RECENT NEWS

New therapeutic options for inflammatory bowel conditions

New therapeutic options for inflammatory bowel conditions

A single protein from a worm parasite may one day offer new therapeutic options for treating inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis (pictured), which avoid the potentially serious side effects of current immunosuppressant medications. The study, published recently in Nature Communications (A structurally distinct TGF-β mimic from an intestinal helminth parasite potently induces regulatory T cells), demonstrates the discovery of a distinct new worm protein that mimics the human cytokine transforming growth factor- β (TGF-β).
Shaping the future of medical technology in Leeds

Shaping the future of medical technology in Leeds

Leeds Beckett University and global research and development company Axxonet Global have announced an official partnership which will see the organisations collaborate on cutting-edge medical diagnostics and technology, forensic science and digital security projects.
Determining measurement uncertainty using IQC

Determining measurement uncertainty using IQC

In the fourth in the series of Pathology in Practice articles on aspects of determining measurement uncertainty (see page 19 of the November issue), Stephen MacDonald considers internal quality control (IQC), the most commonly used method to determine MU, and focuses on imprecision.
Harvey’s Gang: out of the mouths of babes

Harvey’s Gang: out of the mouths of babes

Harvey’s Gang invites youngsters with cancer and other serious illnesses to become trainee biomedical scientists for a day, and tour pathology laboratories with their families. Now taking place in a number of NHS hospitals around the country, Harvey’s Gang laboratory tours were launched at Worthing Hospital when leukaemia sufferer Harvey Baldwin asked what happened to his blood samples.
Personalised cellular immunotherapies using regulatory T cells

Personalised cellular immunotherapies using regulatory T cells

TxCell recently announced new preclinical data in a presentation at the 18th Congress of the European Society for Organ Transplantation (ESOT), held in Barcelona last September. An oral presentation on alloantigen-specific regulatory T-cells (Treg) generated with a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) reported on development of a CAR-Treg-based cellular immunotherapy for the prevention of graft rejection in the context of solid organ transplantation.
Ratio test and risk assessment of pre-eclampsia

Ratio test and risk assessment of pre-eclampsia

A recently completed randomised controlled trial evaluated the real life performance and clinical utility of the Roche Elecsys sFlt-1/PlGF ratio test in the guidance of admission of patients with suspicion of pre-eclampsia (PE), a life-threatening condition in pregnant women.
Programming cells to fight disease

Programming cells to fight disease

New research has shown that ribonucleic acid (RNA) can be genetically engineered to allow scientists to programme the actions of a cell. As well as fighting disease and injury in humans, this technique could also be used to control plant cells and reverse environmental and agricultural issues, making plants more resilient to disease and pests. In this research, undertaken at the University of Warwick, Professor Alfonso Jaramillo and his team have shown that these molecules can be produced and organised into tailor-made sequences of commands, similar to codes for computer software.
High standards of practice recognised in Sheffield

High standards of practice recognised in Sheffield

A biomedical scientist based at the Northern General Hospital has won a prestigious award from the Science Council for continuing to meet high professional standards in her practice. Daisy Shale, who has a background in clinical chemistry, received the award in recognition of the exemplary standards she has set as a senior medical examiner’s officer.
Coagulation services supplied to largest pathology group in the NHS

Coagulation services supplied to largest pathology group in the NHS

As part of an overall managed service contract to support the largest pathology group in the UK, North West London Pathology (NWLP), announced recently by Abbott, Stago UK is to be the third-party supplier providing haemostasis solutions.
Autoclave manufacturer wins prestigious US contract

Autoclave manufacturer wins prestigious US contract

The largest and most recent export contract won by Priorclave is for shipment to the USA of nine research-grade autoclaves destined for the campus of California State University, Fullerton, and will be used by the faculty and students in the Department of Biological Science and Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.
Multiplex test for chickenpox, herpes and syphilis receives recognition

Multiplex test for chickenpox, herpes and syphilis receives recognition

SpeeDx has received the CE-IVD mark for its PlexPCR VHS multiplex quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) test. The test offers a single-well solution to cover the detection and differentiation of the main causes of genital and oral lesions: herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2 (HSV-1, HSV-2), Treponema pallidum (syphilis) and varicella zoster virus (VZV).
Limiting the use of antibiotics: the Public Health England campaign

Limiting the use of antibiotics: the Public Health England campaign

Public Health England has launched a new campaign designed to rein in inappropriate use of antibiotics, as estimates show that around 5000 people in England alone die every year because of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
Determining measurement uncertainty by Internal Quality Control

