There’s a green bonus: GenVault’s new storage systems can reduce a clinical laboratory’s carbon footprint
Innovative laboratory technologies continue to disrupt the status quo as new products and services enter the marketplace. Among them is new dry-storage technology from Carlsbad, California-based GenVault Corp. that allows biological specimens to be stored at room temperature. It is a technology that has applications for medical laboratories and pathology groups.
Up to 400 times more sensitive than existing ELISA-based methods
Detecting any of seven cancers in their earliest stages may be feasible through the use of a new biomarker chip that was recently unveiled by scientists from Stanford University’s Center for Magnetic Nanotechnology. To give their biomarker chip increased sensitivity over fluorescent detection methods, the scientists use magnetic technologies to accomplish detection.
Reporting in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), lead scientist Shan X. Wang, Ph.D., director of the center and professor of materials science and electrical engineering, says the chip is able to detect very low levels of seven cancers. The biodetection chip is to be marketed by Silicon Valley startup MagArray Inc., of Sunnyvale, California. It detects multiple proteins in blood or DNA strands using magnetic technology similar to how a computer reads a hard drive. Developers say this chip could also be used to diagnose cardiovascular disease and monitor cancer therapy.
Young physicians want more transparency in financial relationships
By their actions, Generation Y doctors are sending a clear message that they want to take the ethical high road in their dealings with drug companies and medical device developers. In medical schools across the nation, young physicians are speaking up about what they consider to be one element of greed in their profession.
Their advocacy group, the American Medical Student Association (AMSA), is calling for a crackdown on professional ethics violations. Medical students are particularly concerned about relationships with drug and medical device developers that pose a conflict of interest. To call attention to this issue, AMSA now rates academic medical centers on how well they monitor and control money from drug and medical products companies. These results are available to the public.
Goal is to address conflict of interest in clinical studies and CME programs
Each year, clinical laboratories and laboratory medicine associations receive less financial support from industry vendors and suppliers. This is a response to tougher Medicare compliance requirements and tighter ethics guidelines. Now comes a report from the Institute of Medicine calling for further reforms on how companies work with physicians to conduct clinical trials and publicize the findings.
The IOM committee’s report, Conflict of Interest in Medical Research, Education and Practice, stresses the importance of preventing bias and mistrust upfront, rather than trying to remedy damage after the fact. It focused specifically on financial conflicts of interest involving pharmaceutical, medical device, and biotechnology companies.