With advancements made over the past few decades, the future of in vivo bioluminescence imaging (BLI) continues to gain momentum. In vivo BLI provides a non-invasive way to image endogenous biological processes in whole animals. This provides an easier method to assess relevant systems and functions. Unlike fluorescent imaging, BLI relies on a combination of enzymes and substrates to produce light, greatly reducing background signal (Refaat et al., 2022). Traditional fluorescent tags are also quite large and may interfere with normal biological function. In vivo BLI research has been around for quite some time, primarily utilizing Firefly luciferase (Luc2/luciferin). A recent advancement was the creation of the small and bright NanoLuc® luciferase (NLuc). Promega offers an wide portfolio of NLuc products that provide ways to study genes, protein dynamics, and protein:protein interactions. To fully grasp the power of these tools, I interviewed several key investigators to determine their perspectives on the future of in vivo BLI. I was specifically interested in their thoughts on NLuc multiplexing potential with Firefly (FLuc), and future research areas. These two investigators are Dr. Thomas Kirkland, Sr. Scientific Investigator at Promega, and Dr. Laura Mezzanotte, Associate Professor at Erasmus MC.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is not a new technological development. The idea of intelligent machines has been popular for several centuries. The term “artificial intelligence” was coined by John McCarthy for a workshop at Dartmouth College in 1955 (1), and this workshop is considered the birthplace of AI research. Modern AI owes much of its existence to an earlier paper by Alan Turing (2), in which he proposed the famous Turing Test to determine whether a machine could exhibit intelligent behavior equivalent to—or indistinguishable from—that of a human.
The explosive growth in all things AI over the past few years has evoked strong reactions from the general public. At one end of the spectrum, some people fear AI and refuse to use it—even though they may have unwittingly been using a form of AI in their work for years. At the other extreme, advocates embrace all aspects of AI, regardless of potential ethical implications. Finding a middle ground is not always easy, but it’s the best path forward to take advantage of the improvements in efficiency that AI can bring, while still being cautious about widespread adoption. It’s worth noting that AI is a broad, general term that covers a wide range of technologies (see sidebar).
For life science researchers, AI has the potential to address many common challenges; a previous post on this blog discussed how AI can help develop a research proposal. AI can help with everyday tasks like literature searches, lab notebook management, and data analysis. It is already making strides on a larger scale in applications for lab automation, drug discovery and personalized medicine (reviewed in 3–5). Significant medical breakthroughs have resulted from AI-powered research, such as the discovery of novel antibiotic classes (6) and assessment of atherosclerotic plaques (7). A few examples of AI-driven tools and platforms covering various aspects of life science research are listed here.
Integrating artificial intelligence (AI) into the process of scientific research offers a wealth of efficiency-boosting tools that are transforming the ways scientists can approach their work. Many are already using AI to refine code, automate data processing, and edit papers, presentations, abstracts and more. Personally, I find generative language models like ChatGPT to be invaluable “editorial assistants” in my work as a science writer, helping me work through wonky sentence structures, be more concise and get over writer’s block, to name a few applications.
But a scientist’s work doesn’t only involve writing or analyzing data, making presentations or keeping up with the literature. An essential component of any research scientist’s skillset is their ability to develop entirely new ideas and novel research proposals. Coming up with research questions and plans is a central component of graduate education and research careers, both in academia and industry.
As AI continues to advance and find broader use, a critical question arises: Can AI play a pivotal role in the creative process of developing entirely new ideas, such as crafting novel research proposals?
Sarah Mahan embraces change. In fact, she doesn’t just embrace it, she seeks it out, running towards change with arms wide open.
“If I could do a different thing every week, I would. That’s what my job would be.”
Sarah made her dream a reality when she began leading the Promega R&D Flex Team. This group of diverse research scientists moves around Kornberg Center, contributing resources to accelerate the development of technologies like Lumit Immunoassays and PowerPlex chemistry. They don’t specialize in any field or technology, but rather are constantly challenged to learn new skills quickly. Everywhere they go, they help R&D teams generate more data, answer more questions, and deliver results in less time.
