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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.

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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

Sonic Hedgehog? Sleeping Beauty? Learn About the Genes Behind Addgene’s Conference Room Names

Posted by Alyssa Cecchetelli on Apr 2, 2019 9:44:14 AM

Addgene recently moved to our brand new location, with more space to grow and help scientists share resources in new ways. Along with a new location comes the need for new conference room names. The Addgenie’s favorite conference room naming scheme? Gene names! This is not surprising for Addgene. But the names we chose were not just any gene names. Now, we have meetings in rooms such as Groucho, Sonic Hedgehog, Sleeping Beauty, Cookie Monster, Spaghetti Squash, Tinman, and Bagpipe.

How does a gene get its name? Often times, a gene gets its name based on what happens to an organism when a gene/protein is depleted in a knockout experiment. Certain scientific communities have a little more leeway in what they can name a gene and many of the interesting ones come from the fly community. Not surprising, this is where most of our conference room names originated from.

Let’s take a look at some of the stories behind the names. We also have many plasmids in our repository that you can use to study these genes!

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Topics: Inside Addgene, Addgene News

Plasmids 101: Biotinylation

Posted by Alyssa Cecchetelli on Nov 15, 2018 8:50:12 AM

Biotin and its binding partner avidin are commonly used today in molecular biology for an array of different techniques and protocols. In this post we will discuss the natural role of biotin, biotinylation, the discovery of the biotin-avidin interaction and the uses of biotinylation in molecular biology!

Learn about in vivo biotinylation of bacterial fusion proteins

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Topics: Plasmids 101, Plasmids

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