Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Only use for extreme circumstances...

My first year in the lab I was given a glass bottle of powdered, white material that was simply labeled "Horse anti-SPE A." It was generously parafilmed since the top was not entirely intact. Pat handed it to me and told me to use it only for extreme circumstances, since it's fairly valuable (probably not easy or may even not possible to get a horse to inject SPE A into until it's immune, and then bleed it enough to obtain the antibodies...).

Well, this week, after 5 years in the lab and finishing my Ph.D. project, it was time to pull out the Horse Anti-SPE A. Even though I made SPE A antibodies only a year or two ago (in a rabbit, like all antibodies that we generate in the lab), it seems that they aren't reacting very well anymore. And now that I've tried to make two batches of SPE A toxin and haven't gotten any reaction using said antibodies, Pat pulled out the glass jar and said to try that to see if I can get a reaction.

It worked - but only on my positive control of wild type toxin, which means the second prep of mutant SPE A was no good. So now on to other ways to prep the toxin, which all involve much more work. But at least I can say that I finally got to use the Horse anti-SPE A under extreme circumstances...

2 comments:

Redevetter said...

That poor horse. Can you imagine writing a protocol for that now. I think the IACUC commitee would die laughing as they stamp a big fat "no way" on your protocl.

Fixen Vixen said...

My person rule is that you should never stick a needle in something larger than you.