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When GFP lets you down

Posted by Guest Blogger on Aug 23, 2018 8:05:04 AM

This post was contributed by guest blogger Joachim Goedart, an assistant professor at the Section of Molecular Cytology and van Leeuwenhoek Centre for Advanced Microscopy (University of Amsterdam).

GFP is the most popular, most widely used genetically encoded fluorescent probe. Several factors contribute to the popularity of GFP including (i) fast and complete maturation to functional, fluorescent protein in almost all organisms and cell types, (ii) no need to add a co-factor, (iii) easy visualization with standard filter sets on a fluorescence microscope, and finally (iv) good toleration in fusion proteins.

Since GFP is such a well-validated, all-round good performing probe, it is the first choice when selecting a genetically encoded fluorescent tag. There are, however, a number of limitations that you may run into if you choose to use it. Several of these limitations and possible solutions are discussed below.

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Topics: Fluorescent Proteins

Creating accessible biology activities in schools with BioBits

Posted by Guest Blogger on Aug 2, 2018 8:56:38 AM

This guest post was contributed by Ally Huang is a 4th year PhD student at MIT.

While I had always enjoyed learning about biology in high school, it wasn’t until I started working in my first molecular biology lab in college that I really fell in love with it. Something about being able to actually hold all those seemingly abstract biological reactions that I learned about from textbooks just made everything click in my head and left me thinking: I wish I had this kind of experience earlier!

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Communicating your science with help from ComSciCon

Posted by Guest Blogger on Jul 19, 2018 9:12:15 AM

This guest post was contributed by Nathan Sanders of ComSciCon, the Communicating Science Conference series for graduate students.

I believe that communication is the single most important skill that scientists need to succeed in their work. While it's not always recognized and valued for its immense importance, it may well be what determines whether you get the job after your next interview or whether your receive the next grant you apply for.

After all, the only value your work will have in the world is the value that you can succeed in communicating. Even the most rigorous, insightful, and novel scientific research will be wasted if you cannot convince others that it is important and relevant to them.  

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Topics: Science Communication

"Build Your Plasmid" the game - Play to teach

Posted by Guest Blogger on Jul 17, 2018 8:23:11 AM

This guest post was contributed by Marco Straccia, an Associate Professor at University of Barcelona.

The challenge: Making courses on genetic manipulation more hands on

While teaching courses about gene therapy and genetic manipulation, I and other professors at the University of Barcelona wanted to develop strategies to make our classes more practical and hands-on. Students in these courses get plenty of theory in their lectures, but it can be difficult to determine how much information they’ve absorbed if they don’t get a chance apply it in an interactive setting.

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Topics: Education

10 Basic tips for mammalian cell culture

Posted by Guest Blogger on Jul 12, 2018 9:09:21 AM

This guest post was contributed by Sana Khan Khilji, a PhD student at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces.

Here are some tips for cell culture that will hopefully help you keep a well organized lab and contamination free environment for successful experiments:

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Topics: Lab Tips

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