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We Are Randox | Omagh Speed Networking promotes careers in STEM

We’re sure you’ve heard of “Speed Dating”, but what about “Speed Networking”? Randox’s R&D Scientist, Dr. Dwaine Vance tried it out to spread the word about Randox Careers in STEM!

Dr Dwaine Vance visited Omagh High School to represent Randox Careers. He sat down with us, and we discussed the importance of the event. Dr. Vance told us:

On Wednesday the 15th June I represented Randox Careers at a ‘speed networking’ event at Omagh High School. This involved groups of students moving from one employer stand to the next for a 5 minute ‘mini network’. There was two sessions during the morning involving GCSE level pupils. The aim of the ‘speed networking’ event was to provide pupils with opportunities to meet local Northern Irish companies within the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) sectors, of which Randox Laboratories play a pivotal role.

We, at Randox, want to inspire students to think about their own career plans and to allow them to gather information about the local job market. By doing this, we’re also giving them the opportunity to be aware of the jobs that are available and the importance of STEM related subjects,  as well as letting them see how employers value their other curriculum subjects and their personal skills and attributes.   My objective as a employee of Randox was to showcase a range of careers for all abilities within the company with a focus on STEM careers e.g. science and engineering.

The importance of spreading awareness of the opportunities in science and engineering from a young age is imperative, as many students are unaware of the vast range of differentiation in different careerpaths, stemming from one subject or degree class. Dr. Dwaine Vance went on to discuss the events of the networking conference:

As part of each ‘mini network’ I provided students with a brief overview of Randox. Students were given the opportunity to watch videos depicting our expertise and to ask questions about how their interests could be incorporated within Randox. The training department at Randox provided me with pop-up stands, recruitment pathway brochures, merchandise e.g. pens, stopwatches, mug coasters and even Biochip Array Technology key rings!

Overall the students gained a good knowledge of Randox, they were particularly keen to learn about the local and global opportunities available at Randox. In addition, students were keen to know more about the veterinary aspect of Randox. It was comforting to discover that the majority of pupils had previous knowledge of the Randox brand from the press (as we have recently experienced a great boost in brand visibility through Grand national sponsorship), Randox health (television adverts) and Confidante (local radio stations).

The pupils at Omagh High School were keen to ask me about my role within the company and what my day to day roles and responsibilities are. I was happy to provide students with my research and development activities and they were interested to hear that I was involved in the development of a genetic test that aims to predict your future risk of heart disease by investigating your own DNA.

At Randox I am part of a small team of experienced research scientists that are developing a genetic risk prediction test for heart disease and myocardial infarction. This test aims to simultaneously genotype 20 genetics variants that have been previously associated with increased risk of heart disease. This Randox molecular test is in collaboration with leading University academics and will help reduce the burden of heart disease throughout the world by providing an accurate risk assessment of disease so personalised treatment can be provided to those who require it most. To quote Randox Health, “Prevention is better than cure”.

From everyone at the Randox Careers team and from Dr. Dwaine Vance, we’d like to thank Omagh High School for inviting us to attend this incredibly beneficial Speed Networking event, where we feel we have truly impacted the young minds of tomorrow. We look forward to the future of diagnostics, with you!

Dr Dwaine Vance at Omagh High School to promote Careers in STEM
Dr Dwaine Vance, pictured with Mrs. Paula Burns, teacher and Head of Careers at Omagh High School at STEM event

Hearing Loss Linked with Common Household Products, Study Finds

Hearing loss is often associated with old age, tinnitus or balance disorders. However, studies show that anyone can be affected by hearing loss, at any age if exposed to a chemical present in many common household products.

 

Chances are, you take your senses for granted. Associated generally with deterioration in old age, we never assume we will go deaf or blind in our younger years. Nevertheless, approximately 3 million children in the USA suffer from hearing loss and this number is on the rise. (CHC, 2016)

In 2006, a study was released detailing the mysterious premature hearing loss of a collection of employees in a manufacturing site in Taiwan, specialising in adhesive materials. Chang, Chen, Lien, and Sung narrowed the phenomenon that was the loss of the worker’s auditory sense down to the responsibility of one chemical: Toluene.

Chemical-induced hearing loss, also known as “ototoxicity”, can affect anyone of any age and today, there are over 200 known ototoxic medications on the market known to cause damage to the inner ear containing chemicals largely known to induce ototoxicity such as Syrene and Xylene.

