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Researchers see potential in rapid gene sequencing, direct treatment during brain surgery

September 6, 2018

The passing of U.S. Sen. John McCain underscores brain cancer’s formidable medical challenges, one of which is the blood-brain barrier: Many medicines that enter the bloodstream can’t reach the brain. Brain surgery, however, provides direct access to a tumor site, and craniotomy could someday become an occasion for drug-based treatment, according to a news release from […]

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iSpecimen strives to protect genomic human specimen data

Patient privacy for specimen donors is paramount

August 23, 2018

We don’t handle DNA profiles, and protected health information is stripped from specimen records up front Although DNA analysis of large populations holds enormous promise for the future of medicine, privacy concerns are growing. Headlines in recent weeks have recounted both the sharing of DNA data collected by 23andMe with a pharma company and the opening of […]

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New risk-scoring method for deadly diseases crunches millions of potential gene variants

August 16, 2018

“I think I carry the gene for ___.” This colloquial explanation for myriad traits and behaviors belies the fact that many conditions are believed to arise not from single genetic variations but combinations of thousands or millions. That’s the crux of “polygenic risk scoring,” the subject of new research that accounts for the genetic complexity […]

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Rapid autopsies paint fuller picture of cancer pathology

August 8, 2018

A biopsy is a snapshot of a single potentially cancerous tissue sample in a body that may host a number of different tumors as disease progresses. To understand more about how cancer takes hold, spreads and changes – it’s heterogeneity – a few healthcare organizations have established rapid autopsy programs dedicated to cancer study. Within […]

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iSpecimen Provides Custom Collections for Liquid Biopsy Innovator

August 2, 2018

August Specimen Spotlight Most any cancer is curable if diagnosed at its very onset. Unfortunately, that’s difficult to impossible –  for now, anyway. Medicine is making great strides in earlier detection, however, as illustrated in the quest for “liquid biopsies.” These emerging diagnostic tools detect biomarkers in a blood sample rather than through a traditional […]

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Why can’t research procurement be as easy as finding what you need on Amazon?

July 19, 2018

Want a good book? You know where to look. A hotel in Phoenix? Kayak.com. A replacement gas tank for your 1954 Harley? eBay. Okay, what if you’re a biomedical researcher who needs a set of specific tumor tissue samples to help discover a potentially lifesaving therapy? That might be a tough ask unless you’re online […]

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The Path to R&D Productivity Starts Here

July 12, 2018

Medical breakthroughs are the ultimate purpose of a research organization. Helping make them more achievable, abundant and frequent  is ours. Traditionally, access to biospecimens for research has been a limiting factor in these breakthroughs. Today, however, finding and procuring the biospecimens required by your research –  from even the hardest-to-find patients of interest – is […]

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Mother and ASD Son

First-of-its-Kind Blood Test Predicts Autism

June 28, 2018

Early intervention can set the stage for their future and drastically improve long-term outcomes for children on the autism spectrum. As its name suggests, the premise of early intervention is to get children immersed in services as soon as possible, ideally between the ages of two and three years old. All of this hinges on […]

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Neon ferris wheel

The Patient’s Predicament: Donating Biospecimens and Waiting for Cures

June 21, 2018

Imagine you’re very sick and your prognosis is tenuous. You’re taking some experimental drugs and praying for the best. Your doctor wants you to stay hopeful. “A lot of scientists are studying your condition as we speak,” she says. “We could see a breakthrough at any time.” In fact, she would like to collect blood […]

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Biobanks, biospecimens, and big data will be world-changing

Biobanks, biospecimens and big data will change the world

June 14, 2018

By Dr. Christopher J. Ianelli, iSpecimen Every sample has a story to tell. My co-presenter Rohit Gupta was referring to biospecimens in that presentation title. “What would the patients say if they knew that all their samples you collected are still sitting in a freezer somewhere?” he asked the audience. “Samples are not meant to live […]

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