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fartbob5 12-06-2012 06:16 PM

Animal-Derived Laboratory Reagents
 
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.

ABL2011 02-08-2013 03:25 AM

Re: Animal-Derived Laboratory Reagents
 
In most of the western countries, commercial monoclonal antibodies (mAb) are not prepared from animal. In Canada, the suppliers for imported mAb have to declare the products are not animal sources. Today, we can reproduce mAb by In-Vitro methods. Polyclonal antibodies can be collected repeatedly once the animal immunized. Hope these responses make you feel more comfortable.

marten 02-25-2013 02:28 PM

Re: Animal-Derived Laboratory Reagents
 
It,s not actually a new thing that, how many animal-derived products are used in research, and especially ones that may be vital to the next step in your scientific process. As at the end of the day science is difficult enough without limiting yourself to reagents that are morally acceptable to you.


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