“In short,” Sarah says, “we’re helping research teams make better products, faster.”
In today’s world of social networking, LinkedIn has emerged as the clear winner for professionals in all industries. With its powerful networking capabilities and innovative career development features, LinkedIn has revolutionized how individuals connect, collaborate and advance their careers.
In this blog you will hear from some of Promega’s interns as they share valuable advice for early career scientists looking to expand their network, establish meaningful connections and propel their career forward.
As an early career scientist, you may have already realized that the key to a successful career is not just an impressive resume or CV, but a strong professional network. In today’s interconnected digital age, there is no better platform to build this network than LinkedIn. With more than 930 million users worldwide, LinkedIn is a powerful tool for connecting with professionals in your industry, exploring job opportunities, and building your personal brand.
In this blog, I’ll cover everything you need to know to establish a strong presence on LinkedIn and achieve your professional goals.
Creating a Strong Profile
Your profile can either make or break your success on LinkedIn. A well-crafted profile has the potential to create lasting impressions and open doors to new career and networking opportunities. Below are a few tips to help you create a profile that is sure to impress potential connections and employers:
Microblogging is a form of blogging characterized by a shortened format and frequent posting schedule. Instead of personal websites, microblogs reside on social media platforms or apps, making them accessible to interact with and post on smartphones. Microblogs focus on interacting with audiences directly. With the ability to reply to or repost content, microblogging is more conversational and collaborative with audiences than long-form writing.
After its founding in 2006, Twitter (recently renamed “X” by its new owner) quickly became the face of microblogging platforms. Users publish content to the platform in posts of 280 characters that can include images, gifs, videos, and what the platform is most known for: hashtags. Hashtags enable users to search the platform by topic to connect with or follow other users who are writing about those topics. Users can also interact with each other by liking or retweeting tweets, which posts them to their own account. The open forum discussion style makes it possible for individuals to share their stories, offering first-hand accounts of breaking news and fueling political movements such as the Women’s March and Black Lives Matter.
On June 15, 2023, we announced the winners of the 2023 Promega iGEM grant. Sixty-five teams submitted applications prior to the deadline with projects ranging from creating a biosensor to detect water pollution to solving limitations for CAR-T therapy in solid tumors. The teams are asking tough questions and providing thoughtful answers as they work to tackle global problems with synthetic biology solutions. Unfortunately, we could only award nine grants. Below are summaries of the problems this year’s Promega grant winners are addressing.
The UCSC iGEM team from the University of California–Santa Cruz is seeking a solution to mitigate the harmful algal blooms caused by Microcystisaeruginosa in Pinto Lake, which is located in the center of a disadvantaged community and is a water source for crop irrigation. By engineering an organism to produce microcystin degrading enzymes found in certain Sphingopyxis bacteria, the goal is to reduce microcystin toxin levels in the water. The project involves isolating the genes of interest, testing their efficacy in E. coli, evaluating enzyme production and product degradation, and ultimately transforming all three genes into a single organism. The approach of in-situ enzyme production offers a potential solution without introducing modified organisms into the environment, as the enzymes naturally degrade over time.
Endometriosis is a condition that affects roughly 190 million (10%) women of reproductive age worldwide. Currently, there is no treatment for endometriosis except surgery and hormonal therapy, and both approaches have limitations. The IISc-Bengaluru team at the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, India, received 2023 Promega iGEM grant support to investigate the inflammatory nature of endometriosis by targeting IL-8 (interleukin-8) a cytokine. Research by other groups has snow that targeting IL-8 can reduce endometriotic tissue. This team will be attempting to create an mRNA vaccine to introduce mRNA for antibody against IL-8 into affected tissue. The team is devising a new delivery mechanism using aptides to maximize the delivery of the vaccine to the affected tissues.
The Biotechnology Youth Apprenticeship Program hosted by the BTC Institute gives high school students an opportunity to gain hands-on experience in a research lab. Students can work as paid apprentices for either one or two years while also attending weekly training sessions at the BioPharmaceutical Technology Center. Through this program, students can graduate high school with robust knowledge of lab safety and fundamental techniques, as well as a strong understanding of the soft skills required to succeed in science, from reading peer-reviewed literature to delivering a research presentation.
