A Simple Way to Label Your Own Antibodies

 :: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 03-13-2014

Bio-Rad Laboratories announced the launch of its ReadiLink antibody labeling kits, one of the market’s simplest antibody conjugation solution for labeling microscale amounts (50–100 µg) of antibody. These kits are ideal for researchers interested in labeling their own antibodies for flow cytometry and cell sorting applications.

Using the ReadiLink antibody labeling kits, researchers can label their antibodies in two easy steps. The protocol takes only 70 minutes, and the labels are as bright and photostable as traditional dyes. Bio-Rad offers 10 different fluorophores whose excitation/emission wavelengths range from UV to infrared.

ReadiLink antibody labeling kits permit fluorophore conjugation of antibodies in two simple steps.

“The labeling kits will benefit a wide range of researchers,” said Mary Ferrero, Bio-Rad Product Manager in the Gene Expression Division, Life Sciences Group. “ReadiLink antibody labeling kits are ideal for researchers who are using a rare antibody, are interested in an antibody that is not commercially available with the appropriate fluorophore, or who want to label an antibody with a fluorophore that will fit into their multicolor flow cytometric experiment.”

Bio-Rad also offers additional reagents and consumables for each step of flow cytometry experiments, such as the ReadiDrop™ cell viability assays and primary antibodies.

For more information about Bio-Rad’s antibody labeling kits, please visit www.bio-rad.com/antibodylabeling.

Why American Patriots Need to Support Science

 :: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 03-12-2014

Eloquently said by The Science Guy.

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The Next Revolution In PCR

 :: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 03-11-2014

Clearly digital PCR has come a long way in recent years, thanks in large measure to the development of commercial systems like the QX200. These technology advances seem to indicate a tipping point where a greater number of researchers will soon have access to the technology, which will spur development of new applications that take advantage of the full capabilities of digital PCR and move scientists towards more robust biomarker studies and even single cell analyses.

Could the next revolution in PCR be digital? In an article appearing in Biotechniques, Nathan Blow takes a look at the history of digital PCR and why the methodology might have finally reached a tipping point in development.

Read the article to find out:

  • What makes digital PCR different from traditional PCR
  • A short history of digital PCR
  • Why did it take so long for the technology to catch on with developers and researchers?
  • How does digital PCR compare to real-time-quantitative PCR?

To learn more read Digital PCR: Separating from the Pack.

The DNA Vending Machine

 :: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 03-10-2014

This is one of the strangest convergences of science and art that I have ever witnessed. Now for the big question: Would you ever purchase someone else’s DNA for the sake of art?

Computational Tool Offers New Insight Into Key Biological Processes

 :: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 03-06-2014

Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a computational tool designed to guide future research on biochemical pathways by identifying which components in a biological system are related to specific biochemical processes, including those processes responsible for gene expression, cell signaling, stress response, and metabolism.

“Our goal was to identify modules, or functional units, which are critical to the performance of the biochemical pathways that govern a host of biological processes,” says Dr. Cranos Williams, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at NC State and senior author of a paper describing the work.

“For example, a car has lots of modules – the parts that make it go, the parts that make it stop, the parts that let you steer, etc. If you understand those modules, you understand how the car works. But if you just have a list of parts, that’s not very helpful.

“And what we have right now for many biochemical pathways is essentially just a list of parts – metabolites, biochemical reactions and enzymes that facilitate those reactions – and, in some cases, how those parts change over time. What we need is a clear understanding of which parts work together. That’s where our new algorithm comes in.”

The researchers developed an algorithm that allows them to identify which parts – the metabolites, reactions and enzymes – are related to each other and can be grouped into functional modules. The algorithm also identifies whether an individual component plays a role in multiple modules. For example, an enzyme may play a primary role in critical stress response pathways and a secondary role in processes associated with programmed cell maintenance or death.

The algorithm also characterizes how the relationships between different modules and individual components may change over time and under different internal and external conditions.

The input for the algorithm comes from using well-established dynamic models to observe changes in concentrations of metabolites, reactions and enzymes under various conditions. The algorithm then processes that data to establish primary and secondary relationships between all of the constituent parts.

“When modifying biological processes, there are thousands of possible combinations of metabolites, reactions and enzymes for any given biochemical pathway,” Williams says. “Our work should help life scientists narrow down the list of key players in order to target their research efforts on functional groups that are most likely to improve our ability to understand and control important biological processes. This has applications in everything from biomedical research to agriculture to biofuels.”

The paper, “Hierarchical Modularization Of Biochemical Pathways Using Fuzzy-C Means Clustering,” is forthcoming from IEEE Transactions on Cybernetics. Lead author of the paper is Dr. Maria de Luis Balaguer, a former Ph.D. student at NC State.

Thanks to North Carolina State University for contributing this story.