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Why and how to start studying chromatin (with Addgene's help)

Posted by Eric J. Perkins on Jun 12, 2018 7:40:12 AM

How many times have you looked at a diagram depicting transcription, or DNA repair, or replication, or any number of CRISPR applications and thought “OK, but how does this work in the context of chromatin?” Though it’s true that adding histones and chromatin architecture to every diagram portraying some aspect of eukaryotic DNA would become busy and potentially detract from the process being depicted, we can’t forget that those other components are still there in real life.  Certainly referring to any DNA within the context of a nucleus as “linear” is a misnomer. The DNA packed into our chromosomes is very much 3-dimensional, as you can see by this post’s chromatin illustrations from Leah Bury of Microscopic Art.

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Topics: Blog

Visualizing Protein Turnover In Situ

Posted by Guest Blogger on Jan 16, 2018 10:20:10 AM

This post was contributed by guest blogger, Eugenia Rojas.

A question worthy of a PhD: How do you visualize protein turnover within a neuron?

For my PhD I studied a synaptic protein that is linked to neurodegeneration. The level of this protein is decreased in Alzheimer’s disease patient’s brains. However, it is not known why or how this happens. Therefore, I set out to study how protein turnover is regulated in neurons.

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Topics: Blog

Identifying Sequence Elements with SnapGene's Feature Database

Posted by Guest Blogger on Dec 21, 2017 9:06:58 AM

This post was contribued by guest bloggers Aline and Benjamin Glick from SnapGene.

SnapGene was created to meet a need. While there were software tools available to biomedical researchers manipulating DNA sequences on a daily basis, many found these tools inadequate for planning, visualizing, and documenting their procedures. Preventable errors in the design of cloning strategies set experiments back days or even weeks. Primer design was done painstakingly by hand. Records of plasmid construction were often incomplete or nonexistent. In the 21st century, many molecular biologists didn’t know the complete sequences or properties of the DNA molecules they were using.

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Topics: Plasmid Technology, Blog

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 Depositors Get More Citations

Posted by Guest Blogger on Apr 20, 2017 10:30:00 AM

This post was contributed by guest bloggers Samantha Zyontz and Neil Thompson from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Professor Feng Zhang’s original 2013 gene editing paper on CRISPR/Cas amassed nearly 2,400 citations in its first four years (1). In addition to publishing in Science, Professor Zhang deposited the associated plasmids with Addgene. Since then, Addgene has filled over 6,500 requests for these plasmids. While clearly an outlier, this story had us wondering: is there a larger trend here? Do papers associated with Addgene deposits accumulate more citations than those without Addgene deposits? Even more interestingly, could we tell if depositing a plasmid with Addgene causes a paper to get cited more?

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Topics: Blog

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