Group Seeks Input on Cell Authentication

By | April 23, 2015

Submitted by Global Biological Standards Institute

The Global Biological Standards Institute (GBSI), a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of biomedical research by advocating best practices and standards,  seeks input from researchers in surveys on cell culture and research antibody authentication. Founded and directed by scientists, GBSI’s mission and goals have become increasingly prominent in the wake of the growing discussion of reproducibility in biomedical science. GBSI has been working with NIH and other organizations to address this issue. The new surveys aim to help GBSI learn how researchers view the best practices in the areas of cell culture and antibody authentication and the challenges and barriers to implementing them.

Cells are repeatedly cultured, frozen, and passaged, and procedures to handle cells vary dramatically between laboratories. As a result, misidentification (cross-contamination), microbial contamination, and labeling and other errors can and do occur. Misidentification of cell lines can be prevented by periodic cell authentication such as through DNA profiling.

The use of misidentified, mischaracterized, or contaminated monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies—often purchased from commercial vendors—is an equally vexing problem. Assay-specific validation of antibodies can help researchers translate bench discoveries into FDA-approved diagnostics and therapies.

We encourage you to share your insight and opinions by clicking on this link, which will allow you to select one or both surveys; each takes less than 10 minutes to complete. All responses will remain confidential.

As NIH and other organizations develop policies to enhance reproducibility, it is crucial for them to hear the views of working scientists. Please forward this information to relevant co-workers and colleagues. The surveys will close on May 22.