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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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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

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

New Optimized Genome-wide CRISPRko, CRISPRi, and CRISPRa Libraries

Posted by Alyssa Cecchetelli on Oct 4, 2018 8:44:18 AM

CRISPR pooled libraries have allowed scientists to easily perform genome-wide screens to effectively and efficiently investigate gene function. CRISPR libraries can be used to knock out, inhibit or activate target genes by combining specific sgRNAs with Cas9 or Cas9 derivatives.

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Topics: CRISPR, pooled libraries

Finding nucleic acids with SHERLOCK and DETECTR

Posted by Alyssa Cecchetelli on Aug 30, 2018 8:28:06 AM

Sensitive and specific nucleic acid detection is crucial for clinical diagnostics, genotyping, and biotechnological advancements. Current methods of nucleic acid detection however, either lack the sensitivity or the specificity to detect nucleic acids at low concentrations and/or are too expensive, time-consuming, and complex to use outside of standard laboratories. Recently scientists have utilized CRISPR-Cas9 protein variants, Cas13, and Cas12a, to develop simple, portable, and inexpensive platforms to reliably detect nucleic acids at the atomolar level.

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Topics: Plasmid Technology, Genome Engineering, CRISPR

Plasmids 101: Protein Expression

Posted by Alyssa Cecchetelli on Jun 7, 2018 9:17:55 AM

The central dogma in molecular biology is DNA→RNA→Protein. To synthesize a particular protein DNA must first be transcribed into messenger RNA (mRNA). mRNA can then be translated at the ribosome into polypeptide chains that make up the primary structure of proteins. Most proteins are then modified via an array of post-translational modifications including protein folding, formation of disulfide bridges, glycosylation and acetylation to create functional, stable proteins. Protein expression refers to the second step of this process: the synthesis of proteins from mRNA and the addition of post-translational modifications

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Topics: Plasmid How To, Plasmids 101

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