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We have compiled the list of terms most commonly used in Life Science Research.
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A-factorA protein which is found in the bacterial genus Streptomyces that helps start the production of streptomycin and the process of morphological differentiation. It is used in biotechnology to induce these functions in mutant strains of Streptomyces that can't produce it themselves.
A-ProteinA protein found in the cell wall of the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus which binds to the Fc section of immunoglobulins and is therefore used to collect antigen-antibody complexes.
AcervulusA flat, often round mass of hyphae which carry spore-bearing parts called conidophores; acervuli are found in fungi belonging to the order Melanconiales.
AcetylcholineA chemical neurotransmitter that is released from the ends of certain types of nerve fibre when they are stimulated. It transmits a signal to an adjacent nerve or muscle cell by binding to receptors on the target cell surface.
Amino AcidThe basic building block of proteins (or polypeptides). Containing a basic amino (NH2) group, an acidic carboxyl (COOH) group and a side chain (R - of a number of different kinds) attached to an alpha carbon atom.
B cellsLymphocytes (B lymphocytes) which transform into plasma cells and produce antibodies
C-reactive protein (CRP) A protein that appears, usually within 24 hours, in the blood during the acute stage of inflammatory disorders such as rheumatic fever, or after a myocardial infarction (heart attack). The serum level of CRP is a sensitive indicator and monitor of rheumatic activity.
Catabolite activator protein (CAP) Catabolite activator protein(CAP) A protein that when bound with cyclic AMP can attach to sites on sugar-metabolizing operons to enhance transcription of these operons.
ELISAELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) is a plate-based assay technique designed for detecting and quantifying peptides, proteins, antibodies and hormones. In an ELISA, an antigen must be immobilized to a solid surface and then complexed with an antibody that is linked to an enzyme. Detection is accomplished by assessing the conjugated enzyme activity via incubation with a substrate to produce a measureable product. The most crucial element of the detection strategy is a highly specific antibody-antigen interaction.
EpitopeAn epitope is the antibody binding site on an antigen. However, to gain a stronger grasp of how all the pieces fit together it is helpful to start by reviewing the structure and function of an antibody. This is particularly useful when it comes to gaining a better understanding of how custom antibodies are developed.
KO ValidationWestern blot using knockout (KO) cell lysate has become a new practice for antibody validation. In KO validation, a knockout cell line was paired with the parental cell line in western blot analysis. A truly specific antibody recognizes the target protein of right molecular weight in the WT cell lysate, but not in the KO cell lysate.
Primary AntibodyThe primary antibody is the one that binds directly to the antigen. The variable region of the primary antibody recognizes an epitope on the antigen. It is produced by a host organism that is of a different species than the specimen. The primary antibody usually does not contain a fluorophore or an enzyme, so the researcher cannot visualize the antigen without further reagents such as a secondary antibody.
Secondary AntibodyThe secondary antibody binds to the primary antibody but not any antigen that is present in the specimen. Secondary antibodies bind to the heavy chains of primary antibodies, so that they don’t interfere with the primary antibody binding to the antigen. This secondary antibody is made in a species that is different than both those of the primary antibody or the specimen. This minimizes non-specific binding that leads to false positives and high background noise.
Streptomyces Streptomyces is the largest genus of Actinobacteria and the type genus of the family Streptomycetaceae. Over 500 species of Streptomyces bacteria have been described. As with the other Actinobacteria, streptomycetes are gram-positive, and have genomes with high GC content. Found predominantly in soil and decaying vegetation, most streptomycetes produce spores, and are noted for their distinct "earthy" odor that results from production of a volatile metabolite, geosmin.
Western Blotting (WB)Western blotting is an important technique used in cell and molecular biology. By using a western blot, researchers are able to identify specific proteins from a complex mixture of proteins extracted from cells. The technique uses three elements to accomplish this task: (1) separation by size, (2) transfer to a solid support, and (3) marking target protein using a proper primary and secondary antibody to visualize.
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