However, sold in many high-street shops, you’ll find the biggest player in the cause of ototoxicity: Toluene. Toluene is a major component of paints, varnishes, petroleum, printing inks, degreasers, adhesives, cigarette smoke, glues, thinners, and plastics. Exposure to Toluene, such as inhalation, ingestion or skin contact, is known to cause not only hearing loss, but commonly can be a factor in causing Tinnitus, Dermatitis, and vision impairment. In general, the component can wreak havoc for the central nervous system and prolonged exposure to high concentrations of the colourless liquid may result in loss of consciousness, and may even be fatal.

Wanisiusiow, whose findings were conducted using the RX series’ RX daytona and a Randox creatinine kit stated, “Toluene is undoubtedly one of the most widely used organic solvents in industry.” But how does Toluene do it? Wanisusiow goes on to state, “As far as we know, there are two major mechanisms which might explain toluene-induced hearing loss. Firstly, a poisoning of Deiters and Hensen’s cells, which are both important to maintain the K+ homeostasis in the vicinity of outer hair cells. Secondly, an oxidative cell injury, such as lipid peroxidation.”

An interesting point uncovered in this study is that suffering the severe side-effect of Toluene seems to be species-specific. The original experiment, carried out on rats, displayed expected symptoms of ototoxicity. However, guinea pigs reacted differently. The study speculates: The half-life of toluene is longer in the rat than in the guinea pig. This might be one way to explain the difference in cochlear sensitivity to toluene between rats and guinea pigs but likely not the only one.

So, what is it in the genetic makeup of guinea pigs, that rats do not possess, that could fight the negative effects of Toluene? Could learning what causes guinea pigs immunity be beneficial to our research into hearing loss?

For more, follow the RX series on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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RX modena – Enquiry

The All-new Clinical Chemistry Analyser from Randox’s The RX series
RX modena Randox RX series clinical chemistry analyser diagnostics

Medical Technology: Expanding Powers and Possibilities

What does the future of Medical Technology and Healthcare look like? How big of an impact does technology have on health? 

Let’s start with a few fun facts: more people on this planet own a smart phone than a toothbrush, Google handles an estimated 1 billion search queries every day, every minute 20.8 million+ WhatsApp messages are sent, and you can probably check if all of those facts are correct in about 0.70 seconds.

If one thing is clear, it’s this: technology has made the world a different place. We live in a digital world where we rely on technology to make friends, to keep friends, to track progress, to prompt us, to wake us up, to motivate us and, most importantly, to keep us healthy.

When considering the future of technology, we may picture crisp-white rooms, voice-activated coffee machines and holograms… at one time it was a common idea that the future would hold flying cars! There is, however, one thing we can all agree on. In the “future”, however advanced technology may be and however far we may have come: whatever technology is created will be created to aid human life, as tech-innovation has always been. Inventors have striven to simplify and solve life’s little problems for centuries. Holistically speaking, most products and services with vigorous research and development programs are devoted to searching for new ways to fulfill human lives. We, at the RX series team, are based within a marriage of sectors that are more human-focused and yet forward facing in terms of development of new and exciting ideas than any others; health, medicine and technology.

“We take our commitment to research and development very seriously” comments Peter FitzGerald, founder of Randox and the RX series on the company’s R&D department, “Randox is at the forefront of life-changing research and development in the diagnostics industry.” Jason Silva, an American public speaker pondered, “In symbiosis with our technology, our powers are expanding exponentially and so, too, our possibilities” and just as Silva stated, advanced technology can greaten human abilities and opportunities vastly when dedication to healthcare is combined with advanced knowledge in technology and innovation. Diagnostics and medical technology are at the forefront of life changing innovation. RX series scientist, David Brown, pondered advances in Medical Technology, “There is constant progress being made in the range of diagnostic tests across every aspect of healthcare. Medical technology needs to meet the demand of these tests along with the expectation of patients for fast results. “

Today, only the smartest minds are dedicated to tackling the many issues within the industry. Many sectors play a part in innovation in healthcare; reagents production broadening test menus and researching new assays for a wide variety of human conditions, quality control bringing confidence in laboratory results for organisations and patients, health services giving complete diagnostic reports for preventative health, medical devices pushing the boundaries for automation, software design, reliability and precision, bio-sciences, toxicology, food testing, and so forth. Randox have played a large role in innovating all of these sectors. We do this, because we are confident that complete consolidation is the future of healthcare. The RX series team run on the belief that our machines function as the high-tech heartbeat of the laboratory and and our quality control and reagents function as the lifeblood, working in harmony to deliver effective results, and advancing in synch with each other.

