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Addgene @ Keystone: Thoughts on Precision Genome Engineering and Synbio

Posted by Eric J. Perkins on Jan 15, 2015 8:50:00 AM

It's been about 14 years since I last attended a Keystone Meeting – far too long. Holding these meetings in relatively isolated resorts creates a sense of comradery with fellow attendees from the moment you arrive. Getting off the plane in Bozeman Sunday night, it was easy to spot meeting participants. They were the ones holding poster tubes (or as our baffled flight attendant called them, "long, skinny things") and generally exuding a very-tired-but-very-excited attitude. Riding up to the resort in the shuttle, our driver regaled us with tales of back country skiing, fly fishing, and local grizzly bear attacks. He described one such recent attack as "hilarious". Welcome to Montana!

Though sadly I will not be attending the entire meeting, Monday's talks alone were worth the trip. Dr. Dana Carroll's excellent keynote address was the first of 19 talks given over the course of the day. His talk, which focused on the history of genome engineering from ZFNs through TALENs and CRISPR-Cas nucleases, provided important context for the rest of the day. He was followed by three of the biggest names in the CRISPR-Cas9 field – Jennifer Doudna, Feng Zhang, and Keith Joung. All Addgene depositors! Addgene was mentioned specifically in Dr. Zhang's introduction. His willingness to share reagents so freely with the academic community has clearly made a huge impact on this field.

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Topics: Genome Engineering, Scientific Sharing, Synthetic Biology, CRISPR

Addgene’s Top 10 Blog Posts from 2014

Posted by Caroline LaManna on Dec 16, 2014 3:01:00 PM

As 2014 comes to a close, we’ve been reflecting on the past year in science – as seen through the lens of Addgene’s blog and plasmid repository. Our blog is just over a year old, and it has grown steadily during 2014. We were excited to have more and more scientists offering to share their stories – about their research, their job hunts, and their tips for experiments. We’ve also loved helping to answer your plasmid and cloning questions through our Plasmids 101 series and by responding to your comments.

Additionally we’ve seen what topics are of interest to you, our readers. Below I’ve compiled a list of the Top 10 Most Viewed Posts on our blog from the past year. A quick glance shows that interest in CRISPR continues to grow as the genome editing technique has developed and improved. The CRISPR posts written by our guest bloggers, the experts in the CRISPR/Cas field, have been extremely helpful for scientists that are looking for more detailed information about this new technology. Our Plasmids 101 series continues to grab scientists’ attention, and as we move into next year we’d like to know what topics you want to learn more about. Our post on “Making Your Own Competent Cells” has been extremely popular, generating many additional questions. We’re happy to see scientists making their own cells to save money and create the tools that work best for their needs.

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Topics: Scientific Sharing, News

Make a Splash: Notions of Scientific Impact Are Evolving

Posted by Kendall Morgan on Dec 5, 2014 9:54:09 AM

Of course, all of you toiling away in laboratories this holiday season want the work you are doing to have an impact, to move science forward, or perhaps even society. One obvious way to do that is and has been to publish in journals with a high “impact factor,” a measure that dates back to 1975 and is based on the average number of citations for recent articles. Of course, a publication in Science or Nature is always nice, but in the wired world we are living in, there are plenty of other ways to define and measure scientific impact.

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Topics: Career, Scientific Sharing

Sharing Your Lab Protocols: Using Apps to Save Time & Track Your Experiments

Posted by Caroline LaManna on Sep 23, 2014 11:05:27 AM

Recently I learned that Addgene’s pLKO.1 cloning protocol is viewed around 3,000 times each month. I looked this up after trying out the new protocols.io beta platform for sharing, annotating, and storing life science protocols. Since we began sharing this protocol on the Addgene website in December 2006, the pLKO.1-TRC cloning vector (deposited by David Root of the Broad Institute) has consistently been one of the repository’s most frequently requested plasmids. I wondered how many scientists have used the protocol for this plasmid, and if it still being used. After learning of it's continued popularity, I decided this protocol would be a worthy first contribution to the protocols.io community.

Did I mention that this protocol is being used around the world? In the last month it’s been viewed by users in the US, China, India, Canada, the UK, South Korea, and beyond!

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Topics: Scientific Sharing

Data Freedom: The Expansion of Data Sharing in Research Publications

Posted by Guest Blogger on Aug 5, 2014 2:51:13 PM

This post was contributed by Jim Woodgett.


Public Library of Science (PLOS) created a stir earlier this year when it announced its data access and sharing policy. Since early March, the open access publisher has required authors to include a note as to where readers may locate data supporting the research reported in PLOS publications. The policy was not an overnight revelation, rather it was the result of consultations between researchers and publishers. Nonetheless, the initial release caused a storm as the organization left open the question of how much data was necessary and reasonable. PLOS has since clarified their data sharing policy and recently announced that of the 16,000 manuscripts that had been processed since the declaration, only a small fraction (<1%) of authors have asked for advice about the scope of the policy. End of story? Not quite.

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Topics: Scientific Sharing

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