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Animal-Derived Laboratory Reagents


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#1 southtowns18

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 10:22 AM

I have a question about animal-derived laboratory reagents and products. I’m working in a strictly in-vitro lab that focuses mainly on western blots and flow cytometry. I was wondering the cost to animal life associated with these reagents. These include:

FBS (fetal bovine serum) & BSA (bovine serum albumen): I figured these products are likely a byproduct of the slaughterhouse industry and therefore the animals are being slaughtered more for the meat than to get the blood to make these products. Am I right in thinking this?

Primary & secondary antibodies (raised in mouse, rabbit, goat, etc.): From what I understand there are three main types with differing degrees of cost to animal life
  • In vitro Monoclonal antibodies: Once the hybridoma is created they can be grown indefinitely in vitro so there is minimal cost to animal life. Am I right in thinking this?
  • In vivo (ascites) monoclonal antibodies: Does an animal have to die every time I place a new order for an antibody?
  • Polyclonal antibodies: Again, does an animal have to die every time I place a new order for an antibody?

Sheep’s blood agar: Unlike the bovine products, I wouldn’t think sheep are being killed for the meat so maybe they are being primarily slaughtered to generate these lab products. Am I right for thinking this?

I’m asking these questions because I enjoy working in the lab but just want to know the cost associated with the products I use in regards to animal life. Also, can you think of any other animal-derived reagants/products that I left out that could be used in in-vitro experiments?

Thanks for any help you can provide.

#2 hobglobin

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 11:06 AM

Spermidine (source?), Limulus Amebocyte Lysate (from Horseshoe crabs), Glycogen (not sure), hormones, growth factors

One must presume that long and short arguments contribute to the same end. - Epicurus
...except casandra's that belong to the funniest, most interesting and imaginative (or over-imaginative?) ones, I suppose.

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#3 hobglobin

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 11:30 AM

gelatin, wool wax (lanolin), lactic acid (can be at least)

One must presume that long and short arguments contribute to the same end. - Epicurus
...except casandra's that belong to the funniest, most interesting and imaginative (or over-imaginative?) ones, I suppose.

That is....if she posts at all.


#4 bob1

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 12:25 PM

FBS (fetal bovine serum) & BSA (bovine serum albumen): I figured these products are likely a byproduct of the slaughterhouse industry and therefore the animals are being slaughtered more for the meat than to get the blood to make these products. Am I right in thinking this?

BSA yes, FBS - no not really, the mothers are usually returned to the farm AFAIK, but the foetal calf is dead.

Primary & secondary antibodies (raised in mouse, rabbit, goat, etc.): From what I understand there are three main types with differing degrees of cost to animal life

  • In vitro Monoclonal antibodies: Once the hybridoma is created they can be grown indefinitely in vitro so there is minimal cost to animal life. Am I right in thinking this?
  • In vivo (ascites) monoclonal antibodies: Does an animal have to die every time I place a new order for an antibody?
  • Polyclonal antibodies: Again, does an animal have to die every time I place a new order for an antibody?

At least one animal died to make the hybridoma, and these are usually propagated in FBS... Ascites fluid can be harvested by an intraperitoneal line. Polyclonals, the animals don't have to be sacrificed to make these, you can keep bleeding them, but it depends on the immunity raised and how long lasting it is. It is probably kinder on the animal to sacrifice it.

#5 pito

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 12:53 PM

I have a question about animal-derived laboratory reagents and products. I’m working in a strictly in-vitro lab that focuses mainly on western blots and flow cytometry. I was wondering the cost to animal life associated with these reagents. These include:

FBS (fetal bovine serum) & BSA (bovine serum albumen): I figured these products are likely a byproduct of the slaughterhouse industry and therefore the animals are being slaughtered more for the meat than to get the blood to make these products. Am I right in thinking this?

Primary & secondary antibodies (raised in mouse, rabbit, goat, etc.): From what I understand there are three main types with differing degrees of cost to animal life

  • In vitro Monoclonal antibodies: Once the hybridoma is created they can be grown indefinitely in vitro so there is minimal cost to animal life. Am I right in thinking this?
  • In vivo (ascites) monoclonal antibodies: Does an animal have to die every time I place a new order for an antibody?
  • Polyclonal antibodies: Again, does an animal have to die every time I place a new order for an antibody?
Sheep’s blood agar: Unlike the bovine products, I wouldn’t think sheep are being killed for the meat so maybe they are being primarily slaughtered to generate these lab products. Am I right for thinking this?

I’m asking these questions because I enjoy working in the lab but just want to know the cost associated with the products I use in regards to animal life. Also, can you think of any other animal-derived reagants/products that I left out that could be used in in-vitro experiments?

Thanks for any help you can provide.



Why do you think sheeps are not killed for the meat?
Here its pretty normal to eat sheep.
But most sheeps are not killed in general because the wol is worth a lot more.
They just take some of the blood... but they do not need to kill the sheep for it.

Anyway, if you really want to know about this: contact the people where you buy the stuff.
Some companies have strict rules about this. Some will, for example, not work with animals being killed for just 1 product.

And in general: does an animal need to die? No!
For example horses are used to produce antidotes against snakevenom.. they dont kill the horse for it.

Also, http://en.wikipedia....al_bovine_serum, for you question about FBS en BSA

Edited by pito, 06 December 2012 - 12:57 PM.

If you don't know it, then ask it! Better to ask and look foolish to some than not ask and stay stupid.


#6 Inbox

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 10:20 AM

Huh, Animal ethics issues!

First be familiar with
http://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/animals/

About Biology researcher I guess first animal challenge is big ethical issue for himself too. As you pass that phase you become used to. I can't comment about whether it is bad or good, I don't know either. After-all it's requirement of research. You can always consider options based on feasibility.




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