Biomedical Laboratory Science

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Proper Patient Preparation, Specimen Collection, and Sample Handling are Critical to Quality Care

Garbage In, Garbage Out (GIGO), as the saying goes. This adage has been applied in a universal manner in addressing human errors. It certainly applies to establishing laboratory procedures that ensure care in managing the pre-analytical phase of laboratory testing. Sixty years ago, many common laboratory tests were performed manually, and thus were prone to inaccuracy and analytical mistakes. Today’s advanced technology places laboratory science in a highly automated and quality-focused environment that ensures accurate testing processes.

Total Testing Process (TTP)

Medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the U.S. The laboratory’s contribution to this major healthcare concern is only 0.33 percent.1 While this number appears small, laboratory errors do occur, not always resulting is death, but nevertheless having an important impact on patient care. As clinical laboratory scientists, we must make every effort to produce accurate test results.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Blood Tests for Prion Disease.

Two studies describe methods for detecting these misfolded proteins in human blood samples.

Thousands of Europeans may be asymptomatic carriers of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD), a fatal prion disease that is the human variant of Mad Cow disease. But now, two studies published December 21 in Science Translational Medicine describe new methods for detecting even latent vCJD, which could make blood transfusions safer and help early detection and treatment of the disease.

The blood tests accurately diagnosed 32 patients between the two studies, distinguishing those with the disease from 391 healthy controls. In both cases, the tests were 100 percent sensitive and 100 percent specific and, in one of the studies, the test managed to identify vCJD prion particles in a blood donation more than a year before the onset of symptoms—a first for prion disease detection.

Source: TheScientist

The Growing Impact of Cardiac Biomarkers in Clinical Chemistry.

Clinical chemistry measurements and calculations take into account an expansive set of analytes that reflect cardiac, liver, kidney, and other biological functions. Several of these discrete analytes are considered biomarkers, defined by Strimbu and Tavel as “a broad subcategory of medical signs [that are] objective indications of medical state observed from outside the patient which can be measured accurately and reproducibly.” In the case of cardiac biomarkers, the most common analytes are creatine kinase (CK), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), and troponin (TNI). There are pros and cons to using these common chemistry tests as definitive cardiac biomarkers. However, other chemistry analytes and even some non-laboratory tests have been identified as potential cardiac biomarkers. Providing clinicians with accurate and thorough testing is important in contributing to diagnosis and ultimately to positive patient outcomes.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Table of Critical Limits in Laboratory Medicine

Critical limits define boundaries of life-threatening values of laboratory test results. Critical results or values are those that fall outside high and low critical limits. Urgent clinician notification of critical results is the lab’s responsibility. The system of critical value reporting was first implemented in a hospital by George D. Lundberg, MD, and first published in MLO in 1972. These tables are based on three national surveys by Gerald J. Kost, MD, PhD, MS, FACB, of the University of California Davis Health System. Adapted with permission from his articles,1-4 the tables summarize critical limits used by 92 responding U.S. medical centers, including 20 trauma centers, and 39 children’s hospitals. Mean and standard deviation (SD) data are presented. The frequency with which critical limits were listed can be found in the original articles.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

MicroRNA: A Tiny Molecule Yields Big Insights Into Disease States

Regular readers of this column will know that there are two main categories of nucleic acids—DNA and RNA. They’ll also know that while for living organisms DNA acts as the genetic data repository, RNA has a messenger role (mRNAs, transcribed from DNA to direct protein synthesis). Most will also recall that there are other classes of RNA molecules, particularly tRNAs (used to tag and identify amino acids for protein synthesis) and rRNAs (structural components of the ribosome, the cellular “machinery” for protein synthesis). In addition to these, there’s increasing interest in the molecular diagnostics community in a less widely known but no less common RNA form, the microRNA or miRNA.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Scientists Fingerprint the Brain

The brain’s structural connections are unique to an individual, a new imaging technique reveals.

Every brain is unique, and scientists now have the means to pin down precisely how unique. Disease, environment, and genetic factors all influence the pattern of connections between neurons, called the local connectome. A new imaging technique quantifies differences between the local connectomes of individual brains, allowing researchers to identify a brain by its connectome “fingerprint.”

