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Antibodies, like other proteins, can be covalently modified in many ways to suit the purpose of a particular assay. Many immunological methods involve the use of labeled antibodies, and a variety of reagents have been created to allow labeling of antibodies. Enzymes, biotin, fluorophores and radioactive isotopes are all commonly used to provide a detection signal in biological assays. Covalently attaching such a label to an antibody combines the unique specificity of the antibody with a sensitive means for detection, thus creating an ideal probe molecule. Aside from antibodies, these same labels can be attached to avidin, streptavidin, Fc-binding proteins such as Protein A or G, and many other proteins.
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