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Vaccines are not the only form of medical treatment which relies on the immune system.
Monoclonal antibodies are antibodies which are made to target particular cells or chemicals in the body. Some lymphocytes (called B lymphocytes) make antibodies but cannot divide. Scientists combine mouse B lymphocytes which have been stimulated to make a particular antibody with a type of tumour cell to make a cell called a hybridoma.
Hybridoma cells can both make a specific antibody and divide. The hybridoma cells are cloned to make a large number of identical cells which all make the same antibodies. The antibodies are collected and purified. These are monoclonal antibodies - antibodies from a single clone of cells
Making monoclonal antibodies
A positive pregnancy test - they are so sensitive that they can be taken on the first day of a missed period.
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