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Bringing Sustainable Practices to the Lab: Innovations

Posted by Leila Haery on Mar 7, 2019 9:39:12 AM

New ideas and approaches are encouraged in science. It isn’t surprising that new ideas are also popping up in how we manage lab waste. This is the second in a series of posts on bringing sustainable practices in the lab. The first post focused on streaming some lab waste for recycling- a process that’s integrated into waste management in our day-to-day lives, but not as well-integrated into our lab lives.

Read on to learn about some creative approaches to lab sustainability, and find ways to further reduce our consumption beyond recycling.

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Topics: Lab Tips

Multicolor Animals: Using Fluorescent Proteins to Understand Single Cell Behavior

Posted by Aliyah Weinstein on Mar 5, 2019 8:08:52 AM

Stochastic multicolor labeling is a popular technique in neuroscience and developmental biology. This type of cell labeling technique involves the introduction of a transgene construct containing fluorescent proteins (XFP) of different colors to label an organ or entire organism. Because each cell can have multiple copies of the transgene that will recombine independently, cells may acquire one of a variety of colors when a combination of XFP are expressed. Each cell remains the same color for its entire lifetime and daughter cells retain the same color, allowing for the fate mapping of cell populations over time. The ability to track single cell dynamics at the organism level has been made possible by tools that allow cells to become persistently fluorescent during development. Stochastic multicolor labeling systems, many based on Brainbow, now exist for a variety of species, cell types, and research applications.

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Topics: Fluorescent Proteins

Reproducibility for Everyone: Lessons from an Open Science Collaboration

Posted by Angela Abitua on Feb 28, 2019 8:34:05 AM

In 2017, Lenny Teytelman, CEO of protocols.io, organized a panel to discuss reproducibility issues in research. But he realized that it wasn’t enough to discuss the age-old problem of irreproducibility in science or even to discuss potential solutions. Despite all the talk, not much was being done to address the issue head on. It was at this pivotal moment that Teytelman realized that running interactive workshops to train researchers on tools and best practices could be an actionable way to tackle widespread irreproducibility. Luckily, there were other academics and like-minded organizations with similar ideas who were also thinking about reproducibility and shared similar desires to take action. Thanks to Teytelman’s vast network and ability to identify the right opportunities, he was able to bring together talented and motivated groups and individuals with similar ideas to actually do something about it.

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Topics: Career, Reproducibility, Open Science

Addgene’s Science Career Guide, Plus 8 Career Tips from Addgenies

Posted by Jennifer Tsang on Feb 26, 2019 8:40:53 AM

Career and skills development can happen anywhere, whether you realize it or not. In the lab, you could be managing a team, planning meetings, and finding the best way to organize your time. At a conference, you could be honing your science communications skills and networking. And on social media, you could be sharing your research or finding opportunities to bring science to the community. 

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Topics: Career

Targeted Mutagenesis with EvolvR

Posted by Beth Kenkel on Feb 21, 2019 8:15:26 AM

Mutagenesis is a tool that both evolution and molecular biologists use to tinker with DNA. Making changes to a DNA sequence can help scientists identify and/or facilitate the evolution of new phenotypes, and forward genetics harnesses this at a large scale by screening diverse libraries of genetic variants. Several methods for generating mutant libraries exist, but none provide a means to continuously diversify all nucleotides within a user-defined genomic region. EvolvR, a CRISPR-Cas9 based targeted mutagenesis method developed by the Dueber Lab at Berkeley, provides a new approach for generating novel genetic variants in bacteria. Read on to learn about the key components of EvolvR and its potential applications.

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Topics: CRISPR

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