Welcome to the Abcam blog

An introduction to protocols

When it comes to research and science, we all rely on the basics and understanding how proteins and molecules work and react with each other. We know that for undergraduates, and researchers exploring new research tools, starting a new unfamiliar application may be scary.

It would be easy if you had Aladdin's lamp, where with a little rub a wish could come true; "I wish I had all the reagents and antibodies needed for my research." POOF! all the necessary reagents and antibodies appear magically in front of you!

However, that is wishful thinking (no pun intended), it's something you might see on a Sunday morning cartoon. In real life the next best thing you could wish for is a group of scientists with lots of experience to help you step by step with your experiment. Well, you're in luck! At Abcam we have experienced scientists who have sat down and written detailed protocols, guides and tips that can help you perform all the regularly used experimental protocols, plus some uncommon ones too!

Visit our Protocols and Troubleshooting page, it contains many application protocols; from basic cell culture, immunostaining (cells, paraffin sections, frozen sections), ELISA (sandwich, direct, indirect), flow cytometry, immunoprecipitation, Western blot and ChIP applications. All these protocols were compiled and written by our Scientific Support team members, who are dedicated in providing you with comprehensive new protocols. We also have some protocols kindly provided to us by loyal customer and collaborators who are experts in their fields.

You may have heard of an exciting technique called ChIP (Chromatin Immunoprecipitation) that can be used to investigate the interaction between proteins and DNA in animal cells, but do you also know that ChIP can also be used for plant samples? What about overcoming cell culture contamination, using PBS or methanol H2O2 solution for blocking endogenous peroxidase activity, milk or BSA for blocking in WB?

How about little bits of information to help you improve your understanding of how reagents work in your experiment, like:

  • Tween 20 in washing buffer will reduce surface tension and increase antibody binding.
  • Triton-X makes holes in cell membrane and allows antibody to bind to intra-membrane epitope.
  • TBS buffer in WB is ideal when looking at phosphorylation sites. Normal PBS contains phosphates which will interfere with results. Also, using milk which contains Casein, is not suitable for use as a blocking solution when detecting phosphorylated proteins.

At Abcam, we have all this information and much, much more. Also, don't miss out on our vast troubleshooting tips and protocol summary diagrams. All protocols are available as PDFs, so you can download the summary diagrams and refer to them on you work bench as you perform your experiments. Sure beats the college note pads or A4 print outs with lines and lines of boring protocols.

Although we do not have magical lamps to hand out, we sure do have protocols, troubleshooting tips, diagrams, and other information that we know will be useful for you. Not to mention scientific support members around the globe with expertise in almost all research areas to support you. Feel free to contact us anytime, we are waiting to hear from you!

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