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Is modern life making another global pandemic inevitable?


Approximately 75% of newly emerging diseases currently affecting the global population are of animal origin. These viruses, like Covid-19, have been transmitted from an animal population to humans. Known as zoonotic diseases, they have been responsible for global pandemics including Avian Influenza and the previous coronavirus outbreaks of MERS and SARS. Tropical regions such as … Read more

Industry thoughts on commercially available animal-free antibodies

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Introduction In 2020 the European Commission published a report by its Joint Research Centre. The report is 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 against animals being used for the development and production of antibodies. This includes antibodies used … Read more

Applications of Phage Display


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

How CRISPR is Helping in The Battle Against Cancer


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


Introduction There have been growing concerns over the amount of plastic waste being released into the environment, especially into our oceans. This is because of the untold harm to aquatic life and contamination of the food chain. In fact, plastics can enter the food chain through tiny plastic particles, known as microplastics, that can be … Read more

Introduction to Phage Display


What are Phages? A phage (an abbreviated term for a bacteriophage) is a virus that infects bacteria. They are made up of of a nucleic acid molecule that is surrounded by a protein structure. Phages produce viral components by first hijacking the cellular machinery of a bacterium. These viral components are then assembled to form … Read more

Antibody Validation… Is There Still A Crisis?

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Reliable antibodies are essential for reproducibility. Likewise, reproducibility is key whether you are planning to publish a ground-breaking research, or are carrying out routine assays. Therefore, reliable antibodies is a topic that is is frequently visited and discussed by the scientific community. Initially, there was a greater onus on the researcher to check an antibody … Read more

Your Hybridomas Are Monoclonal, But Are They Monospecific?

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Introduction 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. This is when they developed a serum called “antitoxin” after injecting diptheria and tetanus toxins into animals. However, it was the seminal work by Milstein … Read more

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

Antibody Engineering Recombinant Antibodies

I was recently struck by several review articles on molecular farming and how it is applied to antibody production (1,2).  Surprisingly, the first scientific paper on recombinant antibody production in plants was published in 1989 (3).  Recombinant antibody production is the gold standard in biopharmaceutical production and becoming more popular for diagnostic and reagent antibodies.  … Read more