The concept of amplifying small amounts of DNA using two oligonucleotide primers and a DNA polymerase, known as the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), was introduced to the broader scientific community in 1986. The technique was adopted quickly and became routine in just about every molecular biology lab. I remember watching a fellow graduate student set up several water baths in a row, grab three timers, and perform the cycling manually, the equivalent of a poor man’s thermal cycler. While the nature of the technique—DNA amplification—hasn’t changed, it is now an integral part of cutting-edge technologies such as nucleic acid quantification, molecular diagnostics, next-generation sequencing, and synthetic biology.
To prevent fatal drug overdose, monitor appropriate medication use and asses the possibility of addiction. Laboratory measurement of opioid drug concentration is necessary using appropriate laboratory methods. When we test for opiates we assess the patient's compliance with prescription and we look for the presence of non-prescribed or illicit opioids.
Confirmed absence of the prescribed drug is interpreted as "diversion" or the illegal sale of prescription medication, while the presence of non-prescribed drugs may be a sign of addiction, and either one can lead to discharge from the treatment program. Compliance with treatment guidelines is only proven if the patient has the prescribed drug in his/her body while he/she does not have any non-prescribed narcotics on board.
In order to isolate, study and efficiently treat a bacterial outbreak, it is vital to be able to grow, store and identify the particular strains of bacteria that cause the disease. While this can be a fairly simple task in a well stocked laboratory, it’s a lot harder to achieve out in the field, in tropical or rural areas without access to much laboratory equipment or a reliable electricity supply. New techniques for working in an electricity-free environment are therefore both interesting and very important for the treatment of tropical bacterial diseases.
One of the readers of Pathology Student blog sent in a nice quiz that he recently gave to his residents (from medicine, pediatrics and pathology) rotating through hematopathology. It will be posted in three installments so you can get through each part pretty quickly. Take a look and see how many you get right! Answers and explanations are at the end.
Make your bar more lab-like with Periodic TableWare’s line of laboratory-inspired drinkware. Based on iconic and familiar pieces like beakers and erlenmeyer flasks, Periodic TableWare’s collection covers the wine glass, martini glass (with optional hermetically-shut and colorful fluids in its base), shot glasses, plus rocks and highball glasses. Other themed pieces include a 1-litre erlenmeyer-based decanter complete with removable clamped handle and a 500 ml cocktail shaker with two rubber plug, stirring rod and custom strainer.
This book briefly describes the basic molecular bacteriology including bacterial
Chromosome, molecular techniques used in bacteriology, quorum sensing, Bacterial signal
transduction, gene transfer among bacteria in the natural environment, mitochondrial DNA,
Index and References.
This robot system can find a vein and place a needle at least as well as a human can.
a start-up in Mountain View, Calif., is hoping to automate drawing
blood and inserting IVs by combining robotics with image-analysis
Last year an international team led by Cancer Research UK scientists at our Cambridge Research Institute unveiled the results of a huge research project called METABRIC. They used advanced gene sequencing techniques to analyse the patterns of gene activity in breast tumours from thousands of women, revealing the molecular ‘signature’ of each tumour. The results showed that the disease could be divided into ten distinct subtypes, each with its own characteristics and outlook.
That work was just the beginning of the story. Since then, the researchers, led by Professor Carlos Caldas, have been delving into these subtypes in ever greater depth, trying to figure out what makes them different and how we can tackle each one more effectively.
This month the Infectious Diseases Society of America published a new article (A Guide to Utilization of the Microbiology Laboratory for Diagnosis of Infectious Diseases: 2013 Recommendations by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) and the American Society for Microbiology (ASM)) in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.
Unfortunately, despite all these positives and kudos, it not only misses the bull’s eye, it by-and-large misses the whole target.
Maintaining consistency of results over time is a challenge in laboratory medicine. Lot-to-lot reagent changes are a major threat to consistency of results.
The number of test samples required for adequate lot-to-lot validation protocols is high and may be prohibitively large, especially for low-volume or complex assays. Monitoring of the distributions of patient results has the potential to detect lot-to-lot inconsistencies relatively quickly.
Dr. Peterson, an epidemiologist and director of microbiology and infectious diseases research at NorthShore University HealthSystem, in Chicago’s northern suburbs, was looking at figures from the interim analysis of a study he and his colleagues were doing to review presumed urinary tract infections at the four-hospital system. Were they truly UTIs? Or was the laboratory reporting urine culture results in a way that led physicians to treat UTIs that weren’t clinically significant, adding to inappropriate use of antibiotics?
Laboratories in general had been constructing their own Maginot Line of sorts over the years, using culture counts of more than 1,000 or 10,000 colony-forming units per milliliter in reporting diagnostic culture of a urine specimen. That didn’t sit right with Dr. Peterson. Like the famed line in France, the lower thresholds may have seemed like a good idea at one time, but were kaput as a one-size-fits-all reporting strategy.
T. vaginalis has long been recognized as a common cause of vaginitis, known as trichomoniasis, but it has only been acknowledged as being exclusively transmitted through sexual contact within the last thirty years. However, assumptions regarding infection with T. vaginalis have affected the management of this infection. As laboratorians, it is important to understand these assumptions in order to be able to provide accurate feedback to clinicians as the demand for T. vaginalis testing increases.
Researchers from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) provide the first proof of concept data showing that a monoclonal antibody can neutralize human norovirus. This research, which could one day lead to effective therapies against the virus, was published online ahead of print in the Journal of Virology.
