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Lighting Up Cell Signaling with Photoswitchable Kinases

Posted by Beth Kenkel on Jul 25, 2017 9:20:50 AM

Signal transduction pathways are a lot like cell phone networks. Protein kinases deliver messages to the next members of their pathways, but where the kinases are located, their signal strength, and how long their signals last all impact transduction of the message. To study signaling pathways, scientists frequently use growth factors or serum to stimulate a pathway of interest, but there can be a lot of static since other signaling networks can also be non-specifically activated and, like the game of telephone, often the signal must be transmitted by intermediate messengers. Optical control of kinase activity can provide greater spatiotemporal resolution than pharmacological or genetic approaches, but only a few such methods exist and they only work for a subset of kinases.

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Topics: Fluorescent Proteins

Quick Guide to Working with Drosophila Part 2: Controlling Gene Expression in Flies with Gal4/UAS

Posted by Guest Blogger on Jul 21, 2017 8:48:55 AM

This post was contributed by guest blogger Jon Chow, an immunology PhD student at Harvard University.

In this second post in our quick guide to working with Drosophila, you’ll learn how to maniupate expression of your favorite gene (YFG) in flies. Read the first post here.

Once you’ve identified some fly stocks and other reagents of interest, the next question to ask is what to do with them. In some cases, there might be a mutation that disrupts the function of YFG. You could compare this mutant fly to one lacking the mutation in the same genetic background. In other cases, YFG or one of its mutant variants will need to be overexpressed or knocked down. To do this, Drosophila geneticists use the Gal4/UAS system. This incredibly useful, yet simple system allows you to systematically study gene function with temporal control and cell-type specificity!

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Topics: Lab Tips, Drosophila, Quick Guide to Drosophila

Supporting Rare Disease Research with BeHeard 2017

Posted by Tyler Ford on Jul 20, 2017 10:30:00 AM

We often hear about breakthroughs in diabetes and lymphoma research or the many different ways you can improve your heart health. These are amazing advances that will surely save thousands if not millions of lives, but many throughout the world are affected by devastating diseases that affect far fewer people and therefore fail to garner much international attention. Their small numbers do not, however, make these patients suffer any less acutely. 

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Topics: Blog

Addgene-Seeding Labs Plasmid Grant: Accelerating Science Globally - 5 Scientists, 4 Countries & 3 Continents!

Posted by Susanna Bachle on Jul 18, 2017 8:41:28 AM

Accelerating science and supporting scientists globally are the shared mission of both Seeding Labs and Addgene. The Addgene-Seeding Labs plasmid grant is a collaborative endeavor providing plasmids to researchers in developing countries. We are proud to introduce the 5 scientists who were awarded the Addgene-Seeding Labs Plasmid grant this year. These scientists work on projects spanning from the identification of plant compounds and insecticidal proteins to the development of renewable biotechnology products and biosensors for herbicides as well as developing yeast as source for dietary supplements!

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Topics: Scientific Sharing, Investigator Feature, Seeding Labs

DIY DNA Ladders from Penn State University

Posted by Beth Kenkel on Jul 14, 2017 10:30:00 AM

Two plasmids that can be used to make inexpensive 100 bp or 1 kb DNA molecular weight ladders were recently deposited with Addgene. A team of undergraduate students led by Dr. Song Tan at Penn State developed the plasmids, pPSU1 and pPSU2. When restriction digested with PstI or EcoRV, these plasmids generate 100 bp or 1 kb DNA ladders, respectively. Unlike many commercially available ladders, the 100 bp ladder works well for both agarose and native polyacrylamide gels.

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Topics: Hot Plasmids, Lab Tips

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