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Improved Plasmid Maps Powered by SnapGene

Posted by Tyler Ford on Jun 29, 2017 9:06:40 AM

In meetings, in surveys, on Twitter - there is one thing we've heard over and over from our users: "Please, please improve your plasmid maps!" After thoughtful design, vetting, and tweaking, we’re excited to announce that our plasmid and sequence displays are now powered by GSL Biotech's SnapGene Server Software. With the backing of SnapGene’s sequence viewer software and extensive feature library, our updated plasmid and sequence displays are now much easier to interpret and analyze at a glance. For a quick look at just how much things have improved, check out the example below. Our old map is on the left while the SnapGene powered map is on the right (click here to see the new map in action). Read on to learn more about the improvements we’ve implemented and how they’ll make it easier for you to find the plasmids you need. We'll be monitoring and improving the maps further after this initial launch so stay tuned for more updates.

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Topics: Addgene News, Using Addgene's Website

Fluorescent Proteins 101: Introduction to FRET

Posted by Jason Niehaus on Jun 27, 2017 9:03:20 AM

Imagine being able to determine whether two proteins are within 10 nanometers of each other, or measure the tension in the helical structure of spider silk, or the activity of a protein in a synapse. What kinds of tools enable us to measure these properties, and what fascinating experiments could push these tools even further? All of these things can be done using FRET! Read on to find out more about this amazing imaging technique and find further tips for using FRET in your experiments here.

 

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Topics: Fluorescent Proteins, Fluorescent Proteins 101

Who Gives a Tweet? 9 Facts About Scientists on Twitter

Posted by Beth Kenkel on Jun 26, 2017 9:31:32 AM

What are scientists up to on Twitter? Prior to writing this post, my interest in Twitter was fleeting. I’ve had an account for three years and have only tweeted 6 times: #fail. I’d hoped to use Twitter professionally to network, learn more about alternative careers for scientists, and share cool science. Unfortunately, it never clicked for me. Recently my interest was renewed in part due to FOMO  but mostly because of this article: “A systematic identification and analysis of scientists on Twitter.” This paper addresses the following questions about scientists on Twitter: who are they? What do they share? And how they are connected? Here are the highlights written as 8 tweetable facts.

Note: The images used in this post were created using data from or modified from Ke et al. 2017.

Follow @Addgene on Twitter

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Topics: Scientific Sharing, Science Communication

Fluorescent Proteins 101: Visualizing Subcellular Structures & Organelles

Posted by Susanna Bachle on Jun 22, 2017 10:30:00 AM

The same way the human body is made up of organs, cells comprise compartments and structures, called organelles. Take a sneak peak inside a cell with the images from the Allen Cell Explorer (1).

When studying the function of a protein or its role in a disease, researchers often isolate proteins of interest and examine them using biochemical methods thus removing the context of the cell. However, much knowledge about functionality can be gained by understanding the location and transport of the protein within a living cell. Analyzing differences in protein localization and transport between healthy and diseased states can also provide interesting insights into disease mechanisms and protein function.

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Topics: Fluorescent Proteins, Fluorescent Proteins 101

How Dry Ice Affects Viral Vector Sample pH & How to Avoid It

Posted by Leila Haery on Jun 20, 2017 10:30:00 AM

We’re always looking for ways to improve our shipment processes. After reading a publication describing how short term storage on dry ice can shift sample pH, we wondered whether or not the dry ice we use to keep viruses frozen during shipment was having an impact on the samples. We therefore devised a few experiments to determine if our tubes were permeable to the CO2 released from dry ice, and whether this affected the pH of our viral samples. Read on to learn how aqueous samples might be affected by dry ice, and specifically how dry ice can affect virus from Addgene.

Bottom line: there’s good news and there’s bad news. The bad news is that some of tubes’ o-rings are, in fact, permeable to CO2 at low temperatures (-80°C) and once in the tube, the CO2 can alter the pH of the liquid sample. The good news is that this effect is reversible and the pH shift can be prevented. Keep this information in mind if you’re planning on shipping something on dry ice or if you’re receiving samples on dry ice - it may prevent you from seeing some unexpected results.

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Topics: Viral Vectors, Addgene’s Viral Service

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