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SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 Detection Methods Based on CRISPR/Cas

Posted by Guest Blogger on May 5, 2020 9:15:00 AM

This post was contributed by Shravanti Suresh from Iowa State University.

Since its appearance, SARS-CoV-2 has spread to almost every part of the world manifesting as a full-fledged pandemic. Containing the spread of this virus has become an utmost priority for countries around the world and to do so, the WHO recommends one strategy: testing, tracking, and social distancing.

With countries like South Korea, one of the earlier epicenters of the outbreak ultimately flattening the curve, it has become evident that widespread testing is crucial in controlling this pandemic. Currently, the CDC uses RT-qPCR tests to diagnose COVID-19 and some serological tests to determine past exposure. However, the limited availability of reagents and equipment and the long turnaround times, have led researchers to turn to other technologies like CRISPR.

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Topics: CRISPR, Cas Proteins, COVID-19

Scientists Map the SARS-CoV-2-Human Interaction Network

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

This post was contributed by Manon Eckhardt and Melanie Brewer from the QBI Coronavirus Research Group at UCSF.

It’s been only a few months since we all became acutely aware of the threat of SARS-CoV-2. Like many in the science community, we’ve been motivated to do anything and everything we can to help find a cure -- and quickly. Normally drug discovery is a process that would take years and millions, if not billions, of dollars, but by approaching it from a new direction, we hope to do it much faster.

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Topics: Other Plasmid Tools, Plasmids, COVID-19

A History of Genome Engineering in Popular Culture

Posted by Guest Blogger on Feb 25, 2020 9:15:00 AM

This post was contributed by Kartik Lakshmi Rallapalli, a graduate student at the University of California, San Diego.

The revolution in genetic engineering techniques is a speculation of yesteryear which has been realized recently. Science Fiction (SciFi) writers have been curious about the capability of transforming the genetic code of living organisms and its societal implications even before the discovery of genes themselves. 

How has scientific progress in genetic editing impacted the world of fiction and vice versa? We draw a parallel between the timelines of the scientific advancements and the noteworthy work of fiction that it inspired. CAUTION: Spoilers alert!

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Topics: Genome Editing, Plasmids

Binning Singletons: Tackling Conference Networking When You Don’t Know Anyone

Posted by Guest Blogger on Feb 18, 2020 9:15:00 AM

This post was contributed by Joe James from Binning Singletons.

The sheer scale of a large conference can be intimidating. And it can be exacerbated when everyone seems to know one another, but they don’t know you. First time attendees and those attending alone often feel this even more, because they don’t have the networks or experience to get the most of meeting

I experienced this at the ASM General Meeting (now Microbe) in 2013 in Denver, CO. While I had been to the General Meeting seven other times I had subsequently changed fields and my cohort of friends and colleagues had moved on as well, so I knew very few people. I didn’t really fit in anywhere and everyone who was doing the kind of work my lab wanted to do already seemed to know each other and what to do. 

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Topics: Science Careers, Networking, Conferences, Early Career Researcher

The Many Reasons for Irreproducible Research- and a Vaccine to Eradicate It

Posted by Guest Blogger on Jan 30, 2020 9:15:00 AM

This post was contributed by David Mellor from the Center for Open Science.

In the last decade, researchers have brought issues in reproducible research to the forefront in the so-called “reproducibility crisis.” Results in preclinical, biomedical and psychological sciences were called into question after credible attempts to replicate major findings could not be replicated by other researchers.There is both theoretical and empirical evidence (in psychology, cancer biology, pre-clinical life science work, economics) that published research is difficult to replicate. 

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Topics: Scientific Sharing, Reproducibility

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