The technique uses diffusion MRI to track the movement of water molecules along pathways in the brain’s white matter, creating a fine-scale image of structural connections. The team took repeat MRI scans of a few individuals, and found that they could tell whether two local connectome fingerprints came from the same individual with 100 percent accuracy over the 17,398 identification tests they ran. The team’s findings were reported this week (November 15) PLOS Computational Biology.

Source: TheScientist

Friday, November 18, 2016

Neurometabolic Disorders Could Contribute to Depression

Impairments in the production of neurotransmitters may lead to depression in some patients, preliminary results show, opening new avenues for research.

In 2002, psychiatrist Lisa Pan, a depression and suicide prevention researcher at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), met Kyle, a 19-year-old suffering from depression (name altered to preserve confidentiality). He was among the estimated 15 percent of depression patients in the U.S. for whom treatments such as antidepressants or therapy do not help. He “had been through every available treatment” including electroconvulsive therapy, but nothing worked, Pan recalls. “At one time, he was on 17 medications simultaneously.” The teenager had attempted suicide, and doctors determined that he was at risk for similar episodes. The next step for him would be state hospitalization.

STAVING OFF DEPRESSION: Deficiencies in key compounds that help the body make
neurotransmitters may contribute to the intractability of depression in some people
Source: TheScientist

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Standardization And Implementation of Lab Policies Ensure Hemostasis Sample Quality

How many of us remember the tilt-tube method for basic hemostasis testing? Fortunately, today’s instruments have automated most of these manual steps. However, until recently, assuring sample quality in the pre-analytical phase of testing had remained a manual process and had been difficult to implement and standardize.

Several questions must be considered when evaluating the integrity of a hemostasis sample: Is the sample tube under-filled? Is the sample hemolyzed, icteric, or lipemic? If so, do the levels of the interferent impact the testing results? Is there a clot in the sample?

All labs have policies on sample acceptance and rejection. Inappropriate rejection of acceptable samples—requiring redraw—directly impacts patient care, patient satisfaction, and cost. Failing to reject inappropriate samples can lead to the reporting of erroneous results, impacting the quality of patient care and associated cost. Let’s take a look at the most common pre-analytical quality issue culprits.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Why Is My Urine Bright Yellow? Colors Changes and Causes

Normal urine should be a pale yellow color. It should be clear, without cloudiness or particle deposits.

"Why is my urine bright yellow?" is a question that can be answered if the meaning of bright yellow is clear.

This page will explain the full range of possible colors of urine and why they change. If bright yellow means neon yellow, this has a specific cause.

If anyone has concerns about urine, it is recommended that they visit a doctor. Some drugs may turn
the urine orange, brown, or green. Urine color may be used to work out hydration levels.

How to Get Rid of a Stuffy Nose: Eight Possible Treatments

Nasal congestion is a very common condition. In fact, most people get a stuffy nose from time to time.

Nasal congestion can develop when the blood vessels inside the nose become inflamed and the nasal tissues swell. Excess mucus drainage may also occur with a stuffy nose.

This article will look at eight possible treatments for a stuffy nose.

Nasal congestion is very common and can be treated in a variety of ways. A neti pot is of Indian origin
and is used to flush the sinuses. A stuffy nose should clear after 10 days. If symptoms persist, a doctor
should be consulted.

New Cancer Therapy: Food Poisoning?

Scientists at the Cancer Research Center and the University of Missouri have developed a nontoxic strain of Salmonella to penetrate and target cancer cells. Results from this study could lead to promising new treatments that actively target and control the spread of cancer.

While bacteriotherapy may sound like some new age skin treatment or colon cleanse that you hear about as part of a new Hollywood diet trend on late night infomercials, it is, in fact, a sound medical tool that researchers and clinicians utilize to treat disease. "Bacteriotherapy is the use of live bacteria as therapy to treat a medical condition, like cancer,” explains Robert Kazmierczak, Ph.D., a senior investigator at the Cancer Research Center and a postdoctoral fellow in the Division of Biological Sciences at the University of Missouri (MU) College of Arts and Science.

Color-enhanced scanning electron micrograph ofSalmonella strain (red) in cultured human
cells (yellow). [Source: NIAID]
Source: GenEngNews

Impact of Flow Cytometry on Blood Disorders

Among its many clinical uses, fluorescence-based flow cytometry aids laboratories in the diagnosis of blood cancers and other disorders. The Division of Hematopathology within the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, performs both basic and specialized hematology testing via six specialty labs. Its Cell Kinetics Laboratory, in particular, uses flow cytometry as a primary technology to diagnose leukemias and lymphomas from blood, bone marrow, fluid, and tissue specimens. Clinical diagnosis of most hematological diseases, especially malignant forms, requires clinicopathologic correlation, and flow cytometry can play an important role in pathological diagnosis. The processes employed by flow cytometry help distinguish abnormal from normal conditions and provide an expedient method of establishing clonality and aberrant antigen expression on abnormal populations.

