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A Tale of Two Laboratories
Validated antibodies for cutting-edge research


What’s the difference between histidine and phosphohistidine?

If you took chemistry, you may know that the difference is just a handful of atoms. That difference can determine the state of a whole organism. But without the right tools, researchers cannot discover the biological function of this chemical difference.

Laboratory 1: Temecula, California

Decades ago, researchers at our Southern California laboratories realized the importance of developing precision reagents, called antibodies, to enable life scientists to distinguish these subtle chemical differences in signaling molecules. Antibodies are molecular recognition proteins that carry out immune functions in our bodies.

At Merck, antibodies are produced from lab animals and are tested using a stringent validation process. Much of the biological research conducted today relies on commercially available antibodies, including those developed by us, for protein detection, purification, and quantification.

(Photo of Salk Institute by TheNose)

Laboratory 2: San Diego, California

About 50 miles away, at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, Dr. Tony Hunter and his team developed a new way to track some of the most elusive proteins in the body—in particular, the unstable phosphohistidine. When they began the study, no antibodies existed that could specifically detect phosphohistidine, so they developed the antibodies themselves.

Today, the Hunter lab’s antibodies are poised to unlock the field of phosphohistidine signaling research. We have licensed the antibodies to help labs around the world use this technology.
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Validated antibodies, 100 percent guaranteed.

This story illustrates how we identify the most relevant antibodies for current research. We constantly review, assess, and determine which antibodies are the most suitable for research today and make them commercially available. We’ve centered our validation processes on the principle that a thoroughly tested antibody has more value to our customers, and so we provide a 100-percent guarantee that our antibodies will perform according to our specifications.

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