Sep 15, 2022 7:31:43 PM       by Kin Leung

The 2022 Ig Nobel Laureates!

That time of year that we've all been anticipating is here! That's right, the 32nd First Annual Ig Nobel Prize ceremony took place on the evening of Thursday, September 15, and the 2022 winners took their bows and hammed it up in one of the most favorite of scientific gatherings. Alas, the ceremony was online-only due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but that did not take away from the fun and love of science that is expected from this festival of glee that features actual Nobel Prize winners! Without further ado, please read on for the many great, uh, achievements by this year's newest additions to the Ig Nobel ranks. 


Sep 14, 2022 12:00:00 PM       by Kin Leung

The 10 “Greatest” Ig Nobel Discoveries

Science is the process that allows humans to identify a problem and devise experiments to examine that problem and provide solutions. Not all scientific problems are created equal, but we can agree that all science, even those super mundane details that barely anyone ever thinks of, can be important to the whole of human knowledge. One of the great draws of science is that it is both rewarding and fun, and if ever there was a repository of high-brow humor, science is it. While we celebrate great discoveries every year with the Nobel Prizes, we also have an uproariously entertaining time with the annual Ig Nobel ceremony, a somewhat obscure but highly-anticipated event for the entire scientific community that shows the fun and human side of the "lauded" researchers. Let’s look at the Ig Nobel Prize, and some of the “greatest” Ig Nobel recognitions since the award’s inception in 1991.


Sep 7, 2022 12:00:00 PM       by Kin Leung

Why Accessibility and Collaboration are Critical to Good Science

Like most PhD students, I had to generate publications in order to earn my doctorate, and my mentor had to use those publications to support his grant applications. The ability to churn out publications in volume is critical to sustaining academic research, and the labs with the best reputations are the ones who regularly crank out quality articles that land in top-tier journals. However, does science have to be driven this way? Are we overlooking some great scientists or discoveries because they were unable to find the opportunities for funding and exposure, and thus dropped academia in search of another career? We should explore improving accessibility to funding and publication in research so that everyone has the chance to share their ideas.


Aug 31, 2022 12:00:00 PM       by Kin Leung

Working Toward Sustainability in Laboratory Science

You may have stumbled upon many articles about the poor whales swallowing tons of plastic waste, flooding that is affecting communities and even national parks, or chemicals that are constantly threatening marine life. As the global temperature continues to increase, the ocean levels gradually rise, and life as we know it is threatened, it is almost like we are on our way to the apocalypse. However, humans do not have to accept this doomsday scenario! There are many things beyond our control that we will have to persuade our elected leaders to drastically change policies to conserve our natural resources, reduce pollution, and preserve biodiversity. But there are also many other things well within our control that we can do in the lab and at home to make a difference, since small actions will add up to significant positive change.

 


Aug 17, 2022 12:00:00 PM       by Kin Leung

How to Become a Great Scientific Mentor

If you are reading this, either having earned your first faculty position or about to embark on leading a huge project, congratulations! You have obviously demonstrated the creative problem solving and other skills needed to successfully carry out and complete a scientific study…but maybe you’re not confident in your ability to lead or mentor? I would argue that many experiences you have accumulated up to this point will help you become the best mentor you can be, so let’s get to it as you cultivate the next generation of great researchers!


Aug 15, 2022 11:37:47 AM       by Kin Leung

CUT&Tag: An Alternative to Chromatin Immunoprecipitation

The arguably most fun thing about science is when your supervisor tells you to just do Experiment X to test hypothesis, but then they kind of forget to tell you how complicated the techniques are to perform that experiment, not to mention all the optimization you would need to do. I personally have never done a chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP), and since I wasn’t in genomics, the most sequencing I ever did was setting up quick reactions for the core facility to tell me that my gene constructs were correctly built. ChIP does sound rather simple when explained in class, but when you read up on the protocols,1 there are some limitations to what ChIP can do, especially given the large amount of starting material you need for the typical experiment. Luckily, in recent years, scientists have started to use an alternative technique called Cleavage Under Targets and Tagmentation, or CUT&Tag, which ABclonal is pleased to support through our antibody reagents.


Aug 10, 2022 12:00:00 PM       by Kin Leung

6 Lab Hacks to Make Your Life (Science) Easier

When I was in college, I enjoyed reading about Chindogu, which literally means “weird tool” in Japanese. The whole point of Chindogu was to make hilariously “unuseless” objects, somewhat like a tool that you might use, but wouldn’t actually buy because it was so absurd. An example of such absurdity is this Hay Fever Hat, and there are countless others that I would recommend you read and laugh about. Although Chindogu are essentially impractical devices meant for laughs, I got to thinking about how I MacGyver’d through graduate school in repurposing equipment and designing new ways to make my lab life easier even as our funding dwindled. Known affectionately as lab hacks, I’m sure you can find some of these on the internet, but I’ll share some of my favorites here.

 


Aug 3, 2022 12:00:00 PM       by Kin Leung

In Your Eyes: The Journey Toward Reversing Visual Impairment

Since I’ve been living with it for as long as I can recall, I don’t consider my visual impairment a disability. Unlike the millions of people who require corrective lenses, though, my impairment is much more permanent and far less manageable, but it hasn’t prevented me from enjoying life and participating in physical activities. I thought I’d take this time to talk a bit more about most genetic disorders that affect vision, and what is being done to achieve a better understanding to try to reverse the vision loss.


Jul 29, 2022 12:00:00 PM       by Kin Leung

5 Steps to a Better PCR: A Troubleshooting and Optimization Guide

Ever since Kary Mullis (that crazy guy, may he rest in peace) officially invented the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), an entire generation of molecular biology has exploded across the globe as scientists use PCR for a number of applications, from measuring gene expression to forensics. While the textbook technique is relatively simple, as I (and many other fellow researchers) can attest to from experience, producing an ideal PCR is far more challenging due to multiple factors.


Jul 27, 2022 11:29:58 AM       by Gavin Zhang

The ABclonal Advantage: Working With an Original Manufacturer

When you consider which of the dozens of biological reagents companies to work with, how can you determine which one is the right fit? There is, of course, a business aspect to making and distributing quality antibody reagents. The source of the antibodies that you rely on for your research will matter in terms of supply consistency, lead time, cost, and the associated services to support your product. 


Jul 26, 2022 10:59:14 AM       by Kin Leung

Potential Fraud and the Need For Vigilance in Scientific Review

I will admit that I am not a neuroscientist, having focused my research on immunology and cancer cell biology, but I’ve always been aware of Alzheimer’s Disease and the quest for better treatments and an eventual cure. It is because I am not a neuroscientist that I rely on the word of purported experts in the field who have dedicated their careers to finding these answers. There are various caveats like the level of journal the research is published in, the quality of the images (at least to the naked eye), the number of times the research is cited, and the known reputation of the authors, that help to determine the level of trust one can put into the finding. Yet, we find that some things still might slip through the cracks, and this reminds us that we need to scrutinize data more thoroughly to hold each other accountable and maintain trust in science.


Jul 20, 2022 12:00:00 PM       by Kin Leung

The Myriad Patterns of Inheritance

In another life, I taught high school biology and had a lot of fun doing it. I had my students do the Cell City when we worked with organelles in the cell, and once we got to the genetics unit, we did something fun called Dragon Genetics. In this activity, students would pair up (one was the mommy dragon, the other the daddy dragon) and throw “chromosome” sticks to see what traits they would “pass on” to their theoretical dragon baby. The activity is quite simple once students understood basic Mendelian genetics (and some of the non-Mendelian patterns as well), and even my son was able to draw his own dragon baby when I had him be my guinea pig while he was still in elementary school. (Figure 1) There were some amazingly creative dragons adorning my classroom, and I hope you can share the Dragon Genetics activity with any teacher friends as we discuss non-Mendelian traits and disease here. As we celebrate the beautifully-designed experiments by Gregor Mendel that led to the modern study of genetics and genomics, we might also be reminded that patterns of inheritance, like many things in life, are far from binary.


Jul 18, 2022 11:59:58 AM       by Kin Leung

What to Think About Zinc: An Essential Element for Healthy Living

Perhaps we only think of zinc as the extra element in our coins to keep manufacturing costs down, or as that random clip from the Simpsons about a world without zinc. Aside from thinking it is a wacky sounding word (I did look up the etymology and it is rather appropriate!), we just don’t consider zinc as being all that important. Once the pandemic hit, though, I noted that Costco was marketing their zinc supplements a lot more, and after doing some extra research, I bought some to add to my diet.


Jul 13, 2022 12:00:00 PM       by Kin Leung

ABclonal in Action: 10 Scientific Studies Using ABclonal Antibodies

Open collaboration is important for sustainable science, and every new study or publication, no matter the journal or institution, contributes to a greater understanding of biology, for better or for worse. Dozens of prior discoveries funnel into every new breakthrough, so we need to appreciate the years of painstaking labor and thought that go into every new morsel of knowledge. It is very fulfilling when ABclonal products are part of the fuel that drives these studies in diverse fields of biology. With our ABclonal in Action series, we hope to highlight our products as well as the new insights from our customers all over the globe that will become stepping stones for the next generation of cutting-edge bioscience.

 


Jul 12, 2022 1:28:37 PM       by Amy Li

A Beginner's Guide to Matrix Metalloproteinases

You go through everyday life thanks to the intricate communication and interaction of tissue and organ functions between the trillions of cells in your body. Within those tissues, a non-cellular component exists called the extracellular matrix (ECM). Imagine a structure made of water, proteins, and polysaccharides that helps to give structural support to surrounding cells as a connective tissue. Within the ECM lies a group of enzymes named matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). As endopeptidases, which are enzymes that break peptide bonds, the main role of MMPs is to break down collagen and other proteins in the ECM, whether in normal tissues or in promoting cancer metastasis. MMPs are divided into collagenases, gelatinases, stromelysins, matrilysins, and membrane-type (MT) MMPs, as well as some other non-classified MMPs.[1]


Jul 8, 2022 12:00:00 PM       by Kin Leung

Therapeutic Strategies For Autoimmune Diseases

My wife and I used to watch House, M.D. starring Hugh Laurie, in which he was a cranky doctor who happened to be a Holmesian genius in diagnosing rare or mysterious diseases. We are fortunate to have doctors who have much better bedside manner, but as an entertainment option, House was a lot of fun. One of the running gags for fans of the show is that the mystery disease of the week is never lupus, except for the one and only time that it was. My fond memories of this show got me to thinking about how difficult it is to diagnose lupus, and about other autoimmune diseases that still remain mysterious and challenging to treat. I decided to find out how modern medicine is approaching this continuing health issue.


