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New and Upcoming Viral Vectors - September 2019

Posted by Leila Haery on Sep 12, 2019 9:00:49 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 we have released in the last few months. You can also browse our entire AAV inventory.

Our new AAVs include:

  • EGFP-expressing AAV for serotype testing
  • Calcium sensors and GABA sensors
  • Optogenetics
  • Recombinases
  • And more!
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Topics: Viral Vectors, Addgene’s Viral Service

Getting Started with Behavioral Neuroscience: Standardizing Experiments and Using Viral Vectors

Posted by Klaus Wanisch on Aug 20, 2019 8:31:11 AM

The aim of behavioral neuroscience is to define brain areas that are linked to a certain behavior. It is a very old branch of science, dating back several hundred years, with historical ties to psychology and philosophy (the mind-body problem). Because of the availability of tools for genetic manipulations, mice have become the model of choice for many behavioral studies, though other organisms such as rats or zebrafish are also used. With the development of viral vectors, behavioral neuroscientists can now precisely control where and when certain genes are expressed to investigate their role in a specific behavior. This blog post will give an introduction to behavioral neuroscience, and address experimental design considerations used in all behavioral studies.

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Topics: Viral Vectors, Neuroscience

Sensing Neuronal Dopamine

Posted by Leila Haery on Jul 30, 2019 8:59:00 AM

Feelings of delight associated with the brain’s reward circuits are generally linked to dopamine (DA), a well-known reward chemical and neurotransmitter. But aside from DA’s famous role as the “happy hormone,” it’s also involved in reinforcement learning, decision making, and motor control. 

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Topics: Viral Vectors, Neuroscience Biosensors

Beyond the Blood Brain Barrier: PHP.B Enters the Central Nervous System Via the LY6A Receptor

Posted by Beth Kenkel on Jul 23, 2019 8:46:19 AM

One of the biggest barriers to gene therapy treatment of central nervous system (CNS) diseases is the blood brain barrier (BBB). It’s the BBB’s job to block the entry of pathogens to the CNS, but this also stops viral vectors, such as adeno-associated virus (AAV), from reaching their targets.

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Topics: Viral Vectors, AAV

Zebrafish as a Model for Behavior: Swimming into the Optogenetic Spotlight

Posted by Maya Peters Kostman on Jul 16, 2019 8:59:05 AM

Optogenetics, the use of light sensitive proteins (opsins) to manipulate cell activity, enables researchers to silence or incite neuronal firing and study subsequent effects on behavior. The system is an especially powerful tool for in vivo behavioral studies because it is non-invasive and offers a high degree of control over time and space.

Zebrafish have become a popular model organism because their larval stage lends itself well to studies of neuroscience. The larvae of zebrafish are translucent and allow for noninvasive live imaging with fluorescent tags and activation of light sensing proteins. Furthermore, during the first 2 weeks of life, larvae already exhibit distinct behaviors such as spontaneous swimming and escape reflex. These traits, coupled with short generation times and high fecundity, make zebrafish ideal for high throughput studies of optogenetics. 

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Topics: Optogenetics, Viral Vectors, Organisms

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