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22 Hot Plasmid Technologies from 2014

Posted by Joanne Kamens on Jan 6, 2015 12:21:53 PM

Updated Mini-transposon Vector for Bacterial Mutagenesis or Gene Targeting

Victor de Lorenzo's lab has engineered a modular mini-Tn5 vector that can be used to generate random mutagenesis libraries or to insert heterologous genes, reporters, or other markers into a target genome. They did this by selecting the important elements from existing transposon and vector systems and creating an all-synthetic vector that included only the elements needed for function.

The lab validated this vector, called pBAM1, by conducting random mutagenesis in the soil bacterium Pseudomonas putida and demonstrate that they can successfully create GFP fusion proteins with a variety of genes across the genome. Although this tool was published in 2011, it was only recently made available through Addgene and we want to highlight it for use in your research.

Check out Joanne's Reddit AMA

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Topics: Hot Plasmids, Lab Tips, Plasmid Kits

Resume Writing for Non-academic Science Careers

Posted by Guest Blogger on Dec 18, 2014 11:06:00 AM

This post was contributed by Theresa Liao of the University of British Columbia.

When transitioning from an academic science career path to a non-academic one, one of the biggest changes (and perhaps challenges) is the need to present yourself using a resume. Indeed, instead of having all the pages in a Curricula Vitae to showcase your publications, academic performances, and research experiences, you now have merely two pages to convince your potential employer that you are the right candidate for the job.

How can you incorporate the skills developed during graduate school into your resume? How can you stand out among all the candidates applying for the position?

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Topics: Career, Science Communication, Career Readiness

Addgene’s Top 10 Blog Posts from 2014

Posted by Caroline LaManna on Dec 16, 2014 3:01:00 PM

As 2014 comes to a close, we’ve been reflecting on the past year in science – as seen through the lens of Addgene’s blog and plasmid repository. Our blog is just over a year old, and it has grown steadily during 2014. We were excited to have more and more scientists offering to share their stories – about their research, their job hunts, and their tips for experiments. We’ve also loved helping to answer your plasmid and cloning questions through our Plasmids 101 series and by responding to your comments.

Additionally we’ve seen what topics are of interest to you, our readers. Below I’ve compiled a list of the Top 10 Most Viewed Posts on our blog from the past year. A quick glance shows that interest in CRISPR continues to grow as the genome editing technique has developed and improved. The CRISPR posts written by our guest bloggers, the experts in the CRISPR/Cas field, have been extremely helpful for scientists that are looking for more detailed information about this new technology. Our Plasmids 101 series continues to grab scientists’ attention, and as we move into next year we’d like to know what topics you want to learn more about. Our post on “Making Your Own Competent Cells” has been extremely popular, generating many additional questions. We’re happy to see scientists making their own cells to save money and create the tools that work best for their needs.

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Topics: Scientific Sharing, News

Plasmids 101: Protein tags

Posted by Eric J. Perkins on Dec 11, 2014 11:26:00 AM

Protein tags are usually smallish peptides incorporated into a translated protein. As depicted in the accompanying cartoon, they have a multitude of uses including (but not limited to) purification, detection, solubilization, localization, or protease protection. Thus far Plasmids 101 has covered GFP and its related fluorescent proteins, which are sometimes used as tags for detection; however, those are just one (admittedly large) class of common fusion protein tags. Biochemists and molecular biologists who need to overexpress and purify proteins can face any number of technical challenges depending on their protein of interest. After several decades of trying to address these challenges, researchers have amassed a considerable molecular tool box of tags and fusion proteins to aid in the expression and purification of recombinant proteins.

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Topics: Plasmid Elements, Plasmids 101

Management for Scientists: What Makes a Good Manager Anyway?

Posted by Joanne Kamens on Dec 9, 2014 9:22:00 AM

 This is the first in a 5 part series on Management for scientists. Subscribe to the Addgene Career Advice Posts here.

 

“I'm slowly becoming a convert to the principle that you can't motivate people to do things, you can only demotivate them. The primary job of the manager is not to empower but to remove obstacles.” – Scott Adams, Dilbert cartoonist

If that is all it takes, then how come there are so many bad managers? New managers are rarely chosen because they have demonstrated skill at managing and this is especially true in science. It is assumed that if you are good at science and you are smart, you can be a good manager. The kind of smarts and the type of skills that it takes to be a good scientist are not the same ones it takes to be a competent manager (much less a really good one). While getting your PhD or doing a postdoc few science trainees will have opportunities to work on Emotional Intelligence or to hone delegation skills, for example.

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Topics: Career, News, Management for Scientists

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