Most people know that water and electricity do not mix well. In fact, every electronic appliance in the world is tagged with a huge warning label not to use it near water for an obvious reason: mixing the two together could result in disastrous outcomes, such as shocks or electrocutions.
But with the ever-emerging technological advances of electronic hand washing tools, the water and electricity combination is quickly becoming the mix of choice for patients, practitioners and regulatory infection control inspectors.
Last year, scientists got the chance to solve a medical mystery — well, at least half of it. This week the final puzzle pieces fell into place, as investigators the newly identified virus to an eight-legged bug.
The mystery actually began with two Missouri farmers who came down with a strange illness in 2009. They had high fevers, diarrhea and nausea. Their platelet counts dropped dramatically, though they didn't experience any abnormal bleeding.
According to Tim Spector at King's College London, until now the only recognised biological indicator of age has been the length of telomeres – tips of chromosomes that wear down each time a cell divides, and so which shorten with age.
Now Spector and his team have identified a panel of 22 metabolites – small molecules such as fats and amino acids – that vary over time and can be used to reveal age to within 10 years.
One third of people diagnosed with throat cancer are infected with a form of the HPV virus, a study suggests. HPV (human papillomavirus) is the major cause of cervical cancer, and the virus is known to spread through genital or oral contact.
A new report reveals how wide the “self-referral” problem is: US Medicare paid $69 million for nearly a million biopsies in 2010 that it wouldn’t have been ordered if self-referring doctors ordered tests at the same rate as colleagues who use outside labs, according to the Government Accountability Office. That’s about 22 percent of what Medicare spent on the procedures that year.
Biologists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have worked out the details of a mechanism that leads undifferentiated blood stem cells to become macrophages -- immune cells that attack bacteria and other foreign pathogens. The process involves an unexpected cycle in which cell division slows, leading to an increased accumulation of a particular regulatory protein that in turn slows cell division further. The finding provides new insight into how stem cells are guided to generate one cell type as opposed to another.
The potential for cross-contamination of additives among evacuated blood tubes has led to the development of the order of draw. This practice, however, is mainly based on scarce, anecdotal, and mostly outdated literature data. Therefore, the goal of this investigation was to definitely establish whether or not the indication of a specific order of draw is still justified.
No significant difference could be observed between the first and the second serum tubes for any of the parameters. The bias calculated with Bland-Altman plots did not achieve statistical significance when the serum tube was collected after either a K2-EDTA or a sodium citrate tube.
According to this data, revision of national and supranational recommendations on blood collection by venipuncture should consider that the order of draw exerts a negligible effect on sample quality, and this aspect should no longer be considered a quality criterion when evaluating the performance of phlebotomists.
PracticeQuiz adds Review Questions for the USA Certified Phlebotomy Technician Exam.
The Certified Phlebotomy Technician exam is a computer-based test containing 110 multiple-choice questions The test-taker has 1 hour and 50 minutes to complete the exams.
The following phlebotomy topics are covered on the CPT exam:
Safety and Compliance Considerations
PracticeQuiz.com has added 45 review questions for the USA Certified Phlebotomy Technician Exam. Each practice question is originally written to simulate the exam format and is paired with an explanatory answer to help the user expand their medical knowledge and provide test takers with a gist of what exam content to expect on test day.
The Ministry of Health (MoH) in Saudi Arabia has announced an additional laboratory-confirmed case of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection in the country.
The patient is a 66 year-old man from Asir region with an underlying health condition. He is currently in critical but stable condition. In addition, a Qatari patient earlier confirmed with MERS-CoV infection, who was being treated in the United Kingdom died on 28 June 2013.
Globally, from September 2012 to date, WHO has been informed of a total of 81 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV, including 45 deaths.
"My sister Laura and I thought it might be fun to decorate some of our handmade gifts this year with a little molecular embroidery. We decided to make up a little quickie free pattern for everyone with our two favorite molecules – caffeine & water."
The study, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, surveyed 1,089 men who did not have a history of prostate cancer and were 40 to 74 years old. The survey, conducted about one month after the task force released the new recommendation, measured men’s initial response to the recommendation. Men were shown the recommendation and asked to what extent they agreed or disagreed with it and when/if they planned to get a PSA test. Men were also asked whether or not they were confident that the recommendation was based on the latest research.
Men plan to continue getting prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests despite recommendations that suggests men should not be screened, according to a new study.
Recent technical developments have focused on the full automation of urinalyses, however the manual microscopic analysis of urine sediment is considered the reference method. The aim of this study was to compare the performances of the LabUMat-UriSed and the H800-FUS100 with manual microscopy, and with each other.
Study group have identified a type of delivery system by platelets in the form of platelet microparticles delivering functional microRNA to endothelial cells. The delivery, it appears, may be a relatively novel process of regulation of gene expression in endothelial cells and potentially other nucleated cells of the body.
Infectious Diseases Society of America, American Society for Microbiology
Collaborate to Guide Best Use of Diagnostic Lab Tests
A new guide developed by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) and the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) will help physicians appropriately and accurately use laboratory tests for the diagnosis of infectious diseases. Laboratory test results drive approximately two-thirds of physicians' medical decisions.
A UK team is building a synthetic chromosome to be inserted into the world's first synthetic yeast.
Teams worldwide are making the other parts of its genome which will be assembled to make the yeast strain Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
Synthetic biology involves assembling artificial genes to create new materials in a similar way that engineers build machines using many parts. Some even think it can form the basis of a new industrial revolution