now spend far less time answering help emails and phone calls, I feel compelled to share my years of accumulated wisdom so that you, the customer, can get the most out of your email or phone call. Though my experience is based solely on my time at Addgene, I’m confident that these tips and tricks will apply to any biology-related customer support interaction.

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Topics: Inside Addgene, Lab Tips

Grad School Advice Part 1: Picking a Lab and a Project

Posted by Tyler Ford on Sep 1, 2016 10:30:00 AM

In this two-part series, we sit down to talk with two senior graduate students, Ben Vincent and Niroshi Senaratne, from the Biological and Biomedical Sciences program at Harvard University to get the scoop on the ups and down of graduate student life. Senior graduate students can sometimes be elusive or have a certain mystique that makes them difficult to approach for the youngster just starting in the lab, but they are exactly the people you should talk to if ruminating the trials and tribulations of the modern PhD program. Don’t be fooled! Most senior graduate students are friendly and full of useful advice. Stay tuned for concrete advice on how to pick a lab and a project.

Listen to Part 2 Here!

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Topics: Lab Tips, Career Readiness, Podcast

Site Directed Mutagenesis by PCR

Posted by Guest Blogger on Aug 2, 2016 10:30:00 AM

This post was contributed by guest blogger, Kristian Laursen from Cornell University.

Site directed mutagenesis is a highly versatile technique that can be used to introduce specific nucleotide substitutions (or deletions) in a tailored manner. The approach can be used in conventional cloning (to introduce or remove restriction sites), in mapping of regulatory elements (to mutate promoters/enhancers in reporter constructs), in functional analysis of proteins (to perform alanine scanning mutagenesis or targeted substitution of key residues), and in SNP analysis (to introduce naturally occuring SNPs in a plasmid context). The technique is also highly relevant in this age of CRISPR; site-directed mutagenesis generally applies to plasmids, but may also facilitate genome editing. Tailored mutations are commonly introduced to endogeneous DNA through homology-directed repair (HDR) of a CRISPR/Cas9 induced double-stranded break. This site-directed genome editing requires a template of high homology to the endogenous target, yet to facilitate the repair, the template should be resistant to Cas9 cleavage. If a plasmid contains the template, site-directed mutagenesis can be used to mutate the PAM sequence (an NGG sequence critical for Cas9 cleavage), thereby rendering the resulting construct resistant to Cas9 induced cleavage.

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Topics: Lab Tips, Protocols

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