10 Unique Reagents that Helped Advance Research in 2020
Here at Kerafast, our company mission is to facilitate access to unique reagents developed by academic laboratories worldwide on behalf of the scientific community. Together with our providing investigators, we work to distribute reagents that might otherwise have been sitting unused in laboratory freezers to researchers committed to furthering scientific progress. The COVID-19 outbreak made 2020 a tough year in many ways, but we would like to reflect on how the reagents in our catalog contributed to accelerating research, including efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic. Have a look at how 10 of our available reagents were used in 2020 to further scientific discovery:
From the laboratory of Michael A. Whitt, Ph.D., University of Tennessee
The Delta-G-VSV Pseudotyping System is useful for identifying cellular receptors for viruses, screening for entry inhibitors, and evaluating neutralizing antibody responses following vaccination. First described by Dr. Michael Whitt in a 2010 methods article, the system is now being used as a virus model system to study COVID-19. In particular, it enables studies of SARS-CoV-2 viral entry and COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness at just biosafety level 2 (BSL-2) containment; view more here.
2. Recombinant Coronavirus Antibodies
From our sister company Absolute Antibody
Our sister company Absolute Antibody has developed a proprietary cloning system to enable rapid reformatting of antibodies into almost any format. In response to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, Absolute Antibody utilized this recombinant platform to manufacture recombinant coronavirus antibodies suitable for coronavirus research and diagnostics. Available antibodies target SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein or nucleoprotein, in either human IgG1 or rabbit IgG formats. Recombinant Fc fusion proteins targeting the coronavirus receptor ACE2 are also available; view the full list of reagents here.
3. SARS-CoV-2 Nucleocapsid Protein Expression Plasmids
From the laboratory of Brian J. Geiss, PhD, Colorado State University
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Geiss laboratory developed SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein expression plasmids for coronavirus research and diagnostics. The lab shared the plasmids via the Kerafast platform in order to make them quickly and easily available to the global scientific community. Learn more about the plasmids here, and if your lab has created a unique research tool that might accelerate COVID-19 or other important research, learn how to contribute your reagents to our catalog here.
4. Yeast-Display Nanobody Library
From the laboratory of Andrew C. Kruse, PhD, Harvard University
The Yeast-Display Nanobody Library enables the rapid discovery of conformationally selective nanobodies. In 2020, we were excited to see it applied to coronavirus research. In a recent study, researchers at the University of California San Francisco used the nanobody library to develop SARS-CoV-2 nanobodies that could be used as a synthetic aerosol nasal spray to inhibit viral entry into human cells; read more on our blog post here.
5. Dicentrarchus labrax Embryonic Cell Line (DLEC)
From the laboratory of Francesco Buonocore, PhD and Giuseppe Scapigliati, PhD, University of Tuscia
This European sea bass embryonic cell line was added to our catalog in October 2020 for marine biotechnology research with a greater focus on generating sustainable alternative animal products. It is the first cell line available through our partnership with The Good Food Institute, which aims to make terrestrial meat and aquatic cell lines more widely available to support the development of sustainable meat and seafood. Read our partnership announcement here; for more information check out our coverage in the Boston Business Journal or the GFI’s blog post.
6. SACK-Xs 12(3) Neonatal Human Liver Stem Cells
From Asymmetrex’s SACK Tissue Stem Cell Expansion Technology
These human liver stem cells, developed using our partner Asymmetrex’s patented SACK tissue stem cell expansion technology, allow researchers to exponentially propagate a population of cells in vitro and induce differentiation when desired. They are the first and only commercial human tissue stem cell product supplied with their stem cell-specific dosage. A newly published paper used these stem cells to describe the presence of immortal DNA strands in human stem cells for the first time; you can read more on our recent blog post here.
7. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Cell Lines
From the laboratory of Philip H. Schwartz, PhD, Children’s Hospital of Orange County
Twelve autism spectrum disorder cell lines were recently added to our catalog, as our first line of reagents targeted specifically toward autism spectrum disorder (ASD) research. The cell lines were isolated from either autism patients or an unaffected control group, to aid in the identification of the cellular mechanisms contributing to ASD and the development of new treatment options. Additionally, a recent study published in Nature revealed a new association between a genetic mutation and autism using one of Kerafast’s reagents; view more on our blog post here.
From the laboratory of Hongquan Wan, DVM, PhD, Food and Drug Administration
Originally cited in a 2015 study, a new group of influenza A antibodies were added to our catalog in 2020 to assist in developing therapeutic agents against circulating H1N1 influenza viruses. The Kerafast catalog includes a variety of influenza antibodies for detecting different influenza proteins, including Hemagglutinin (HA), Matrix Protein (M1 and M2), Non-Structural Protein 1 (NS1), Neuraminidase and Nucleoprotein (NP). Check out our blog post to keep up on influenza-related research.
9. Anti-tdTomato [16D7] Antibody
From a laboratory at The Scripps Research Institute
The tdTomato protein continues to be an important tool in biotechnology and cell biology, specifically for nontoxic live cell imaging and reporter assays. The antibody recognizes a red fluorescent protein used as a spectrally distinct companion or a substitute for the green fluorescent protein (GFP) from Aequorea jellyfish. In 2020, a study published in Cell Reports used our tdTomato antibody to uncover a new function of the gene huntingtin, which when mutated causes the neurodegenerative disorder Huntington’s Disease; find out more on our blog here.
10. DNA-RNA Hybrid [S9.6] Antibody
From the laboratory of Stephen H. Leppla, PhD, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases/NIH
Our DNA-RNA hybrid antibody continues to be used by researchers around the world, due to its high specificity and affinity for DNA-RNA hybrids and ability to detect R loops. In 2020, the antibody was included in various publications including Journal of Cell Science, Cancers, Nature Communications, Nucleic Acids Research, Cell Reports and more, all viewable here. Check out the running list of publications by research application to view its utilization in experimental design.
If you used any of our reagents to advance your research in 2020, be sure to let us know! We appreciate your loyalty to us and dedication to advance scientific research. Always feel free to contact us with any inquires. Best wishes for successful research in 2021!