IBMS Congress: focusing in on the exhibition seminar programme

In September, the thirteenth in the biennial Congress series will return to the International Convention Centre in Birmingham. The main focus once again is on the very best that biomedical science and commercial colleagues have to offer, a prime example of which may be found in Hall 4.

Chromosome analysis: from karyotyping to microarray analysis

Although the introduction of molecular genetics and use of microarray technology in routine practice has largely replaced conventional karyotyping, there remains a place for the latter in 21st-century cytogenetics.

Evolution of capillary electrophoresis: disease diagnosis and monitoring

The analysis of serum proteins by capillary electrophoresis has been a feature of routine laboratory practice for several decades. Here, Kayleigh Kirk looks at its development, applications and current instrumentation.

Automated algorithm for lupus anticoagulant testing aids challenging diagnoses

A validation study of a lupus anticoagulant testing algorithm, undertaken by Ghent University Hospital in Belgium and presented at a recent symposium, points to increased quality through standardisation and harmonisation.

Point-of-care biomarker testing supports bacterial infection diagnosis

Mandy Campbell provides an overview of the value of using CRP with FBC testing at the point of care, with examples of how this application can impact on antibiotic use in paediatric emergency care, in a frailty assessment centre to prevent unnecessary admissions, and its impact on influenza diagnosis.

Bile acids detection: the value of fourth- and fifth-generation tests

Obstetric cholestasis is a serious complication of pregnancy that can result in an increased risk of premature birth or even stillbirth. It is vital, therefore, that women with the disease are monitored carefully using the latest complete testing package.

Procalcitonin assay trial: part of initiative to reduce exposure to antibiotics

The trial of a new procalcitonin assay from Beckman Coulter Diagnostics, undertaken in Portsmouth, is part of an initiative to reduce exposure to antimicrobial agents without a negative impact on patient survival.

Evolution is the solution to challenges faced across the pathology landscape

Pressure on vital pathology services is mounting as populations age, chronic conditions increase in frequency and services become constrained by staff shortages. Here, Daniel Chapman discusses how to navigate the increasingly challenging diagnostics landscape, and what he and his team are doing to support evolution of pathology services.

Digital transformation of pathology in Leeds: a quartet of positive views

A major step towards achieving faster and more accurate diagnosis was taken recently when the histopathology service in Leeds announced that it had gone digital, and now scans every slide produced. Here, different perspectives of the transformation are explored.

With the rapid pace of technology, keeping it simple is sometimes best

Lateral-flow assays have become a common feature across the breadth of in vitro diagnostics. While they are designed to offer a simple visual readout, on occasions weak reactions may cause uncertainty. This is where a lateral-flow reader can help, as Charlotte Duncan explains.

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.