Jul 1, 2022 10:50:18 AM       by Kin Leung

Controlling Monkeypox Spread: Protecting Against the Next Pandemic

It seems like decades since the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic shut down the world economically and socially, and even now we are not fully out of the woods. The COVID-19 coronavirus continues to persist, hovering on the cusp of becoming an endemic disease after having caused over one million deaths in the United States alone out of over six million deaths worldwide since the first reported cases in 2019. Although the various coronavirus vaccines have conferred some level of herd immunity across the globe, the danger of mutations causing variants that might escape vaccine protection is real, so continued vigilance and best practices are key to returning to normalcy. Perhaps our resolve as a global community and as a species will be tested in short order as the monkeypox outbreaks surge.


Jun 30, 2022 12:00:00 PM       by Kin Leung

Another Way to Kill Bad Cells: Recent Work in Pyroptosis

Once upon a time when I was a fledgling science nerd in high school, I started learning about the process of apoptosis, which remains to this day the most studied form of cell death in various functions including organismal development and defense against cancer. As an immunologist-in-training, I also learned about the classical complement pathway that the immune system uses to destroy infected cells, and also necrotic cell death or necroptosis (which is full of really gross pictures if you dare to Google it). Of course, I learned about autophagy in graduate school and really appreciate its utility in normal physiology and disease, while very recently I read about ferroptosis as yet another programmed cell death (PCD) pathway. Right around when the Nobel Prize was awarded to recognize the elucidation of PCD, pyroptosis came about as a novel PCD pathway that is continuing to gain steam in its clinical relevance. It seems logical for cells and organisms to have redundant systems in place to clear away damaged and malignant cells before a health crisis can emerge if the cell evades the primary route of apoptosis.

 


Jun 24, 2022 12:00:00 PM       by Kin Leung

Why Protein Structure is a Big Deal

My first experience in a basic research laboratory was a structural biology project, in which we were attempting to solve the structure of a nervous system protein known as myelin basic protein (MBP). As a rookie undergraduate scientist at the University of California, I had great mentors who taught me everything, from how to purify recombinant proteins from bacteria to doing library work to understand what had been done before so I could build upon it. I also learned how to use an electron microscope (EM) to gather structural data. MBP was an interesting challenge as it had multiple isoforms due to alternative splicing, and generally behaved like a random coil. 1 The major function of MBP is to take advantage of its highly positive charge to compact myelin in higher organisms, with research over the years suggesting it may have some capacity to form alpha helices, although atomic-resolution structures have not yet been reported. MBP has also been reported as a biomarker in autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis. 1


Jun 17, 2022 12:00:00 PM       by Kin Leung

A Path To Effective Precision Therapeutics For Alzheimer’s Disease

Before my grandmother passed, she had been battling severe dementia for a very long time, which made it difficult in many ways to have conversations with her. It would take several minutes for her to process who I was, and then it would seem like she would remember me and my family, but she would still have to ask for clarification several times even after we had answered her queries. I am grateful that she is in a better place now, but her challenges in the final years of her life deepened my empathy for people who suffer from dementia, and those who take care of them.

 


Jun 10, 2022 12:00:00 PM       by Kin Leung

ABclonal in Action: Autophagy as a Therapeutic Target

 

Every now and then when I get hungry, I joke that my stomach is about to digest itself. For the longest time, human science was unaware that our cells could literally eat itself (or more precisely, parts of itself) as well! First described in the 1960s by Christian de Duve (who won the Nobel Prize for discovering the lysosome), the term autophagy derives from Greek words combined to mean “self-eating” and describes a process by which the cell degrades large components and organelles in a distinct mechanism. 1-3 The phenomenon was not studied extensively until the 1990s, when Yoshinori Ohsumi performed a series of groundbreaking experiments to determine the underlying mechanisms of autophagy, an achievement for which he was awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Ohsumi’s work has led to an explosion of research that has precipitated a greater understanding of the role played by cellular digestion, degradation, and recycling pathways in human health and disease.


Jun 3, 2022 12:00:00 PM       by Kin Leung

Traffic Management: The Indispensable Vesicular Transport System

When I taught high school biology, a favorite part of the curriculum was cellular structures and functions. I set up an activity suggested by other experienced biology teachers that was based on the “Cell City,” a learning analogy where students would create an artwork of a city with the mitochondrion as a power plant and a vacuole as a lake. (Figure 1) I wish I saved their very creative projects, but I distinctly remember one group used the Chicago Transit Authority’s elevated train system map to represent the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), a very clever use of the analogy and a nod to city pride. It was also the first time these students really thought about vesicular transport, although they didn't fully understand its importance.


Jun 1, 2022 2:13:47 PM       by Kin Leung

Plant Power: Plant Chemicals and Proteins for Human Health

When I was growing up in Hong Kong, and even after I came to the United States, my parents and grandparents would periodically give me ginseng beverages and soups, which was not always pleasant due to the bitter taste. As a result, I don’t think I really appreciated the benefits of ginseng, both scientifically confirmed and perceived. It is fun and informative to read about the myriad studies of natural plant extracts and how they can improve our well-being. Many folks like to drink herbal teas or use plant-derived supplements such as aloe vera lotions, so maybe this is good incentive to grow more of these beneficial plants such that they can provide health products as well as some clean oxygen for us to breathe!


May 26, 2022 11:40:53 AM       by Kin Leung

Everything You Need to Know About Tumor Immunology and CCR8

With a background in both immunology and cancer biology, I’ve always had a fascination with the interplay between the body’s immune system and any tumors that might pop up. Originally, it made sense that the immune system would actively seek out and destroy cancerous cells, but the emerging consensus is that the interactions between cancers and host immunity is far more complex. In addition to growing new blood vessels and reprogramming metabolic processes, there appears to be some imbalance between avoiding immune cells while also promoting tumor-infiltrating inflammatory cells to promote its growth. 1 (Figure 1) Trying to dissect this apparent contradictory relationship between tumors and host immunity remains a hot topic.


May 20, 2022 12:00:00 PM       by Kin Leung

No Rash Decisions: A Novel Treatment For Genetic Skin Disorders

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, I have been washing my hands with vigilance to prevent the spread of germs. As a result, the skin on my hands have become calloused on some parts and mostly dry, with cuts and slight bleeding on occasion. I thought this was inconvenient, but when I learned about children with a rare genetic skin disease, I stopped feeling sorry for myself and dug a bit deeper into their plight. After all, my skin issues are just due to excessive hand washing (which everyone should be doing anyway!); these poor kids have to live with this painful disease, known as dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa, for their entire lives.


May 13, 2022 12:00:00 PM       by Kin Leung

Designer Genes: What's Next For CRISPR?

Towards the end of my doctoral research, I first heard the rumblings of an acronym termed “CRISPR” that was starting to gather momentum. By the time I earned my doctorate, the applications that were discussed in both theory and in practice accelerated to the point that, while I didn’t fully understand the mechanism of the factors involved, I was certain that the discovery and re-engineering of this prokaryotic phenomenon would eventually be recognized with a Nobel Prize. Less than a decade after their first publications on the topic, 1, 2 Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna were awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry “for the development of a method for genome editing,” which sounds a lot less important than it actually is!

 


May 6, 2022 12:00:00 PM       by Kin Leung

Don't Get Burned: Be Aware of Melanoma and Skin Cancer

Many of the most popular vacation destinations are in warm, sunny climates like Hawaii or Southern California, and there are larger human populations where people can actually go outside without having to put on a sweater. With the warm, comfortable weather comes exposure to the sun. Our sun, of course, is the center of the solar system, the constant supplier of natural energy on Earth, and at the same time, a dangerous source of ultraviolet (UV) radiation. While enjoying the warmth of the sun, we also need to protect ourselves from UV and the maladies it could cause.

 

 


Apr 27, 2022 12:00:00 PM       by Kin Leung

Why the Circadian Rhythm Matters In Health

In March 2022, the United States Senate approved the Sunshine Protection Act, which would make Daylight Savings Time (DST) permanent starting in November of 2023. There was still some healthy debate over whether Americans should accept Standard Time versus DST as their new permanent or keep the current system of “spring forward, fall back.” Regardless of whether we will have DST forever, there is broad consensus that the clock switch every March and November is disruptive to our sleep patterns and our circadian rhythms.

Whether to save energy, increase night-time Trick-or-Treat hours on Halloween, get those few extra minutes of sun to squeeze in the last innings of a Little League or high school baseball game, or just to normalize our sleep patterns, even a seemingly obscure issue like switching between standard time and DST is tied to our health and well-being in our society. And this is why we have to consider how sleep and the circadian rhythm can affect our physiology.

 


Apr 22, 2022 12:00:00 PM       by Kin Leung

More Than a Feeling: The Science and Applications of Sensory Receptors

The 2021 Nobel Prize in Physiology of Medicine was awarded jointly to David Julius, of the University of California at San Francisco, and Ardem Patapoutian, a neuroscience researcher at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California. Working independently, Julius and Patapoutian discovered the key receptors (TRPV1, TRPM8, Piezo1, and Piezo2) in our bodies that sense heat, cold, and touch. Their work not only helps us to understand how we perceive and adapt to the surrounding world, but also paves the way for drug discoveries that target a wide range of diseases, including chronic pain, respiratory disease, and cancer.

 


Apr 15, 2022 12:00:00 PM       by Kin Leung

Lab Organization: Why You Should 5S Your Laboratory

Have you ever entered a lab where it looks like a disaster area? It may not have happened after an actual centrifuge accident or explosion, but you can tell that the lab needs a makeover in every sense of the word. Some cases are on the extreme end, such as this lab at Georgia Tech that was an unfortunate victim of negligence, but for the most part it may be just a messy neighbor who needs a gentle reminder to take a moment and clean up their bench for the greater good. (Figure 1)

 


Apr 8, 2022 12:00:00 PM       by Allen Zheng

The Cytoskeleton: Its Functional Importance in Cancer Research

Cancer remains one of the most prevalent and deadly diseases affecting humanity. According to the Centers For Disease Control, cancer was the second leading cause of death in 2020 for Americans behind heart disease. The American Cancer Society projects at least 600,000 deaths due to cancer each year, despite the fact that mortality continues to decrease each year. The majority of these deaths are from advanced cancer, which are cancers that do not respond well to treatment and therefore cannot be cured. It is when the advanced cancer progresses to a point where it can escape the primary tumor site, a process known as metastasis, that the prognosis becomes grim.