The Cell Kinetics Lab employs 28 staff and utilizes 9 flow cytometers to manage its volume demand. The lab analyzes high volumes of mostly malignant samples sent from all over the world in addition to those from patients at Mayo Clinic. All specimens must be preprocessed, and the lab purchases monoclonal antibodies that attach to one type of cell antigen (ie, cluster of differentiation [CD]), multiples of which can be found on each cell surface. These acquired antibodies are pre-conjugated with one or more fluorescent markers, and there are many color options for each CD marker, adding flexibility to panel makeup. Monoclonal antibodies can be expensive but can have a substantial shelf life of 6 to 18 months. The Cell Kinetics Lab stocks anywhere from 70 to 80 different antibodies in refrigeration for use in flow cytometry processes.

Source: MedLabMag

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Validation of Hematology Analyzers

Perhaps the most common laboratory procedure performed for hospital patients and outpatients is complete blood count (CBC) or CBC with differential. CBC serves as a screening and diagnostic test for a wide range of conditions and diseases as well as a monitoring tool for treatment and disease status. Given its foundational nature and despite its relative simplicity, the veracity of this basic blood testing is essential. Therefore, thorough validation testing on all new hematology analyzers must be performed to ensure patient safety.

It is reasonable to assume that a newly acquired piece of diagnostic equipment would run as intended, as manufacturers perform their own validation testing to prove intended use and to fulfill regulatory requirements prior to launching a product in the market. However, the ultimate responsibility of verifying instrument performance specifications and characteristics prior to the patient testing falls to the end-user laboratory.

Source: MedLabMag

Male Birth Control Shot Shows Promise

When it comes to birth control methods, women have more options than ever before. However, for men, the choice is limited to condoms, withdrawal, and vasectomy. A new study - published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism - has established that a male birth control shot is effective at preventing pregnancy.

In the last 40 years, studies have demonstrated that reversible hormonal suppression of spermatogenesis - the process of sperm cell development - in men can prevent pregnancies in their female partners, although the commercial development of the product has been stalled.

In previous studies, testosterone management in men demonstrated birth control efficacy comparable with female methods. However, participants had to be given much greater doses than are typically found in the body and the method caused long-term adverse effects in healthy men.

While giving progesterone alongside can reduce the dose of testosterone, there have been few studies that have evaluated the efficacy and safety of such a combination. With 40 percent of all pregnancies worldwide unintended in 2012, better birth control options are required for men.

The male birth control shot may provide more choice for controlling male fertility in the future.

Evaluation of Diabetic Marker HbA1c and Anemia in the Context of Kidney Disease

Each year, more than 100,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with kidney failure, the final stage of kidney disease.1 The most common cause is diabetes, accounting for nearly 44 percent of new cases. Often, a consequence of kidney disease is anemia. This occurs when kidneys fail to generate enough erythropoietin hormone to trigger adequate red blood cell production. For decades, clinicians have successfully used the hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c or A1C) assay to monitor long-term blood glucose control for patients with chronic diabetes. More recently, researchers have studied the HbA1c assay’s use as a potential diagnostic marker for diabetes complications such as kidney disease.

The HbA1c test measures average plasma glucose—hemoglobin in a red blood cell that was combined with glucose over the previous eight to 12 weeks. The higher the HbA1c value, the greater the risk that the diabetes patient will develop kidney disease, and perhaps, anemia, a common consequence of renal disease. However, a chemically modified derivative of hemoglobin called carbamylated hemoglobin (CHb) can affect the accuracy of the HbA1c test results. Studies have shown that the formation of CHb due to abnormal urea concentration is linked to both the severity and the duration of renal failure. Research findings have inspired conflicting viewpoints on the efficacy of HbA1c test results in the presence of CHb and on the level of CHb it takes to affect results. This article explores the links between diabetes and renal failure. It discusses what research has discovered about the effect of CHb on HbA1c testing. Finally, it shows how testing technology has improved to ensure HbA1c testing accuracy.

