Statistical quality control: defining goals by measuring performance

In this fourth article in a series on internal quality control, Stephen MacDonald moves on to define what standard individual assays are expected to achieve, and the impact of the components of total error.

Improving efficiency in blood sciences: a study of temperature monitoring

When the blood sciences department at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust needed an end-to-end temperature monitoring solution, a solution provided by Checkit was just what the doctor ordered.

Human chorionic gonadotropin: more than a marker of pregnancy

Human chorionic gonadotropin is the hormone detected in urine by modern-day point-of-care pregnancy tests. It is produced by syncytiotrophoblasts and, to a lesser extent, cytotrophoblasts in the developing placental tissue following implantation of a blastocyst in the endometrial lining of the uterus. However, a quick look through the current literature confirms that increased hCG level is much more than an indicator of developing life.

Statistical quality control: a look at process design – setting IQC targets

In the third in his series of articles on internal quality control, Stephen MacDonald continues his overview of process design with a look at defining process stability, setting target values, and how they should be used.

Are we making progress in the battle against antimicrobial resistance?

Antimicrobial resistance is a topic of which we should all be aware, and be actively seeking strategies to reduce use of antimicrobial drugs. Here, Kate Woodhead discusses how general awareness is not as good as it should be, and looks at Public Health England’s relaunched public awareness campaign with poster materials and leaflets.

Current progress in developing ‘universal’ red cell products: a review

The search for a universal blood product stretches back decades. Hear, Malcolm Needs looks at the various approaches used, and some prospects for the future.

IBMS Congress: an ideal opportunity to link learning to the laboratory

In September, the thirteenth in the biennial Congress series will return to the International Convention Centre in Birmingham. The focus once again is on the very best that biomedical science and commercial colleagues have to offer. With the launch this month of the full programme, Pathology in Practice provides a brief preview of the event.

Culture Collections: ensuring reproducibility in biomedical science

Founded in 1920, the National Collection of Type Cultures is the longest-established collection of its type, and serves as a UNESCO Microbial Resource Centre. Here, Ayuen Lual looks at its role and that of the three other important associated collections.

Sepsis and interleukin-6: detecting a dysregulated response to infection

Bacterial sepsis is a major cause of neonatal morbidity and mortality, particularly in preterm babies. Can new rapid cytokine tests improve diagnosis over use of C-reactive protein alone and help reduce unnecessary antibiotic use? Here, John Rees provides an overview and update.

Hepcidin: an interesting journey from bench to bedside and beyond

The term translational research is used to describe the application of discoveries made in the research laboratory to medical diagnosis and treatment. The ongoing story of the understanding of hepcidin is a good example of this process.

Myeloma, MGUS and smouldering disease: an update on significance

One of the uses of serum protein electrophoresis is in detecting a monoclonal gammopathy, the presence of which can indicate a range of related conditions associated with immunoglobulin production.

Early disease detection: driving progress through cutting-edge research

A new collaboration between the government and the life sciences industry aims to save tens of thousands of lives through pioneering research to detect deadly diseases as early as possible before symptoms appear.

Hepatitis C: a brief look in the current literature

Hepatitis C was first discovered in the 1980s and known initially as non-A, non-B hepatitis. It was identified properly in 1989, and in 1991 a screening process was developed making it possible to detect hepatitis C virus in blood samples. As a relatively new disease, there remain many aspects of hepatitis C which are yet to be fully understood, as the following selection of research efforts illustrate.

Digital pathology: putting cybersecurity measures top of the agenda

The latest cybersecurity systems designed by Stago aim to support and protect NHS pathology networks and facilitate real-time data retrieval, uploading, monitoring and sharing at any time, and from anywhere, with total security offering piece of mind.

Measles: the importance of vaccination, disease monitoring and surveillance

The recent resurgence this year in a predominantly childhood infection has focused attention once again on the need to encourage vaccination and therefore increase coverage. Here, Sarah Pitt looks at the background to this and provides an update on progress.

A global commitment to tackle TB, but more research needed urgently

After decades of neglect, political attention has finally turned to TB. In 2016, the United Nations General Assembly agreed to hold the first ever High-Level Meeting on TB. Recently, heads of state gathered to make new global commitments to combat the disease, as Mark Pointer reports.

Molecular kits using LAMP technology: fast, easy, sensitive and specific

Loop-mediated isothermal amplification was developed at the turn of the 21st century and in the almost two decades since has proved increasingly useful, especially in resource-poor settings.

Statistical quality control: a look at process design – the materials involved

Stephen Macdonald returns with the second in a series of articles on internal quality control, specifically looking in this issue at process design and the impact of the materials used.

Going overboard with microbiology – women and children first

The Autumn Symposium of the British Society for Microbial Technology took place at the Merseyside Maritime Museum in Liverpool last October. On behalf of the BSMT, Mark Wilks reports on a comprehensive and stimulating programme.

Supporting accreditation for new track-based haematology platform

Recently, Torbay Hospital saw the first global installation of the HORIBA HELO fully automated haematology system. A collaborative approach to implementation was key to the success of a process that secured UKAS ISO 15189 accreditation.