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Replacing paper: tips for choosing an electronic lab notebook

Posted by Guest Blogger on Jul 10, 2018 9:08:54 AM

This post was contributed by guest blogger, Tea Pavlek, Product Marketing Manager at sciNote.

Today, every lab has its own habits and approaches to record keeping. Top priorities in most cases include IP protection, publications and funding. If any of these three pillars crashes, the lab's success and the careers of its researchers are on the line.

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Topics: Lab Tips, Lab Software, Reproducibility, Open Science

Lab Automation at Addgene

Posted by Shannon Rinaldi on Mar 22, 2018 9:28:38 AM

If you’re doing high throughput work, it’s likely that you come into the lab wishing there was a machine that could make your life a hundred times easier. We’ve certainly felt this way at Addgene so we’ve been putting some work into finding robots that’ll take a little labor off our hands.

Good news! There is probably a machine or robot out there that does exactly what you want plus way more than you thought it could ever do! However, there is quite a bit of upfront research you have to do to find said robot and to find out how you can get one. As a starting point, I would recommend conferences like Lab Robotic Interest Group (LRIG). There is so much to see and so many more robots than you ever knew existed!

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Topics: Inside Addgene, Lab Tips

Cloning Mammalian Cells with the Agarose Method

Posted by Guest Blogger on Sep 7, 2017 8:17:41 AM

This post was contributed by guest blogger Iris Lindberg, Professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

In the Lindberg Lab we often make cell lines that overexpress genes of interest; more recently we have also been using Addgene CRISPR vectors to generate cell lines with knockouts of specific genes. Many years ago, people in the laboratory became frustrated with using glass cloning rings to isolate colonies of antibiotic-resistant cells; during the time required to grease, place and fill a dozen cloning rings, the remainder of the colonies on the plate dried out and died. The alternative to cloning rings, dilution cloning into 96-well plates, is extremely time- and resource-consumptive, since only wells with one cell can give rise to single clones, and thus many plates must be examined for single clones and then handled. Additionally, many cell lines, especially the endocrine cell lines we most commonly work with, require extra serum to survive at low densities - adding to the expense of dilution cloning.

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Topics: Lab Tips, Techniques

Quick Guide to Working with Drosophila Part 2: Controlling Gene Expression in Flies with Gal4/UAS

Posted by Guest Blogger on Jul 21, 2017 8:48:55 AM

This post was contributed by guest blogger Jon Chow, an immunology PhD student at Harvard University.

In this second post in our quick guide to working with Drosophila, you’ll learn how to maniupate expression of your favorite gene (YFG) in flies. Read the first post here.

Once you’ve identified some fly stocks and other reagents of interest, the next question to ask is what to do with them. In some cases, there might be a mutation that disrupts the function of YFG. You could compare this mutant fly to one lacking the mutation in the same genetic background. In other cases, YFG or one of its mutant variants will need to be overexpressed or knocked down. To do this, Drosophila geneticists use the Gal4/UAS system. This incredibly useful, yet simple system allows you to systematically study gene function with temporal control and cell-type specificity!

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Topics: Lab Tips, Drosophila, Quick Guide to Drosophila

DIY DNA Ladders from Penn State University

Posted by Beth Kenkel on Jul 14, 2017 10:30:00 AM

Two plasmids that can be used to make inexpensive 100 bp or 1 kb DNA molecular weight ladders were recently deposited with Addgene. A team of undergraduate students led by Dr. Song Tan at Penn State developed the plasmids, pPSU1 and pPSU2. When restriction digested with PstI or EcoRV, these plasmids generate 100 bp or 1 kb DNA ladders, respectively. Unlike many commercially available ladders, the 100 bp ladder works well for both agarose and native polyacrylamide gels.

Get Tips on Verifying Your Plasmid

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Topics: Hot Plasmids, Lab Tips

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