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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

Vote for Your Favorite Name for Blugene’s Virus Friend

Posted by Jennifer Tsang on Feb 13, 2020 9:34:14 AM

In December, we introduced you to Blugene’s new virus friend (they/them/theirs). But, they didn’t have a name. Last month, we collected suggestions for names and we’ve recently chosen four names as finalists. Now, we’re asking you to help us make the decision between some meaningful names….

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Topics: Fun at Addgene, Addgene News

DNA Purification Without a Kit

Posted by Beth Kenkel on Feb 11, 2020 9:15:00 AM

Before you reach for that silica spin column, stop to consider some ways to purify DNA without a kit. DNA purification kits have advantages: they are convenient and provide uniform, consistent results. But they are also less accessible due to their expense and requirement for lab equipment. Plus they create plastic waste. Kits can also have the annoying tendency to runout right when you need them and to accumulate a bunch of unused buffers because you’ve run out of columns.

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Topics: Plasmid Protocols and Tips, Plasmids

A Guide to Starting Your Own Journal Club

Posted by Will Arnold on Feb 6, 2020 10:00:00 AM

One thing many scientists enjoy is discussion of current new and exciting literature. As I transitioned out of academia and away from the bench I certainly had concerns that I may not have time to stay current or enjoy that discussion. Luckily, one needn't worry if they choose to move away from academic science; there is most likely abundant opportunity to continue such discussions. Beyond the excitement of learning about new cutting edge science, researchers of all varieties must stay current with literature and emerging technologies to remain competitive and relevant.

Enter: the journal club. 

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Topics: Scientific Sharing, Science Communication

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