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Synthesized by Ginkgo Bioworks, Shared by Addgene: SARS-CoV-2 Plasmids for Many Expression Systems

Posted by Various Addgenies on May 19, 2020 9:15:00 AM

By Will Arnold and Shreya Vedantam

Accelerating research by improving the availability of materials is a core part of our mission. In no situation is this more true than the current global pandemic in which scientists race to find vaccines, therapeutics, and other treatments to stem the spread of COVID-19. That’s why we’re proud to be working with Ginkgo Bioworks to synthesize and share SARS-CoV-2 plasmids to help academic and industrial labs accelerate research and to help find a faster solution to the COVID-19 pandemic. By the time the project is complete, Ginkgo will have synthesized approximately 3,000 constructs to support SARS-CoV-2 research.

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Topics: Plasmids, COVID-19

Scientific Sharing in the Time of COVID-19: Databases and Resources

Posted by Aliyah Weinstein on May 12, 2020 9:15:00 AM

As the world has battled the COVID-19 pandemic over the past few months, the scientific community has seen a shift towards prioritizing research into this disease. A key reason this research has been able to progress so rapidly is scientific sharing. Already we’ve seen articles about COVID-19 on preprint servers and in journals, and researchers have been making new materials like plasmids available to scientists around the world. To support this pace of research, new, centralized databases and centers to support the sharing of materials and data associated with COVID-19 research have rapidly been developed.

We asked the individuals behind some of these new platforms what their motivations were for developing these resources and why they value scientific sharing as the scientific community strives to understand COVID-19. While the specific motivations vary, everyone we spoke with sees sharing and collaboration as the best way that the scientific community can make progress towards understanding this disease.

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Topics: Scientific Sharing, COVID-19

SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 Detection Methods Based on CRISPR/Cas

Posted by Guest Blogger on May 5, 2020 9:15:00 AM

This post was contributed by Shravanti Suresh from Iowa State University.

Since its appearance, SARS-CoV-2 has spread to almost every part of the world manifesting as a full-fledged pandemic. Containing the spread of this virus has become an utmost priority for countries around the world and to do so, the WHO recommends one strategy: testing, tracking, and social distancing.

With countries like South Korea, one of the earlier epicenters of the outbreak ultimately flattening the curve, it has become evident that widespread testing is crucial in controlling this pandemic. Currently, the CDC uses RT-qPCR tests to diagnose COVID-19 and some serological tests to determine past exposure. However, the limited availability of reagents and equipment and the long turnaround times, have led researchers to turn to other technologies like CRISPR.

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Topics: CRISPR, Cas Proteins, COVID-19

Sharing Plasmids Globally for COVID-19 Research

Posted by Jennifer Tsang on Apr 30, 2020 9:15:00 AM

In the past few weeks, we’ve received over 2,600 COVID19 related plasmid requests. These plasmids have been heading to research labs in 43 countries.

COVID-19 research is happening fast and we’re glad to join these efforts and help scientists through plasmid sharing and more. These include plasmids that have been in the repository for many years, and new plasmids that scientists have deposited in the last several weeks. We've grown the collection of COVID-19 related plasmids to over 500 plasmids and our mission to accelerate research through sharing reagents has never been so important as scientists work around the clock to find solutions for COVID-19. Sharing speeds science.

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Topics: Other Plasmid Tools, Plasmids, COVID-19

Finding nucleic acids with SHERLOCK and DETECTR

Posted by Alyssa Cecchetelli on Apr 16, 2020 9:00:09 AM

Originally published Aug 30, 2018 and last updated April 16, 2020.

Sensitive and specific nucleic acid detection is crucial for clinical diagnostics, genotyping, and biotechnological advancements. Many methods of nucleic acid detection however, either lack the sensitivity or the specificity to detect nucleic acids at low concentrations and/or are too expensive, time-consuming, and complex to use outside of standard laboratories. In the case of the COVID-19 pandemic, qPCR can be used to diagnose the presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA, but inadequate access to reagents and equipment has become a bottleneck.

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Topics: CRISPR, Cas Proteins, Other CRISPR Tools, COVID-19

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