When the RX series sees the future, we see test menus expanded to cover all ranges of analytes for earlier diagnosis, we see high class automation and longer walkaway times to make laboratories more efficient in time and money, and finally, we see those who rely on our medical technology for accurate results living happy, healthy lives, having trust in doctors and medical professionals worldwide.

Earlier this week, we heard from our followers and friends from around the world, who let us know what they think the future of Medical Technology holds… What do you see when you imagine the future?  

Medical Technology Diagnostics RX series Randox Laboratories Clinical Chemistry

Gestational Diabetes: The Third Kind

Year upon year, WHO (World Health Organisation) have set a date to raise awareness of various health issues from Food Safety, to Hypertension to Vector-Borne diseases. This year, WHO are setting their goals in raising awareness on Diabetes; those with family and friends affected and those diagnosed. The RX series take a closer look at a type of Diabetes we don’t often talk about to raise awareness for the #BeatDiabetes campaign by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Diabetes is a life-long condition, featuring in the top 10 causes of death globally, responsible for approximately 1,497,371 deaths worldwide and 6,088 in the UK alone yearly. As a major non-communicable disease, diabetes claims on average around 8% of total health budgets in developed countries.

As many know, diabetes can come in 2 common forms: Types I Diabetes; where the pancreas does not produce insulin and Type II Diabetes; where the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin/the body’s cells do not react to insulin. Not very often, however, do we hear the term Gestational Diabetes.
Gestational Diabetes is a type of diabetes that affects pregnant women, usually in their third trimester. The good news is, the condition usually disappears soon after the baby is born, but what are the risks, how serious is it really and what are the chances you may find yourself dealing with the condition?

Pregnancy puts extra demands on the body, as it demands higher level of nutrition, and energy. Gestational Diabetes (GDM) occurs when the body can’t produce enough extra insulin to meet these demands.

The condition is surprisingly common, with 15% of all pregnancies resulting in the mother suffering from GDM. Whilst it only occurs in pregnancy; it is estimated that over 50% of women who have had gestational diabetes will go on to develop type II diabetes within 5-10 years of delivery which is a startling statistic.

A study carried out at JSS Medical College aimed to investigate the biochemical parameters that could be used to diagnose GDM. Levels of serum creatinine, uric acid and the albumin were studied in GDM patients and unaffected pregnant women to consider any correlation between these biochemical markers and certain clinical parameters. The RX daytona, a clinical chemistry analyser from Randox’s RX series range was used to analyse the samples. The conclusion was that biochemical parameters such as serum creatinine, uric acid and albumin, can help in predicting the early onset and progression of GDM.

The study also stated that early diagnosis was paramount as it could help in the proper treatment of gestational diabetes and its associated complications for mother and baby, thus helping to improve the quality of life of the GDM patients and their offspring.

There are measures women can take before and during pregnancy to prevent the likelihood of Gestational Diabetes occurring. One study shows that increasing fibre intake to 10g per day reduces the risk by 26%. Also, women who exercise before pregnancy have a lower risk of gestational diabetes, the more intense the exercise, the lower the risk. However, this doesn’t have to mean extremely strenuous exercise, anything as simple as walking at a brisk pace, rather than at a leisurely pace will reduce your risks.

This year on World Health Day, we urge you to share your stories and give support for those affected by diabetes and use the hashtag #BeatDiabetes to get involved with the conversation.

Randox offers high quality tests for the diagnosis of diabetes and the monitoring of its complications.

To find out more about the RX series range of clinical chemistry analysers and how we tackle Diabetes with accurate and early diagnosis, take a look at our brochures below.

Questions? Speak to the RX team: theRXseries@Randox.com

Pregnancy Gestational Diabetes Gestational RX series Clinical Chemistry Analysers Diagnostics Randox

Clinical Chemistry External Quality Assessment

The RIQAS General Clinical Chemistry EQA programme is designed to monitor the performance of up to 56 parameters covering routine chemistries, lipids, hormones and trace metals. Four flexible yet cost effective programme options are available.