Apr 1, 2022 12:00:00 PM       by Kin Leung

Exploring the p38-MAPK Signaling Pathway

When I was an aspiring (much younger) scientist, one of the challenges was finding quality antibodies to accommodate our research group’s high-throughput Western blotting platform 1 while studying signaling pathways in cancer cell lines. When I got into marketing, I learned about ABclonal’s high-quality, high-specificity, and high-affinity antibody products. I really wish that I had access to these products when I was doing my thesis research! With a team of passionate, capable scientists supporting these quality products, I was thrilled at the opportunity to be part of this company and to help spread ABclonal’s brand to the scientific community.


Feb 11, 2022 12:00:00 PM       by Hannah Flaherty

Lab Member of The Year: Dr. F. Xavier Ruiz

In November 2021 we hosted a Lab Member of the Year contest. This contest allowed for various members of the research community to be highlighted for their contributions to their respective labs. At the end of it all Dr. Francesc X. "Xavi" Ruiz Figueras, an assistant research professor at Rutgers' Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine, took first place and became ABclonal's Lab Member of the Year.

Dr. Ruiz Figueras is a highly skilled scientist who has made significant scientific contributions to the fields of enzymology and structural biology studying the structure and function of human and viral proteins, especially HIV-1 reverse transcriptase and human aldo-keto reductases, with an emphasis on catalysis and inhibition for drug discovery1. In his spare time he enjoys playing basketball, reading, and spending time with his family. Currently, he is reading a book about philosophy, which he feels has applications to living during these pandemic times. He believes we should take whatever the life lessons we can take from this book in order to hopefully be more resilient.

We sat down with Dr. Ruiz to discuss his lab life at Rutgers, his current research, and what he is looking forward to researching in the future. 


Jan 11, 2022 12:57:34 PM       by Edward Li, Ph.D

The 3CLpro as a Potential Target for the Intervention of COVID-19

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 has raised global health concerns. As case numbers continue to climb, there is an urgent need for an active drugs against SARS-CoV-2. The development of new drugs is time-consuming and costly, and the safety of new drugs is paramount. Therefore, the strategy of drug repurposing represents one of the fastest approaches to have an active drug to fight SARS-CoV-2 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a matter of fact, in silico repurposing approaches have found increasing popularity during the COVID-19 epidemic [1], especially with the great breakthrough achieved using 3CLpro as a target to screen drugs. By the end of 2021, the FDA has authorized the first oral antiviral drug Paxlovid, produced by Pfizer, to treat COVID-19. Due to that much of the scientific and clinical work on drug repurposing or drug screening against SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19 is still ongoing, in this blog we will review the latest progress on the potential targets, including 3CLpro, for the drug discovery or intervention of COVID-19.


Dec 17, 2021 12:00:00 PM       by Cheryl Cheah

Cyclins and The Cell Cycle

The cell cycle is a series of phases that takes place in a cell as it grows and divides. The cell spends most of its time in interphase. During this interphase the cell grows, replicates its chromosomes, and prepares for cell division. Once the cell leaves interphase, it will undergo the process of mitoses and start divining in order to create daughter cells. These new daughter cells will then enter their own interphase and begin a new round of the cell cycle. The cell cycle and its cues are of the utmost importance, because without the cues the cells can either multiply continuously, forming masses, or will not multiply. These cues are cyclins which controls the cell cycle progression.


Dec 3, 2021 1:00:00 PM       by Fanyun Fang

The Role of Tumor Microenvironments in Cancer Development & Treatment

The tumor is an abnormal tissue mass formed when cells divide and grow excessively within the body. Tumors can be benign (not cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Benign tumors may become larger but do not spread to nearby tissue or other parts of the body. Malignant tumors, on the other hand, can spread nearby to tissue and can also be transmitted to other parts of the body through the blood and or lymphatic system.1 But we are no strangers to tumors and how the develop.

On the other hand, many of us aren’t as familiar with a tumor’s environment. Tumor progression is profoundly affected by the subtle interaction of tumor cells with immune and non-immune cells within their environment. In particular, the interactions with the immune cell component of a tumor are fundamental in determining whether primary tumors are eradicated, metastasized, or established by dormant micro metastases.3 The environment that a tumor grows in is also much more complex than one would think because of its highly variable cell composition, large number of proteins, and structures involved in tumor formation.


This being said, tumor microenvironment includes:
• Heterogeneous populations of cancer cells
• A variety of resident and osmotic host cells
• Secretion factors
• Extracellular matrix proteins


Nov 19, 2021 12:00:00 PM       by Eva Volckova

Interleukin Family Overview

Interleukins are a group of small signaling molecules, and a type of cytokine. They play a vital role in the body’s immune response by activating and deactivating immune cells. Recently, interleukins have gained visibility as a target to help treat COVID-19, and the WHO has recommended giving IL-6 inhibitors to patients with severe cases. Additionally, because of its widespread impact on the body, the interleukin family has gained popularity as drug targets over the last few years.


Nov 5, 2021 12:00:00 PM       by Cheryl Cheah

The Importance of CD Antigens in Drug Discovery

CD antigens have played a significant role in both diagnosis and treatment for several diseases ranging from autoimmune diseases to cancer. CD antigens are often used as drug targets in drug discovery and as biomarkers in diagnosis because they are both highly specific and are located at the surface of the cells to target different to identify and investigate cell surface molecules.


Oct 29, 2021 10:30:00 AM       by Eva Volckova

DNA Damage & Repair and its Therapeutic Potential

Since DNA was first discovered by researchers, decades of work have been done to understand its importance as it is the code of life itself. While DNA is the cornerstone of life, it is not immune to damages, and as so it is vital for DNA to repair itself for normal cell function to be maintained. Though, DNA is not always able to repair itself and this leads to some diseases such as various cancers. Fortunately, DNA repair pathways are capable of being tools to provide therapies to combat these diseases.


Apr 26, 2021 3:00:00 PM       by Dennis Miao

COVID-19: 5 Aspects to Understand

Having been over a year since COVID-19 was officially declared a pandemic, we here at ABclonal have had the chance to compile and explore a wide range of information, resources, and breakthroughs related to the novel coronavirus through our blogs. Below, we've organized and selected five recommended pieces of reading related to COVID-19, covering topics including asymptomatic cases, the different detection methods (PCR vs. antibody testing), as well as a one-year-mark review of the impact of COVID-19.



Apr 20, 2021 3:30:00 PM       by Jiarui Wang

Epigenetics: Manipulating Gene Expression

Foreword

To start, put yourself in a hypothetical situation: you have an identical twin brother who was secretly transferred to another family when you were less than a year old. His new family was poor, and your family was rich and therefore the environment in which you grew up was much better than his. After 50 years, by chance, you both happen to meet and it turns out that you look quite different from one another and are in different states of health; he is short and is suffering from heart disease, while you are tall, healthy, and are training to run a marathon. So, what was it that made you two so different, in light of the fact that your genetic materials are completely identical?


Apr 20, 2021 12:59:01 PM       by Dennis Miao

5 Things You Need to Know About Antibodies in Research

As a cornerstone of the body’s immune response, antibodies can provide significant data to support scientists’ research. Antibodies are used in a multitude of applications in research, including but not limited to: western blot (WB), immunoprecipitation (IP), immunofluorescence (IF), immunohistochemistry (IHC), chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP), and flow cytometry (FC). If you're looking to learn more about the various types of antibodies, their differences (ie. rabbit vs. mouse), and their uses in research, we've got you covered below with a collection of curated blogs from our ABclonal Knowledge Base:


Apr 12, 2021 3:30:00 PM       by Dennis Miao

The Impact of COVID-19: A Year in Review

It has now been over a year since March 2020, when the World Health Organization determined that the growing spread of COVID-19 would be officially characterized as a global pandemic. The year that followed challenged humanity with a public health crisis on a scale that few could even imagine, with far-reaching social and economic impacts still being felt across the globe. And yet, this past year also brought out the best in many of us, with medical professionals diligently fighting the pandemic on the front lines and researchers collaborating to progress our global recovery. Owing to the relentless work of researchers making breakthroughs in vaccine research, it appears that the long road to recovery has finally begun.

 


Apr 6, 2021 10:00:00 AM       by Dennis Miao

5 Essential Tips You Need to Know for the Lab

As a dedicated supplier of research reagents, we're passionate about making sure that your experiments run as smoothly and efficiently as possible. From our ABclonal Knowledge Base, we've compiled a list of helpful articles that address common issues and difficulties that you may run into while conducting your lab experiments, including ELISAs, measuring cell proliferation, western blotting, and casting SDS-PAGE gels. If you're looking for advice, troubleshooting tips, or recommended procedures, we've got you covered:


Feb 1, 2021 3:53:38 PM       by Dennis Miao

Transcriptional Regulation of Myogenic and Metal Homeostasis Genes

On January 12, 2021, we had the privilege of hosting Dr. Teresita Padilla-Benavides, an Assistant Professor of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, to present our first webinar of the new year. Her webinar discussed her research on the differential mechanisms for transcriptional regulation of myogenic and metal homeostasis genes. If you missed the live session of the webinar, we’ve got you covered here with a link to a recording of the webinar, as well as a recap below:

 


Dec 3, 2020 12:00:00 PM       by Dennis Miao

Webinar Recap: Monoclonal Antibodies in Cancer Therapy

For the second installment in our ABclonal Webinar Series, we had the privilege of inviting Dr. Clarke Gasper, our Business Development Scientist, to share his insights on the production and development of monoclonal antibodies for cancer therapy. If you were unable to attend the live session or would like to review some of Dr. Gasper’s key points, we’ve got you covered with a recap of his lecture below.

 


Nov 25, 2020 5:27:12 PM       by Kashyap Gayathri

Necroptosis: The Inflammatory Counterpart of Good Ol’ Apoptosis

A Bird’s Eye View of Necroptosis

Necroptosis is a type of regulated necrotic death driven by defined molecular pathways. Regulated necrosis regulates programmed cell death. Necroptosis is at the center of the pathophysiology of several clinically-relevant disease states, including myocardial infarction and stroke, atherosclerosis, ischemia-reperfusion injury, pancreatitis, and inflammatory bowel disease. Necroptosis results in necrosis-like morphological changes, such as cell swelling, plasma membrane pore formation, and membrane rupture. It also requires co-activation of receptor-interacting protein (RIP) 1 and RIP3 kinases. Necrosome is a complex formed by RIP1, RIP3 and Fas-associated proteins with death domain (FADD). Several studies in the preclinical stage have demonstrated that targeting necrosome can have variable effects on progression of tumors, indicating that it is largely cell-type or context dependent.


