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Plasmids 101: Protein Expression

Posted by Alyssa Cecchetelli on Jun 7, 2018 9:17:55 AM

The central dogma in molecular biology is DNA→RNA→Protein. To synthesize a particular protein DNA must first be transcribed into messenger RNA (mRNA). mRNA can then be translated at the ribosome into polypeptide chains that make up the primary structure of proteins. Most proteins are then modified via an array of post-translational modifications including protein folding, formation of disulfide bridges, glycosylation and acetylation to create functional, stable proteins. Protein expression refers to the second step of this process: the synthesis of proteins from mRNA and the addition of post-translational modifications

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Topics: Plasmid How To, Plasmids 101

CRISPR Cheat Sheet

Posted by Tyler Ford on May 31, 2018 10:43:15 AM

At Addgene we periodically have Science Clubs where we present developments in biology research to the whole company with the goal of educating both scientists and nonscientists alike. As part of these presentations, we generally create one page cheat sheets that attendees can use to quickly reference information that they (hopefully) learn at science club. In this post you'll find our CRISPR Cheat Sheet from @megearing's recent science club presentation about genome editing and CRISPR. We hope you find this cheat sheet useful! 

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Topics: Genome Engineering, CRISPR

Interview with Avital Bailen: iGEM and the OriginALS team

Posted by Tyler Ford on May 30, 2018 8:50:33 AM

In this episode of the Addgene Podcast, Addgenie Kim de Mora sits down with Avital Bailen from the "OriginALS" iGEM team at Ben-Gurion University in Beer Sheva, Israel. Avital provides a brief description of the OriginALS iGEM project below and discusses more of what she hopes to learn from the iGEM competition in the podcast.

Before we dive into the interview, we’ll briefly introduce you to Kim and iGem. By the end of this interview, we hope you’ll have a good understanding of why iGEM is an important component of scientific training for many researchers and of how the goals of iGEM and Addgene intersect in concretely useful ways for iGEM participants.

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Topics: Synthetic Biology, Podcast, Education

Rabies and Neuronal Tracing

Posted by Leila Haery on May 29, 2018 9:51:06 AM

Why study neural connectivity?

One of the early lessons many of us learned in biology is that the body’s architecture and plumbing are important. We started with learning the head is connected to the neck. Shortly after, we learned about organs and the jobs they perform. This became foundational later on when we studied biological processes, like how our stem cells are housed in specific locations and give rise to progenitors during growth and development or that blood flows through the heart and lungs and oxygenates the body. However, in neuroscience, this architecture is frequently still an open question. The connections between neurons are what define how the brain operates, and thus, are a major part of the answer to many biological questions about the brain. To address this, molecular tools to map neuronal connectivity are widely used in neuroscience. In this post, I’ll describe how rabies virus (RABV) can be used in the brain to visualize how neurons are connected.

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Topics: Viral Vectors

Educational planarian tools for teaching developmental biology techniques

Posted by Angela Kaczmarczyk on May 24, 2018 9:20:05 AM

Scientists routinely use techniques to alter gene expression or to label specific cells, but there are too few resources to teach students how to perform these experiments in the beginning. In most classrooms, the laboratory experience is focused on classical embryology techniques such as basic observation and dissections. Students don’t usually perform more modern techniques used in genetics or molecular biology because the experiments are either not accessible or too challenging for amateur scientists. Planarians, wormy creatures commonly found in freshwater ponds, provide a good potential solution to this problem. Planarians are easy to buy, cultivate, and have interesting phenotypes to study. In addition, the Sánchez lab has made it easier to perform advanced developmental biology experiments in planarians with their recent plasmid deposit.

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Topics: Education

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