Read: How Antibodies Let Biomedical Research Down

Cracked Science

Antibodies are used a lot in research labs around the world and scientists tend to trust what’s on the label. But antibodies aren’t as reliable as researchers may think, with some scientists now arguing that “due diligence” in their use should include considerable time and money.

I remember comparing my own experimental results to published blots. We were in theory using the same antibody, and yet the pattern on the blot was completely different. Leave it to an eager principal investigator to squint really hard to see the band he or she wants to see.

“Scientists often know, anecdotally, that some antibodies in their field are problematic, but it has been difficult to gauge the size of the problem across biology as a whole. Perhaps the largest assessment comes from work published by the Human Protein Atlas, a Swedish consortium that aims to generate antibodies for every protein in the…

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