Determining measurement uncertainty by Internal Quality Control

In the November issue of Pathology in Practice, the next in Stephen MacDonald’s series of articles on measurement uncertainty (MU) will approach the most commonly used method to determine MU in pathology laboratories, focusing on imprecision as the determinant of MU. So far in this series the measurand has been defined, the assay modelled, assay variance, as captured by IQC, shown to be the most significant contributor to what was being quantified, and the only contributor required to be considered.
Harvey’s Gang: an update

Harvey’s Gang: an update

Harvey’s Gang invites youngsters with cancer and other serious illnesses to become trainee biomedical scientists for a day, and tour pathology laboratories with their families. Now taking place in a number of NHS hospitals around the country, Harvey’s Gang laboratory tours were launched at Worthing Hospital when leukaemia sufferer Harvey Baldwin asked what happened to his blood samples.
Flow cytometry educational programme

Flow cytometry educational programme

Beckman Coulter will give a keynote industry presentation on the diagnosis of haematolymphoid malignancies at this year’s European Society for Clinical Cell Analysis (ESCCA) meeting, which takes place in the Porto Palace Conference Centre & Hotel, Thessaloniki, Greece, on 24– 27 September 2017. The role of flow cytometry in 24/7 immune monitoring of trauma patients, analysis of rare abnormal leucocytes and assessment of immune deficiencies will be demonstrated and discussed in a range of educational programmes organised by the company.
New genetic test for cancer recurrence

New genetic test for cancer recurrence

Researchers have discovered a new genetic test which could help predict cancer recurrence, paving the way for more precise, personalised treatments. Mitochondrial genes can be checked routinely in biopsies of patients diagnosed with various tumour types, including breast, lung, ovarian or gastric cancers. And they prove more accurate than current methods of predicting a patient’s response to treatment.
Kidney research using a single-cell RNA-Seq system

Kidney research using a single-cell RNA-Seq system

Scientists at the Epigenetics in Human Health and Disease Laboratory, Monash University, Australia, have adopted Dolomite Bio’s Single Cell RNA-Seq system to further their research into animal models of diabetic nephropathy (pictured). Mark Ziemann, research fellow and next-generation sequencing specialist, explained: “Previously, we’ve run bulk RNA sequencing on these animal models, and discovered a lot of variability coming from different cell types in the kidney. Single cell RNA-Seq will help us disentangle the major cell types involved in the disease from those which are not, and determine which cells interact with the immune system.
Pathology on display and in practice

Pathology on display and in practice

In just a few days (24–27 September) the biennial Biomedical Science Congress event will return to the International Convention Centre in Birmingham. A superb, diverse scientific programme will be supported by perhaps one of the largest gatherings of diagnostics, technological and support companies and organisations in pathology and laboratory medicine. Among this eclectic mix of commercial interest and expertise will be found members of the team responsible for Pathology in Practice (Stand F19). They will be keen to hear your views on the magazine’s current content. If you are not already a registered reader, they will also provide encouragement for you to sign up to receive this free quarterly publication, which reflects advances to be found across the full spectrum of biomedical science disciplines, from both a commercial and scientific perspective. Registration is quick and straightforward, and can be effected online at www.pathologyinpractice.com/register
Detecting gene mutations in lung cancer

Detecting gene mutations in lung cancer

A simple test that can detect gene mutations in tumour DNA from blood samples is giving new choices to lung cancer patients with faster diagnosis and improved access to life-changing drugs. Traditionally, lung cancer diagnosis has relied solely on lung biopsies, an invasive procedure which many patients are too unwell to tolerate. However, a new EGFR mutation test enables the use of a liquid biopsy from blood alongside or instead of the lung biopsy to identify genetic abnormalities in the EGFR gene associated with lung cancer.
Congress: An investment in learning and development

Congress: An investment in learning and development

An investment in learning and development exactly sums up the IBMS Congress, which returns to the International Convention Centre in Birmingham later this month (24–27 September). Change is happening in pathology at a pace not previously encountered, and many biomedical scientists are extending their knowledge and skills beyond their own specialty as services and departments merge and technologies are shared across disciplines.

Upcoming Events

Biosafety Practitioner Level 1 Training Course

Public Health England
15-19 January 2018

British Society for Microbial Technology Annual Scientific Conference

Public Health England, Colindale, London
18 May 2018

Pathology Horizons 2018 Conference

Lough Erne Resort, Co. Fermanagh, Northern Ireland
September 13-15

Microbe 2018

Hilton Hotel, Sheffield
21-23 September 2018

Latest Issue

Pathology In Practice

Pathology In Practice

Aug 2017

Screening for haemoglobinopathies

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