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Visualizing Translation at the Single Molecule Level

Posted by Mary Gearing on Aug 1, 2017 9:15:16 AM

Regulating translation is key to cellular function, especially during development or stress. With ribosome profiling, researchers have been able to study the effects of various stimuli on global translation, but a visual technique to study translation remained elusive. Two techniques developed by Addgene depositors have made it easier to track translation in two different ways: by monitoring the first round of translation or by tracking the translation of a single mRNA over time. Both are helping researchers explore the complexity of translational control in cellular physiology.

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Topics: Fluorescent Proteins

Fluorescent Protein Travel Awards - FLiPs and Fluorescent Protein Biosensors

Posted by Tyler Ford on Jul 27, 2017 9:11:09 AM

Fluorescent proteins have enabled scientists to pursue creative research avenues previously unavailable to them. With these fantastic tools it’s now easy to monitor protein expression, localization, and protein-protein interactions. Beyond these common applications, researchers are finding new ways to apply fluorescent proteins everyday. 

The late Michael Davidson and Roger Tsien played enormous roles in enabling researchers to utilize and develop these tools by making their own fluorescent protein technologies widely available to the research community. To honor their legacy, we recently launched the Michael Davidson and Roger Tsien Commemorative Travel Awards. These awards are intended to help scientists share their fluorescent protein research with the academic community by funding their travel to a conference of interest.

In this post, we’re proud to announce our first two Michael Davidson and Roger Tsien Commemorative Travel Awardees: Xin Zhou and Fatima Enam. There were many excellent applicants but Xin and Fatima stood out for their creativity in the use of fluorescent proteins and the potential for their work to enable future discoveries.

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Topics: Interview, Investigator Feature, Fluorescent Proteins

Lighting Up Cell Signaling with Photoswitchable Kinases

Posted by Beth Kenkel on Jul 25, 2017 9:20:50 AM

Signal transduction pathways are a lot like cell phone networks. Protein kinases deliver messages to the next members of their pathways, but where the kinases are located, their signal strength, and how long their signals last all impact transduction of the message. To study signaling pathways, scientists frequently use growth factors or serum to stimulate a pathway of interest, but there can be a lot of static since other signaling networks can also be non-specifically activated and, like the game of telephone, often the signal must be transmitted by intermediate messengers. Optical control of kinase activity can provide greater spatiotemporal resolution than pharmacological or genetic approaches, but only a few such methods exist and they only work for a subset of kinases.

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Topics: Fluorescent Proteins

Plasmids 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: Plasmids 101, Fluorescent Proteins

Plasmids 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

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