T minus 358: My first ELISA experiment

 

There is always room for another first in one’s life adventure (or in this case lab adventure!).  Today, I did my first ELISA experiment.  ELISA is an acronym for Enzyme-Linked ImmunoSorbent Assay.  In simple terms, it measures the amount of a given protein by mixing your sample with antibodies that recognize the protein.  The antibodies used are also attached to a particular enzyme.  When your protein is present and you add substrate to the wells, the antibody will bind to your protein and the enzyme attached to the antibody will react with the substrate.  This reaction is given by a change in color of your sample, which can be measured by the amount of light that passes through it.  In this experiment, I was interested in looking for a protein called interferon-gamma.  This protein is produced by white blood cells (in particular, T-lymphocytes) in response to infection, among others.

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