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A Quick Guide to a Career in Software Product Management

Posted by Guest Blogger on Nov 24, 2020 9:15:00 AM

This post was contributed by guest blogger, Rachel Rubinstein, a field-based software product manager at Oxford Nanopore Technologies.

If the first thing you hear when someone says they’re a software product manager is “project manager,” you’re not alone. A few years ago when I started my career transition from bench science to software product management, I confess that I had no idea what software product management was either. Coming from a strong background of undergraduate research straight to a lab career at a biotech company, I always assumed I’d work one or two years at the company and then go to grad school.

However, about a year and a half into my role, I realized that actually, I didn’t want to go to grad school. But, I didn’t know what else to do. Fortunately, the head of software product management at my company was open to meeting with me and explaining more of her role, which eventually led me to transfer to her team and begin my product management (PM) career. Had I known about product management earlier on in my career, I’d have realized it was a great fit for my skillset and interests. As such, I want to be able to share more about this nontraditional career path for others who love science, but realize that the bench isn’t where they will be happiest.

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Topics: Science Careers, Science Career Options

RNA Interference in Plant Biology: New Tools for an Old Favorite

Posted by Guest Blogger on Oct 27, 2020 9:15:00 AM

This post was contributed by guest blogger, Robert Orr, who recently received a Ph.D. in Biology and Biotechnology from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

What is RNAi?

The loss-of-function (LOF) experiment functions as the building block of our understanding of complex biological processes. Many tools exist to perturb biological function in a direct or unbiased way at the DNA, RNA, or protein level. The “correct” choice of tool requires careful balancing of the inherent advantages and limitations of any technique in the context of the biological question. For example, while gene knockouts have long been considered the “gold-standard” for LOF studies, the high gene copy number found in plants makes traditional knockouts unattractive from a practical perspective. Therefore, techniques that function downstream of DNA, such as RNA interference, can reversibly exert their effect independent of gene copy number.

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Topics: Plant Biology, Other Plasmid Tools, Plasmids

Mycoplasma Contamination: Where Does It Come From and How to Prevent It

Posted by Guest Blogger on Oct 8, 2020 9:15:00 AM

This post was contributed by guest blogger, Kaustubh Kishor Jadhav, a Research Assistant at MGMs Institute of Biosciences and Technology.

If you are reading this article then you probably suspect mycoplasma contamination in your cell culture or you are about to begin a new cell culture project. If mycoplasmas are present in your lab, don’t be surprised. They are present in most of the cell culture facilities, tissue culture labs and every cell culturist has to deal with this problem. It is estimated that mycoplasma is responsible for up to 60% of the cell culture contamination (Uphoff, 2002).

Mycoplasmas are considered to be one of the simplest and smallest bacteria. The absence of a rigid cell wall makes them resistant to antibiotics and antibacterial drugs like penicillin and streptomycin. Mycoplasma can pass through filtration methods because of its ability to change shape and the absence of a rigid cell wall. Here, I will cover some of the best ways to tackle mycoplasma contamination before they enter your cell culture and what to do if you encounter mycoplasma contamination.

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Topics: Viral Vectors, Viral Vector Protocols and Tips

How to Design Your gRNA for CRISPR Genome Editing

Posted by Guest Blogger on Sep 24, 2020 9:15:00 AM

Originally published May 3, 2017 and last updated Sep 24, 2020

This post was contributed by guest blogger, Addgene Advisory Board member, and Institute Scientist at the Broad Institute, John Doench.

CRISPR technology has made it easier than ever both to engineer specific DNA edits and to perform functional screens to identify genes involved in a phenotype of interest. This blog post will discuss differences between these approaches, and provide updates on how best to design gRNAs. You can also find validated gRNAs for your next experiment in Addgene's Validated gRNA Sequence Datatable. A more extended discussion of these subjects can be found in two recent review articles (Doench et al., 2017, and Hanna et al., 2020) and references therein.

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Topics: CRISPR, CRISPR gRNAs

Finding Your Science Policy Path

Posted by Guest Blogger on Sep 22, 2020 9:15:00 AM

This post was contributed by Steph Guerra, a AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the Veterans Health Administration.

“But, seriously, what even is science policy?” 

I have been asked this many times throughout my short science policy career and this seemingly simple question is a moving target. There are a multitude of options for achieving success in a science policy career with many opportunities to pivot and grow along the way. That’s what makes it so wonderful.

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Topics: Science Careers, Science Career Options

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