Nov 18, 2020 3:00:00 PM       by Kashyap Gayathri

Autophagy: A Natural Detox

Autophagy can be understood as ‘self-eating’. In simple terms, it is a vitally important cleansing mechanism carried out by the cells in our body. It brings about the degradation of the cytoplasmic contents within membrane bound vesicles called lysosomes.

 


Nov 12, 2020 1:00:00 PM       by Bryent Lee

Ferroptosis as a New Type of Inflammatory Programmed Cell Death

When it comes to programmed cell death (PCD), apoptosis is usually the first process that comes to mind. However, there is a new type of inflammatory PCD discovered in 2012, known as ferroptosis, that is genetically and biochemically distinct from other PCD.1

 


Nov 11, 2020 12:00:00 PM       by Kashyap Gayathri

Antibodies Served With a Side of Phospho-Specificity

Anyone who is remotely interested in biology, or has perhaps scrolled through fitness websites to get in shape, has come across the word "protein". There is, however, much more to proteins than simply being a key player in maintaining active lifestyles. Proteins are ubiquitous in the cells of the body and are the driving force for key cellular processes. In order for proteins to carry out their duties, they need to be well-armed to execute their functions. This process of making the protein competent is achieved through specific post translational modifications (PTMs). The star of the PTMs is a cellular process called phosphorylation. The conventional methods adopted for quantifying phosphorylation are highly labor intensive. The development of phospho-specific antibodies has allowed for a huge sigh of relief from researchers due to their reputation of being quick, and detecting only phosphorylated forms of proteins in a complex mixture of phosphorylated and non-phosphorylated forms.

 


Oct 27, 2020 4:09:38 PM       by Bryent Lee

A Closer Look at the Fundamentals of Recombinant DNA Technology

The advancement of recombinant DNA technology in recent years has drastically changed the world of research by controlling the expressions of target genes. Recombinant DNA combines genetic material from different sources, creating sequences that are unique and new to the genome. The DNA sequences used in the construction of recombinant DNA molecules can originate from any species, such as human, fungal, bacterial, and plants. 1

 


Oct 7, 2020 8:17:19 PM       by Dennis Miao

2020 Nobel Prize: Winners Announced for Award in Medicine

This has been an incredibly exciting past few days in the world of scientific research. For those unfamiliar, the 2020 Nobel Prize winners are set to be announced this week; as of today’s writing on October 7th, 2020, three sets of award winners have already been unveiled in medicine, physics, and chemistry. Today, we’ll take a closer look at the backgrounds and distinguished research of the laureates in medicine.

 


Sep 17, 2020 12:00:00 PM       by Dennis Miao

FDA OKs Abbott's COVID-19 Rapid Test Kit

In a press release on August 26th, 2020, Abbott Laboratories announced that they were issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) by the FDA for their new, rapid point-of-care COVID-19 antigen test. Branded as the “BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card”, the test is unique compared to the more prevalent molecular-based detection tests for COVID-19 in that it utilizes a lateral flow assay, similar to traditional over-the-counter pregnancy tests. Contained in a portable, credit-card sized device, Abbott claims that the test can deliver results in as little as 15 minutes, representing a significant reduction in time compared to RT-PCR-based tests that have turnaround times on a scale of hours rather than minutes.

 


Sep 2, 2020 8:10:47 PM       by Dennis Miao

Webinar Recap: Neuroendocrine Mechanisms of Feeding Behavior

For the first installment of our ABclonal Webinar Series on August 26th, we had the privilege of inviting Dr. Yong Xu of the Baylor College of Medicine to share his research on neuroendocrine mechanisms for appetite regulation and their implications on conditions such as obesity. If you were unable to attend the live session or would like to re-watch to review some of Dr. Xu's key points, we've got you covered with a link to a recording of the webinar and Q&A here, as well as recap of his lecture below.

 


Aug 19, 2020 7:50:57 PM       by Dennis Miao

5 Ways to Stay Productive While Waiting for Experiments to Run

With labs across the country in various stages of reopening, it can be tough to transition right back into the physical office after months of working from home. Throughout your typical day in the lab, you may find that there are many instances where you've got a few odd minutes (or even hours) here and there. Oftentimes, these periods are used to scroll through your phone or catch up on social media. Here are five suggestions on how to productively fill in those gaps while you're waiting for your experiments to run.


Aug 18, 2020 6:33:59 PM       by Dennis Miao

ELISA Troubleshooting Guide

When it comes to running a successful ELISA, there can be many common issues that must be addressed in order to obtain meaningful results. From our years of experience in producing and supplying ELISAs for a diverse range of targets, we’ve narrowed down four of the most common issues that can arise during your ELISA and have provided troubleshooting tips for each.


Aug 3, 2020 6:11:43 PM       by Dennis Miao

5 Excellent Science Podcasts to Soundtrack Your Workday

Whether it's at your home office, at the bench, or during your commute to work, putting on a podcast in the background can be an engaging and enriching way to help keep your mind stimulated. Here are 5 excellent science podcasts to help you get started on crafting your perfect workday playlist.

 


Jul 22, 2020 1:35:25 PM       by Dennis Miao

Pricing in a Pandemic: Gilead Announces Remdesivir Pricing

During these past few months, the push to discover effective treatments and vaccines against COVID-19 has largely overshadowed another vitally important aspect of drug development: drug pricing. Let’s take a look at a recent example from pharma giant Gilead, who recently announced the pricing for its promising COVID-19 treatment remdesivir.

 


Jul 8, 2020 5:28:42 PM       by Dennis Miao

Featured Product Weekly: SARS-CoV-2 Neutralizing Antibody

In direct support of the fight against the novel coronavirus and the world's effort to understand more about the mechanisms of the COVID-19 disease, we're proud to announce the arrival of our SARS-CoV-2 Neutralizing Antibody.

 


Jul 1, 2020 12:59:42 PM       by Dennis Miao

Featured Product Weekly: SARS-CoV-2 Sandwich ELISA Kits

Over these past few months, we here at ABclonal have been working diligently to continue supplying necessary reagents to researchers, clinicians, and companies worldwide to facilitate their efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. In direct support of that goal, we’re proud to introduce our new, comprehensive line of SARS-CoV-2 ELISA kits.

 


Jun 24, 2020 6:20:46 PM       by Dennis Miao

The Origins of the Beloved Guinea Pig in Research

On a bit of a lighter note this week, let’s take a dive into the origins of the beloved Guinea pig and their often overlooked role in the development of some major breakthroughs in the field of medical research.


Jun 22, 2020 3:01:18 PM       by Dennis Miao

A Closer Look at Asymptomatic COVID-19 Cases

As we’ve seen over these past few months, a SARS-CoV-2 infection can result in widely different manifestations and severities in the subsequent course of the disease it causes, COVID-19. Many of those infected by SARS-CoV-2 experience a mild to severe illness, with symptoms that include fever, shortness of breath, cough, and fatigue that appear roughly 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. On the other hand, some individuals infected with the virus will remain asymptomatic. 


Jun 10, 2020 1:39:58 PM       by Zofia Qiu

Protein and Metabolite Screening to Predict COVID-19 Severity

The novel coronavirus has spread rapidly around the world, with confirmed infection cases having reached more than six million. The average mortality rate of those infected is estimate to be around 6%. The sudden outbreak and particularly rapid spread of the novel coronavirus have required researchers worldwide to double down on investigative efforts against COVID-19 in order to develop a treatment and vaccine as soon as possible.


Jun 3, 2020 5:21:53 PM       by Dennis Miao

A Closer Look at COVID-19 Treatment and Vaccine Development

With troves of information and developments coming out daily from the various companies and researchers developing vaccines and potential treatments for COVID-19, it can certainly feel overwhelming to keep track of everything. This compilation of information should help you catch up on, and navigate recent developments in the fight against COVID-19.


May 27, 2020 3:44:20 PM       by Dennis Miao

Breaking the Bad: An Introduction to Proteinase K

As you may have surmised from the title of this article, Proteinase K (also known as protease K or endopeptidase K) shares many functional similarities to the protagonist of the iconic TV show, Breaking Bad. Much like Walter White, Proteinase K is incredibly versatile in its applications, while remaining relatively unassuming and overlooked at times. Unlike the chemistry teacher gone rogue, however, its properties can be channeled for good.


May 20, 2020 1:06:28 PM       by Dennis Miao

5 Strategies for Scientists Working From Home

In recent days, there have been developments and progress towards initial re-opening of states across the country. For many of us, however, returning to work will be a more gradual process and will still involve some time at home as companies, localities, and the country as a whole work towards resuming normal life while maintaining social distancing and mitigating chances for secondary waves of infection. Thus, it’s still incredibly important to keep in mind these 5 strategies for working effectively, and healthily, at home:

 


May 7, 2020 6:20:55 PM       by Dennis Miao

COVID-19 Detection Methods: Nucleic Acid vs. IgM/IgG Antibody Tests

There is no doubt that the coronavirus is the hottest topic as of late, having dominated media headlines and having fundamentally changed the way that we live and work. As the outbreak of the coronavirus continues to worsen across the globe, the demand for COVID-19 detection is therefore ever-increasing.


May 7, 2020 6:20:12 PM       by Dennis Miao

Understanding Antibodies and Their Applications in Research

ABclonal has developed over 12,000 high quality antibody products since its inception in 2011. With this significant and time-tested experience, you can rest assured that ABclonal is relentless in its focus on the production and development of quality antibodies. Let’s further our understanding of antibodies by taking a more in-depth look at their structure, function, and uses in research.


Mar 31, 2020 5:21:21 PM       by Lingyi Tong

4 Reasons to Use ABscript II RT-qPCR Kit

The current COVID-19 public health crisis is unprecedented in the U.S. and worldwide. Everyone, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, medical workers, and biology researchers are busy doing whatever they can to fight against this epidemic. To help them handle the emergency and buy time for the suffering patients, ABclonal developed ABScript II One Step RT-qPCR Probe Kit (RK20407), a ready-to-use kit that can be used to quantify RNA with outstanding performance. Here, we would like to introduce the kit as well as the four reasons that you should use it.


Mar 27, 2020 5:56:35 PM       by Lingyi Tong

FDA Allows Distribution of COVID-19 Test Kit Before EUA

The current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is an unprecedented public health emergency in the U.S. Even though medical professionals are working around the clock to conduct testing, the problem still remains to be a shortage of diagnostic kits. Aimed to improve the limited diagnostic capability and to fight against the COVID-19 public health crisis, the FDA issued several emergency policies since late February.