  • Accredited to ISO/IEC 17043
  • Lyophilised for enhanced stability
  • Human based serum
  • Flexible options available with bi-weekly and monthly reporting
  • Submit results and view reports online via RIQAS.Net
  • Register up to five instruments at no extra cost
  • Reference method values are provided for selected parameters / lots
Cat NoKit SizeFrequencyCycle StartParameters 
RQ9112/a13 x 5mlBi-weekly (2 x 6 monthly cycles)March / Sept10 parameters only (Choose from 56)
RQ9112/b13 x 5mlBi-weekly (2 x 6 monthly cycles)March / Sept17 parameters only (Choose from 56)
RQ9112/c13 x 5mlBi-weekly (2 x 6 monthly cycles)March / SeptAll 56 parameters
RQ912812 x 5 mlMonthlyJanuaryAll 56 parameters (monthly reporting)

Parameters

  • ACE
  • Acid phosphatase, prostatic
  • Acid phosphatase, total
  • Adjusted Calcium*
  • Albumin
  • ALP
  • ALT (ALAT)
  • Amylase, pancreatic
  • Amylase, total
  • AST
  • Bicarbonate
  • Bile acids
  • Bilirubin, direct
  • Bilirubin, total
  • Calcium, ionised
  • Calcium, total
  • Chloride
  • Cholinestease
  • UIBC
  • Cholesterol
    • CK, total (CPK)

    • Copper
    • Creatinine
    • D-3-hydroxybutyrate
    • EGFR*
    • Fructosamine
    • Free T3
    • Free T4
    • Gamma GT
    • GLDH
    • Glucose
    • HBDH
    • HDL-Cholesterol
    • Iron
    • Lactate
    • LD (LDH)
    • LDL Cholesterol*
    • Lipase
    • Lithium
      • Magnesium

      • NEFA
      • Non-HDL Cholesterol*
      • Osmolality
      • Phosphate, inorganic
      • Potassium
      • Protein, total
      • PSA
      • Sodium
      • TIBC
      • Total T3
      • Total T4
      • Triglycerides
      • TSH
      • Urea
      • Uric acid
      • Zinc

      *Pilot programmes.

      Please note, product availability may vary country to country.


      Manchester laboratory deal gives Randox room to grow

      Randox Testing Services, a leading drug & alcohol testing company has announced a major expansion after securing a state-of-the-art 6,500 sq ft laboratory facility in Manchester.

      The asset was purchased from joint administrators at KPMG, who were appointed administrators to a leading UK testing company earlier this month.

      Randox Testing Services Global Manager Gary McCutcheon explained the rationale behind the purchase, “Providing forensic toxicology services to over half the UK police forces as well as workplace testing to a number of household brands, means we have experienced a rapid period of growth in recent years. This new laboratory facility gives us additional capacity to comfortably accommodate that work and now focus on increasing market-share”.

      The company indicated Manchester offered particular benefits for a drug & alcohol testing provider. Gary McCutcheon said, “Manchester ranks second in terms of metropolitan economies within the UK, but when you factor in its geographical location, it really becomes an obvious choice. Outstanding air, road and rail infrastructure makes it an ideal hub location to service the UK market and further afield. Looking towards the future with Manchester’s proud tradition of science and innovation, its universities offer a strong pool of quality graduates as we require to expand.”

      The purchase included state-of-the-art hair testing apparatus. Compared with other matrices, such as saliva or urine, hair gives a more complete picture of a persona’s compliance or behaviour meaning it is particularly suited to family law and child protection cases.

      Gary McCutcheon welcomed the opportunity to scale up Randox’s presence in this market; “Hair-testing has experienced a period of flux recently, with one of the largest firms exiting the market, and another shifting their operations. Clients such as solicitors or social services & local authorities require stability, technical expertise and reliability. Randox Testing Services are not new to hair-testing and our customer support infrastructure means we are confident anyone looking for a provider will enjoy a smooth transition.

      As part of the global Randox Group employing 1300 people and trading in 145 countries our experience draws from the wider businesses’ 30 year expertise in the clinical diagnostic and testing sector. More than doubling the size of our UK operational laboratory space is a clear statement of intent for our ambition, and we look forward to success at our new Manchester base.


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