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The 10 Most Distributed Plasmid Technologies in Addgene's First 10 Years

Posted by Melina Fan on Jan 8, 2014 10:10:30 AM

Addgene was founded 10 years ago today. In that time, Addgene has shipped over 350,000 individual plasmids to 5,000 different research institutions. This has given us a unique window into technology trends in the life sciences.

In this post, we'll give you an inside look at the Top 10 plasmid technologies distributed through Addgene over our first 10 years.

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Topics: Plasmid Technology, Hot Plasmids, Scientific Sharing, Inside Addgene, Plasmid Kits

Using CRISPR/Cas9 to Edit Disease Out of the Genome

Posted by Kendall Morgan on Jan 7, 2014 10:45:00 AM

There can be no doubt that CRISPR/Cas9 technology has been a breakthrough for the genome-editing field. Now two studies reported in Cell Stem Cell last month show that this tool - already so useful in the laboratory - might also find its way to the clinic.

A team led by Jinsong Li from the Chinese Academy of Sciences found that mice with a dominant mutation in a gene that causes cataracts could be rescued by coinjection into zygotes of Cas9 mRNA and a single-guide RNA targeting the mutant allele. An independent team led by Hans Clevers at Hubrecht Institute in The Netherlands used the CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing system to correct the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductor receptor (CFTR) by homologous recombination in cultured intestinal stem cells of patients with cystic fibrosis.

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Topics: Plasmid Technology, Genome Engineering, CRISPR

Drew Endy Introduces the Biobrick Public Agreement Plasmid Collection

Posted by Kendall Morgan on Dec 12, 2013 10:35:00 AM

Drew Endy's lab at Stanford develops engineered DNA systems capable of storing data and computing inside living cells. He's also a co-founder of the BioBricks Foundation, an organization working to advance biological engineering openly so as to benefit all people and the planet. For his many efforts in open science, Endy was recognized earlier this year by the White House as a Champion of Change, a program created as part of President Barack Obama's Winning the Future Initiative.

Endy's team made news in March with a publication in Science describing the development of “transcriptors,” transistor-like digital genetic switches that enable cellular computing. These logic gates built from transcriptors are now available at Addgene through the Biobrick Public Agreement (BPA) Plasmid Collection along with a BIOFAB kit comprised of well-characterized bacterial transcription and translation initiation elements.

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Topics: Plasmid Technology, Interview, Investigator Feature, Synthetic Biology, Plasmid Kits

Kiran Musunuru on the Newest TALEN Genome-Editing System

Posted by Kendall Morgan on Dec 10, 2013 10:13:00 AM

The goal of Kiran Musunuru's lab in Harvard's Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology is to understand the basis for cardiovascular and metabolic human diseases. They do that by studying patients to uncover new gene variants associated with conditions of interest, then studying those variants in model systems: either human cells or mice.

In a recent issue of Cell Stem Cell, Musunuru, Chad Cowan and their colleagues describe a much more efficient tool for doing that disease modeling work in human pluripotent stem cells: a transcription activator-like effector nuclease (TALEN) kit consisting of 834 plasmids. The researchers showed they could use their TALEN kit to quickly and efficiently generate human stem cells edited to carry mutant versions of 15 different disease-associated genes.

Addgene spoke to Musunuru about how the new kit works, the research the kit now makes possible, and how it compares to his CRISPR/Cas9 system.

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Topics: Plasmid Technology, Genome Engineering, Interview, Investigator Feature, Plasmid Kits

History of CRISPR Cas - A tale of survival and evolution

Posted by Margo R. Monroe on Nov 25, 2013 5:12:00 PM

All organisms share an innate goal to survive. This past year, scientists hijacked survival tactics of prokaryotes to deliver the technological biological blockbuster known as the CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced palindromic repeats) Cas (CRISPR associated genes) system. This popular genome engineering tool offers flexibility, multiplexibility, and ease of use. In order for this technology to survive the diverse demands of the biotech field, let's look at how prokaryotes originally utilized CRISPR/Cas as a powerful and adaptive defense strategy against life-threatening viruses.

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Topics: Plasmid Technology, Genome Engineering, CRISPR

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