Feb 28, 2020 4:43:07 PM       by Lingyi Tong

A Complete Guide to Handcasting SDS-PAGE Gels

Do you find yourself using a lot of SDS-PAGE gels for Western blotting and Coomassie staining? Or have your pre-cast gels been stored for too long and expired? Why not try to cast your own SDS-PAGE gels to save some budget for the lab, and produce just as valid of results. Today, we would like to share five tips for hand-casting SDS-PAGE gels, as well as the protocol and formulation to do so.


Feb 25, 2020 12:14:05 PM       by Lingyi Tong

5 Notes For Autophagy Detection With LC3

Autophagy is a natural mechanism in which the cell removes and degrades cellular components with autolysosomes. It is a popular research area because autophagy is related to many physical and pathological processes. The 2016 Nobel Prize in Physiology is granted to Yoshinori Ohsumi for his contribution in autophagy. In autophagy studies, LC3-I and LC3-II detection is a must-have experiment to track the autophagy process. Therefore, we would like to share five important notes for quantifying autophagy with LC3.


Jan 30, 2020 5:51:47 PM       by Lingyi Tong

A Thorough Introduction of Wnt/β-Catenin Signaling Pathway

The Wnt signaling pathway, an evolutionarily conserved signal transduction pathway, is widely present in invertebrates and vertebrates. The Wnt signaling pathway plays a crucial role in early embryonic development, organogenesis, tissue repair, and many other physiological processes. The mutation of key proteins involved in this pathway can lead to abnormal activation of signals, and potentially induces the occurrence of cancer. In 1982, R. Nusse and H.E. Varmus identified the first Wnt gene from a mouse mammary tumor and named it Int1 (integration 1). Continued research found that the mouse Int and Drosophila Wingless (Wg) genes are homeotic, and thus combined their names to Wnt. H.E. Varmus himself also won the 1989 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his great contribution in oncology.


Nov 29, 2019 3:06:50 PM       by Daniel Bouzas

6 Ways to Prevent Poor Western Blot Results

Western blot results can either be the highlight of the day, or a scientist's worst nightmare. Unfortunately, it usually turns out to be the latter of the two. After a long hard day of work, nothing can ruin the day more than seeing your western blot results come out blotchy and unreadable. Luckily, there are many ways to prevent and fix a messy blot to ensure you get the best results possible, rather than ending up with something horrific like the image below. To avoid these situations, I have outlined some tips to keep in mind before going through with your western blot test. 


Oct 31, 2019 3:31:35 PM       by Daniel Bouzas

2019’s Top 5 Breakthroughs in Breast Cancer Research & Treatment

 

Every year about 12% (one in eight) women across the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer, with an estimated 41,760 expected to succumb to this deadly disease by the end of this year alone. However, new milestones in research is helping us understand more about how we can further improve treatment for those currently battling through breast cancer in hopes of increasing the overall survival rate. Thankfully, every year since 2000 we have seen a 7% decrease in reported incidents, and in 2019, milestones in how we treat different types of breast cancer show hope for this number to increase in the future. With breast cancer awareness month coming to an end, we wanted to shine a light on this year's biggest developments in research and available treatments.


Oct 14, 2019 5:45:00 PM       by Daniel Bouzas

How to Create the Perfect Elevator Pitch

 

Have you ever felt unprepared for a job interview or presentation? Everyone has at one point, but while some might crack under pressure due to that nervous feeling, others will go through with it with no sweat. How do they do it? By keeping an elevator pitch in mind as a guide for what to say and when to say it.

We want you to go in and out of every meeting feeling confident in your performance, so below are some crucial tips to keep in mind when developing an elevator pitch of your own.


Sep 26, 2019 8:09:30 PM       by Daniel Bouzas

The Symphony of Life - Turning Genetic Coding into Music

Humans have been into music ever since the first group of cavemen started banging sticks on rocks and stone walls, so I guess you could say we got music engraved in our genes. However, as researchers would find out later, there could be some hint of truth to that statement. Thanks to advances in the way we read genetic coding, your DNA can be converted into listenable frequencies.


Sep 24, 2019 1:45:02 PM       by Daniel Bouzas

The Struggling Bio-Graduate Guide To Finding The Right Path

When you’re just starting or nearing the end of your college career, you are either feeling prepared for the adult world ahead, or you still feel lost about what are the next steps in your professional career. If you’re reading this, I’m guessing you might fall in the latter, and I’m sure you might have questions regarding the many paths you can take in this biotech industry. For some jobs, the road to success is a clear one, but for the biotech industry, it could be a lot harder to decide what direction to take due to the many options that are laid out for you. For this blog post, I wanted to provide a one-stop guide answering FAQs that I gathered from graduates going through the same struggles as you are.


Aug 29, 2019 3:04:52 PM       by Michele Mei

A Quick Guide to Trim Down Your Grant Proposal

It’s a relatively new world for scientists. Up until the 2000s, research funding increased steadily before reaching a plateau and dropping with sequestration budget cuts. Nowadays, scientists spend a great deal of time fighting for grants, rather than actually doing research. It’s an interesting, but sobering reality: as you progress in your science career, you may (or already do), find yourself spending more and more time planning and writing grants.


Aug 29, 2019 3:04:23 PM       by Panyue (Penny) Hao

4 Methods for Measuring Cell Proliferation

Cell proliferation assays have a wide range of applications in scientific research – from testing drug reagents to the effect of growth factors, from testing cytotoxicity to analyzing cell activity. So, what are cell proliferation assays? Cell proliferation assays typically detect changes in the number of cells in a division or changes in a cell population.


Aug 29, 2019 2:58:16 PM       by Panyue (Penny) Hao

4 Methods for Rabbit Monoclonal Antibody Production

In a previous article, we explored the differences between rabbit and mouse antibodies as well as the biology behind rabbit antibody superiority. But after choosing the host, the type of technology used to produce the antibody is important too. Here, we explore some of the rabbit monoclonal antibody technologies available in the current market.


Aug 29, 2019 2:57:57 PM       by Michele Mei

Reproducibility Crisis: Fallacies to Be Wary of and Ways to De-Bias

While the scientific community is enveloped in a reproducibility crisis (and debates as to whether there is one), there are certainly steps life science researchers can take to ensure more reproducible outcomes. We can start by limiting self-bias and improving reporting standards. But first, what is reproducibility and why is there a crisis?


Jul 31, 2019 11:40:43 AM       by Michele Mei

6 Science Podcasts to Listen to this Summer

Podcasts are perfect for busy, but intellectually curious people. It’s like reading, but instead of fixing your eyes to a page or screen, you can run or cook or simply relax while the podcast delivers fascinating, funny, new information straight to your brain. It’s basically like learning by osmosis! Whether you’re working in lab or you have these few months off to relax, I curated a list of science podcasts to keep you company both bench-side and poolside.


Jul 31, 2019 11:39:29 AM       by Michele Mei

The Value of Large-Scale Sequencing Projects

Large-scale sequencing projects have great potential to provide a wealth of knowledge to scientists and the public. Perhaps the most celebrated project of this nature is the Human Genome Project (HGP) which was completed in 2003. For many, the multi-billion endeavor was considered a “moonshot” for biology, but with its successful completion (99% of the euchromatic genome sequenced with 99.99% accuracy) came the launch of many other large-scale sequencing projects such as the Cancer Genome Atlas (2005) or more recently, the Earth Bio-genome Project (2018). The introduction of large-scale quantitative methods, such as next-generation sequencing, have also made these projects feasible.


Jul 31, 2019 1:43:10 AM       by Panyue (Penny) Hao

A Quick Guide to Antibody Validation

As one of the most common reagents in biology and medical research, there are more than 350,000 commercially produced antibodies available for research and clinical applications. However, the quality of the commercially available antibodies varies from vendor to vendor. Different suppliers have different protocols for validating antibodies and some researchers might want to verify the product before using them on precious samples. Here are some of the factors to examine when it comes to antibody quality.


Jul 31, 2019 1:42:45 AM       by Panyue (Penny) Hao

Tumor Immunology Targets

A healthy immune system requires a series of checkpoints to ensure self tolerance and prevent damage to other tissues during immune response. Binding of costimulatory signal transduction molecules (such as CD28, ICOS, GITR) on T cells to their receptors (such as CD80/CD86, ICOSL, GITRL) on antigen presenting cells (APCs) may contribute to T cell activation. However, in some states, inhibitory signals of T cell activation and response occur during the involvement of T cell receptors. These signals are generated by proteins involved in immune checkpoints (eg, PD-1, CTLA-4, TIM-3, and LAG3). Usually PD-1 and CTLA-4 immunological checkpoint proteins are upregulated in T cells infiltrating tumors and bind to their respective ligands, PD-L1 (ligand B7-H1)/PD-L2 (ligand B7- DC) and CD80/86, and down-regulate T cell responses. Immunological checkpoint ligands are often upregulated in cancer cells as a means of evading immune detection. Therefore, immunotherapy by blocking immunological checkpoint protein activation of anti-tumor immunity has become a popular research subject for cancer therapy.


Jul 31, 2019 1:42:05 AM       by Michele Mei

4 Scientist Couples and Their Love Stories

The cliché of the pragmatic and lonely scientist gets old. Although scientists are highly analytical, their emotional range is not as limited as the media and stereotypes portray. In their work, scientists must be logical and methodical, but that doesn’t necessarily carry over to life and relationships.


Jul 31, 2019 1:41:40 AM       by Panyue (Penny) Hao

Why is Primary-cell Cultivation So Difficult?

The interest in using primary cells for cell-biology research has gained prominence in recent years due to factors such as cell line contamination (Kaur G, 2012). What made primary cells lose their popularity in the first place is partly due to the rigorous and arduous process associated with primary-cell cultivation. So why is primary-cell cultivation so difficult?


Jun 29, 2019 3:57:40 PM       by Michele Mei

What Scientists Should Know About Research Funding

It’s no secret that scientific research is becoming less of a priority to the federal government. For two decades, research and development (R&D) funding has remained stagnant or dropping, despite increases to the overall federal budget. With a growing population of scientists entering the field, a lack of funding generates a hyper-competitive and stressful funding climate. For those looking to secure funding for the first time, or simply curious about how science is funded, this post serves as an introductory guide.


Apr 21, 2019 7:34:18 PM       by Michele Mei

Can You Guess How Much Darwin Worked?

Being perpetually busy has become a status symbol in academia –and it’s counterproductive.

