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Chemogenetics vs. Optogenetics: Which Method Should I Choose?

Posted by Maya Peters Kostman on Jun 11, 2020 9:34:59 AM

Chemogentic and optogenetic technologies have pushed the boundaries in neuroscience by granting targeted control over neuronal activity. While they serve similar purposes, both techniques offer researchers different advantages and limitations. 

The four main factors in which chemogenetics and optogenetics differ are:

  • Timing
  • Targeted manipulation
  • Controlling stimulation
  • Invasiveness 

Choosing the best set of tools therefore depends on what you are looking to study.

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Topics: Optogenetics, Viral Vectors, Chemogenetics

New and Upcoming Viral Vectors - May 2020

Posted by Maya Peters Kostman on May 28, 2020 9:15:00 AM

Since the beginning of our viral service in 2016, we’ve added many new tools to our inventory of ready-to-use viral vectors. Here are some of the AAV and lentiviral preps we have released in the last few months:

  • Lentiviral preps for expressing SARS-CoV-2 proteins
  • ChR2 for targeted expression
  • DREADDs
  • GFP dependent Cre and FLPo
  • And more! 
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Topics: Viral Vectors, Addgene’s Viral Service

Viral Vectors 101: Chemogenetics

Posted by Maya Peters Kostman on May 14, 2020 9:15:00 AM

In order to understand the complex wiring of the brain and the underpinnings of neurological disease, neuroscientists need to be able to probe cells and circuits without disrupting normal brain function. Chemogenetics has become a popular tool in the field as it provides a noninvasive method for manipulating cell activity, especially neuronal firing.

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Topics: Viral Vectors, Viral Vectors 101, Chemogenetics

Viral Genome Sequencing - A One Stop Shop for AAV Identity and Serotype Confirmation

Posted by Meghan Rego on Apr 23, 2020 9:15:00 AM

One of the main tenets of our quality control (QC) mantra is to do our utmost to ensure that scientists are receiving the exact materials that they think they are. To address this, several years ago we partnered with Seqwell to establish a next-generation sequencing (NGS) QC platform that allows us to provide scientists with complete plasmid sequences. After launching our viral service in 2016, we adapted this platform to accommodate adeno-associated viral vector (AAV) samples and created a simplified process, termed viral genome sequencing (VGS), to confirm the identity and serotype of our AAV preparations. We recently published a description of the VGS process and use cases in Human Gene Therapy.

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Topics: Viral Vectors, Viral Vector Protocols and Tips, AAV

Synthetic promoter AAVs for cell-type specific expression in retinal cells

Posted by Beth Kenkel on Mar 12, 2020 9:15:00 AM

Adeno-associated virus (AAV) is a popular tool for gene delivery, but it has a drawback: how do you ensure your gene goes where you want it to? Knowing that a gene is expressed in a particular cell type is important not only for translational research, such as gene therapy, but also basic research. To improve cell-type specificity of AAV, work has focused on modifying the outside protein shell, or capsid, of the virus so that it only enters and delivers it cargo to certain cell types. 

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Topics: Viral Vectors, Cell Tracing, AAV

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