Breast Cancer: The Body of Knowledge Grows

Scientists’ understanding of the genetics/genomics of breast cancer continues to grow; a revolution is underway both in terms of categorizing breast cancers and targeting treatment that will be effective in individual cases. New perspectives are being offered on the interpretation of biopsies, too. Here is a round-up of some very recent studies.

Genetic variants alter cells’ response to estrogen
An international study of almost 120,000 women has newly identified five genetic variants affecting risk of breast cancer, all of which are believed to influence how breast cells respond to the female sex hormone estrogen.

Estrogen acts as a trigger, binding to a molecule known as an estrogen receptor in most breast cells and triggering a cascade of signals that cause the cell to behave normally. However, the estrogen receptor is switched off in some cells and these do not respond to the hormone.

Biochemistry Lecture Notes - Uremia: Background, Pathophysiology, Etiology

Uremia is a clinical syndrome associated with fluid, electrolyte, and hormone imbalances and metabolic abnormalities, which develop in parallel with deterioration of renal function. The term uremia, which literally means urine in the blood, was first used by Piorry to describe the clinical condition associated with renal failure.

Uremia more commonly develops with chronic kidney disease (CKD), especially the later stages, of CKD, but it also may occur with acute kidney injury (AKI) if loss of renal function is rapid. As yet, no single uremic toxin has been identified that accounts for all of the clinical manifestations of uremia. A number of toxins, such as parathyroid hormone (PTH), beta2 microglobulin, polyamines, advanced glycosylation end products, and other middle molecules, are thought to contribute to the clinical syndrome.

Source: Medscape

Biochemistry Lecture Notes - Azotemia: Background, Pathophysiology, Etiology

Azotemia is an elevation of blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and serum creatinine levels. The reference range for BUN is 8-20 mg/dL, and the normal range for serum creatinine is 0.7-1.4 mg/dL.

Each human kidney contains approximately 1 million functional units known as nephrons, which are primarily involved in urine formation. Urine formation ensures that the body eliminates the final products of metabolic activities and excess water in an attempt to maintain a constant internal environment (homeostasis). Urine formation by each nephron involves 3 main processes, as follows: 
  • Filtration at the glomerular level 
  • Selective reabsorption from the filtrate passing along the renal tubules 
  • Secretion by the cells of the tubules into this filtrate 
Perturbation of any of these processes impairs the kidney’s excretory function, resulting in azotemia.

Source: Medscape

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Cervical Screening of ‘Limited’ Use in Under 25s

The National Cervical Screening Program (NCSP) has been successful for the most part, except for those aged 20-24, according to a new report from Cancer Council NSW.

Incidence of squamous cell carcinoma and overall cervical cancer rates have declined dramatically in women aged 25-plus since the inception of the program in 1991.

“Squamous cell cancer rates in women aged 25 years or more fell by more than 50% but have now plateaued among women aged 25-69 years,” writes Megan Smith and Professor Karen Canfell in the MJA.

But among those aged 20-24, screening has made no difference to cancer rates.

Source: 6minutes

Cancer Awareness Month

With a broken heart ๐Ÿ’” and tears ๐Ÿ˜ข in my eyes, nothing is more painful than trying to smile and remain positive, but after many tests, being poked and prodded, chemo and radiation, the person physically changes and they suffer with sadness. I know many of you do not give a hoot about this message because, of course, the cancer has not affected you. You do not know what it's like to have fought the fight, or have a loved one who leads or has led a battle against cancer. ๐Ÿ’œ

For all the men and women I know, I ask you a small favor- I know only some of you will do it. If you know someone who has led a battle against cancer, still struggling, or who passed, please add this to your status for one hour as a mark of support, respect, and remembrance. ๐Ÿ’š ❤️

Copy and paste to support those affected by cancer. Do Not Share. From your phone or tablet, hold your finger on the message to copy and paste.

Source: Facebook

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Unnecessary Endoscopies Could Be Avoided with Fecal Blood Test

The majority of primary care patients referred for bowel endoscopy do not have significant colorectal disease (SCD), and are unnecessarily exposed to a small but realistic risk of severe endoscopy-associated complications.

Serious colorectal diseases, including colorectal cancer, are difficult to diagnose as the signs and symptoms are not always clear.

