RX analysers are taking part in Olympics 2016
Did you know, the RX daytona is currently used in the English Institute of Sport?
The RX daytona, the first analyser of the RX series, is used at the English Institute of Sport to test elite athletes for GB athletics in the lead up to the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. Randox reagents are also utilised to ensure the health and wellbeing of these elite athletes, with various chosen reagents including Albumin, IgA and TIBC (Total Iron Binding Capacity).
Why was the RX daytona the chosen analyser?
The RX daytona is a compact analyser with cost-effective benefits, and is complimented with a world-leading test menu. Providing performance like no other, our Great British athletes can be assured of accurate and reliable results! The RX series ensures confidence in testing, and flexibility of choice with a series of clinical chemistry analysers available.
The RX series, as part of the Randox team, aim to perform as highly as our award-winning athletes expect!
Understanding the competitive environments of our GB athletes, and supporting their dreams to succeed, we ensure confidence in results with precision and accuracy like no other. This is why the RX series analysers are one step ahead of the rest.
This British Science Week 2016, the Reagents Team at Randox are celebrating the hard work our Research and Development Team put in every day, to help bring the best quality diagnostic reagents to the market.
We caught up with Emmet Donnelly, Clinical Chemistry R&D Scientist, to explain a bit about what his work involves, and how it’s impacting on global healthcare!
What is your position and what does it involve?
I am a Clinical Analyst on the Clinical Chemistry R&D Team. This role involves the development of new reagents and the improvement of existing reagents. It also involves the transfer and testing of existing chemistries onto new analyser platforms. Troubleshooting and resolving customer queries also forms part of a clinical analyst’s role.
For those of us who aren’t in the industry, can you explain what reagents and assays are?
A reagent is a chemical used to detect the quantity of another component or analyte in a sample (blood or urine), for example a cholesterol reagent contains the necessary chemical make-up to detect the amount of cholesterol in a patient sample.
An assay is the procedure involved in determining the amount of analyte in a sample using a reagent. For example a cholesterol assay involves enzymes within the reagent breaking the cholesterol down into its chemical constituents. These constituents react with other components in the reagent to form a coloured indicator. If this assay is being used on a clinical chemistry analyser, light is passed through the coloured mixture and the amount of light absorbed is proportional to the concentration of analyte in the sample.
How does you work impact on global healthcare?
The diagnostic assays are a vital component in the diagnosis of disease. In order to find out, for example, why a patient is feeling poorly they must first have a blood test to measure all their blood analytes. This will help diagnose the underlying problem and aid in choosing and monitoring the correct treatment for that patient. For example a patient suffering from diabetes must constantly have their glucose levels monitored so that correct doses of insulin can be administered.
What is your favourite Randox product and why?
I like some of the old products like glucose, ALP and cholesterol because they are the tried and tested reagents that are essential for monitoring the health of our vital organs. These always comprise part of the panel of testing to be done when our GP takes a blood sample from us.
I also like the newer reagent products such as the DOA (Drugs of Abuse) reagents. They offer a means of detecting illegal substances in urine samples offering aid to law enforcement.
The scientists here at Randox work hard on research and development, to ensure that we are producing the highest quality range of clinical diagnostic tests on the market. Excitingly, as a result American astronauts have recently enlisted our help to test their antioxidant levels before they go to space!
Why do astronauts need their antioxidant levels tested?
It is very important for astronauts to monitor their health and take plenty of antioxidant supplements in order to prevent bodily damage and to survive long periods of time in space! The main concern is to monitor and control the levels of free radicals in the body as well as to prevent damage from radiation which can cause bone and muscle loss and diminished immunity.
What can antioxidants prevent the astronauts against?
Bone loss – Bone loss can happen during long periods of microgravity (weightlessness), where astronauts can suffer from calcium, vitamin D and vitamin K deficiency. Vitamin supplementation paired with exercise can protect against this.
Vision-related hazards – Astronauts can suffer from degraded vision, caused by a shortage of vitamin B, especially vitamin B9 (folic acid).
Magnesium deficiencies – There can be a lack of magnesium due to a loss of fluid volume in the blood circulation which can cause damage to DNA stabilisation. This lowers the ability of mitochondria to produce cellular energy (mitochondria is part of the cell related to respiration and energy production).
Memory loss – Lipoic acid can reduce the risk of astronauts developing memory problems which can occur through being exposed to radiation.
Radiation – A reduction in the capacity of astronaut antioxidant defence systems and damage to DNA can occur due to exposure to space radiation. Vitamins A, C, E, zinc, selenium, glutathione and sulphur compounds are all nutrients which should be supplemented to their diet to counter these effects.
The Total Antioxidant Status (TAS) test from Randox can help give astronauts an overall picture of their antioxidant health, which helps them manage their wellbeing in space. To find out more about Randox antioxidant testing, download our Antioxidant Products brochure, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Molecular Biologist, Michael Mullan, was fascinated by science from a young age. For him, it was only natural to progress into a career as a scientist. Being able to use his skills of problem-solving to improve diagnostic technologies leads him to describe a career in science as fascinating, challenging and rewarding. Read what he has to say…
Can you describe a typical working day?
There’s no such thing! Each day varies so much and is usually split up between carrying out laboratory work, and analysing and interpreting data. I work in the Molecular Diagnostics department in Randox Laboratories with a team of Molecular Biologists and Engineers, and we develop DNA-based diagnostic tests that can detect pathogens, genetic mutations and even calculate a patient’s risk of developing certain illnesses.
What has been your educational / career path to this post?
From a young age I was fascinated by science, so I chose to study Triple Award Science at GCSE level and Biology, Chemistry and ICT at A level. Having enjoyed science at school I decided to study Molecular Biology at Queen’s University Belfast and then moved on to a Master’s degree in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, because I wanted to use my aptitude for problem-solving to improve the diagnostic technologies which are so important in healthcare. I started on the Graduate Development Program here at Randox where I worked as a Technical Support Specialist before moving into my current position in the Molecular Diagnostics department.
What transferable skills have you used in your various roles that have come from your STEM training?
My time at university prepared me well for my current job as I often research papers and write reports, and have to follow good lab practice. Transferable skills such as these are the building blocks of any career, however those developed through scientific education are highly sought after by all employers, even those outside the science sector. Good communication skills are essential, and my time in Technical Support helped me to develop my ability to communicate with customers and colleagues. Organisational skills are also important to carry out experiments correctly and safely, and to record methods and results in an understandable and clear way.
How does your work as a Molecular Biologist make the world a better place?
Our Molecular Diagnostic tests provide highly specific test results for patients based on their genetic makeup and this opens the door for personalised medicine. The work my team and I do improves the accuracy and speed of patient diagnosis; faster, more informative diagnosis can save lives.
What do you really like about your job?
My favourite thing about my job is that no two days are ever the same. Working as part of a multidisciplinary team who work on a range of different projects takes me completely out of my comfort zone and challenges me to think outside the box.
Can you say anything about the future job prospects in your industry?
The Biotechnology industry is currently expanding at a phenomenal pace. So much so that students in school today who decide to go down a scientific career path will be using technologies that haven’t even been invented yet. That is such an exciting prospect.
How do you balance your career with your personal life?
My working day allows me to have plenty of free time to myself in the evenings and also at weekends. Working in a laboratory environment can be challenging and extremely fast-paced at times so I like to go to the gym and run to let off steam.
Would you recommend Molecular Biology to young people planning their career?
Yes, 100%. If you are a young person with a thirst for knowledge, particularly in science, and want to spend your days doing something you love that really makes a difference, then a career in Molecular Biology is perfect for you.
For information about careers at Randox please visit careers.randox.com.