JAMES HOLMES / CELLTECH LTD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JAMES HOLMES / CELLTECH LTD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Scientist working with start-up flask of mammalian cell culture used for the commercial production of recombinant proteins or monoclonal antibodies. The initial stage of producing a culture of monoclonal antibodies involves the fusion of a normal antibody-producing cell (a lymphocyte) with a rapidly multiplying tumour cell. The resulting "hybridoma" cells are multiplied in fermenter vessels to produce large numbers of genetically identical copies, each secreting the antibody produced by the original lymphocyte. In this way, large amounts of antibodies can be produced for use as vaccines or medical diagnostic tests.
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