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#50 Addgene Interview

Dr. Melina Fan joins me on the show to discuss plasmids. Dr. Fan is the Chief Scientific Officer and a co-founder of Addgene. Addgene is a nonprofit organization that operates a plasmid repository for the research community. The organization works with thousands of laboratories to assemble a high-quality library of published plasmids for use in research and discovery. 

During the show, Dr. Fan explains what plasmids are, highlights cool genes that are inserted into plasmids and how Addgene's plasmid repository works. Dr. Fan recently co-authored a paper on the Zika virus. Her team developed a rapid, low cost detection method of the virus using CRISPR, which she sheds some light on.

Dr. Melina Fan received her PhD in Cell Biology from Harvard University, where she studied diabetes and metabolism. Melina has worked at Genetics Institute in Cambridge, MA and Sequana Therapeutics in San Diego, CA. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from MIT.


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#49 Brittany Gancarz on Prenatal Genetic Counseling

Prenatal genetic counselor Brittany Gancarz talks about the field of genetic counseling, busts a few genetic counseling myths and announces a new genetic counseling program in Connecticut! She shares her expertise on genetic testing, what patients can expect during a prenatal genetic counseling appointment, and gives advice to students who are pursuing genetic counseling.



Brittany Gancarz graduated from Sarah Lawrence College with a master’s of science degree in Human Genetics. She is a genetic counselor and a clinical instructor in UCONN Health’s Genetics and Developmental Biology department.



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#48 Dr. Ellen Elliott on lncRNAs and CRISPR

Dr. Ellen Elliott discusses her research of lncRNAs in TH2 cells and asthma. One of the technologies she uses to study this is CRISPR, a genetic editing technology. CRISPR has hit the mainstream media fast, it was recently featured on the cover of TIME magazine. Dr. Elliott also gives us a sneak peak at Jackson Laboratory’s new blog series. 









Dr. Ellen Elliott is a Postdoctoral Associate in Adam Williams’ lab at the gorgeous Jackson Laboratory Genomic Medicine in Farmington, CT. Dr. Elliott is studying the function of long non-coding RNAs in TH2 cells and asthma. Her results will hopefully generate lncRNAs that could be used as therapeutic targets or in diagnostic tests. Dr. Elliott graduated from Indiana University with a BS in Biology and a BS in Neuroscience. After she graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology.


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Vote Now for DNA Today in Podcast Awards!

DNA Today has been nominated in the 2016 Podcast Awards for The Best Science and Medicine Podcast of the Year! Please every day vote starting Sunday May 29th through Sunday June 5th. Voting is quick and easy! 


Go to Scroll down to the bottom right to the Science and Medicine category, selectDNA Today (listed second). At the bottom of the entry, fill in your name, email, you can leave a comment if your feeling extra generous. Hit submit. It’s that simple.



In order for the show to win, listeners need to vote to show their support! If you share on Twitter you are voting, I will give you a shoutout on the show, just tag @DNApodcast.  

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#47 Sharon Turcotte on lncRNAs

Jackson Laboratory,

Sharon Turcotte did research on lncRNAs with Williams Lab at the Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine. She teaches us what a lncRNA is, its function in gene expression, diseases lncRNAs have been associated with, using the CRISPR-Cas system and her advice for students joining the biotech industry. If you want to learn more about RNAs, check out the database You can also read more information about Williams Lab

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