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ABclonal in Action: 10 Scientific Studies Using ABclonal Antibodies

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

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.

 

A Beginner's Guide to Matrix Metalloproteinases

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

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]

Another Way to Kill Bad Cells: Recent Work in Pyroptosis

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

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.

 

ABclonal in Action: Autophagy as a Therapeutic Target

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

 

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.

Traffic Management: The Indispensable Vesicular Transport System

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

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.

Plant Power: Plant Chemicals and Proteins for Human Health

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

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!