In this day and age, we are trained to believe that the more you work, the more you get done, and the further ahead you get. In academia, researchers place a lot of pressure on themselves to work around the clock. Whether it’s experiments, teaching, papers, or grants, it seems like there’s always more to be done. Consequently, the lack of work-life balance, work-induced stress, and burnout has become a pervasive problem in academia.


Apr 9, 2019 3:16:32 PM       by Panyue (Penny) Hao

G2/M Cell Cycle Checkpoint Antibody

The G2/M cycle checkpoint prevents cells with genomic DNA damage from entering mitosis (M phase). The main safeguards conferred by this checkpoint is to ensure that DNA is free of major lesions or replication errors, and there are enough organelles, metabolites, and other cellular cargo in the parent cell prior to division so the daughter cells can be adequately provided for once mitosis is complete. Failures at this checkpoint are associated with aberrant cellular growth and cancer progression.

 

The Cyclin B-CDK1 complex plays an important regulatory role during the G2 transition, at which time CDK1 is maintained inactivated by the tyrosine kinases Wee1 and Myt1. When the cells enter the M phase, the kinase Aurora A and the cofactor Bora act together to activate PLK1, which in turn activates the activity of phosphatase CDC25 and downstream CDC2, effectively driving the cells into mitosis. When the DNA is damaged, it activates the DNA-PK/ATM/ATR kinase and eventually inactivates the Cyclin B-CDK1 complex. Stopping cell cycle progression allows the cell enough time to attempt to repair any DNA or cellular damage, and if all else fails, to induce apoptosis to prevent risk to the entire organism.

 

ABclonal Technology provides a wide selection of cell cycle checkpoint antibody products for every phase of a cell's life. Please see a small sample of our offerings below.


Mar 29, 2019 1:41:43 PM       by Michele Mei

Why doesn’t the heart get cancer?

In some ways, the heart is quite a vulnerable organ. Cardiac complications such as heart attack, cardiac arrest, or heart failure are common. But interestingly, of the many diseases that may affect the heart, cancer is not one of them. For example, we often hear about cancer in the prostate, breast, colon, skin, etc., but rarely of the heart. How is this vital organ different?


Mar 29, 2019 11:09:52 AM       by Panyue (Penny) Hao

G1/S Cell Cycle Checkpoint Antibody

The G1/S cell cycle checkpoints control whether eukaryotic cells enter the S phase (synthesis phase) of DNA synthesis after having properly completed the G1 phase to ensure the cell has enough energy and resources to begin DNA replication. Two cell cycle kinase complexes, CDK4/6-Cyclin D and CDK2- Cyclin E, work together to relieve the inhibition of dynamic transcriptional complexes containing retinoblastoma protein (Rb) and E2F. In cells undefined during the G1 phase, hypophosphorylated Rb binds to the E2F-DP1 transcription factor and forms an inhibitory complex with HDAC, thereby inhibiting downstream key transcriptional activities. Clear entry into the S phase is achieved by continuous phosphorylation of Rb by Cyclin D-CDK4/6 and Cyclin E-CDK2, which separates the transcription factor E2F from the inhibitory complex and allows transcription of the gene required for DNA replication. After the growth factor disappears, the expression level of cyclin D is down-regulated by down-regulation of protein expression and phosphorylation-dependent degradation. Without a proper G1/S checkpoint, the cell could arrest or potentially undergo aberrant processes that could lead to disease states such as cancer.


Mar 11, 2019 12:28:22 AM       by Michele Mei

New and Old Techniques to Study Protein-DNA Binding

Proteins known as transcription factors play a crucial role in gene regulation by activating, enhancing, and even silencing a gene’s expression.  Many textbooks and resources compare transcription factors (TFs) to something like an on/off switch for gene transcription. However, it is a bit more complicated than just turning gene expression on or off. Various properties (e.g. binding affinity, specificity, and genetic variance of binding sites) impact the binding of TFs to DNA, thereby altering gene expression. To study transcription and how it is regulated, scientists study TF-DNA interactions on a genome-wide level. 


Feb 26, 2019 11:00:00 AM       by Panyue (Penny) Hao

Embryonic Stem Cell Markers

Embryonic stem cells (ES cells) are pluripotent stem cells isolated from an inner cell mass of early-stage embryo-blastocysts. ES cells have a high differentiation potential., which means that they have the capacity to develop into whatever cell type the body needs depending on the signals received by the ES cell. At the same time, while ES cells are undifferentiated, they retain the potential to infinitely replicate, making them highly attractive and renewable subjects for targeted cell therapy and regenerative medicine.


Feb 12, 2019 11:51:28 AM       by Panyue (Penny) Hao

CD Molecule Antibodies

Cluster of differentiation, or CD molecules, are cell surface markers that are used for identification of cell types in pathology and other bioscience disciplines. The expression levels of CD markers may increase or decrease (or disappear altogether, at least to undetectable levels) when cells (for example, leukocytes, red blood cells, platelets, and vascular endothelial cells, etc.) differentiate into new and different lineages. Depending on the CD marker, the expression level may identify a phenotype for different segments of cells, such as when they become active or diseased. Most CD molecules are transmembrane proteins or glycoproteins, including extracellular regions that bind a ligand or opposing receptor, transmembrane regions to anchor the CD marker into the cell, and cytoplasmic regions that may confer some adaptor or catalytic function. Some CD molecules can also be "anchored" on the cell membrane by means of inositol phospholipids. A few CD molecules are carbohydrate haptens. The study of CD molecules can be used in many basic immunology research fields, such as the relationship between CD antigen structure and function, cell activation pathway, signal transduction and cell differentiation, etc. It can be used clinically for disease mechanism research, clinical diagnosis, disease prognosis, efficacy tracking and treatment, and more. CD molecules such as CD4, CD8, CD25, etc. can be used to identify populations of cells when studying samples by flow cytometry or immunofluorescence.


Feb 3, 2019 5:33:36 PM       by Michele Mei

Managing a Scientific Literature Review: Tricks I Learned

The Literature Review

Literature reviews are some of the most widely read and highly cited papers in academia, but writing one can be a daunting task, requiring an expert understanding of the topic at hand. To write a review article is so much more than simply summarizing recent studies published in the field. The most valuable literature reviews, which I find myself going back to again and again, are those that:


Jan 21, 2019 7:46:19 PM       by Michele Mei

The Next Cancer Model

The Problem with Cancer Models

Very few cancer drugs succeed in clinical trials, despite showing promise in the lab. Treatments that may work on animal models, cell lines, or even patient-derived xenografts often do not have the same efficacy in patients. The underlying reason is tumor environments within the human body are far more complex than in research models. For example, the tissue structure (histological complexity) and genetic heterogeneity of an animal model is different than that of humans. Even cell lines and patient-derived xenografts, which are human-derived, have their own pitfalls such as genetic mutations and animal-specific tumor evolution, respectively. Due to the inability to reproduce human tumor environments, many drugs fail clinical trials after lengthy and costly development.


Jan 15, 2019 12:32:35 PM       by Panyue (Penny) Hao

Key Targets in the Hippo Pathway

The Hippo signal is very conservative in evolution. It regulates organ size and tissue stability by regulating cell proliferation, apoptosis, and stem cell renewal. The core process of Hippo signaling is a kinase tandem process, Mst1/2 and Sav1 form a complex, phosphorylate and activate Lats1/2; Lats1/2 kinase then phosphorylates and inhibits transcriptional coactivators Yap and Taz. Yap and Taz are the most important effectors downstream of the Hippo pathway. Upon dephosphorylation, Yap and Taz translocate to the nucleus and interact with TEAD1-4 or other transcription factors (such as CTGF) to induce gene expression, thereby initiating cell proliferation and inhibiting apoptosis.


Jan 7, 2019 12:33:37 PM       by Michele Mei

4 Successful Writing Habits for Scientists

As scientists, writing is a major component of the job, yet having “no time to write” is a common complaint echoed amongst PhD candidates, post-docs, and professors alike. On top of experiments, data analyses, and taking/teaching courses, writing can easily end up on the back burner. But publishing papers, like it or not, is critical for a career in science. Rather than setting intimidating goals like publishing some number of papers within a year or publishing in a high impact journal, it is more feasible and beneficial to first develop good writing habits, which will in the long run increase productivity.


Dec 26, 2018 10:25:00 AM       by Michele Mei

Top Life Science Discoveries of 2018

Every year, scientists make fascinating breakthroughs which broaden, yet challenge, our understanding of life and the world around us. Just as we start to understand a biological process, like how heredity or aging works, a new discovery can flip it on its head or open a whole new avenue for research. As 2018 comes to an end, it’s the time for roundups of top products, gifts, movies, tech, etc. We decided to put our own spin on it with the top life science discoveries of the year.


Dec 25, 2018 6:22:22 PM       by Michele Mei

Seasons Greetings from ABclonal


Dec 8, 2018 6:48:52 PM       by Michele Mei

Communicating Science to Non-Scientists

These days major debates center around scientific information – from climate change, gene-editing to vaccinations – yet, despite the data-driven nature of science, there are deeply divided opinions regarding these hot topics. For researchers, it might be frustrating to witness scientific findings being misinterpreted or exaggerated. But it’s not surprising that so much science is misunderstood. Too many scientists still reside within their own research bubbles, which is counterproductive.


Dec 4, 2018 10:35:13 AM       by Panyue (Penny) Hao

High-Dilution GAPDH Monoclonal Antibody

The glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, or GAPDH for short), is a multifunctional, indispensable enzyme found in all cells. The generally known function of GAPDH is to assist in carbohydrate metabolism as a key player in glycolysis, but there are studies demonstrating its role in the nucleus as well. 

 

GAPDH is a constitutively expressed housekeeping protein, and GAPDH mRNA levels and protein levels are often used as loading controls in experiments that quantify target-specific expression changes. Recent studies have elucidated the role of GAPDH in apoptosis, gene expression through its possible activities as a transcription factor, and nuclear transport. As both a metabolic protein as well as one that might play a role in cytoskeletal reorganization, GAPDH activity is intricately tied to tumorigenesis. GAPDH may also play a role in neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington's disease and Alzheimer's disease. Therefore, although many researchers do use GAPDH as a control, this protein needs to be appreciated for its myriad other functions as well!

 

ABclonal Technology's GAPDH recombinant rabbit monoclonal antibody is a human-specific antibody that can be used with a high dilution ratio of 1:2560000. As a highly-stable antibody product, this means that you can perform numerous Western blotting experiments over a long period of time using a small quantity of antibody, as well as in other experiments to study the functions of GAPDH. Take advantage of this robust, cost-effective antibody product in your research today!


