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Derek Croote has never eaten pizza, ice cream or milk chocolate; he has a lifelong dairy allergy. He’s one of more than 200 million people worldwide who have food allergies. That’s why, when he came to Stanford University in 2013 to join Stephen Quake’s lab, Croote was thrilled to apply the group’s single-cell technology to a longstanding challenge in allergy research: isolating immunoglobulin E (IgE)-producing B cells. It’s been known for decades that IgE mediates allergic reactions, but neither the cells that produce these antibodies nor the individual antibodies had ever been isolated.