RECENT NEWS

Increased flexibility and efficiency offered in molecular testing

Hologic has announced that new products within the Panther Scalable Solutions (PSS) portfolio are now commercially available in the United States and Europe. These new optional configurations, which represent Hologic’s next generation of molecular diagnostics innovation, will allow laboratories to scale their instrumentation to meet testing demands both in their current workflow and their future growth plans.

Should practising biomedical scientists be involved in research?

Biomedical scientists are trained to evaluate evidence, solve problems, think creatively and reflect on their own practice and their department’s performance. In a routine diagnostic setting, these skills are practised daily by all grades of pathology staff. It would be taken for granted that this constitutes good professional practice, but they are also the attributes required to be an effective researcher, as Sarah Pitt explains.

New cervical screening test: roll-out will save more lives

Hundreds of lives could be saved each year in England, following the introduction of a more sensitive cervical screening test. NHS experts said that there is “potential” to eliminate cervical cancer completely thanks to the change in primary test within the NHS Cervical Cancer Screening Programme, combined with the effectiveness of the HPV vaccine.

Recent study shows sepsis rates double previous estimates

A new study, the most comprehensive to date, on the incidence of sepsis and sepsis deaths, was published recently in The Lancet. It confirms that the actual rates are double those previously estimated, and that 20% of global deaths are due to this under-reported but deadly condition. The Global Burden of Sepsis study, led by Dr Kristina Rudd and Dr Mohsen Naghavi of the University of Washington and the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), is the first to produce data according to age, sex, location, and the underlying cause of sepsis.

Clinical and laboratory haemostasis: annual UK NEQAS BC meeting

UK NEQAS for Blood Coagulation organises a scientific meeting (Clinical and Laboratory Haemostasis) on an annual basis. This comprises presentations from nationally and internationally renowned speakers, in addition to data from survey distributions and open debate on scheme issues. Around 350 delegates have previously attended each year.

Faster, more accurate and efficient automated tissue dissection

Xyall has been identified as a next-generation global innovator in molecular pathology, winning investment of €5 million from partners such as Sioux Technologies, BOM Brabant Ventures, the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, and other private investors. This will fast-track the development, manufacture and commercialisation of a fully automated, high-precision tumour tissue dissection solution for global molecular pathology laboratories.

Reliable somatic copy number variation detection for chronic lymphocytic leukaemia

Oxford Gene Technology (OGT), a Sysmex Group company, has launched its SureSeq CLL + CNV Panel — the company’s latest high-quality, next-generation sequencing (NGS) offering for research into chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL). The SureSeq CLL + CNV Panel fulfils the desire for reliable copy number variation (CNV) detection by NGS, including trisomy 12 and loss of heterozygosity (LOH), as well as somatic variants, even at low allele frequency. The comprehensive panel covers all the most up-to-date, evidence-based genes and genomic aberrations for CLL, and will enable laboratories to simplify their laboratory workflow by replacing multiple assays with a single one.

Increasing global demand for rapid POC influenza diagnostic tests

Diagnosis of infectious diseases such as influenza is seeing a sea change due to technological innovations and development of next-generation molecular tests such as nuclear acid amplification tests (NAATs) and advanced immunoassays. The global rapid influenza diagnostic tests market size is expected to grow over 8% compound annual growth rate during the forecast period (2019–2029).

New head of research and development appointed at FFEI

FFEI, a global developer of award-winning digital imaging solutions, has appointed Paul Bulpitt as Head of Research & Development. This is a new role within FFEI, reflecting the company’s continued growth in developing innovative digital imaging projects. Paul will be responsible both for FFEI’s life sciences and digital inkjet business R&D teams, to drive the development of world-beating products for its growing number of client-based projects.

Digital transformation across Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (NNUH) has selected Swiss Post Solutions (SPS) to deliver a digital transformation solution across the trust. SPS chose IMMJ Systems to provide the Electronic Document Management (EDM) component of the overall solution, and their implementation expertise to deliver MediViewer, a next-generation digital platform enabling clinical EDMS to provide digitised clinical content and full electronic patient records at the point of care.

