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Alyssa Cecchetelli

Alyssa D. Cecchetelli is a Scientist at Addgene. She received her PhD from Northeastern University and is particularly interested in cell signaling and communication. She loves being able to help the scientific community share plasmids.

Recent Posts

Proximity Labeling: A Powerful Tool for Protein Complex Purification and Proteomic Mapping

Posted by Alyssa Cecchetelli on Dec 2, 2019 9:00:16 AM

There are approximately 2-4 million proteins per cubic micron in bacteria, yeast, and mammalian cells (Milo, 2013). The number of interactions between these proteins is hard to imagine yet alone study.

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Topics: Plasmid Tags, Plasmids

HA Frankenbody, a New Imaging Tool to Visualize Single Molecules and Nascent Peptides

Posted by Alyssa Cecchetelli on Oct 10, 2019 8:41:58 AM

Part stable scaffold, part epitope binding region, all fused to a fluorescent protein. “Frankenbody,” like the infamous frankenstein, was constructed by grafting different parts together. By combining two optimized elements of an antibody probe, scientists can now more easily visualize single molecules and newly formed proteins. 

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Topics: Fluorescent Proteins, Localization with Fluorescent Proteins

Open Resources and Plasmid Tools For Studying C. elegans

Posted by Alyssa Cecchetelli on Jul 18, 2019 8:55:32 AM

The C. elegans community has always emphasised the need for open science and collaboration. The field already has comprehensive reference pages and curated databases for scientists including Wormbook, Wormatlas and Wormbase. And scientists have been continuously sharing their worm strains through the Caenorhabditis Genetics Center (CGC) which maintains and distributes the strains all over the world.

When I was at the 22nd International C. elegans meeting, I was again reminded of the extent that C. elegans researchers embrace open science and share resources and tools. That message was fully exemplified in Cori Bargmann’s keynote speech and in the workshops on CRISPR techniques and new tools for conditional expression and degradation. These workshops not only highlighted new tools but also included time for questions and a group discussion on the best strategies and protocols for different experiments. 

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Topics: Open Science

Plasmids 101: Transformation, Transduction, Bacterial Conjugation, and Transfection

Posted by Alyssa Cecchetelli on Jun 25, 2019 8:54:52 AM

Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is the movement of genetic material between organisms. It plays a key role in bacterial evolution and is the primary mechanism by which bacteria have gained antibiotic resistance and virulence. Scientists have studied how HGT occurs in nature and have learned how to introduce genetic materials into cells in the lab.

The introduction of foreign DNA or RNA into bacteria or eukaryotic cells is a common technique in molecular biology and scientific research. There are multiple ways foreign DNA can be introduced into cells including transformation, transduction, conjugation, and transfection. Transformation, transduction, and conjugation occur in nature as forms of HGT, but transfection is unique to the lab. Let’s take a look at these different methods of DNA insertion.

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Topics: Plasmids 101

FlipGFP, a novel fluorescence protease reporter to study apoptosis

Posted by Alyssa Cecchetelli on May 21, 2019 8:10:19 AM

Apoptosis or “programmed cell death" plays a pivotal role in an array of biological processes including development, the immune system, and cell turnover. Apoptosis is a highly controlled process that is triggered by internal and external signals such as developmental cues and DNA damage. These signals activate a cascade of caspases, protease enzymes that cleave proteins. Executioner caspases are activated last in the cascade and are responsible for the degradation of over 600 cellular components ultimately leading to cell fragmentation and death (Elmore, 2007).

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Topics: Fluorescent Proteins

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