The European Union wants commercially available antibodies to be animal-free, what does the industry think?

Science 1

Movement towards recombinant antibodies and animal-free In 2020 the European Commission published a report by its Joint Research Centre. Based on the EU Directive 2010/63/EU on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes. The EURL ECVAM Scientific Advisory Committee (ESAC) advised that animals should no longer be used for the development and production of … Read more

Applications of Phage Display

Science 2

Phage display is a rapidly evolving technology that has been used to support a range of applications. Depending on the nature of the phage display library, these include epitope mapping, receptor and ligand identification, protein-protein interaction studies, recombinant antibody production, directed evolution of proteins, and drug discovery. The widespread utility of this technology is backed … Read more

Eat well and feel better…studies linking poor diet with depression

Science 3

Introduction It is widely known that eating well has many health benefits; while a poor quality diet high in processed foods, saturated fats and refined sugars is associated with disorders such as heart disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes. Despite this, our busy lifestyles have led to a greater consumption of convenience foods lacking the … Read more

How CRISPR is Helping in The Battle Against Cancer

Science 4

CRISPR Introduction CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing, found in nature as a bacterial immune defence mechanism, was first harnessed by scientists as a laboratory tool in 2012 to knock out or mutate genes of interest.(1,2,3) This ground-breaking technique is now commonly used on cell lines to monitor the effects of specific mutations or the function of a specific … Read more

Plastic, Pollution and A New Bacterial Hope for Recycling

Science 2

Introduction There have been growing concerns over the amount of waste plastic is being released into the environment, especially into our oceans. Causing, as yet, untold harm to aquatic life and contamination of the food chain. Tiny plastic particles, known as microplastics, can be ingested by sea life and by this route enter the human … Read more

Introduction to Phage Display

Science 4

What are Phages? A phage (an abbreviated term for a bacteriophage) is a virus that infects bacteria. Consisting of a nucleic acid molecule surrounded by a protein structure, it hijacks the cellular machinery of a bacterium, forcing it to produce viral components. These components are assembled to form new phages and the bacterium is then … Read more

Antibodies… What Are The Alternatives?

Science 1

The use of antibodies in basic research is very well established with an estimated research reagent market size of $1.4 billion. The value of the therapeutic antibody market is considerably larger, with antibody-based drugs in clinical use to treat conditions such as cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease. The recent growth of the antibody therapeutics … Read more

Antibody Validation… Is There Still A Crisis?

Science 5

Reliable antibodies are essential: whether you are planning to publish a ground-breaking piece of research, or are carrying out routine assays within your laboratory; reproducibility is key. Over the years there has been much debate regarding who should take responsibility for antibody validation. Is it the responsibility of the antibody supplier to offer a fully … Read more

Your Hybridomas Are Monoclonal, But Are They Monospecific?


Scientific research has been revolutionized by the use of antibodies in basic research, diagnostics and as biopharmaceuticals.  Antibodies were first described by Emil von Behring and Kitasato Shibasaburō in 1890 when they developed a serum “antitoxin” after injecting diptheria and tetanus toxins into animals.    However, it was the seminal work in 1975 by César Milstein … Read more

Molecular farming and antibody production – future reality or pipe dream?

Digital M 3

I was recently struck by a couple of review articles on molecular farming and how this is being applied to antibody production (Donini M et al, Biotechnol Lett (2019) 41:335-346 and WIREs Nanomed Nanobiotechnol2017, 9:e1462. doi: 10.1002/wnan.1462).  Surprisingly, the first scientific paper on recombinant antibody production in plants was published in 1989 (Hiatt, al, Nature … Read more