Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats: research at the cutting edge of biomedicine

A look at the CRISPR technology that research scientists use to selectively modify the DNA of living organisms, adapted for use in the laboratory from naturally occurring genome editing systems found in bacteria. Here, Pathology in Practice Science Editor Brian Nation compiles a selection of current research interest.

X-ray irradiated viruses: a new research product from NCPV

X-ray irradiation is enabling inactive virus material to be available for research use from The National Collection of Pathogenic Viruses, part of UKHSA Culture Collections. Team leader Dr Jane Burton and virologist Teresa Ramalho explain how.

Bias and measurement uncertainty: a duo rarely handled correctly

In this further article in his series on measurement uncertainty, Stephen MacDonald moves on to look at bias, and considers its nature, detection, clinical and statistical significance, and correction.

Point-of-care Innovators: the power to disrupt – an event review

The latest in the series of POCT Innovators events took place this spring in Leeds with a typically diverse and engaging panel of speakers. Pathology in Practice reports from the event.

Rapid diagnostics – warts and all: a report on the ante meridiem session

In this first of two reports from this year’s British Society for Microbial Technology Annual Microbiology Conference, BSMT Chair Dr Mark Wilks and colleagues look at three presentations from the morning session. Two demonstrate the efforts being made at the cutting edge of practice, while the third what can be achieved with limited resources.

Tropical diseases on our doorstep: is it time to wake up?

With increasing travel post-COVID-19 coupled with a warming planet, tropical diseases and the viruses that cause them are closer to UK shores than ever. Dr Neil Bentley looks at the increasing prevalence and spread of dengue fever and the barriers to correct diagnosis.

The challenges of creating an EQA scheme for digital pathology

UK NEQAS CPT currently has an EQA scheme for digital pathology in a pre-pilot phase. Here, Scheme Manager Lorren Mitchell details the research and planning required to ensure it will be suitable and effective for this evolving field.

Enhanced in-house MRSA testing algorithm for detecting PVL toxins

Staphylococcus aureus is one of a number of pathogens with increased abilities to evade the effects of antimicrobial agents, with MRSA continuing to evolve. New technology is now allowing quicker identification of infection-causing pathogens, allowing earlier treatment and adoption of other measures to limit spread, explains Camila Onyekwere.

Reducing the impact of transport on sample quality and TAT

At a recent Sample Transport Symposium event, hosted by Sarstedt, Dr Michael Cornes presented on the variety of options available for sample transportation and their influence on of speed and quality of result.

Respiratory viruses point-of-care external quality assessment

External quality assessment of point-of-care testing provision is now an integral part of laboratory accreditation to the new ISO 15189 UKAS standards. Here, Sanjiv Rughooputh and colleagues from the UK Health Security Agency focus on the need for EQA of a respiratory virus POC service.

Performance validation of a novel laminar flow anaerobic workstation

Microbiologists from the Don Whitley Scientific microbiology laboratory led by Charlotte Austin, recently carried out a performance validation of the Whitley A135 GMP laminar flow anaerobic workstation using Bacillus atrophaeus spore suspension. Pathology in Practice reproduces their report here, which was previously presented in the form of a poster at the 10th European Spores Conference.

Reducing infection risk: evaluating new disinfection technology in a busy office

Does the introduction of two new disinfecting technologies reduce the risk of cross infection in a busy office environment? Andrew Kemp, Head of the Scientific Advisory Board for the British Institute of Cleaning Science presents a study examining the measurement of surface contamination levels.

Digital pathology and artificial intelligence: a selection of research at the cutting edge of practice

The adoption of digital pathology into routine histopathology practice is not without its problems in terms of implementation, changing work practices and staff acceptance. Here, Pathology in Practice Science Editor Brian Nation compiles a selection of research devoted to such issues, and also examples of the value this technology offers to patient care and outcome.

Haemorheology and CVD: what clinical viscosity could tell us

With the association between plasma viscosity and cardiovascular disease having been documented extensively and for some time, David Norcliffe and David Manuel revisit some of these studies to explore how haemorheology and measuring clinical viscosity could play a significant role in the monitoring and early detection of CVD.

UK NEQAS: delivering far more than external quality assessment

Liam Whitby, President of the United Kingdom National External Quality Assessment Service (UK NEQAS) explains the reason why UK NEQAS is a world leader in EQA.

New analyser offers innovation through urine microscopy automation

Auch Hospital in the south of France recently took delivery of that country’s first example of a new cytology analyser. Here, Pathology in Practice hears from three senior laboratory staff involved in the project about the changes that have taken place following the addition of this new automated technology.

Intermediate imprecision: challenges and benefits using a simpler method

In this fourth article in his series on measurement uncertainty, Stephen MacDonald moves on to look at some of the lesser discussed points that need to be considered when calculating imprecision and its contribution to combined uncertainty.

Laboratory automation: maximising benefits and reducing risks

While automation of laboratory tests and procedures can bring great efficiencies and benefits to the laboratory and to overall patient care, effective implementation of an automation project requires detailed planning strategy and evaluation, as Renato Gargiani explains.

Enhancing patient care: a synergistic approach to diagnostics

With the emergence of new patient care pathways, the growth of point-of-care testing has been driven by new technology. This has offered patients improved health outcomes, utilising diagnostics and solutions that help relieve the pressures on our health system.

Achieving POCT accreditation for the UK’s largest blood gas service

While provision for point-of-care testing (POCT) is growing hugely, UKAS ISO 15189 accreditation for such services is still in its infancy. Haval Ozgun, POCT Manager and Network Lead at South West London Pathology, explains how his service successfully gained accreditation.

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