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Cancer and the Immune System: Deciphering the Relationship

Posted by Guest Blogger on Mar 14, 2017 10:30:00 AM

This post was contributed by guest blogger Subhadra Jayaraman, a doctoral candidate at Binghamton University

Cancer is one of the greatest examples of survival of the fittest. Cancer cells find a way to grow haywire, access and create more vasculature to feed themselves, use the blood stream to commute to and invade multiple organs, and most importantly escape the immune mechanisms of the host. The cause, manifestation, diagnosis, recurrence, and treatment of cancer have been extensively explored. Biologists have attempted to study cancer from every possible angle to leave no stone unturned, but cancer has been producing landslide after landslide, only adding more stones to the field.

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Topics: Cancer

What Do I Do Now? Academic v. Non-Academic Career Decisions

Posted by Joanne Kamens on Mar 9, 2017 10:40:00 AM

One of the less acknowledged perks of scientific and technical training is that these educational paths prepare you for a vast selection of career options.  Scientists are certainly following many diverse career paths these days.  A recent National Science Foundation study showed that 57% of PhDs in US Biomedical workforce will NOT go into “traditional” academic positions. More recently, I have been hearing exit survey data from postdoctoral programs in the Boston area that demonstrate that 85% of leaving postdocs pursue a career outside the traditional academic silo to tenured professor.  Non-academia encompasses millions of choices including pharma, tech transfer, management consulting, science communication, policy and the diverse options in nonprofit science. No one list can ever encompass them all. We can’t designate non-academic jobs as “alternative” anymore.

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Topics: Career, Career Readiness

Quick New Way to Deposit Plasmids: The Deposit Spreadsheet

Posted by Tyler Ford on Mar 8, 2017 10:15:21 AM

We've been updating our plasmid validation processes to make it easier for you to find what you need in the repository, but we're also making it easier than ever to deposit with Addgene. Our plasmid deposit process can be broken down into three simple steps:

  1. Send Plasmid Information to Addgene
  2. Materials Transfer Agreement approval (MTA)
  3. Send Plasmids to Addgene and Quality Control 

Steps 2 and 3 are usually very easy - our tech transfer team will communicate with your university directly to make sure the MTA is taken care of and, once we have all of your plasmid data, we’ll send you prepaid shipping materials (i.e. a deposit kit) with instructions on how to send liquid DNA or bacterial streaks of your plasmid back to us. Our scientists will contact you if any issues arise during the QC process. As the depositing scientist, you will have the most involvement with step 1 and, while data entry can be a chore, we’ve made it easier than ever to send us your plasmid information with the Deposit Spreadsheet.

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Topics: Inside Addgene

Tips for a 1st Time CRISPR User (by a 1st Time CRISPR User)

Posted by Leila Haery on Mar 7, 2017 10:30:00 AM

We all know that in the lab there are often little tricks that are essential for experiments but that nobody talks about. After months of troubleshooting, those people who did not tell you that essential thing ask incredulously, “You seriously didn’t add 3 microliters of 5 mM star anise?” This is something I was expecting when I set out to make my first CRISPR/Cas9 gene edit. I wanted to inactivate the gene BRAF (a kinase implicated in several human cancers) in A549 cells (a human lung cancer cell line), armed only with viruses obtained through Addgene’s viral service and the methods sections of scientific articles (gasp). To my delight, not only was I able to make the edits without any reagent-grade endangered Martian chicory root, but considering this is a needle in a haystack type of objective, it was surprisingly easy. It’s true, I CRISPRed. In this post, I’ll summarize the basic steps and analyses, and give what I think are the main tips for each step of performing and analyzing a gene edit using Addgene’s lentiviral CRISPR tools.

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Topics: CRISPR

Addgene Moves to NGS Verification Powered by seqWell

Posted by Mary Gearing on Mar 2, 2017 10:30:00 AM

Last year was an exciting one for Addgene as we introduced our long-awaited viral service, but we haven’t forgotten about our plasmids! Now, we’re improving our quality control processes using next-generation sequencing (NGS) services provided by seqWell. This new QC process will bring you full sequence data for new plasmids entering the repository. Read on to learn more about how this process works and what you can expect to see on our plasmid pages.

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Topics: Inside Addgene

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