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Clinicial chemistry

Clinical chemistry has evolved far beyond its beginnings of blood and urine analysis. Advanced techniques such as enzyme measurement, electrophoresis, and immunoassays have made their impact on the field, expanding its diagnostic capabilities. Keep reading for advances in automation and clinical chemistry applications for toxicology, urinalysis and much more.

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Article • Overheard at AACC

The complexities of drug testing in urine and hair

Urine screening tests using only immunoassays are the most common procedures used to identify drug abuse. They are inexpensive, automated, and produce rapid results. But they may produce…

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Article • Preventing clinical errors

Supporting transgender health in the clinical laboratory

Clinical laboratories need to be proactive to attract transgender patients for testing and to ensure that they are comfortable with the services provided. This issue is of great importance to the…

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News • Rare but dangerous infectious disease

New target to combat Melioidosis

Researchers have identified an enzyme that is a promising new therapeutic target to combat the dangerous bacterial disease melioidosis.

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News • As good as gold

Raman spectroscopy: a wearable chemical sensor

Researchers created a special ultrathin sensor, spun from gold, that can be attached directly to the skin without irritation or discomfort. The sensor can measure different biomarkers or substances…

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News • Thermogenesis

How Alzheimer's (quite literally) fries the brain

Researchers have shown that aggregation of amyloid-beta, one of two key proteins implicated in Alzheimer’s disease, causes cells to overheat and ‘fry like eggs.’

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Article • Cancer diagnostics

Bringing liquid profiling to the clinic

Liquid profiling is offering clear benefits in terms of cancer diagnostics and targeted therapy, but challenges remain in bringing it into the clinic.

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Article • Exploring the potential of IMS

Ion mobility spectrometry: Rapid results from breath analysis

Ion-mobility spectrometry (IMS) offers opportunities for rapid diagnosis and clinical decision-making due to breath analysis. As a rapid separation tool, it has clinical value in the identification and analysis of proteins, peptides, lipids, and glycans. The tool is already used as an exhaled drug monitor for anaesthetised patients. It is flexible, portable and has use for point-of-care testing,…

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Article • Detecting Coronavirus

AI vs. Covid-19: ‘Barcode’ brings quicker test results

When patients are admitted to a hospital emergency room (ER) it is immediately vital to determine whether s/he has Covid-19. However, with a regular PCR test a result can take up to a few hours. Thus, initially, the patient must be isolated. During the height of the corona pandemic last year, researcher Ruben Deneer from Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) and clinical chemist Arjen-Kars…

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Article • Personalised medicine

'Body-on-a-chip' technology boosts drug development

Integrating laboratory functions on a microchip circuit is helping improve the cost-effectiveness of drug development. So-called ‘lab-on-a-chip’ or ‘human-on-a-chip’ technology can highlight which treatments may, or may not, work before advancing along the clinical trial process. It can also have benefits for chronic and rare diseases, as well as helping shape personalised medicine.…

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News • SARS-CoV-2 medication

Remdesivir: additional mechanism against Covid-19 discovered

When a cell is infected, SARS-CoV-2 not only causes the host cell to produce new virus particles. The virus also suppresses host cell defence mechanisms. The virus protein nsP3 plays a central role in this. Using structural analyses, researchers at Goethe University in cooperation with the Swiss Paul Scherrer Institute have now discovered that a decomposition product of the virostatic agent…

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News • Potential for rapid, accurate glycan sequencing

Enormous boost for sequencing key molecules

Using a nanopore, researchers have demonstrated the potential to reduce the time required for sequencing a glycosaminoglycan — a class of long chain-linked sugar molecules as important to our biology as DNA — from years to minutes. Research to be published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences shows that machine-learning and image recognition software could be…

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News • A BOLD-100 approach

Novel metallodrug shows promise in tumour treatment

BOLD-100/KP1339 is a ruthenium-based anticancer agent that has been co-developed at the University of Vienna and which has shown promising results in clinical trials in cancer patients. However, the mode of action of this metal compound has not yet been fully elucidated. Researchers from the University of Vienna and the Medical University of Vienna have now been able to demonstrate that BOLD-100…

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News • Promising agents

The effect of vitamins, steroids and potential antivirals on SARS-CoV-2

Evidence is emerging that vitamin D – and possibly vitamins K and A – might help combat Covid-19. A new study from the University of Bristol published in the journal of the German Chemical Society Angewandte Chemie has shown how they – and other antiviral drugs – might work. The research indicates that these dietary supplements and compounds could bind to the viral spike protein and so…

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News • TB test shows promise

New method to assist fast-tracking of vaccines

With Covid-19 dominating medical science and human concern, chemists at the University of Sydney have developed a method to quickly and safely synthesise protein vaccines for respiratory diseases for pre-clinical tests. Their approach can be used to test vaccine strategies against novel pandemic pathogens such as SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.

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News • Promising candidate

Single-dose nanoparticle vaccine for Covid-19 in development

Before the pandemic, the lab of Stanford University biochemist Peter S. Kim focused on developing vaccines for HIV, Ebola and pandemic influenza. But, within days of closing their campus lab space as part of Covid-19 precautions, they turned their attention to a vaccine for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. Although the coronavirus was outside the lab’s specific area of expertise,…

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Sponsored • Clinical lab equipment

Why do Mass Spectrometers need to be Medical Devices?

Clinical biochemistry laboratories face many daily challenges, including managing high sample workloads, managing clinician requests for novel tests, and generating and reporting out results in a timely fashion. Irrespective of the methodology employed, high quality and reproducible results are imperative since patient diagnosis and treatment plans are based largely on lab results. For this…

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Interview • Quality aspects

Lab automation – economic aspects and Covid-19

The academic teaching Karlsruhe Hospital, at the University of Freiburg, is the largest hospital providing tertiary care in the Middle Upper Rhine Valley. Every year, 63,000 in-patients and 180,000 out-patients are treated in the 1,500-bed facility with 50 departments and 30 out-patient clinics. Inevitably, a hospital of this size has a central lab. We spoke with Dr Horst Mayer, managing senior…

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News • For the development of CRISPR/Cas9

Nobel Prize in Chemistry goes to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2020 to Emmanuelle Charpentier from the Max Planck Unit for the Science of Pathogens, Berlin, Germany, and Jennifer A. Doudna from the University of California, Berkeley, USA, “for the development of a method for genome editing”, more commonly known as the 'gene scissors' CRISPR/Cas9.

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News • Coronavirus disease symptom

Exploring why COVID-19 makes people lose their sense of smell

Doctors have reported that partial or total loss of the sense of smell is often an early symptom of infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Now, researchers reporting in ACS Chemical Neuroscience have shown that in mice, two proteins required for SARS-CoV-2 entry are produced by cells of the nasal cavity that contribute to odor detection.

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Article • Seeking an ideal lab life

New and old challenges in laboratory medicine

The Central Laboratory at the Medical University Hanover, Germany, is prepared to handle virtually any clinical chemistry task, from a routine test to the most complex analysis. Equipped with state-of-the-art technology and thanks to a high degree of automation, the team can process more than 3,000 specimens, mostly blood and urine, in a single day. Professor Ralf Lichtinghagen, European…

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