RECENT NEWS

Celebrating National Collection of Type Cultures’ centenary

Public Health England is the custodian of four unique collections of expertly preserved, authenticated bacteria, viruses, fungi and cell lines of known provenance for use in medical science and laboratory healthcare.

Fast detection of low-abundance proteins using far-red HI-LED lighting

Syngene has introduced a far-red HI-LED lighting option for its new design of G:BOX Chemi and G:BOX mini multi-application gel and blot imaging systems. This quick-fit, environmentally friendly lighting enables fast workflow and precise detection of IR fluorescently labelled proteins on gels and blots.

Natural killer cells and relapsed/refractory acute myeloid leukaemia

Biopharmaceutical company Kiadis and The Ohio State University (OSU) – Arthur G James Cancer Hospital and Richard J Solove Research Institute have launched a first-in-human clinical trial in patients with relapsed/refractory acute myeloid leukaemia (R/R AML) with off-the-shelf natural killer (NK) cells manufactured using Kiadis’ FC21 mbIL21 feeder cells and proprietary universal donor platform. The trial is expected to provide further clinical proof-of-concept of Kiadis’ K-NK003 product.

New Health and Care Professions Council chief executive appointed

The appointment of John Barwick as the new chief executive of the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) has been ratified by the organisation’s Council. Christine Elliott (HCPC chair) said, “We were overwhelmed with excellent candidates for the post of chief executive. John’s passion, leadership and vision shone through, and he was compelling in his strategy for the future direction of our organisation.

Real-world relevance of artificial intelligence in pathology

Proscia, a provider of artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled digital pathology software, has released the findings of a new study on the first deep-learning system with proven accuracy in real laboratory environments. Published in Scientific Reports, a journal from Nature Research, the study is the largest AI validation study conducted in pathology to date and supports the growing impact of AI in cancer diagnosis.

Research into ‘zombie cells’ receives Heart Research UK funding

A project at King’s College London aiming to eliminate so called ‘zombie cells’ using a new group of drugs has received a grant of over £125,000 from the charity Heart Research UK.

Collaboration on highly sensitive analytical workflow for infectious disease diagnosis

Thermo Fisher Scientific and NanoPin Technologies have entered into a collaborative relationship to advance blood-based infectious disease detection technology through the development of highly sensitive liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS)-based workflows.

Comprehensive map of cancer genomes

A collaborative global scientific effort, which includes a group of researchers from the University of Glasgow, has completed the most comprehensive study of whole cancer genomes to date. The work will significantly improve the fundamental understanding of cancer, signposting new directions for its diagnosis and treatment.

Prostate cancer: combined biomarkers and a risk score

Proclarix, the blood-based test for prostate cancer from Proteomedix, is now commercially available in Europe. Proclarix combines proprietary biomarkers and a risk score that accurately identifies an individual patient’s risk for clinically significant prostate cancer.

Global autoclave website launched

Priorclave has launched a new autoclave website (www.priorclave.com), which reflects the true status of this dedicated British autoclave manufacturer, with its products from small benchtop to large rectangular chamber machines in use in virtually every country around the world. The site’s simple global navigation structure enables potential customers to gain quickly an insight into Priorclave’s comprehensive range of laboratory autoclaves and research-grade steam sterilisers.

Helping to reduce anaemia in developing regions of South America

EKF Diagnostics is supporting the reduction of anaemia in developing regions of South America through the use of its point-of-care (POC) haemoglobin analysers. EKF’s Hemo Control hemoglobin analyser has been helping the reliable screening and monitoring of anaemia to fight chronic child malnutrition by South American public health programmes for a number of years. In Peru, one such programme has reduced chronic malnutrition in children under five years old from 28% to 13% since 2006. The significance of this achievement has been recognised by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Next-generation sequencing panel for constitutional cytogenetics

Oxford Gene Technology (OGT) has launched a transformative next-generation sequencing (NGS) panel for constitutional cytogenetics research. The CytoSure Constitutional NGS Panel contains the most up-to-date, hand-curated content for intellectual disability (ID) and developmental delay (DD) research. Delivering accurate and reliable detection of copy number variations (CNVs), single nucleotide variations (SNVs), insertion/deletions (indels) and loss of heterozygosity (LOH) – including in mosaic samples – the panel combines the benefits of NGS and microarrays in one cost-effective assay.

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.

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).