The Quantum Blue rapid test allow for the immediate measurement of fecal calprotectin
(Photo courtesy of Bรผhlmann Laboratories).
Source: LabMedica

Sensation of Touch Restored After More Than a Decade of Paralysis

Surgeons have restored the sensation of touch to a paralyzed man using a robotic arm connected to electrodes in his brain.

Twelve years ago a promising science student, Nathan Copeland, was involved in a car accident that left him paralyzed from the neck down. He went from being an active 18-year old to being quadriplegic. He was unable to feel anything from the chest down and could not move his lower arms and legs, so needed assistance with all his daily activities.

Source: NewsMedical

What Does Breast Cancer Feel Like? Lumps and Pain Explained

In breast cancer, abnormal genes cause breast cells to grow uncontrollably and not die off as they normally would.

If these cells grow slowly and don't invade other tissues, they cause benign tumors. These are lumps that are not usually considered dangerous to health.

When abnormal cells grow at a more rapid rate and begin to invade surrounding tissues, they form cancerous tumors. These lumps pose a serious risk and can spread, creating new tumors throughout the body.

When breast cancer first appears, it can cause a wide range of different symptoms. Always seek
medical attention if in doubt about possible breast symptoms. Breast cancer can also affect men.

Monday, October 3, 2016

From 230,000 patients to extinct in 15 years: pathology and new drugs key to defeating hepatitis C

An estimated 230,000 Australians have chronic hepatitis C, and a quarter of cases are undiagnosed.

Hepatitis C inflames the liver and unlike the A and B viruses there is no vaccine available. Pathology is important for diagnosing the virus.

Many people with hepatitis C may not experience symptoms, but left untreated the disease can cause cirrhosis (scarring of the liver), which in a small number of cases can lead to liver cancer.

Source: knowpathology

Monday, September 26, 2016

Sauna: What are the Health Benefits?

Saunas have been used for hundreds of years and still continue to be popular today. Many people enjoy sitting in a sauna to unwind and relax.

Spending time in a sauna can feel good, and there may be additional health benefits to be had beyond relaxation.

Many people enjoy relaxing and unwinding in a sauna. Steam rooms involve high humidity and
moist heat as opposed to the dry heat of traditional Finnish saunas. It is vital to drink plenty of
water after using a sauna.

A Lab Manager's Guide to Getting Ahead

Being motivated and showing resourcefulness are what separate a star from the pack

Hard Work, Resourcefulness, and Great Mentors Required

When Lydia Coleman was 25 years old and worked as a staff member in a laboratory, before a surveyor’s visit she asked her then-boss whether managers had done anything in advance to prepare for the survey and had thought about what kinds of questions might arise. Coleman’s boss immediately realized that her employee’s questions showed initiative and enthusiasm for making the workplace run more smoothly, and she expressed her opinion of what a good idea that was. Six years later, Coleman had showed so much enterprise and learned enough to apply for and land a laboratory supervisor’s position, and for the past 35 years she has been either a manager or a director in the health care laboratory industry.

Source: LabManager

Transfusion-Related Thrombocytopenia In a Chronic Renal Failure Patient

Hemostasis is a process to stop bleeding that requires coordinated activities of vascular, platelet, and plasma factors. Under normal conditions, blood vessel injury will trigger endothelial cells to secrete factors that promote adhesion and activation of platelets. First, platelets bind to von Willebrand’s factor (vWF) secreted by endothelial cells through vWF receptors. Attached platelets then undergo degranulation and release factors such as serotonin, which causes vascular constriction. Activated platelets also release other mediators to attract additional platelets for aggregation at the injured sites.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Swarms of Magnetic Bacteria Could be Used to Deliver Drugs to Tumors

One of the biggest challenges in cancer therapy is being able to sufficiently deliver chemotherapy drugs to tumors without exposing healthy tissues to their toxic effects.

Researchers funded in part by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) have recently shown that magnetic bacteria are a promising vehicle for more efficiently delivering tumor-fighting drugs. They reported their results in the August 2016 issue of Nature Nanotechnology.

Illustration showing magnetic bacteria delivering drugs to a tumor.
Source: LabManager

Friday, September 23, 2016

What Do We Really Need To Know About Platelets And The Laboratory?

