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Researchers at the University of Cambridge, as well as University College London and Lund University, have proposed a method for developing antibodies that can identify the elusive amyloid beta oligomers implicated in the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Amyloid beta oligomers are believed to be critical precursors to the amyloid plaques that accumulate between the neurons of people with Alzheimer’s disease, but because they are small, soluble, have diverse conformations and are present in low concentrations, it is difficult to detect them. That is where the new approach, detailed in “Rational design for a conformation-specific antibody for the quantification of A(beta) oligomers”, comes in. The two-step approach allows researchers to design antibodies which are specific to the epitopes that are present on the surface of the small oligomers but not on the larger deposits. You can read more about it here.