Nov 29, 2018 6:33:00 PM       by Michele Mei

Can the $4.7 billion Earth BioGenome Project Sustain Itself?

In the last What’s Hot in Life blog post, we discussed how next generation sequencing (NGS) is used as a basis for understanding disease. This week I wanted to talk about DNA sequencing again, but in a completely different context. On November 1st, scientists launched an ambitious project to sequence all 1.5 million complex species on Earth. Their purpose? To save biodiversity.


Nov 28, 2018 4:22:23 PM       by Panyue (Penny) Hao

Scientists Identify Novel Regulator for LINE-1 Using ABclonal Antibody

Long-interspersed nuclear elements (LINEs) are genetic components found in higher eukaryotes. They are retrotranposons, meaning that they are transcribed into mRNA and then translated into proteins that act as a reverse transcriptase. The reverse transcriptase makes a copy of the LINE DNA which can then be integrated into the genome at a new site. The only active LINE in humans is LINE-1. It has been associated with oncogenesis and Haemophilia A, a diseased caused by insertional mutagenesis.


Nov 6, 2018 12:15:49 PM       by Panyue (Penny) Hao

Golgi Apparatus Markers

Although underappreciated, the Golgi apparatus is indispensable to normal cellular function by ensuring proteins are properly folded and sorted, and to direct diverse functions including autophagy. Disruptions to proper Golgi function can lead to many disease states, including diabetes, cancer, and neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. The study of vesicular markers, including Golgi markers, is critical to our understanding of this amazing organelle's function in keeping the cell and organism healthy. Clarifying the mechanisms by which proteins are properly folded, sorted, quality controlled, and transported will prove important as more effective therapies are developed against a diverse array of human diseases.

 

We have previously explored the function of organelle markers USO1, GOLGA2, and GOLM1 but not how the corresponding antibodies can be applied in research. Organelle marker antibodies are common tools in cell biology research. They can be used with immunofluorescence technology to observe the morphological structure of organelles and understanding the subcellular localization of proteins. In turn, they help to explore the biological functions/role of organelle proteins in normal or disease models. These markers can also be used in Western blot (WB) experiments examining organelle extracts: as a positive control to determine whether the organelle is successfully extracted.

 

You can see some examples of ABclonal Technology's Golgi marker antibodies below. These are only a handful of the huge selection of targets that you can use to supplement your cutting-edge research!


Nov 5, 2018 12:00:00 PM       by Michele Mei

How NOT to Choose Your PhD Supervisor

Pursuing a PhD is undoubtedly one of the most challenging chapters in a researcher's career. For the first time, as an early career scientist, you must juggle research, writing, teaching, and your own personal life (yes, you should still have one). A PhD is definitely exhausting, but given the right guidance and support it can be an enjoyable and exciting time too. 


Oct 30, 2018 9:43:46 PM       by Panyue (Penny) Hao

Endoplasmic Reticulum Marker

Organelle marker antibodies are common tools in cell biology research. They can be used with immunofluorescence technology to observe the morphological structure of intracellular membrane-bound organelles and for understanding the subcellular localization of proteins. In turn, they help to explore the biological functions/role of organelle proteins in normal or disease models. These markers can also be used in Western blot (WB) experiments examining organelle extracts, as well as providing a positive control to determine whether the organelle is successfully extracted.

We focus today on the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) markers. The ER is a network of membrane-bound organelles that are the initial destination for proteins that are targeted for other organelles, the plasma membrane, or are to be secreted outside the cell. Proper ER function includes accepting the nascent protein as it is being translated by ribosomes, and ensuring that the protein is properly folded so it does not lead to accumulation of unusable cellular cargo. Disruptions in ER or the unfolded protein response can lead to cell death or various disease states such as cancer or neurodegenerative disorders. 

ABclonal provides many antibody products for the study of ER and Golgi markers, as well as exosome markers. Please read our blog on the vesicular transport system and its role in cellular homeostasis, and check out some of our ER marker antibodies below. We are honored to be part of your journey to better understanding vesicular transport and the fight against human diseases!

 


Oct 30, 2018 5:56:54 PM       by Dapeng Sun, Ph.D.

Choosing the Right RNA Lib Prep Kit for Your Transcriptome Library

1. Determine the mRNA capture type you need


Oct 30, 2018 3:59:17 PM       by Panyue (Penny) Hao

Gene Editing and Antibody Validation

The scientific community operates on a self-correcting model that relies on repetition and replication. However, according to a 2016 survey by Nature, more than 70% reported to have failed to replicate experiments from another scientist, more than 50% reported failure in replicating his/her own experiment. Out of the 1,576 scientists surveyed, 906 were from biology or medicine disciplines. 


Oct 23, 2018 11:43:50 AM       by Panyue (Penny) Hao

ChIP-grade CTCF Antibody

CTCF (CCCTC Binding Factor) is a highly conserved transcription factor that regulates transcriptional activation, transcriptional repression, insulator function, and imprinted control regions (ICRs).


Oct 22, 2018 6:00:00 PM       by Michele Mei

How Next Generation Sequencing Changed Disease Research

Therapies targeting the function of a small intestinal protein, SGLT1, might have the potential to treat diseases like obesity, diabetes, heart failure, and associated death—and we have next generation sequencing to thank.


Oct 16, 2018 10:18:32 AM       by Panyue (Penny) Hao

CREB1 Antibody: Featured in Nature Communications

CREB1 is a basic leucine zipper domain (bZIP) transcription factor that activates a target gene through a cAMP response element. As a key transcriptional regulator, CREB1 plays a role in a variety of cellular responses by mediating a number of physiological stimuli. CREB1 is expressed in many tissues and plays an especially important regulatory role in the nervous system by promoting neuronal survival, driving precursor proliferation, neurite outgrowth, neuronal differentiation and more. In addition, CREB1 signaling is involved in the learning and memory functions of many organisms. CREB1 is capable of selectively activating many downstream genes through interaction with multiple dimerization partners. Phosphorylation of CREB1 at the serine 133 site involves multiple signaling pathways, such as Erk, calcium flux (Ca2+), and stress signaling. Some of the kinases involved in CREB1 phosphorylation include p90RSK, MSK, CaMKIV, and MAPKAPK-2.


Oct 5, 2018 12:00:00 PM       by Michele Mei

But Who Decides the Nobel Prize Winners?

Announcements for this year’s Nobel winners started off with prizes in Physics, Chemistry, and Physiology or Medicine. While congratulations are in order for the newly minted laureates, a bit of controversy is also stirring.


Oct 2, 2018 10:50:00 AM       by Panyue (Penny) Hao

Autophagy Marker

Autophagy is a catabolic process in which autophagic lysosomes, known as autophagosomes, degrade most cytoplasmic contents, including entire organelles like damaged mitochondria in protection of the host cell and organism. Autophagy is usually activated in the absence of nutrients and is associated with many physiological and pathological processes, including growth, differentiation, neurodegenerative diseases, infections and tumors. Light chain 3 (LC3) is a widely recognized autophagy marker. There are three isoforms of the LC3 protein (LC3A, LC3B, and LC3C) in mammals. They undergo post-translational modifications during autophagy. The LC3 protein is first cleaved by Atg4 at its carboxy terminus immediately after synthesis to produce LC3-I, which is localized in the cytoplasm. During autophagy, LC3-I is modified and processed by a ubiquitin-like system including Atg7 and Atg3 to produce LC3-II with a molecular weight of 14 kD and localized to autophagosomes. The magnitude of the LC3-II/I ratio can be used to assess the level of autophagy.

 

ABclonal Technology is pleased to offer numerous antibody products to study targets within the autophagy pathway, be it the normal functions within the pathway, the autophagic cell death pathway, or disruptions to autophagy that may drive disease progression. Many of our products have been peer reviewed by satisfied customers, including those who have used them to generate quality data for scientific publications. Please see some examples of our products below, and happy experimenting!


Sep 26, 2018 11:50:00 AM       by Dapeng Sun, Ph.D.

ABclonal Lecture Series: Koch Institute at MIT

ABclonal Technology hosted its second lunch and learn at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT, the second event of its lecture series. The lunch and learn, led by ABclonal’s senior principal scientist, focused on rabbit monoclonal antibody technologies, its advantages and development.


Sep 25, 2018 12:20:19 PM       by Panyue (Penny) Hao

RNA Methyltransferase Antibody Featured in Cell and Nature Journals

RNA methyltransferases such as METTL3, METTL14, WTAP, and VIR can catalyze the methylation of the N6 position of adenylate (M6A) and are opposed by demethylases which include FTO and ALKBH5.


Sep 18, 2018 10:25:41 AM       by Panyue (Penny) Hao

Featured Product Weekly: Histone Modification

The nucleosome consists of an octamer composed of four histones (H2A, H2B, H3, and H4) and a DNA entangled with 147 base pairs. The core of the histones constituting the nucleosome are roughly the same, but the free N-terminus can be subjected to various modifications.


Sep 11, 2018 10:58:30 PM       by Panyue (Penny) Hao

Featured Product Weekly: ER and Nuclear Membrane Markers

Endoplasmic Reticulum Marker

The endoplasmic reticulum is a membrane-bound organelle that is critical to the proper sorting and folding of proteins. Improperly folded proteins are normally allowed to refold into their functional conformation, and if not possible to repair, these unfolded proteins are directed to be degraded to prevent damage to the cell. The P4HB gene encodes a protein disulfide isomerase (PDI) that catalyzes both the formation of disulfide bonds, which form between cysteine residues to stabilize protein structure, and isomerization between or within molecules of secreted proteins. To achieve the natural conformation, this process takes place in the endoplasmic reticulum, so P4HB is often used as an ER marker. Studies on the oxidative folding mechanism indicate that molecular oxygen can oxidize the ER protein Ero1, and Ero1 can oxidize PDI through a disulfide bond. After this activity, PDI catalyzes the folding of proteins to form disulfide bonds.


Sep 10, 2018 9:30:00 AM       by Michele Mei

7 Minute Bio-Update: How Ebola Works

Ebola outbreaks are considered rare, but they do emerge every several years and can be quite lethal. Although the first confirmed Ebola epidemic was in 1976, we still lack licensed therapeutics to prevent and control Ebola’s spread. Vaccine development is in the works, but the lack of an approved treatment is a chilling reminder that we may not know enough about the virus. With the recent outbreaks in mind, we sought to summarize everything you should know about Ebola, its biology, and the current progress of vaccine development.