What is a platelet? The anatomic definition of a platelet is well established: According to, it is “an irregular, disc-shaped element in the blood that assists in blood clotting. During normal blood clotting, the platelets clump together (aggregate). Although platelets are often classed as blood cells, they are actually fragments of large bone marrow cells called megakaryocytes.” This definition, however, does not do justice to our rapidly expanding understanding of the platelet’s roles, functions, and laboratory applications.

What the numbers say
Laboratories with the ability to detect platelet function defects still tend to focus on identifying the two percent of the population that have heritable platelet function defects and von Willebrand Disease.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Curiosity About Cigarettes, Cigars Falling among Students

Fewer middle and high school students in the United States have ever used or are curious about using cigarettes or cigars, according to new research published in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease.

However, the study - conducted by researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) - identified no change in the percentage of American students who have ever used or are curious about smokeless tobacco.

Researchers find fewer students are curious about using cigarettes and cigars.

Research Antibody Reproducibility

It’s All About Validation

The reproducibility of scientific studies has become a major issue, leading to a lack of trust in scientific results from the academic and pharmaceutical research communities. While issues around reproducibility have been discussed for years, calls for action have been infrequent and half-hearted. Beginning in about 2012, a number of articles, letters, and editorials started appearing in Nature, Science and other publications, with some going so far as to call this a “reproducibility crisis.”

The lack of consistent research on antibody validation has contributed to the scientific reproducibility
Source: genengnews

Cancer: Shutting Down Fat Synthesis In Cancer Cells Stunts Tumor Growth

Tumors have a voracious appetite for fat and rely on hastened fat synthesis in cancer cells to satisfy their need. Now, a new study shows it is possible to use drugs to shut down fat synthesis in cancer cells to stunt tumor growth without harming healthy cells.

A report on the study is published in the journal Nature Medicine.

The discovery - by researchers at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, CA, and collaborators - represents a new frontier in the search for targeted treatments against cancer, a leading cause of disease and premature death worldwide.

The researchers found cells treated with a placebo produced more fat (red, on left) than cells treated
with the enzyme inhibitor (right). Image credit: Salk Institute

This Type Of Vitamin E Could Predict Your Risk For Alzheimer's—And You're Probably Not Getting Enough Of It

Vitamin E is essential for normal neurological function, according to a 2013 Journal of Internal Medicine study, which found that low levels of some types of the vitamin could help predict your risk for Alzheimer's disease. Looking to take back control of your health? 

Some types? That's right: There are different types of vitamin E. In fact, there are 8 varieties or "isoforms" of E, and research suggests your brain needs all of them for optimal health and function.

Hepatitis C: Signs and Symptoms

When the liver becomes inflamed due to infection, disease, drugs, poisons, or excessive alcohol, it is referred to as hepatitis. Infectious hepatitis commonly includes hepatitis A, B, or C. All of these forms are caused by viral infections.

The liver is a two-lobed organ found in the upper-right part of the torso. It is responsible for many functions and substances within the body,

Hepatitis occurs when the liver becomes inflamed due to infection, disease, drugs, poisons, or
excessive alcohol. HCV can spread through needle sharing. Testing for HCV is important if a
patient is experiencing any of the symptoms.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Is Fully Integrated LC-MS/MS The Future For The Routine Clinical Lab?

Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) is an analytical chemistry technique that combines the physio-chemical separation capabilities of liquid chromatography (via conventional chromatography within a column) with the analytic power of mass spectrometry. It allows the user to properly ascertain the individual mass/charge ratio of analytes present in a chromatographic peak. 

The high throughput capabilities of this technique will bring value to the clinical lab, where time taken to analyze samples is paramount. Bringing LC-MS/MS testing into the clinical setting has been a slow process, however, the medical device industry is on the verge of a fundamental breakthrough that could help drive the adoption of this technique.

Heart Attack or Heartburn? Differences Between Types of Chest Pain

Anyone worried about chest pain should not wait to get urgent medical care. They should call for an ambulance straight away, especially if the pain is unexplained, sudden, or severe.

Heart attack pain is caused when one of the arteries supplying the heart becomes blocked. Angina is a similar chest pain caused when these arteries are narrowed by heart disease.

Heartburn is a burning pain often felt in the upper belly or lower chest. It is caused by stomach acid going back up the food pipe.

