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Life Science

Strategic screening enables effective biomarker discovery

During my eight years at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin, I led a protein technologies group. We developed a protein expression library, and then high-content protein arrays. In total, we made arrays with 10,000 different human proteins.

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Flow Cytometry: A powerful tool in drug discovery

Flow cytometry is a powerful tool in drug discovery because it provides a way to understand the drug’s mechanism of action. In order to stratify a better target for patients, you often need to know where the drug is working, and what kind of pathway it is operating along.

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Why do biomarkers fail?

When conducting an experiment to identify biomarkers, it is crucial to design the experiment properly. 80-90% of all biomarker populations for the last 20 years have not and cannot be reproduced, and the main reason that biomarkers fail is that these experiments are not designed properly. In this post, I will outline two ways in which experiments are poorly designed, and then outline the technological and methodological solution in a later blog.

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Putting the power of proteomics in the hands of Flow Cytometry

The combination of simplicity and power is turning flow cytometry into the highest throughput protein analysis method yet developed.

Large-scale protein analysis, or proteomics, is still a relatively small discipline where the research front is driven by a few labs with unrestricted access to mass spectrometry (MS). MS is equivalent to a mainframe computer: very big, very sophisticated, and only a few people have the skills to use them.

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A 14 colour antibody panel: developing a tool and demonstrating a process

One of the frustrations I have with Flow Cytometry is when companies present their amazing new findings at conferences, and it’s quite often about TMB cells. In my case, I work on these cells perhaps 20% of the time. The rest of the time I work on cells from other parts of the human body – bone marrow, lung, bronchoalveolar lavage, spleen – and in diverse animals such as mice, rats, and even sparrow, chicken, and mosquito.

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Healthcare cybersecurity: risk management posture with patient care at the center

Denise Anderson is president of the Health Information Sharing and Analysis Centre (H-ISAC), USA. She spoke to us about her perspective on Healthcare Cybersecurity, the value of information sharing, and the paradigm shift the industry requires in light of new risks brought about by rapid innovation.

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Identifying biomarkers to track tumour burden in patient blood

There is a huge need to identify biomarkers to discern which metastatic colorectal cancer patients will benefit from treatment using Regorafenib. Despite being the latest approved drugs for the disease, Regorafenib has limited clinical efficacy and is associated with a number of side effects. However, a lot of patients are treated with Regorafenib as it is the only treatment available for patients who cannot receive anti-EGFR treatment due to K-RAS or BRAF mutation.

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Determining the fate of cells with Flow Cytometry

The ability to measure multiple forms of cell death simultaneously represents a significant development for such techniques. I have been using antibodies and more specific forms of dyes to identify mitochondrial activity and reactive oxygen in roughly fifty populations, whereas normally it would only be able to measure one at a time. I will be discussing this work at the Flow Cytometry Congress, and it could prove enormously beneficial to drug and immunotherapy development.

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