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Bringing Sustainable Practices to the Lab: Easy Action Items

Posted by Leila Haery on Apr 22, 2019 8:26:49 AM

This is the last post in a blog series on sustainable practices in the lab, where I’ll list some easy but effective habits you can incorporate to reduce your lab consumption and increase your lab sustainability. For my other posts on lab sustainability, check out my Recycling and Innovations posts.

Making small changes in your daily habits can feel ineffective or unimportant. With so many big contributors to the sustainability problem, how can one little change make a difference? Individual changes to our behavior can lead to cultural shifts that can have bigger impacts. For example, if you joined an office where everyone used a mug or reusable water bottle, you’d probably bring in a mug or reusable water bottle instead of buying yourself a big stack of plastic cups. By initiating little changes in ourselves, we can both influence others to change their behavior and we become more aware of our own consumption.

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Topics: Lab Tips

Visualizing Genomic Loci with CRISPR-Sirius

Posted by Jennifer Tsang on Apr 18, 2019 8:53:21 AM

The catalytically dead Cas9 protein (dCas9) is well known for its ability to bind DNA targets without changing them. Thus, it has been widely adapted for CRISPR activation and inhibition experiments. But over the past few years, dCas9 has become a robust visualization tool to study the spatial and temporal arrangement of chromosomes and how these arrangements may affect nuclear processes. The latest of these visualization tools is CRISPR-Sirius, the brightest CRISPR-based tool to date for visualizing genomic loci in living cells.

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Topics: CRISPR

Science Communication for Everyone

Posted by Guest Blogger on Apr 16, 2019 9:05:47 AM

This post was contributed by guest blogger Chinmaya Sadangi, a postdoc at the University of Toronto.

The Addictive Brain was founded in early 2018 with the goal of communicating science to non-scientists. Chinmaya Sadangi, a postdoc at the University of Toronto, created The Addictive Brain to spread awareness about how scientists utilize tax-payer money and government funding for research, and also to encourage women, students, and underrepresented minorities to study STEM subjects.

Here, Sadangi and his team answer a few questions about The Addictive Brain and science communication for general audiences.

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Topics: Science Communication

Plasmids 101: Five Popular Model Organisms

Posted by Various Addgenies on Apr 11, 2019 8:39:27 AM

By Alyssa Cecchetelli and Lukas Morgan

Model organisms are vital tools used by researchers around the globe. These organisms share many genes with humans, are easily maintained in the lab, and have short generation times that make it easy to study the effects of genetic manipulations. In this blog post, we’ll cover five popular model organisms, but there are many more out there.

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Topics: Plasmids 101

GFP Fusion Proteins - Making the Right Connection

Posted by Guest Blogger on Apr 9, 2019 9:13:55 AM

This post was contributed by guest blogger Joachim Goedart, an assistant professor at the Section of Molecular Cytology and van Leeuwenhoek Centre for Advanced Microscopy (University of Amsterdam).

Tagging a protein of interest with a fluorescent protein to study its function is one of the most popular applications of fluorescent proteins. These fusion proteins enable the observation of proteins in living cells and organisms. Both components of the chimera are encoded by DNA. Since researchers can generate almost any DNA sequence in the way that they like, the design and engineering of fusion proteins is relatively straightforward. However, generating a fusion while keeping all of the native properties of the protein of interest can be challenging. In this blog I discuss strategies to generate fusion proteins and highlight some aspects of their design. 

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Topics: Fluorescent Proteins

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