A heart attack is when there is a loss of blood supply to part of the heart muscle. Though the pain is
located in the chest, heartburn is not related to the heart in any way. Angiography, passing dye into
the heart circulation, is one way doctors test for heart attack.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Boosting the Immune System to Effect Repairs and Fight Disease

Applications from Regenerative Medicine to Gene Therapy to Antiviral Therapeutics Emphasize Self-Healing

Therapeutic interventions of various kinds try to improve the body’s capacity to defend, repair, and even cure itself. Interventions that attempt to enhance self-healing span cell-based therapy, gene therapy, small molecule drugs, biologics, and tissue engineering.

Advances in each of these areas are being followed by Allied Market Research, which has concluded that stem cell technologies look especially promising. For example, stem cell technologies are set to revolutionize the human ability to produce neural cells in abundance.

Source: genengnews

The Best Medicine Against Cholesterol And High Blood Pressure

Cholesterol is a waxy substance that comes from two sources: your body and food. Excess cholesterol can form plaque between layers of artery walls, making it harder for your heart to circulate blood.

Plaque can break open and cause blood clots. If a clot blocks an artery that feeds the brain, it causes a stroke. If it blocks an artery that feeds the heart, it causes a heart attack.

Heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases are among the leading cause of death and now kill more than 800,000 adults in the US each year. Two main reasons people have heart disease or stroke are high blood pressure and cholesterol.

Source: herb-cookbook

Why Does Alcohol Burn When You Drink It?

Anyone who's ever taken a shot of hard liquor can tell you: it burns on the way down. But it's not the alcohol itself that's burning your throat. Instead, the ethanol in the liquid is making your throat's VR1 heat receptors more sensitive, prompting them to perceive your own body temperature as hot. (Of course, this doesn't mean you should do shot after shot without fear of consequences.) Learn more about the science of alcohol with the videos below.

Here's Why Taking A Shot Of Tequila Burns Your Throat

Why Does Alcohol Burn When You Drink It? from SciShow
Source: curiosity

Without Saying A Word, This Short Six Minute Video Will Leave You Speechless!

The shock toward the meat business is a developing issue these days all around the world. Namely, its flaws have been revealed in numerous documentaries and books and have triggered a massive dissatisfaction among people.

The video below is a short fragment from a narrative called “Samsara”, which is an imaginative examination of the creation of advanced nourishment. It will provide fundamental data on pork, poultry, and cattle facilities, as well as a grocery store, followed by a view of the conditions in a fast food restaurant. It ends in a doctor’s office.

Source: herb-cookbook

Friday, September 16, 2016

Sister Donates Eggs To Gay Brother

The idea that families come in all shapes and sizes has never been more true with adoption, same-sex relationships and the introduction of new ways to conceive.

Writer Samuel Leighton-Dore, 25, spoke to Mirror Online about his decision for his sister to have his child - and has opened up about the negative response it has received.

Samuel, from Sydney, is in a relationship with photographer and designer Bradley Tennant but doesn't want to miss out on their baby having both of their family's genes.

As a compromise, his sister Bronte has agreed to donate her eggs so that the couple can have the family they've always wanted.

Cancer: Four-Stranded DNA Could Help Develop Targeted Treatments

By taking a closer look at four-stranded versions of DNA inside the genome of human cells, scientists have discovered some potential new avenues for targeted cancer treatments. They found that the quadruple helix structures occur in DNA regions that control genes, especially cancer genes.

The researchers, from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, report their findings in the journal Nature Genetics.

Targeted cancer therapies are currently the focus of much research and development into new anticancer treatments.

They are an important area of precision medicine - where information about an individual patient's genes and proteins are used to prevent, diagnose, and treat disease.

The aim of targeted therapy is to attack cancer cells without affecting healthy cells.

'Tracking Bugs' Reveal Secret of Cancer Cell Metabolism

One of the hallmarks of cancer is a change in cellular metabolism, a series of chemical reactions so fundamental to life that their alteration makes cancer cells seem creepily malevolent.

Healthy cells take in blood sugar (glucose molecules), which they break down to extract energy. This happens in two phases—one phase that takes place in the cytoplasm and a subsequent phase that occurs inside cellular compartments called mitochondria.

Cancer cells are thought to mostly skip the mitochondrial phase, compensating for the energy they forgo by revving up the first phase and breaking down glucose rapidly to secrete large quantities of lactate—a form of partially digested glucose that has long been regarded as a "waste product.

Metabolism is nothing if not complicated. Some of the major metabolic pathways are shown in this
metro-style map.

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