Laboratory

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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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Human-bacterial symbiosis

The value of the human microbiome

The human species maintains symbiotic relationships with a multitude of microbial organisms that colonise the inside as well as the surface of the body. Scientists, for a long time, underestimated the significance of these organisms for humans. By far the most bacteria of the microbiome can be found in the gastrointestinal tract, particularly in the colon.

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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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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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Organoids

Using 'mini colons' to detect weaknesses of colorectal cancer

One of the main features of colorectal cancer is that there are considerable differences between the tumors of individual patients - at genetic level and hence in terms of the response to treatment too. Researchers from the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK) have developed a method that allows these differences to be identified more effectively. They use mini colons grown in the laboratory for their…

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Going viral

Coronavirus clone produced in the lab

Researchers in virology and veterinary bacteriology at the University of Bern have cloned the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). The synthetic clones are being used by research groups worldwide to test corona samples, find antiviral drugs and develop vaccines as quickly as possible. The method developed in Bern can also be used in future to combat other highly infectious viruses. In the…

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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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Paradigm shift for point-of-Care-Testing

IT security of POCT devices – not everything is picture-perfect

Until recently, the major challenges surrounding Point-of-Care-testing (POCT) concerned the quality of the results and improving the reagents and the procedures in order to optimise patient care. In the modern clinical environment, however, IT security of POCT devices is becoming increasingly important, in Germany also due to new industry-specific safety standards under the Act on the Federal…

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Breath analysis to aid diagnoses

Breathomics: far more than hot air

In diagnostics, it sometimes makes sense to follow your nose. During the Labmed Forum at Medica 2019, Dr Beniam Ghebremedhin and Dr Simona Cristescu discussed the diagnostic potential of breathomics – the analysis of a patient’s exhaled air for disease indicators.

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Volunteering against the coronavirus

Scientists on Standby portal to support COVID-19 testing recruitment

Scientists on Standby has been rapidly conceptualised and launched in response to the COVID-19 crisis and in anticipation of the increasing pressure on UK diagnostic testing laboratories and facilities in the coming weeks and months. The portal enables scientists with relevant skills and experience to volunteer their time, expertise and support for COVID-19 screening and testing.

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IgM/IgG identification

Coronavirus antibody test in development

In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, Beckman Coulter announced that it is developing assays to identify IgM and IgG antibodies to the coronavirus or SARS-CoV-2. The assays will be designed for use on any of its high-throughput Access family of immunoassay systems, including the Access 2 and DxI series installed globally. Research has shown that after infection with SARS-CoV-2, viral…

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COVID-19 diagnostics

Corona 'pool testing' increases worldwide capacities many times over

Researchers at the German Red Cross Blood Donor Service in Frankfurt headed by Professor Erhard Seifried, and the Institute for Medical Virology at the University Hospital Frankfurt at Goethe University headed by Professor Sandra Ciesek succeeded in developing a procedure that makes it possible to immediately and dramatically increase worldwide testing capacities for detecting SARS-CoV-2.

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Oncology breakthrough

Blood test detects 50+ cancer types, often before symptoms show

Researchers have developed the first blood test that can accurately detect more than 50 types of cancer and identify in which tissue the cancer originated, often before there are any clinical signs or symptoms of the disease. In a paper published in the leading cancer journal Annals of Oncology, the researchers show that the test, which could eventually be used in national cancer screening…

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