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#Deckthelab Contest Winners 2017

Posted by Luis Marte-Diaz on Jan 31, 2018 9:44:01 AM

Although we're storing away all of our holiday decorations, our holiday spirit remains. We would like to thank everyone who participated in our annual #Deckthelab contest. The bar was set very high from last year’s impressive entries, but our community of creative scientists delivered some spectacular photos once again this year!

All winners receive an Addgene care package with Addgene mugs and some delicious hot chocolate for the lab. Here are some of our 2017 contest winners:

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Transferable Skills Guide: Managing a Team

Posted by Karen Guerin on Jan 30, 2018 9:42:28 AM

A recent survey of PhDs found that many researchers feel that they lack formal training in a variety of transferable skills. At Addgene we've set out to fill this gap by both highlighting that researchers do learn MANY transferable skills while working in the lab and by offering advice on areas where you might need some help. Today in our transferable skills guide: managing a team.

You’ve just been promoted, congratulations! You’re now a manager with your own team! But what does it really mean to manage a team?

If your graduate school experience was anything like mine you didn’t think much about management skills during your scientific training. I never thought about management skills before being propelled into the position of manager. I barely had any experience being managed! The good news is that management skills can be taught, but it will take time so be patient and keep an open mind.

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Topics: Career, Management for Scientists, Career Readiness, Transferable Skills Guide

In Vivo Biotinylation of Bacterial Fusion Proteins

Posted by Guest Blogger on Jan 25, 2018 9:09:35 AM

This post was contributed by guest blogger Jon Backstrom, a biochemist in the Vanderbilt Eye Institute and Tonia Rex's lab.

A common strategy to determine the binding kinetics of a purified protein involves immobilization on a solid support. This allows washing away of unbound material to calculate the amount of bound ligand (after subtracting out non-specific binding). Historically, glutathione-S-transferase (GST) fusion proteins have been immobilized on a reduced glutathione matrix. The advantage of a fusion protein is the efficient purification of an already immobilized target protein. The disadvantage is that the GST moiety, which forms dimers, may influence binding kinetics of the target ligand. Another important consideration is whether the affinity of an experimental protein-ligand interaction approaches that of GST-glutathione.

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Topics: Plasmid Technology, Hot Plasmids, Techniques

PEI Calculator for Planning AAV Packaging Transfections

Posted by Beth Kenkel on Jan 23, 2018 9:04:28 AM

As the saying goes, “failing to plan is planning to fail.” Preparation is a key step to any experiment and can help prevent future headaches. To help you plan PEI transfections for AAV packaging, considering using this PEI Calculator. AAV packaging typically requires transfecting three plasmids at specific molar ratios. To get these ratios right, you need to do a few calculations. This calculator can do the math for you and it’s simple to make adjustments for the type of tissue culture dish and number of dishes used. Here’s to making AAV packaging a little easier!

Click here to download the PEI calculator for AAV packaging

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Topics: Viral Vectors

Plasmids 101: Inducible Promoters

Posted by Mary Gearing on Jan 18, 2018 9:34:59 AM

Promoters control the binding of RNA polymerase and transcription factors. Since the promoter region drives transcription of a target gene, it therefore determines the timing of gene expression and largely defines the amount of recombinant protein that will be produced. Many common promoters. like CMV, EF1A, and SV40 promoters, are always active and thus referred to as constitutive promoters. Others are only active under specific circumstances. In this post, we’ll discuss inducible promoters, which can be switched from an OFF to an ON state, and how you might use these in your research. When you're done with this post, check out our follow up post on repressible promoters.

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Topics: Plasmids 101

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