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Jennifer Tsang

Jennifer Tsang is the Science Communications and Marketing Coordinator at Addgene.

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Natural or synthetic? How Addgene’s dataset reveals trends in biological innovation

Posted by Jennifer Tsang on Nov 8, 2018 10:47:22 AM

For the last 14 years, scientists have been coming to the Addgene website in search of plasmids. Now, scientists are beginning to see Addgene as a large data set. Addgene has over 65,000 plasmids in the repository, each verified by sequencing, which makes the repository a convenient source of sequence data.

A group of scientists from MIT tapped into this data to learn about trends in synthetic biology and DNA synthesis. They published their results in a paper in Nature Communications announcing a new bioinformatics tool that can predict whether a gene is natural or synthetic just by looking at its sequence.

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Topics: Synthetic Biology

Plasmid addiction systems: from bacterial toxins to molecular biology tools

Posted by Jennifer Tsang on Nov 1, 2018 8:35:58 AM

Members of the bacterial world produce an assortment toxins to claim territory or kill competing microorganisms, but did you know bacteria also produce substances toxic to themselves?

These toxic substances are part of toxin-antitoxin systems that are widely present in bacteria. They consist of a toxin which can affect a variety of cellular processes and an antitoxin that suppresses the toxin’s activity. The key to these systems is that the toxin is stable while the antitoxin is unstable, meaning that the cells must continually produce antitoxin to avoid cell death.

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Topics: Plasmid Cloning, Plasmid Technology, Plasmid Elements

Celebrating One Million Plasmids Shared!

Posted by Jennifer Tsang on Sep 25, 2018 10:39:56 AM

Can you imagine how much space a million plasmids would fill? Two weeks ago, Addgene edged passed our one million plasmids shared milestone by ending the day with 1,000,002 plasmids shipped. Reaching one million plasmids shared might have you wondering how many plasmids leave Addgene headquarters every day. That would be an average of 673 plasmids each day. This requires tremendous coordination amongst the lab team, shipping team, and others to ensure that everything will ship out in time - from assembling the boxes, to inoculating tubes, and to packing and shipping. Every single day.

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Topics: Inside Addgene

The time and cost required to make a plasmid

Posted by Jennifer Tsang on Sep 11, 2018 9:48:42 AM

Have you ever wondered how long it takes to make a plasmid? Or have you thought about how much total time you spend in the lab cloning before you can start on your experiment? What about all the reagents you need to order? Sometimes, it feels like an eternity of cloning, waiting, and repeating before you can finally dive deep into experiments.

Since one million plasmids shared is upon us at Addgene, we started wondering, just how much time and money do researchers spend cloning? How much does material sharing speed science?

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Topics: Plasmid Cloning, Lab Tips

Stabilized Bacterial Promoters: Constant Gene Expression at any Copy Number

Posted by Jennifer Tsang on Sep 4, 2018 8:53:28 AM

Researchers express genes of interest from plasmids in order to study gene function or to engineer cells for specific purposes. Unfortunately, plasmid copy numbers vary within cell populations and over time resulting in variable gene expression that can impact observed phenotypes. Factors such as the growth medium, growth temperature, and growth rate can all impact plasmid copy number in a cell.

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Topics: Plasmid Technology, Synthetic Biology, Plasmid Elements

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