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Rett Syndrome: A History of Research and Therapeutic Outlooks

Posted by Angela M. Holmes on Nov 19, 2020 9:15:00 AM

The Rett Syndrome Research Trust (RSRT) has an ambitious goal of curing Rett Syndrome and Addgene is thrilled to partner with them to launch a Rett Syndrome Plasmid Collection and Resource Center for Rett Syndrome research. With a shared passion for facilitating research and discovery, Addgene and RSRT have consolidated and centralized a collection of molecular biology tools so that both veteran and new Rett researchers can find the reagents and resources they need to cure Rett Syndrome. 

If you’re new to Rett Syndrome, this blog post describes the history of Rett Syndrome research, the role of the MECP2 gene, and highlights some of the latest breakthrough therapeutic approaches.

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Topics: Other

Five Popular Model Organisms, Part 2

Posted by Various Addgenies on Sep 29, 2020 9:15:00 AM

By Justin Ng and Alyssa Cecchetelli

Science is a constantly evolving and demanding field, requiring a variety of biological and molecular tools. One such tool is the model organism, an essential aspect of biological research that has defined our understanding of biological processes and developments. Model organisms often feature genetic, physiological, or developmental characteristics that make them ideal for studying in a laboratory environment. We’ve covered five model organisms in a previous blog post, but here are five more model organisms that have left a historical impact on the scientific community.

(And, check out this blog post to see even more genetic systems for emerging model organisms!)

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Topics: Other, Organisms

Capturing a Moment with Marc Zimmer’s “The State of Science”

Posted by Eric J. Perkins on Jul 30, 2020 9:15:00 AM

Marc Zimmer’s recent book, The State of Science: What the Future Holds and the Scientists Making It Happen, is an exercise in restraint. The very first subheading in Chapter 1 asks “What is science?” That’s a very big question. Zimmer, a Professor of Chemistry at Connecticut College who has been teaching and communicating science for over two decades, attempts to answer it in five paragraphs, with examples.

If that sounds ambitious, that’s because it is. Zimmer, whose previous books focused primarily on fluorescent proteins and their applications, tackles much broader issues in this brief volume. He examines, amongst other topics: racism and sexism in science, problems with peer-reviewed publications and funding, bioethics in the age of CRISPR, and the challenges of science becoming increasingly politicized. It would be nearly impossible for a career scientist such as Zimmer to introduce any one of these topics without some editorializing, and he wisely makes no such attempt. He is transparent about his own biases--many of which will be shared by fellow scientists--but that doesn’t make his introduction to these topics any less effective.

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Topics: Other

The Effect of COVID-19 on Liu Lab Plasmid Requests From Addgene Data

Posted by Guest Blogger on Jul 16, 2020 9:15:00 AM

This post was contributed by Max W. Shen from MIT, Alvin Hsu Harvard University, and David R. Liu from the Broad Institute and Harvard University.

Over the course of the last six months, COVID-19 has had a tremendous impact on our world -- as of June 4, 2020, COVID-19 has caused an estimated total of 380,000 deaths worldwide (statistics provided by Google on 6/4/20). Many countries entered lockdown for weeks to months, pausing or terminating employment for a significant fraction of the workforce.

Wet lab scientists are no exception to this effect -- meticulously designed experiments in labs around the world were put on hold indefinitely due to COVID-19. In our lab, we were interested in examining the effect of COVID-19 on worldwide scientific activity. However, this type of open-ended question is difficult to answer quantitatively without broad, unbiased data. Therefore, we chose to examine a dataset of Liu lab plasmid requests from Addgene, as a proxy for global activity in our particular scientific subfields. 

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Topics: Other, COVID-19

Developing a cold tolerant E. coli using specialized chaperones

Posted by Guest Blogger on Jan 28, 2020 9:35:41 AM

This post was contributed by Sreepadmanabh M, a member of the iGEM team from IISER Bhopal.

Following up its 2018 iGEM debut - centered around a prototypical methane biosensor - IISER Bhopal is back in the SynBio arena this year with a fresh team of twenty excited undergrads. Team IISER-B’s idea for the iGEM 2019 is to take bacteria out of their optimally suited temperature ranges and make them grow better at suboptimal ones, which could allow even your regular E. coli to thrive in the bitter cold. 

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Topics: Synthetic Biology, Other

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