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Angela Abitua

Angela Abitua is an Outreach Scientist at Addgene and co-organizer at BosLab, a community biotech laboratory in Somerville MA. Follow her on twitter at @ZebraElement.
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No Llamas Required - Synthetic Nanobodies Against Membrane Proteins

Posted by Angela Abitua on Jun 18, 2020 9:15:00 AM

Nanobodies from camelids have gotten a lot of press for being a promising approach for treatment or prophylaxis of COVID-19. Researchers identified nanobodies that bind to coronavirus spike proteins (Wrapp et al., 2020), which sit on the surface of coronaviruses and enable the virus to enter host cells. To do this, they injected the spike protein from two different coronaviruses into a llama over several days and isolated special camelid antibodies that bind to the spike proteins in cell culture, and inhibit these viruses. 

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Topics: Other Plasmid Tools, Plasmids, COVID-19

Celebrate Open Data Day with Addgene’s AAV Data Hub!

Posted by Angela Abitua on Mar 5, 2020 9:15:00 AM

We’re big fans of all forms of research sharing and with Open Data Day 2020 coming up on March 7th, what better way to celebrate open data sharing than with Addgene’s AAV Data Hub! We launched this pilot in 2019 as an open science platform for scientists using Addgene AAV viral preps to easily find and share useful technical data. These data focus on experimental design and usage of these tools, which aren’t always easy to find in publications, so this is a much-needed community resource. Instead of painstakingly searching for experimental details in research articles, scientists can use the AAV Data Hub to quickly find details they need for planning their next experiments using a specific AAV tool. They can search the database by certain features like serotype, promoter, or tool type and each entry contains an image along with key experimental details (e.g. titer, injection site, animal strain used). Similar to the goodwill of Addgene plasmid depositors, this growing resource of over 100 entries is driven by the dedicated community of data-contributing researchers who use AAV tools.

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Topics: Viral Vectors, Addgene’s Viral Service

It’s Bioelectric! An Exciting Interdisciplinary Field of Research

Posted by Angela Abitua on Oct 29, 2019 10:52:55 AM

Flash quiz! What pops into your head when you hear the phrase “action potential?” Firing neurons are likely the first thing that comes to mind. However, ion-based communication is not just for neurons. Non-neuronal cells do this too. It's just that for non-neural cells, ion-based communication happens at a slightly slower scale. 

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Topics: Other, Miscellaneous

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: Scientific Sharing, Reproducibility

Unique and persistent IDs for improved reproducibility: Addgene now supports RRIDs and compact identifiers for all plasmids

Posted by Angela Abitua on Nov 20, 2018 3:17:00 PM

Have you ever found yourself frustrated reading through a paper to find that there is insufficient information about which reagents were used? Unambiguous identification of a reagent is crucial for reproducibility because mistakes in this can lead to wasted time or retractions.

Using a catalog number for identifying a reagent can be helpful, but it lacks context unless it links to a verified description of that reagent online. Furthermore, if the link between the catalog number and reagent description is lost (e.g. a supplier is bought out by another company and catalog number changes) the original identifier loses its meaning, making it difficult or impossible for researchers to track down that resource. A more long-term solution is the use of unique persistent identifiers (PIDs), a long-lasting way to identify and reference documents, files, or physical reagents.

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Topics: Scientific Sharing, Reproducibility

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