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AAV Vector Quality Control: Going the Extra Mile with NGS

Posted by Karen Guerin on Sep 12, 2017 9:44:59 AM

Reproducible data are key to science, so scientists are used to repeating experiments to confirm their findings. But no scientist wants to repeat an experiment because of poor reagent quality. To make sure our AAV vectors are of the highest quality, we undertake a rigorous quality control process - read on to learn more!

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Topics: Inside Addgene, Viral Vectors

How Dry Ice Affects Sample pH & How to Avoid It

Posted by Leila Haery on Jun 20, 2017 10:30:00 AM

We’re always looking for ways to improve our shipment processes. After reading a publication describing how short term storage on dry ice can shift sample pH, we wondered whether or not the dry ice we use to keep viruses frozen during shipment was having an impact on the samples. We therefore devised a few experiments to determine if our tubes were permeable to the CO2 released from dry ice, and whether this affected the pH of our viral samples. Read on to learn how aqueous samples might be affected by dry ice, and specifically how dry ice can affect virus from Addgene.

Bottom line: there’s good news and there’s bad news. The bad news is that some of tubes’ o-rings are, in fact, permeable to CO2 at low temperatures (-80°C) and once in the tube, the CO2 can alter the pH of the liquid sample. The good news is that this effect is reversible and the pH shift can be prevented. Keep this information in mind if you’re planning on shipping something on dry ice or if you’re receiving samples on dry ice - it may prevent you from seeing some unexpected results.

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Topics: Viral Vectors

Important Considerations When Using AAVs

Posted by Guest Blogger on Jun 13, 2017 10:30:00 AM

This post was contributed by guest blogger Katrina Armstrong, a Neurophysiology Msc Student at the University of Manitoba.

  1. Location, Location, Location!
  2. Failure to Plan (for Storage) Is Planning to Fail
  3. Patience Is Bitter but Its Fruit Is Sweet
  4. The Future?

Need Virus? Check out Addgene's New Viral Service!

I knew little about adeno-associated Viral Vectors (AAVs) before starting my graduate program at the University of Manitoba. Our lab has been utilizing chemogenetics (Designer Receptors Exclusively Activated By Designer Drugs, DREADDs) and optogenetics as tools to investigate the roles of certain cell types in locomotion. We have relied heavily upon AAV vectors to deliver chemogenetic/optogenetic constructs into our cells of interest. Although they have a small packaging capacity, AAV vectors were suitable for our needs for the following reasons:

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Topics: Viral Vectors

Beginner's Guide to Viral Vectors

Posted by Leila Haery on Jun 2, 2017 10:30:00 AM

You can use viral vectors for many experimental purposes. To help you make sense of all the viral vector information that's out there, Addgenie Leila Haery has summed up some of the most important characteristics of retroviruses, lentiviruses, AAVs, and adenoviruses in this easy-to-use guide. Print out the guide and use it for quick reference when you're designing your next virus experiment.

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Topics: Viral Vectors

Retrograde AAV: Making the Journey from Axon to Nucleus

Posted by Leila Haery on May 16, 2017 10:30:00 AM

The concept that the brain has a structure is not obvious. While it’s been a long time since Aristotle argued the heart was the thought center of the body, it wasn’t until the 1700s that scientists hypothesized and began to gather evidence that the brain has distinct regions with specialized functions. Phineas Gage, the man whose personality changed drastically after an accident where an iron spike was driven through his head, is a famous early example of the link between brain regions and behavior.  Also around that time, French scientists Marc Dax and Paul Broca independently discovered the speech production center of the brain when autopsies of speech-impaired patients revealed lesions in a particular brain region, later named the Broca’s area. In this post I’ll describe a new virus with retrograde function and how it’s enabling scientists to access neurons in a powerful way. Keep reading to find out what retrograde function is and how it gives us better access and ultimately a better understanding of the brain.

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Topics: Viral Vectors

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