Lack of reproducibility in scientific studies has been a major topic of conversation lately. It's an important conversation for us to have, given the potential of this problem to affect how the research community views the published literature. Many potential reasons for the problem exist, but CST is focused on the role vendors play in ensuring the reagents being used by the scientific community are properly validated.
These are important issues that need to be addressed by the scientific community and we should all be part of the conversation . . .
To this end, the Global Biological Standards Institute (GBSI) has organized a special conference in September 2016 to define standards by which antibodies should be validated prior to publication. In preparation for the meeting they have opened chat rooms up to the public, so that everyone has a chance to voice their opinion.
Our Chief Scientific Officer (CSO), Roberto Polakiewicz is helping lead the discussion on what the responsibilities of the reagent suppliers should be. One thread has examined the potential impact of shared and/or standardized protocols. Here's a snippet, but you can find the complete conversation by clicking on the button below.
"[Clearly] antibody binding assays using native protein (FACS, MS) are not adequate to determine specificity if the intent is to do IHC. Let's keep in mind that non-native techniques like WB, IF, IHC, are the most commonly used, so again relying on just native protein binding assays as a standard would be largely inadequate. Moreover, using the wrong fixative or antigen retrieval protocol can result in a wrong result with an otherwise good antibody. In summary, there is no escape from thorough validation for each specific application to test specificity and sensitivity. I am therefore skeptical about standard protocols for all antibodies . . . "
We'd love to hear your thoughts!