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5 Great Apps for Lab Life

Posted by Guest Blogger on Sep 22, 2016 10:30:00 AM

This post was contributed by guest blogger Sean D. Stacey. Opinions on the apps discussed in the article are those of the guest blogger and do not necessarily represent the views of Addgene.

I think it’s safe to assume that anyone reading this article has a smartphone nearby. We tailor these devices to our own interests with the content we store in them: music, emails, chats, pictures, and apps. Throughout my time as a graduate student, I have relied more and more heavily on adapting my smartphone to help me with my research in terms of preparedness, organization, and sharing data. Here are five FREE science lab apps that have been educational and great for lab life. These apps prevent you from constantly searching the interwebs for lab resources, and instead conveniently provide them on your smart phone.

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Topics: Other, Miscellaneous

Gendered Innovations: Why Does Sex of the Cell Matter?

Posted by Guest Blogger on Jul 21, 2016 10:30:00 AM

The post was contributed by guest blogger Londa Schiebinger, PhD, Hinds Professor of History of Science, Stanford University.

Sex and gender are critical components of biological research that are often forgotten or ignored. If we wish to conduct research that fails less and helps more people, we need to take sex into account. Gendered Innovations is an international, collaborative project—funded by the European Commission, the US National Science Foundation, and Stanford University—that harnesses the creative power of sex and gender analysis for innovation and discovery.

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Topics: Other, Miscellaneous

How to Keep a Lab Notebook for Bioinformatic Analyses

Posted by Guest Blogger on Jun 2, 2016 10:30:00 AM

This blog post was contributed by guest blogger Kate Palozola

Traditional lab notebooks just won't cut it for bioinformatics. All kinds of biologists are finding themselves using computational approaches to analyze large data sets (myself included) and we are faced with finding the best system to document these types of analyses and their results. We are adept at recording wet-lab experiments using a “traditional” lab notebook; however, keeping track of computation work comes with new sets of challenges. One challenge with computational analyses is to keep track of why you are doing what you are doing. Another common challenge is to keep track of what works, and what does not work. Careful documentation will keep you on task and will prevent you from getting lost in the wide word of informatics.

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Topics: Other, Miscellaneous

The Challenges of Cell Culture

Posted by Guest Blogger on May 5, 2016 10:30:00 AM

This post was contributed by ATCC Outreach Scientist Nick Amiss.

Cell culture in the present day

Cell culture is a widespread tool used in the fields of oncology, virology, immunology, microbiology, and pharmacology (many of which are represented in Addgene's Special Collections). Arguably, oncology has benefited most as cancer cells are amenable to culture in vitro. Virologists too have benefited from the ability to propagate viruses in cell culture; if there were no cells to infect, there would be no viable viruses to study. Interestingly, due to certain high profile problems surrounding cell culture over the last few decades some pharmacologists have tended to avoid cell culture in favour of biochemical assays followed by in vivo testing. The mantra being “you can’t trust those whacky cell lines”. This may certainly have been a valid concern for the discipline (or lack thereof) in times gone past but these days it’s never been easier to conduct high quality work in cell culture.

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Topics: Other, Miscellaneous

Working with Nuclear Receptors

Posted by Guest Blogger on Jul 15, 2014 12:03:00 PM

This post was contributed by Neil J. McKenna and Bert W. O’Malley.

Survival of all organisms depends on efficient energy maintenance - through acquisition, storage, and utilization - and on self-propagation by reproduction. Both physiological processes are controlled by deliberate and compulsory actions instigated by the central nervous system signaling to peripheral effector organs, which then return information such as nutritional status. Within the animal kingdom, this information is relayed through factors (both of endocrine and dietary origin) that are diffused or actively transported from cells, traverse the body through the bloodstream, and eventually elicit their actions on other tissues. At the Nuclear Receptor Signaling Atlas (NURSA), one of our primary goals is to promote an understanding of how these processes are regulated at the cellular, tissue and organ level by nuclear receptors (NRs), their coregulators, and their physiological endocrine ligands.

Nuclear receptors and their ligands

NRs represent the largest family of transcription factors found in metazoans. The superfamily is comprised of 48 human and 49 murine members. NRs permit the integration and communication of such signals between central and peripheral organs because of their established roles as molecular sensors and governors of endocrine-hormone signaling.

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Topics: Other, Miscellaneous

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