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The Evolution of Public Health Research: Sir Austin Bradford Hill and the Cigarette-Rolling Machine

In 1923, a general practitioner in rural Virginia received a phone call from a friend, a surgeon at a hospital in Richmond. A middle-aged man with an uncommon form of cancer had been admitted to the hospital - would he like to come and see the patient, the friend asked. It was a rare opportunity to examine and diagnose an unusual illness first-hand. The country doctor was happy to visit the hospital and further his education, especially since he'd doubted seeing more than one or two similar patients over the rest of his career.

Topic: Biobanking and Biorepository, Topic: Labora..........

ISBER 2016 Annual Meeting: Sample Integrity You Can Bank On

We are pleased to announce our participation at the International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER) 2016 Annual Meeting in Berlin, Germany. This year's theme, Breaking Down Walls: Unifying Biobanking Communities to Secure our Sustainability, will focus on different fields of biobanking and how biobanking communities can act in concert to increase sustainability and to secure the future of biobanking. ISBER 2016 is the premier global event in the field of repository and specimen management and we are honored to showcase our services and products in conjunction with our parent company, Thermo Fisher Scientific at Booth #63.

Topic: Biobanking and Biorepository, Content: Blog

Managing the Cold Chain to Minimize Pre-Analytical Variability: ISBER 2015 Flashback

The value of your work lies in the integrity of your specimens. Ensuring samples are maintained at the proper temperature throughout all processes is imperative to maximal long term viability and usability. This means not only during the processing and preparation of samples for analysis or storage—it also means during the transportation process. Moving samples between physical locations is a necessary part of biobanking, whether the locations are separated by a lab, a building or even a continent.

With ISBER 2016 right around the corner, let's take a trip down memory lane and review last year's workshop, presented by Alex Esmon PhD, global cold storage product manager at Thermo Fisher Scientific, on the importance of maintaining the cold chain during sample transport.

Topic: Biobanking and Biorepository, Content: Blog

Large-Scale Freezing of Biologics: Advantages and Challenges

Biopharmaceutical companies often produce millions of units of bulk biological materials that are then distributed for clinical use. This represents a significant supply chain challenge, as these materials need to be maintained within very specific environmental parameters. Temperature, humidity, and stress during material handling must be tightly controlled to prevent degradation of quality. Large-scale freezing of biologics provides a safe and effective method of storing biological materials, but this approach comes with unique challenges.

Topic: Biobanking and Biorepository, Topic: Cold-C..........

The Growing Public Health Concern Surrounding Zika

Over the past several weeks, the Zika virus has morphed from an obscure disease into an international public health emergency, gaining global attention. This has left the public health research community with many questions; Where did the disease originate? How is it transmitted? How do we work together to develop and distribute a vaccine?

In this blog we'll explore the existing information surrounding the Zika virus and some of the challenges associated with vaccine development.

Topic: Biobanking and Biorepository, Topic: Cold-C..........

The Shift to Immunosurveillance in Breast Cancer Treatment

As we've discussed previously on the blog, bio-pharmaceutical entities are scrambling to bring new immunotherapies to the clinic, particularly in the treatment of cancers. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other regulatory agencies worldwide have already approved several immunotherapies for the treatment of various tumors, including melanoma and non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC). However, pre-clinical and clinical trials to assess the safety and efficacy of investigational immunotherapies for breast cancer have only recently begun.

Topic: Biobanking and Biorepository, Topic: Cell T..........

A Paradigm Shift in Biobanking: The Future of Cell Preservation Strategies

Once considered “old school,” cryopreservation is going through another scientific and technological development growth phase. Today’s new cryopreservation processes and products promise to deliver disruptive technologies to discovery science, stem cell research, diagnostics and personalized medicine; forever changing the future of cell preservation strategies.

Cell preservation has evolved from simple, often poorly annotated private collections of clinical specimens to highly organized and well-annotated collections maintained by commercial and not-for-profit organizations. Currently, the focus of cell preservation strategies is from government and international agencies on the activities of biobanks, specifically on the need to adopt best practices and to provide scientific, legal and ethical guidelines for the biopreservation industry. Cell preservationists still focus on fulfilling the immediate post-thaw viability needs of today’s researchers.

Topic: Biobanking and Biorepository, Topic: Cell T..........

The Evolution of Public Health Research: Snow’s Dilemma

Since the dawn of humanity, we have observed nature and hypothesized reasons behind how and why things happen. With the development of civilization, we standardized the methods with which we test, observe, and analyze nature, and this gave birth to the field of science. As far as the defined field of study now known as Epidemiology and Public Health, it can be argued that it began in 1854, with a cholera outbreak in the Soho district of London and a physician named John Snow (who knew more than nothing).

Topic: Biobanking and Biorepository, Topic: Public..........

What You Need to Know About The Biomarkers Consortium

Established in 2006, The Biomarkers Consortium (BC) is a public-private partnership whose mission is to identify, develop and seek regulatory approval for new biological markers (biomarkers) to accelerate the detection, diagnosis and treatment of many diseases. These biomarkers support the development of new preventative medical measures, medical diagnostics and drug development.

Topic: Biobanking and Biorepository, Topic: Clinic..........

Maximizing the Value of Biospecimens to Deliver New Therapies

In his position as Director and Head of Sample Management, Dr. Green is faced with a number of challenges, including AstraZeneca's transition from their research and development center in northwestern England, to a new research center to be built in Cambridge. The greater challenge going forward is, from Dr. Green's perspective, maximizing value from the biospecimens in the collection. This involves, among other issues, closing the gap in inventory management methods between the small molecule world and the world of biospecimens.

In this interview, Clive shares his perspective on biobanking, as it compares to managing a small molecule inventory, and challenges in the biospecimen supply chain.

Topic: Biobanking and Biorepository, Content: eBoo..........

Avoiding Hemolysis in Blood Sample Collection and Processing

Depending on your point of view, red blood cells, or erythrocytes, are throwaways and a nuisance, ruining a good blood specimen if the cells burst and contaminate the sample. On the other hand, erythrocytes have significant value in specific types of research, and if your objective is biobanking these cells in an intact state, then hemolysis and the need for a re-draw is equally as much to be avoided.

Erythrocyte cell membranes rupture easily, releasing hemoglobin and flooding the sample with potassium and other internal components. Fortunately, breakage of erythrocytes is easy to detect, as the hemoglobin turns the serum or plasma sample from pink to red, depending on the number of cells that have lysed.

Hemolysis is a primary driver of the need for re-draw, resulting in wasted time and resources. How can hemolysis be prevented?

Topic: Biobanking and Biorepository, Topic: Labora..........

Amazing Samples: The Window to the Soul

I’m not sure about you, but the only time I really think about what’s in my eyes is when I sit up quickly and end up seeing floaters. Well, that, and any time I think about having crystals at the head of my optic nerves… but the American Academy of Ophthalmology says there’s nothing to worry about too much.

However, just as with any other part of the body, eyes have a wealth of information, and some interesting treatments have come up around them. Last time in our Amazing Samples blog series, we discussed curry the interesting applications of bone marrow research – this time, let’s take a long hard gander at ocular research.

Topic: Biobanking and Biorepository, Topic: Cell T..........