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NIST’s peptide library for Chinese hamster ovary cells could accelerate medical advances

Although few people realize it, modern medicine relies heavily on the ovarian cells of Chinese hamsters, not as a direct cure, but rather as a way to engineer custom protein-based therapeutics. These therapeutics can treat a wide range of ailments, including leukemia, hemophilia, hormone imbalance, psoriasis and cancer. A team working at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has just released a new reference collection that could provide greater insight into these important cells, and enable better production of therapeutic proteins for medical purposes.

The reference collection released today, known as a peptide library, was created by NIST researchers. The data used in the library was gathered with help from other institutions, including Johns Hopkins University. It was put into a searchable format by postdoctoral researchers working in a cooperative program between NIST and the biopharmaceutical company MedImmune.

To understand the new tool’s relevance, one first has to know a little bit about the Chinese ham ...

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