Genomic and molecular revolution in microbiology: a BSMT conference

The 35th British Society for Microbial Technology (BSMT) Annual Scientific Conference will be held on Thursday 14 May 2020 at the RAF Museum, Hendon, entitled The Genomic and Molecular Revolution in Microbiology: In Technology We Trust (or do we?). The theme of the conference is designed to explore how the molecular revolution in microbiology has been useful in improving patient care, and the BSMT committee organising the conference have developed a full programme of excellent speakers and relevant topics.

Internal quality control management and troubleshooting errors

The February issue of Pathology in Practice will see publication of the ninth and final article in Dr Stephen MacDonald’s series on internal quality control (IQC). Here, he looks at the actions needed when processes deviate beyond expected variation, and the troubleshooting of IQC failure, which concludes the series on statistical quality control (SQC).

DNA testing to fast track diagnosis for critically ill infants

The NHS in England is providing a new form of DNA test capable of rapidly diagnosing rare diseases for critically ill babies and children, as part of its Long Term Plan to use world-leading technologies to improve care for the sickest infants.

NCTC Centenary 2020: 100 years collaborating with the bacteriology community

The National Collection of Type Cultures (NCTC) is one of the longest established collections of microorganisms in the world; its cultures reflect the history of clinical bacterial infections from the end of the 19th century to the present day. Set up in 1920 to “provide a trustworthy source of authentic bacteria for use in scientific studies”, the remit for NCTC has remained essentially unchanged.

Future patient care at risk unless health research protected and boosted

Health research faces a crisis that could impact on patient care, says a new report led by 10 prominent figures in the NHS and academia. The Academy of Medical Sciences’ report raises the alarm about the number of research-active NHS staff who are finding it increasingly difficult to find time for research. Support for research is not helped by the widening gap between universities and the NHS.

Lipoprotein(a) and cardiovascular disease risk

Lipoprotein(a) (Lp[a]) is a modified atherogenic low-density lipoprotein particle containing apolipoprotein(a) (apo[a]). Although Lp(a) is considered to be a causal risk factor and independent genetic marker of cardiovascular disease (CVD), there is little consensus between the different national guidelines on how to use the information provided to estimate this risk accurately.

MediSieve founder honoured as MIT Technology Review’s Innovator Under 35

MediSieve is the medical device company developing ‘magnetic blood filtration’. Its technology can potentially transform the treatment of bloodborne diseases including sepsis, leukaemia and malaria in a process that is similar to dialysis.  Dr George Frodsham, CEO and founder of MediSieve, has been selected as one of MIT Technology Review’s Innovators Under 35 Europe 2019.

Haematology partnership aims to reduce the impact of sepsis in the UK

Beckman Coulter has announced that South West London Pathology (SWLP) has implemented DxH 900 haematology analysers and the Early Sepsis Indicator across the SWLP network. SWLP is an award-winning NHS pathology partnership set up by St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Croydon Health Services NHS Trust and Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. The installation enables SWLP laboratories to provide a single, integrated pathology service to more than 3.5 million people across South West London via three hospitals, 200 GP practices and 30 community healthcare sites.

Maximise PCR Success by Minimising Potential DNA Contamination

Syngene is now supplying the AirClean AC600 Series of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) workstations. Some of the workstations include high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration and all use ultraviolet (UV) irradiation to minimise the risk of airborne DNA contamination, saving scientists time by producing consistent quality DNA from their PCR.

Transformative constitutional next-generation sequencing panel developed

Oxford Gene Technology (OGT), a Sysmex Group company, has developed a breakthrough targeted next-generation sequencing (NGS) panel for constitutional cytogenetics research. The new CytoSure NGS panel – to be launched early in 2020 – will combine the strengths of microarrays and NGS to deliver a comprehensive all-in-one assay.