No Llamas Required

No Llamas Required


Llamas and their relatives make unique antibodies critical for scientific research. But generating the desired antibodies in those animals is expensive, time-consuming and often unsuccessful. So biochemists at Harvard Medical School and UC San Francisco devised a llama-free solution. They made 500 million different synthetic llama antibodies using yeast cells. Researchers can now study difficult proteins by adding them to a vial of the yeast mix. Yeast with antibodies that recognize the protein will glow. The identity of those antibodies is revealed by analyzing the DNA of the glowing yeast. The system makes it easier to uncover protein structures and design new drugs. Vials of the yeast mix are available to any labs that want them. The researchers hope this new technology will avoid the need for llamas.

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