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Detecting ctDNA in the blood of cancer patients may help reoccurrence

Genomics and the blood – a powerful duo for cancer patients

April 12, 2018

A person’s blood can tell us a lot about their health. We’ve blogged about blood biomarkers that may soon help clinicians diagnose concussions, ovarian cancer and prostate cancer. Yet, it seems like we’re still only scratching the surface of blood’s potential to reveal health insights. For example, Stanford researchers have recently discovered that the blood from certain […]

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April Specimen Spotlight: Biospecimens for Alzheimer’s Research

April 5, 2018

An estimated 5.7 million Americans of all ages are living with Alzheimer’s dementia in 2018, according to just-released facts and figures from the Alzheimer’s Association. By 2025, the number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer’s dementia is estimated to reach 7.1 million – an increase of almost 29 percent from the 5.5 million […]

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Medicare to cover next-generation sequencing for cancer patients

March 30, 2018

Great news for cancer patients, their doctors and the scientists creating personalized medicine solutions: Medicare will immediately begin covering next-generation sequencing (NGS) tests that help doctors prescribe specific cancer treatments likely to help individual patients based on their genetic profiles. “CMS believes when these tests are used as a companion diagnostic to identify patients with […]

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Human subcutaneous fat biospecimens were used by researchers to study the effects of the winter sunlight deficit on weight gain

Sunlight shrinks fat cells, says new research

March 22, 2018

For many of us, spring means laboring to shed winter weight and doing penance for rich holiday food and drink and “forgetting” to exercise. A new study, however, suggests winter weight gain may in part be beyond our control – and rather a function of winter’s sunlight deficit. The study found that sunlight can shrink […]

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Red Blood Cells

Blood samples reveal concussion evidence in new, lower-cost test

March 8, 2018

Complexity surrounds brain trauma from diagnosis through recovery and long-term effects. Modern medicine, however, has just made a major stride on the diagnosis side with the FDA’s approval of the first blood test to help detect concussions, or mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBIs). It promises simpler, cheaper, and potentially safer diagnosis. CT scans, which irradiate […]

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Person receiving flu shot in arm.

Could a good mood help fend off flu?

February 28, 2018

We’re in the heart of one of the most severe flu seasons in recent memory, and we may finally be reaching a plateau. The CDC reports the highest hospitalization rates in at least seven years and 84 pediatric deaths this season. Although by no means a cure, researchers are reporting some intriguing flu-related news: A […]

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February Specimen Spotlight: Reaching Across Continents to Meet Researchers’ Needs

February 15, 2018

Although we’re based in Massachusetts, our scope is global. That’s how we’re able to fulfill our mission: helping researchers get biospecimens they need from the patients they want. And that’s why we continue to develop a worldwide network of suppliers. They help us address the acute demand for human biospecimens, the increasing specificity of researchers’ […]

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Ovarian cancer tissue sample study

January Specimen Spotlight: Prospectively Collecting Ovarian Tumor Tissue for Longitudinal Study

January 2, 2018

Although you can learn a lot from cancerous tissue, you can learn even more when you have patient data to put the biology in context. That’s why one iSpecimen client, a U.S. cancer research and diagnostic company, recently ordered longitudinal patient information from iSpecimen to complement its request for ovarian cancer tissue specimens. The company […]

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Biobanks provide access to human biospecimens for scientific research

2018 Will Be a Big Year for Biobanks

December 11, 2017

Nearly nine years ago, TIME magazine officially listed biobanks as one of 10 ideas changing the world. In 2018, we predict we will finally see that change realized. Biobanks have amassed impressive quantities of human tissue, biofluids and cells that scientists can study to discover treatments and cures – by some estimates, more than 1 […]

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More promise for CTE diagnosis in the living

November 30, 2017

“Should I worry?” That’s what many athletes and parents are asking themselves about sports that deliver blows to the head on a regular basis. Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), the devastating degenerative brain disease, is associated with such blows, yet not everyone who plays contact sports acquires it. Adding to the uncertainty around the disease is […]

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