The Largest Known Genome: Unveiling Nature’s Genetic Giant 

In genetics, sizes often come with surprises. One tiny fern, Tmesipteris oblanceolata, also known as the Fork Fern, proved this phrase true, taking the scientific community by storm when it broke the record for the largest known genome. Researchers reported this discovery on May 31, 2024, stating that the plant, which is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, harbors a full set of genetic instructions over 50 times the size of the human genome.

Tropical rainforest in New Caledonia with ferns and moss-covered trees
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Community Canvas: Taylor McAda’s Vibrant Mural on Madison’s State Street

On April 21st, 2024, hundreds of volunteers accompanied four local artists in Madison, Wisconsin for a public painting event to help decorate the 400-600 blocks of State Street. This project is the first embodiment of the city of Madison’s pedestrian mall experiment, set to kick off in May. Taylor McAda, Promega Senior Graphic Designer, was selected to design and paint one of four original 20-foot circle murals.

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Celebrating Our 2023 Promega In Action Awardees

Each year, Promega employees are offered the opportunity to receive up to 40 hours paid time off to donate in volunteer service through our Promega In Action program. Providing sustained support of organizations in our community, our employees participate in a wide range of activities.  

In 2023, we awarded 26 individuals who volunteered for 23 different organizations, some bringing along their Promega team members in attendance. From crafting comfort shawls for families of future organ and tissue donors, to volunteering with Meals on Wheels, to journeying to South Africa to deliver charitable donations for children in need, the opportunities to contribute to our community are abundant and impactful.

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Celebrating 10 Years of Innovation: Introducing the CSCB-Promega Innovation Fund 

For the past decade, Promega has supported cutting-edge research through the CSCB-Promega Innovation Award. Now, as we mark 10 years of collaboration with the Chinese Society for Cell Biology (CSCB), the Award is being converted into the CSCB-Promega Innovation Fund.  

The CSCB, founded in 1980, is one of the leading scientific organizations in China. Dedicated to fostering educational opportunities and innovation, the CSCB organizes conferences, publishes journals, promotes research collaborations, offers training for students and young scientists, and educates the general public on cell biology and biomedicine. 

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More Than a Scientist: Paraj Mandrekar’s Career & Contributions to Tabletop Roleplaying Games

Paraj Mandrekar began his career at Promega in 1998 in the Genetic Identity Research and Development program. In 2001, he was a consultant at the World Trade Center to help meet the urgent need to identify victims of the 9/11 attacks. Two products, one of them being our DNA IQ™ System, that Paraj and others used for automating forensic DNA purification at the time were featured in the R&D 100 Award in 2002.

As he progressed through the successive ranks in R&D, Paraj took on more responsibility for the research, design, and development of novel chemistry. A significant high point in his career was being promoted to Senior R&D Scientist 1 in 2010. At that point, he was working on both forensic and non-forensic chemistries with paramagnetic particles. Promega’s non-forensic kit (AS1290) was launched with a new chemistry in March 2010, and a few months later, he got a new version of the Maxwell forensic sample kit (AS1240) out the door.

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Promega’s Top Three Most-Viewed Blog Posts of 2023

This year, our bloggers wrote about a range of topics, including semaglutide, a 20,000-year-old pendant, and type 1 diabetes. Each topic is unique and has proven its popularity by our Promega Connections readers! Take a look at our top three most-viewed blog posts of 2023. 

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World Mental Health Day: Prioritizing Wellness in the Workplace

Celebrated annually on October 10th, World Mental Health Day provides an opportunity for people and communities to improve knowledge, raise awareness, and mobilize efforts in support of mental health.

Many people find that working is beneficial for their mental health. Having a job can help provide financial stability, establish a structured routine, improve one’s sense of identity, and more. However, at times your work may negatively impact your mental health and vice versa. Read some tips on how you can enhance your workplace well-being and cultivate a happier professional life.

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Clovibactin: A Revolutionary Antibiotic with No Resistance


Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) threatens the effective prevention and treatment of an ever-increasing range of infections. It’s a leading mortality factor worldwide, but the newly discovered antibiotic, clovibactin, may offer a pivotal solution. It effectively kills drug-resistant bacterial pathogens without detectable resistance—even multidrug-resistant “superbugs.”

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Pursuing Justice For Victims: DNA Forensics

Last year’s International Symposium of Human Identification (ISHI) covered a span of topics during various workshops, sessions, and poster presentations. Topics ranged from investigative genetic genealogy (IGG) to customary updates about CODIS and DNA testing standards to mobilizing DNA analysis labs. However, one topic particularly stood out to attendees—Ashley Spence’s powerful testimony on pursuing justice for victims.  

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Supporting CAR-T Cell Therapy with STR Analysis

Engineered T-cell therapies, specifically CAR-T cell therapies, have emerged as a breakthrough treatment for certain types of blood cancers including lymphomas, some forms of leukemia, and most recently, multiple myeloma. CAR (chimeric antigen receptor) T-cell therapy involves collecting T cells from a patient and re-engineering them to detect and destroy cancer cells.

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