Logistical diagnostics: the commercial face of change

The diagnostics market has faced many challenges and changes over the last 30 years and as always those involved in running and continuing the growth of such companies respond to need and change as required. As Mark Reed explains, the in vitro diagnostics (IVD) industry not only faces challenges from continuous scientific progress but also economics, demographics and political unrest.

Micro-platform reveals natural behaviour of cancer cells

A new cell culture platform allows researchers to observe never-before-seen behaviour of live cancer cells under the microscope, leading to explanations of long-known cancer characteristics.

Specific Gene Mutations predict Success of glioblastoma immunotherapy

Testing for specific gene mutations may help to predict the patients with glioblastoma who will respond to immunotherapy, according to new research. The findings, published in the journal Nature Medicine also suggest a therapeutic target that could lead to improved immunotherapy in these patients.

Enhancing protein detection and quantification

Syngene has introduced a new Epi UV HI-LED lighting option for its popular G:BOX Chemi and G:BOX mini multi-application gel and blot imaging systems. These environmentally friendly lights allow faster workflow and more accurate results when imaging a diverse range of fluorescence-labelled proteins on gels and blots.

Fast and reproducible toxicology testing results

Synbiosis has introduced its next-generation Ames software module featuring a time-saving Ames mutagenicity ratio calculation function. The new software designed for integrated use with the ProtoCOL 3 colony counter, facilitates rapid production of accurate, consistent count and ratio data from Ames test plates and is ideal for use in regulated toxicology testing laboratories.

Tissue analysis by artificial intelligence

Nucleai, a promising artificial intelligence (AI) start-up company in the pathology arena is making cancer diagnostics more accurate, accessible and efficient through AI-based analysis of biopsies.

Don Whitley Dies at the Age of 89

The directors of Don Whitley Scientific have announced the death, on 28 February after a short illness, of Don Whitley, founder and chairman of the company. Taking a keen interest in the company’s product development projects up until a few weeks before his death, Don would have celebrated his 90th birthday this coming June.

Distorted DNA may increase risk of changes with CRISPR-Cas9

Distortions to DNA, which occur routinely during gene expression and other cellular processes, could lead to off-target changes to the genome when using CRISPR-Cas9, a new study suggests. The Medical Research Council scientists behind the research say that their findings may help to pave the way to improve the accuracy of gene editing for clinical applications.

Fluorescent biosensors as tools for drug therapeutics

Researchers in the School of Pharmacy at the University of Nottingham have been using Dolomite Microfluidic’s chips to enhance their work on drug encapsulation and therapeutic delivery. Dr Veeren Chauhan, working with Dr Jonathan Aylott and Dr Amjad Selo, explained: “We have been using Dolomite chips since the end of 2017 and have continuously manufactured an array of uniformly-sized PLGA (poly[lactic-co-glycolic acid]) particles. We can fine-tune the system set-up, depending on the downstream requirements, to provide a consistent particle shape and size, as well as control drug release parameters. These attributes are key to ensuring the correct dose of drug is maintained, achieving maximum therapeutic benefit without unwanted side-effects.”

New Cytocell facility to open in Cambridge

Oxford Gene Technology (OGT) is expanding its Cytocell operations with a move to a new facility in Cambridge, UK. Cytocell, OGT’s fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH) probe brand, will be moving into the significantly larger facility on the prestigious Cambridge Science Park, due to expansion of the organisation, current sales volumes and predicted sales growth. In addition to investing in OGT by expanding Cytocell’s operational footprint, OGT’s parent company, Sysmex, is demonstrating its confidence in the UK by establishing the new premises.

HIV-1 assay receives two CE marks, for viral load and early infant diagnosis

Hologic has announced that its Aptima HIV-1 Quant Dx assay has received two new CE marks in Europe – for early infant diagnosis (EID) and for testing dried blood spots (DBS). This means the assay can be used qualitatively to detect HIV-1 RNA as an aid in the diagnosis of HIV-1-infected infants under 18 months old, and to test an additional sample type (DBS) to monitor viral load and disease progression in HIV-1- infected individuals in European and African countries. It is the first and only dual-claim assay for both viral load and early infant diagnosis.

D-dimer POCT for deep vein thrombosis

Radiometer’s AQT90 FLEX analysers have been used in a successful trial to asses D-dimer point-of-care testing (POCT) for suspected lower limb deep vein thrombosis (DVT), in which a reduction in patient waiting times of up to 75% was achieved.

IFBLS: 64 years of good laboratory practice

The year 2018 marked the 64th anniversary of the founding of the International Association of Medical Laboratory Technologists (IAMLT), now named the International Federation of Biomedical Laboratory Sciences (IFBLS). President Elect Alan Wainwright reports.

Two grants aim to tackle sepsis

MediSieve is receiving two grants from Innovate UK, worth a total of around £1.56 million. One grant will progress development of a severe sepsis product, developing five magnetic particles to remove different sepsis targets. Another SRBI grant enables focus on one of those particles and how it can be used to remove antimicrobial-resistant (AMR) bacteria from a patient’s bloodstream.

The Periodic Table: an anniversary of organisation

The United Nations has designated 2019 as the International Year of the Periodic Table to celebrate one of the most significant achievements in science. Next month it will be 150 years since the Russian scientist Dmitri Mendeleev took all of the known elements and arranged them into a table (pictured).

Scientists identify ‘origin’ of cancer spread

Scientists in the UK claim to have identified a cancer cell from which all cancer growth starts. The discovery of the cell, which they are calling ‘the cell of origin’ sheds new light on what fuels cancer growth and potentially how to stop it. Lead researcher Professor Michael P Lisanti said: “If, as we believe, we have found the beginning of the road, we may have to press the reset button on how we treat cancer with drugs.”

Future Leaders in Innovation, Enterprise and Research

The Academy of Medical Sciences has announced the first participants of its novel Future Leaders in Innovation, Enterprise and Research (FLIER) Programme. Seventeen participants from organisations across the life sciences landscape have been selected for the first round of the prestigious FLIER leadership programme.

Healthcare: a two-day look to the future

A former Secretary of State for Health, the Rt Hon Patricia Hewitt, is confirmed to give a welcome address at Future Healthcare International Exhibition and Conference at Olympia. Future Healthcare 2019 is organised in association with UKIHMA, a UK government trade promotion organisation jointly funded by the Department for International Trade, the Department of Health and NHS England.

Respiratory infections: revised BSMT conference programme

The next British Society for Microbial Technology (BSMT) Annual Scientific Conference, entitled Respiratory Microbiology – A Day of Inspiration, will take place on Thursday 16 May 2019 at the RAF Museum Hendon. Some revisions to the programme have been made as outlined below.

Statistical quality control: setting IQC targets

The third in his Pathology in Practice series of articles on internal quality control, which will appear in the February 2019 issue, will see Stephen MacDonald continue his overview of process design with a look at defining process stability and setting target values.