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Reagents to measure and manipulate cell functions.
Reagents that are used as part of a discovery platform for the measurement and manipulation of cell functions are at the heart of single and multiplexed high content screening assays. Measurement reagents include physiological indicators, immunoreagents, fluorescent analogs of macromolecules, positional biosensors, and fluorescent protein biosensors. Recent developments in reagents that manipulate specific cell functions including small inhibitory RNAs, caged peptides, proteins, and RNAs, and gene switches complement measurement reagents, especially when both classes of reagents are used in the same living cells. The use measurement and manipulation reagents in multiplexed high content screening assays promises to enable a systems cell biology approach to drug discovery and biomedical research.