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Overcoming the Challenges of Lentiviral Production

Posted by Meghan Rego on Aug 7, 2018 8:31:12 AM

While lentiviral vectors are popular gene delivery tools, producing lentivirus, can pose certain challenges. Whether choosing a system that is the best fit for the experiment, trying to produce virus of a usable titer, or fine-tuning selection and expression in your target cell line, researchers often find themselves faced with a roadblock. In this post, we will provide an overview of some of the common challenges associated with producing and using lentivirus and offer some tips and tricks for overcoming these hurdles.

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Topics: Lab Tips, Techniques, Viral Vectors

AAVs in retinal gene therapy

Posted by Karen Guerin on Jul 31, 2018 8:55:07 AM

It was by serendipity that I got into the field of gene therapy, more specifically AAV-based retinal gene therapy. The year was 2001 and I started a job as a technician in a lab using adeno-associated viral vectors (AAVs) to treat an inherited retinal degenerative disease called Retinitis Pigmentosa. I quickly became fascinated by this emerging technology and its potential for the treatment of some genetic diseases.

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Topics: Viral Vectors

Popular retroviral vectors and their uses in scientific research

Posted by Susanna Bachle on Jul 24, 2018 8:51:21 AM

Viruses are intracellular parasites and natural vehicles for genetic information. Therefore they make excellent tools for genetic engineering. There are several different viral vectors to choose from, for example gamma-retrovirus, lentivirus, Adenovirus, and Adeno-associated virus (AAV). If you are wondering which virus fits you experiments best have a look at this viral vector overview.

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Topics: Viral Vectors

Adenoviral Vector Production and Troubleshooting

Posted by Karen Guerin on Jun 14, 2018 7:44:26 AM

Adenoviral vectors (AdV) are attractive vectors for research applications and gene therapy: they can be produced at high titers, can accommodate large transgenes, transduce quiescent and dividing cells, and do not integrate into the host’s genome. The main challenge with using AdV is that it triggers a strong immune response after in vivo administration, which results in the death of transduced cells and loss of transgene expression (Interestingly, the strong immunogenicity of AdVs is what makes them ideal candidates for applications in oncolysis and vaccination!)

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Topics: Viral Vectors

Rabies and Neuronal Tracing

Posted by Leila Haery on May 29, 2018 9:51:06 AM

Why study neural connectivity?

One of the early lessons many of us learned in biology is that the body’s architecture and plumbing are important. We started with learning the head is connected to the neck. Shortly after, we learned about organs and the jobs they perform. This became foundational later on when we studied biological processes, like how our stem cells are housed in specific locations and give rise to progenitors during growth and development or that blood flows through the heart and lungs and oxygenates the body. However, in neuroscience, this architecture is frequently still an open question. The connections between neurons are what define how the brain operates, and thus, are a major part of the answer to many biological questions about the brain. To address this, molecular tools to map neuronal connectivity are widely used in neuroscience. In this post, I’ll describe how rabies virus (RABV) can be used in the brain to visualize how neurons are connected.

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Topics: Viral Vectors

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