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The Fluorescent Vegetables in Aptamer Soup

Posted by Aliyah Weinstein on Jan 29, 2019 9:27:00 AM

If you’re been following Addgene on #souptwitter or if you just enjoy a warm meal on a winter day, you should be happy to learn that many DNA-based reagents are named for soup ingredients! From pSOUP to mCherry, satisfying ingredients reagents permeate the molecular biologist’s kitchen lab - and scientists using aptamers might know this best, as most fluorescent aptamers are named for a fruit or vegetable!

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Topics: Fluorescent Proteins, Other Fluorescent Protein Tools

FPbase: A new community-editable fluorescent protein database

Posted by Guest Blogger on May 16, 2018 9:00:00 AM

This post was contributed by guest blogger Talley Lambert, a Research Associate at Harvard Medical School.

The need for a community fluorescent protein database

As recognized by the 2008 Nobel Prize, fluorescent proteins (FPs) have become one of the most indispensable tools in modern biological research.  Any microscopist will tell you that selection of a fluorescent probe (be it an organic dye or FP) is one of the most important steps in the design of an imaging experiment.  The choice is non-trivial, however, as FPs are tremendously complicated entities with a large range of characteristics (color, brightness, photostability, maturation, oligomerization), many of which are dramatically affected by environmental conditions (such as temperature, pH, fusion protein, etc...).  There are many online guides – including an excellent series of posts by Joachim Goedhart on the Addgene blog – outlining various important considerations when choosing a FP, but much of the primary data one might require when making such a decision remains spread across literature in publications that introduce these tools.

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Topics: Fluorescent Proteins, Other Fluorescent Protein Tools

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, Other Fluorescent Protein Tools

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