Laboratory

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Mass spectrometry-based metabolomics

A new technique to understand metabolic pathways

Mass spectrometry-based metabolomics has emerged as a powerful tool to help study chemical ecology. Recent advances in the technique make it possible to study microbial interactions from complex communities. Laia Castaño-Espriu outlined the role and benefits of MS in this context in her presentation ‘Analysis of microbial ecology by mass spectrometry-based metabolomics techniques’, at the…

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Rapid diagnostics

The clinical potential of POCT

In 2019, the Central Laboratory of the Institute for Clinical Chemistry and Pathobiochemistry at the Klinikum rechts der Isar of the Technical University Munich, headed by Professor Peter B Luppa, organised the 4th of the internationally renowned Munich Point-of-Care Testing Symposiums. Dr Andreas Bietenbeck is senior physician at the Institute which for many years has been focusing on…

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Revealing innovation potential of new antibiotics

Using proteomic profiling to accelerate drug development

The fight against bacterial infections, especially those caused by resistant pathogens, is in full swing with the search for new antibiotic agents. The aim is to identify substances that attack the pathogens in a truly novel way. The team at the Center for Systems-Based Antibiotic Research (Cesar) at Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) has described in two publications how assess if a new antibiotic…

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Challenges in acute care

POCT: Understanding sources of error

In an emergency, point-of-care-testing can provide results in minutes. However, sources of error must be understood to ensure result accuracy and confident diagnosis (particularly important during the current pandemic). Medical teams frequently use POCT devices to assess acutely ill patients; a hospital’s diagnostic laboratory is responsible for the analysers, plus training non-laboratory…

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POCT for the head

New device detects traumatic brain injury 'on the spot'

A method for detecting traumatic brain injury at the point of care has been developed by scientists at the University of Birmingham. Using chemical biomarkers released by the brain immediately after a head injury occurs, researchers are able to pinpoint when patients need urgent medical attention. This saves time in delivering vital treatment and avoids patients undergoing unnecessary tests where…

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Testing strategy re-evaluated

COVID-19 testing at random? Here's a better idea

As COVID-19 infections begin to rise again, a novel testing strategy proposed by researchers at the University of Oxford at the start of the pandemic has become urgent once again. The strategy aims to bring the virus’s reproduction number (‘R’) down to below 1, by concentrating testing resources on particular groups in the population that are most likely to spread the infection to others,…

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Histology/cytology equipment

Optimise pathology workflow with Hamamatsu whole slide imaging solutions

Hamamatsu Photonics understand the benefits and challenges of whole slide imaging systems. For over 15 years, we have been working to deliver robust and reliable scanners with optimal image quality. Our NanoZoomer whole slide scanner series quickly transform entire histology and cytology glass slides into diagnostic-quality digital images for duplication, annotation, storage, retrieval, and image…

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New tool discovered

Gut microbiome: Crohn’s disease bacteria grown in the lab

Several thousand strains of bacteria live in the human gut. Some of these are associated with disease, while others have beneficial effects on human health. Figuring out the precise role of each of these bacteria can be difficult, because many of them can’t be grown in lab studies using human tissue. This difficulty is especially pronounced for species that cannot live in oxygen-rich…

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Coronavirus

Lab-made virus mimics COVID-19 virus

Airborne and potentially deadly, the virus that causes COVID-19 can only be studied safely under high-level biosafety conditions. Scientists handling the infectious virus must wear full-body biohazard suits with pressurized respirators, and work inside laboratories with multiple containment levels and specialized ventilation systems. While necessary to protect laboratory workers, these safety…

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Triple-negative breast cancer

Target validation for drug development against aggressive breast cancer

At around 30.5 percent, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in countries of the industrialized world. The number of cases has doubled since the 1980s: about 69,000 times a year women are diagnosed with breast cancer. Triple-negative breast cancer is a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer. As important receptors are missing here, treatment options and prognosis for such…

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Blood testing for astronauts

Health in space: a mini-lab for zero gravity

Nanoelectronics and digital technologies R&D and innovation hub Imec recently received NASA funding to test a new technology in a gravity-free environment. Eventually, this will enable astronauts to perform blood tests to monitor their health. We discussed the project and technology with Nicolas Vergauwe, CEO of miDiagnostics, the Leuven firm that developed the diagnostic device, and Susana B…

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COVID-19 diagnostics

SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibody test receives FDA Emergency Use Authorization

Beckman Coulter announced that its Access SARS-CoV-2 IgG assay has received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA). Beckman Coulter has already shipped tests to more than 400 hospitals, clinics and diagnostics laboratories in the U.S., and has begun distribution of the new antibody test globally to countries that accept the FDA EUA and CE Mark. The…

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Sample analysis

Next-generation analytical lab software strengthens data exploration

Scientists in the life sciences can now benefit from upgrades to a suite of analytical software solutions with new features designed to enhance productivity, confidence and accuracy in numerous fields, including proteomics, food safety and biotherapeutic drug development. The latest suite of software strengthens laboratory workflows across a range of applications through expanded capabilities,…

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Microbiome study

Do microscope eyepieces pose an infection risk?

Light microscope for viewing microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi are commonly found in scientific laboratories. A research team from Furtwangen University, the University of Tübingen and Carl Zeiss Vision International GmbH, Aalen, examined more closely their role as potential vectors of infectious pathogens. „Very little was known about this until now," explains the head of the…

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