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Chari Cortez

Chari is a Scientist at Addgene. Her primary research experiences were in Immunology, infectious disease, and host cell receptor signaling in the context of initiating inflammation and host-pathogen interactions. She loves Science, T cells, signaling pathways, and writing about Science!

Recent Posts

Plasmids 101: Control Plasmids

Posted by Chari Cortez on Apr 9, 2015 11:29:00 AM

There are many, many different types of experiments carried out by scientists every day. Although the designs and outcomes may vary, one thing should be present in every experiment-based investigation of a hypothesis: proper controls!

For every experiment, an investigator needs a standard against which the results can be compared; results from an experiment lacking the proper controls are invariably inconclusive and unreliable. Proper controls provide the constant variables that enable the correct interpretation of the effect of the independent variable you are testing. Importantly, they demonstrate the functionality of your experimental system and help identify opportunities for troubleshooting or optimization within your experiment. Read on to learn more about the various controls that can be used for plasmid-based experiments.

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Topics: Lab Tips, Plasmids 101

CRISPR 101: Homology Directed Repair

Posted by Chari Cortez on Mar 12, 2015 1:48:00 PM

This post was updated on November 3, 2017.

DNA lesions are sites of structural or base-pairing damage of DNA. Perhaps the most harmful type of lesion results from breakage of both DNA strands – a double-strand break (DSB) – as repair of DSBs is paramount for genome stability. DSBs can be caused by intracellular factors such as nucleases and reactive oxygen species, or external forces such as ionizing radiation and ultraviolet light; however, these types of breaks occur randomly and unpredictably. To provide some control over the location of the DNA break, scientists have engineered plasmid-based systems that can target and cut DNA at specified sites. Regardless of what causes the DSB, the repair mechanisms function in the same way.

In this post, we will describe the general mechanism of homology directed repair with a focus on repairing breaks engineered in the lab for genome modification purposes.

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Topics: Genome Engineering, CRISPR, CRISPR 101

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