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Plasmids 101: Antibiotic Resistance Genes

Posted by Marcy Patrick on Jan 30, 2014 10:29:00 AM


Resistance to antibiotics is a widely used tool in molecular biology, yet scientists rarely stop to think about how much easier it makes our lives. Plasmid transformation into E. coli is a fairly inefficient process– just 1 out of 10,000 cells on average! Without some means of quickly determining which cells successfully received the correct plasmid, scientists would spend hours to days trying find their correct clones. Additionally, the presence of a plasmid is disadventageous from the bacterium's perspective – a plasmid-containing cell must replicate the plasmid in addition to its own chromosomal DNA, costing additional resources to maintain the plasmid. Adding an antibiotic resistance gene to the plasmid solves both problems at once – it allows a scientist to easily detect plasmid-containing bacteria when the cells are grown on selective media, and provides those bacteria with a pressure to keep your plasmid. Viva la (bacterial) resistance! 

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Topics: Plasmid How To, Plasmid Elements, Lab Tips, Plasmids 101

Save Time and Money by Making Your Own Competent Cells

Posted by Melina Fan on Jan 28, 2014 10:10:58 AM

We perform over 100 transformations each week at Addgene, so we need to be cost and time efficient. We do this by making our own competent cells and using a little-known reagent for streamlining the transformation step.

Read on to find protocols and tips that you can use in your own lab.

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Topics: Plasmid How To, Inside Addgene, Lab Tips

Plasmids 101: What is a plasmid?

Posted by Margo R. Monroe on Jan 14, 2014 9:43:00 AM

Any newcomer who joins a molecular biology lab will undoubtedly be asked to design, modify, or construct a plasmid. Although the newcomer likely knows that a plasmid is a small circular piece of DNA found in bacterial cells, she may need some extra guidance to understand the specific components that make up a plasmid and why each is important.

This post - the first in our new “Plasmids 101” series designed to educate all levels of scientists and plasmid lovers - serves as an introduction to plasmids. Plasmids 101 will provide you with an overview of general molecular biology knowledge and techniques, and empower you with a firm understanding of the fundamentals. Our mission is to curate a one-stop reference guide for plasmids, so that you can spend less time researching the basics and spend more time developing cleverly designed experiments and innovative solutions necessary for advancing the field.


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Topics: Plasmid How To, Plasmid Technology, Plasmids 101

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