Sep 4, 2018 6:05:05 PM       by Panyue (Penny) Hao

Featured Product Weekly: MAPK/ERK Pathway Antibody

The extracellular signal-regulated kinases, or ERK1/2 (MAPK1/MAPK3, p44/42MAPK), are signaling molecules belonging to the mitogen-activated protein kinase family (MAPKs) that are commonly located in the cytoplasm of eukaryotic cells. In concert with various other molecules in the signaling cascade acting under different surface or intracellular receptors, ERK1/2 act as catalysts in the phosphorylation of serine/threonine and are negatively regulated by the bispecific (Thr/Tyr) MAPK phosphatase family (called DUSP or MKP) and specific inhibitors to MEK activity (such as U0126 and PD98059).


Aug 29, 2018 10:00:00 AM       by Michele Mei

4 Famous Scientists and How They Struggled

When I began my science journey as an undergrad, research seemed rigorous, but reassuringly straightforward in its tenets. Observe, question, hypothesize. Predict, test, analyze. And repeat. It made perfect sense to me that if you followed this protocol and remained unbiased in the process, great discoveries were sure to come.

But then I learned about the other steps in between. Steps like grant-writing, worrying about publishing and impact factors, getting your mentor to actually respond, and struggling to troubleshoot experiments. Twitter’s PhD community seems to relate.


Aug 28, 2018 9:00:00 AM       by Panyue (Penny) Hao

Featured Product Weekly: DNA Methyltransferase Antibody

DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) is an important family of enzymes that catalyze and maintain DNA methylation, a common marker in the epigenetic silencing of target genes. The enzymes play a key role in the regulation of gene expression and genomic imprinting/development.


Aug 21, 2018 10:00:00 AM       by Panyue (Penny) Hao

Featured Product Weekly: Astrocyte Markers

Astrocytes are specialized glial cells with distinct morphology that are found in the central nervous system, playing a role in brain and nerve cell development and the formation of synapses. Mature astrocytes respond to many stress signals and are responsible for many essential complex functions in the healthy brain, allowing the maintenance of proper homeostasis through ion flow, signaling, and the recycling of neurotransmitters. Astrocytes that are irregularly activated may result in various neurological disorders, including Alzheimer's disease and Huntington's disease. 

Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) is an intermediate filament protein that is mainly found in astrocytes. It is also expressed in chondrocytes, fibroblasts, myoepithelial cells, lymphocytes, and hepatic stellate cells.


Aug 14, 2018 9:45:00 AM       by Panyue (Penny) Hao

Featured Product Weekly: KO-validated ErbB Antibodies

Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR, also known as ErbB-1 or HER1) is a member of the ErbB family. This family includes four tyrosine receptor kinases: HER1 (ErbB1, EGFR), HER2 (ErbB2, NEU), HER3 (ErbB3), and HER4 (ErbB4). The ErbB family plays an important regulatory role in the process of cell physiology, and is among the most studied receptor tyrosine kinases and signaling molecules in the history of biochemistry and cell biology.

EGFR is distributed along the surface of cells including mammalian epithelial cells, fibroblasts, glial cells, keratinocytes, and more. The EGFR signaling pathway plays an important role in physiological processes such as cell growth, proliferation and differentiation. Upon ligand binding (for example, EGF interacting with the extracellular domain of EGFR), the ErbB receptor tyrosine kinases will homodimerize or heterodimerize, allowing autophosphorylation of cytosolic tyrosine residues and the recruitment of downstream signaling molecules.

The loss of function in tyrosine kinases such as EGFR, or the abnormal activity/cell localization of key factors in related signaling pathways, such as the p38 MAPK pathway, can cause multiple cancer types, diabetes, immunodeficiency and cardiovascular diseases. In modern medicine, typical treatment strategies include targeting the tyrosine kinase activity of the ErbB receptor with small molecular inhibitors, or humanized antibodies that will target cells that have overexpressed the ErbB receptor, such as using an anti-HER2 therapy to treat breast cancer.


Aug 7, 2018 7:24:21 PM       by Panyue (Penny) Hao

Featured Product Weekly: Golgi Protein Antibody

Although underappreciated, the Golgi apparatus is indispensable to normal cellular function by ensuring proteins are properly folded and sorted, and to direct diverse functions including autophagy. Disruptions to proper Golgi function can lead to many disease states, including diabetes, cancer, and neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease.

Part of the Golgi protein family, USO1 protein (also known as vesicle docking protein p115) is a peripheral membrane protein that can be used as a Golgi marker. It cycles between the cytoplasm and the Golgi apparatus during interphase. The position of the USO1 protein is regulated by phosphorylation -- dephosphorylated proteins bind to the Golgi membrane and dissociate from the membrane when phosphorylated. This regulated transportation plays an important role in protein localization, secretion, and signal transduction. USO1 protein acts as a vesicle anchor by interacting with the target membrane and keeping the vesicles close to the target membrane. In addition, the USO1 protein interacts with GOLGA2 (GM130) and Giantin to promote endoplasmic reticulum-Golgi transportation. A large part of Golgi-related research is in understanding how to maintain proper Golgi function to prevent and treat human diseases.


Jul 31, 2018 12:58:57 PM       by Panyue (Penny) Hao

Featured Product Weekly: AIFM1 Antibody

AIFM1, also known as Apoptosis Inducing Factor (AIF), is a widely expressed flavoprotein that plays an important role in caspase-independent apoptosis. AIF normally exists in the mitochondrial intermembrane space.


Jul 24, 2018 11:53:02 AM       by Panyue (Penny) Hao

Featured Product Weekly: Lamin Antibody

Nuclear lamina is a layer of cross-linked fibrin network that commonly exists in higher eukaryotic cells. It is interior to the nuclear envelope with a fiber diameter of about 10 nm. The nuclear lamina of higher animals are usually composed of three intermediate filament polypeptides – lamins A, B, and C. The nuclear lamina is closely related to the stability of nuclear envelopes, maintenance of nuclear pore location, stabilizing interphase chromatin morphology and spatial structure, chromatin construction, and nuclear assembly.


Jul 23, 2018 1:12:44 PM       by Panyue (Penny) Hao

ABclonal Lecture Series: Sanofi Pasteur

 ABclonal Technology began its lecture series at Sanofi Pasteur, located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The lunch and learn event focused on rabbit monoclonal antibodies in the current market, which is one of ABclonal's leading product lines to support biological research.


Jul 16, 2018 11:09:25 AM       by Panyue (Penny) Hao

Featured Product Weekly: GOLM1 Antibody

Golgi membrane protein 1 (GOLM1) is a type II Golgi membrane protein discovered in recent years. Although underappreciated, the Golgi apparatus is indispensable to normal cellular function by ensuring proteins are properly folded and sorted, and to direct diverse functions including autophagy. Disruptions to proper Golgi function can lead to many disease states, including diabetes, cancer, and neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. GOLM1 is a key protein in ensuring that proteins taken in from the endoplasmic reticulum are properly transported to their final destination in and out of the cell, and also may be involved in responses to viral infection.

The GOLM1 protein expression level increases in a variety of diseases and cancerous tissues. It is especially closely related to liver diseases. Many studies have shown that GOLM1 is more sensitive and more specific than alpha-fetoprotein (AFP, the most specific marker for primary liver cancer and the main indicator for the diagnosis of liver cancer) in the serological diagnosis of liver cancer. GOLM1 is expected to be the serological marker for the early diagnosis of liver cancer. It has also been reported to be highly expressed in patients with viral hepatitis and cirrhosis. The study of GOLM1 and other Golgi markers remains crucial to our understanding of human disease, and offers new avenues to develop more effective targeted therapies to alleviate the burdens of these ailments.


Jul 15, 2018 9:21:13 PM       by Panyue (Penny) Hao

ABclonal Technology at BIOtech Japan 2018

Last week, ABclonal Technology set foot on the "Land of the Rising Sun" to attend the 17th International Biotech and Life Sciences Exhibition & Conference. One of our technical sales specialists from the Boston office, Giovanni Musto, joined our colleagues in Japan for the exhibition. Here are some highlights from his trip.


Jun 15, 2018 5:46:20 PM       by Panyue (Penny) Hao

What are the Differences Between Rabbit and Mouse Antibodies?

Antibodies are the most commonly used tools in biological research. They are used in various applications such as Western Blot (WB), Immunoprecipitation (IP), Immunofluorescence (IF), Immunohistochemistry (IHC) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA). Two of the most common hosts for producing research antibodies are rabbits and mice, but what are the differences between rabbit and mouse antibodies? Which antibody would be best suited for your research?


May 21, 2018 12:13:45 PM       by Panyue (Penny) Hao

ABclonal Technology x Immunology 2018

During the passed weekend, ABclonal Technology had the honor to join esteemed immunologists around the world for the Immunology 2018 conference held in Austin, Texas (go Longhorns). Let's check out some of the highlights.


May 5, 2018 2:37:22 PM       by Panyue (Penny) Hao

What Are Exosomes and Why Are They Important?

Although exosomes were discovered over five decades ago, interest among the scientific community didn’t pique until much later. Specifically, in the last ten years, the number of annual publications about exosomes have almost increased by tenfold (from 1,570 published papers in 2007 to 14,000 in 2017). But what exactly are exosomes and what justifies the frenzy?


Apr 9, 2018 3:25:11 PM       by Panyue (Penny) Hao

Cancer and Metastasis: The Wonders of SNAI1

Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) plays an important role in the development of embryos and the maintenance of normal human tissue structure and function. Nowadays, more and more studies have shown that cellular plasticity is also regulated by this transition, and EMT is the most critical process in the initial phase of cancer metastasis. 


Feb 27, 2018 3:33:11 PM       by Panyue (Penny) Hao

Genetic Matchmaking: Are We Predetermined to Love Someone?

Doesn’t everyone have that one friend or relative who always says “I know someone who will just be perfect for you”? Usually, the claim is based on knowledge of personality and common interests between you and the potential Mr./Mrs. Perfect. However, in the past two decades scientists have suggested a more innate predictor to attractiveness – genetics. More specifically, alleles in the human leukocyte antigens (HLA) genomic region.


Feb 27, 2018 1:11:29 PM       by Panyue (Penny) Hao

Genome Research Features ABclonal's Epigenetic Target Antibodies

One of the most important, most studied, yet still unresolved question in life science is “how can DNA (which unfolds to 2-3 meters in length) fit in the nuclei of eukaryotic cells (which is only a few microns in diameter) and regulate genome functions in an orderly fashion?”