Many of these students will grow up to pursue careers in science, from academic research labs to the biotechnology industry. Some of them have returned to Fitchburg to work at Promega, the primary corporate sponsor of BTC Institute. As these scientists progress in their careers, the skills they developed in the Youth Apprenticeship Program continue to support their work every day.
National Online Learning Day is celebrated annually on September 15, and although it was only created in 2016, it’s a growing “day”. This day highlights students of all ages who have the ability to learn anywhere, anytime, and thrive wherever their technology and imagination take them.
Technology in the past decade has completely transformed and built bridges in education. Even before the pandemic, online learning was growing and being adopted. As we entered the COVID-19 pandemic, educational institutions were forced to think digitally, and our viewpoint of online education shifted from “option” to “necessity”.
Whether you’re enrolled in a virtual course, working from home, or sitting in on a virtual conference, nearly all of us, at some compacity, take part in online learning—and it’s here to stay! The ability to learn online will continue to provide people with new resources and support for many years to come. Let’s dive into some advantages of online learning and discover helpful resources to thrive online.
By clicking “Accept All”, you consent to the use of ALL the cookies. However you may visit Cookie Settings to provide a controlled consent.
If you are located in the EEA, the United Kingdom, or Switzerland, you can change your settings at any time by clicking Manage Cookie Consent in the footer of our website.
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. These cookies ensure basic functionalities and security features of the website, anonymously.
This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Analytics".
The cookie is set by GDPR cookie consent to record the user consent for the cookies in the category "Functional".
This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Other.
The cookie is set by GDPR cookie consent to record the user consent for the cookies in the category "Advertisement".
This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookies is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Necessary".
This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Performance".
6 months 2 days
This cookie is set by the provider Media.net. This cookie is used to check the status whether the user has accepted the cookie consent box. It also helps in not showing the cookie consent box upon re-entry to the website.
This cookie is used to store the language preferences of a user to serve up content in that stored language the next time user visit the website.
Analytical cookies are used to understand how visitors interact with the website. These cookies help provide information on metrics the number of visitors, bounce rate, traffic source, etc.
This cookie is associated with Sitecore content and personalization. This cookie is used to identify the repeat visit from a single user. Sitecore will send a persistent session cookie to the web client.
This domain of this cookie is owned by Vimeo. This cookie is used by vimeo to collect tracking information. It sets a unique ID to embed videos to the website.
1 month 18 hours 24 minutes
This cookie is used to calculate unique devices accessing the website.
This cookie is installed by Google Analytics. The cookie is used to calculate visitor, session, campaign data and keep track of site usage for the site's analytics report. The cookies store information anonymously and assign a randomly generated number to identify unique visitors.
This cookie is installed by Google Analytics. The cookie is used to store information of how visitors use a website and helps in creating an analytics report of how the website is doing. The data collected including the number visitors, the source where they have come from, and the pages visted in an anonymous form.
Advertisement cookies are used to provide visitors with relevant ads and marketing campaigns. These cookies track visitors across websites and collect information to provide customized ads.
1 year 24 days
Used by Google DoubleClick and stores information about how the user uses the website and any other advertisement before visiting the website. This is used to present users with ads that are relevant to them according to the user profile.
This cookie is set by doubleclick.net. The purpose of the cookie is to determine if the user's browser supports cookies.
5 months 27 days
This cookie is set by Youtube. Used to track the information of the embedded YouTube videos on a website.
Performance cookies are used to understand and analyze the key performance indexes of the website which helps in delivering a better user experience for the visitors.
This cookies is set by Youtube and is used to track the views of embedded videos.
This is a pattern type cookie set by Google Analytics, where the pattern element on the name contains the unique identity number of the account or website it relates to. It appears to be a variation of the _gat cookie which is used to limit the amount of data recorded by Google on high traffic volume websites.