Biomedical Laboratory Science

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.

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