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big data and human biobanks create genetic insights

Big data keeps genomic insights coming

January 3, 2019

Combining big data about people and their genes yields surprising insights, including new clues that help explain individual differences in activity levels (as well as the consequences of those differences), and the origin of red hair. In the activity-level research, University of Oxford scientists identified 14 genetic regions related to activity and sleep duration, seven […]

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View from a computer screen in a hospital setting

Health care has a data disparity problem

December 20, 2018

If you’ve been reading this blog, you know that we’re inspired by the promise of big data to improve human health. Big data and analytics promise to uncover hidden patterns that can improve population health and precision medicine. At the same time, nobody understands data’s challenges better than we do. One such challenge is detailed […]

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First-of-its-kind test might detect all cancer types

December 13, 2018

Imagine one simple, noninvasive test capable of detecting the presence of cancer, regardless of its type or location in the patient’s body, in just 10 minutes. That’s the possibility raised by an attention-grabbing discovery revealed last week based on research in Australia. Researchers from the University of Queensland discovered that traces of human DNA from […]

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Biospecimen Cells for Obesity Research

Researchers probe obesity’s complex roots

December 6, 2018

How do genes affect obesity? And how do environmental factors affect obesity-relevant genes? These are unsettled questions, but researchers like epidemiology professor Kari North, Ph.D., are working on answers. Last year, North and a colleague led research that found that smoking may increase genetic susceptibility to being generally overweight and reduces genetic effects on body fat distribution […]

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Beakers and labware

Archived FFPE tissue blocks: a remarkable value for many researchers

November 29, 2018

November Specimen Spotlight Some of the best values are hidden in plain sight, like Toyotas, index funds and refurbished electronics. The same is true in the biospecimen world. Let us walk you through it. We’re known by many clients for giving researchers access to millions of banked and clinical remnant samples through our online platform, […]

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Genes’ impact on longevity generally slight, new research indicates

November 16, 2018

If you yearn to grow old, your genes won’t have much say in the matter, according to new research. If your parents live long lives, it doesn’t necessarily mean the same is in store for you. On the other hand, if your parents live shorter lives, there’s no great cause for worry. In fact, your […]

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iSpecimen Marketplace screenshot

Reducing risks and ensuring compliance throughout the biospecimen procurement process

November 8, 2018

Sourcing biospecimens to support medical research can be challenging and time-consuming. Whether researchers are conducting bench, translational, or clinical research, or searching for new diagnostics or therapeutics, the process of procuring biospecimens can be wrought with complexity, especially when it comes to managing and ensuring compliance. In order to help convey the value of our […]

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Luis Nicolaou, iSpecimen Senior Director of Product Management

Seven Questions with Luis Nicolaou

November 1, 2018

Luis Nicolaou Senior Director of Product Management, iSpecimen Earlier this week, we unveiled the second generation of our online marketplace, which does even more to connect researchers who need biospecimens – fluids, tissue or cells – with the health care organizations that have them. As senior director of product management, Luis was instrumental in identifying […]

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Patients seek a bigger role in medical research

October 26, 2018

The ultimate value of medical research? Making sick patients well and keeping healthy patients healthy. It goes without saying. Then why do patients sometimes feel like an afterthought? Lung cancer survivor and activist Bonnie J. Addario describes the problem from her perspective in Forbes: “Today there exists a holy trinity for cancer research: pharmaceutical companies, […]

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Gangrene bacteria could be a cancer fighter

October 17, 2018

The mere thought of gangrene may make you shudder, but as one journalist put it, the enemy of my enemy can be your friend. In a small preliminary study, scientists have seen promising responses after injecting cancer patients with the bacteria that causes “gas gangrene,” a deadly form of the tissue-killing disease. According to U.S. News […]

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