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Interview with Avital Bailen: iGEM and the OriginALS team

Posted by Tyler Ford on May 30, 2018 8:50:33 AM

In this episode of the Addgene Podcast, Addgenie Kim de Mora sits down with Avital Bailen from the "OriginALS" iGEM team at Ben-Gurion University in Beer Sheva, Israel. Avital provides a brief description of the OriginALS iGEM project below and discusses more of what she hopes to learn from the iGEM competition in the podcast.

Before we dive into the interview, we’ll briefly introduce you to Kim and iGem. By the end of this interview, we hope you’ll have a good understanding of why iGEM is an important component of scientific training for many researchers and of how the goals of iGEM and Addgene intersect in concretely useful ways for iGEM participants.

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Topics: Synthetic Biology, Podcast, Education

Educational planarian tools for teaching developmental biology techniques

Posted by Angela Kaczmarczyk on May 24, 2018 9:20:05 AM

Scientists routinely use techniques to alter gene expression or to label specific cells, but there are too few resources to teach students how to perform these experiments in the beginning. In most classrooms, the laboratory experience is focused on classical embryology techniques such as basic observation and dissections. Students don’t usually perform more modern techniques used in genetics or molecular biology because the experiments are either not accessible or too challenging for amateur scientists. Planarians, wormy creatures commonly found in freshwater ponds, provide a good potential solution to this problem. Planarians are easy to buy, cultivate, and have interesting phenotypes to study. In addition, the Sánchez lab has made it easier to perform advanced developmental biology experiments in planarians with their recent plasmid deposit.

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Topics: Education

Pathways Over Time Plasmids Engage Students in Functional Genomics Research

Posted by Guest Blogger on May 22, 2018 9:38:25 AM

This post was contributed by guest blogger Clare O'Connor an Associate Professor at Boston College.

National reports stress the importance of providing authentic research experiences to undergraduate students (1, 2), but educators face significant challenges in designing suitable projects. In the O'Connor lab, we recognized that genome sequencing projects were generating huge amounts of data that could provide the basis for student projects in introductory labs. Genome projects use computational methods to identify genes by their similarities to genes in other species, but these studies generally leave questions about gene function wide open. What if two seemingly similar proteins have acquired divergent functions due to mutations accumulated over time? Undergraduates can help to answer this question!

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Topics: Hot Plasmids, Education

Arabidopsis in Education: How the Arabidopsis Biological Resource Center Brings Plant Science to Life

Posted by Guest Blogger on Apr 12, 2018 9:02:19 AM

This post was contributed by guest blogger Courtney Price, the Education & Outreach Specialist for the Arabidopsis Biological Resource Center and the Center for Applied Plant Sciences at The Ohio State University.

Established in 1991, the Arabidopsis Biological Resource Center (ABRC) is one of two global stock centers for Arabidopsis thaliana (Arabidopsis). Our mission is to collect, preserve, reproduce and distribute seeds, DNA and other resources for Arabidopsis and related species. Located at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, ABRC ships more than 100,000 samples to researchers and educators in 60 countries each year.

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Topics: Plant Biology, Education

A Deep Dive into BioBuilder

Posted by Guest Blogger on Oct 11, 2017 9:44:02 AM

This post was contributed by Mary Tamer from BioBuilder, an innovative nonprofit bringing the study of synthetic biology into the hands of students and teachers in the U.S. and beyond.

“I want to learn more about Synthetic Biology. Can you tell me where to start?” is a question more and more students are asking. Teachers are also asking, “How do I engage my students in real-world lab activities? I’m trying to inspire them and also keep up with all the new biotechnology.”

These are the types of inquiries that routinely hit the inbox at the BioBuilder Educational Foundation. With a goal of “bringing tomorrow’s science into today’s classrooms,” BioBuilder answers the call by offering a variety of educational programs all focused on current questions and experiments in the field of synthetic biology.

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Topics: Synthetic Biology, Science Communication, Education

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