What is Familial Hypercholesterolemia?
Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH) is a genetic condition which is passed down from the parents’ genes. The British Heart Foundation has highlighted that FH is caused by a genetic mutation which means the liver is unable to remove excess ‘bad’ cholesterol (LDL), therefore, the LDL level in the blood remains high.2 Someone who suffers with FH would have high cholesterol from birth which can cause other health issues including heart and circulatory disease.
Heart UK states that more than 260,000 people in the UK may have FH. However, less than 10% of this number have been diagnosed and therefore, may not be aware of their condition.3 However, to date there are no clear symptoms if someone has FH until it is considered too late.
Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH) symptoms
- Swollen tendons/fatty lumps on the knuckles of your hands, at the back of your ankles and knees
- Cholesterol deposits around the eye-lids (looks like pale and yellowish patches)
- Grey-white cholesterol deposits around the corneas
If untreated, about 50% of men and 30% of women with FH will develop coronary heart disease by the time they are 55. More worryingly, on average in the UK, one person a day with FH has a heart attack. About a third of people don’t survive their first heart attack, and many who do survive will have damaged hearts.
The good news is that a 2008 study part-funded by the BHF found that people with FH who are diagnosed and treated before they develop heart disease generally live as long as people who don’t have FH. That’s why it is vitally important to get diagnosed as early as possible.
How Randox Biosciences can help
Randox Biosciences offers the Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH) Arrays I & II to help encourage early diagnosis with rapid turnaround time. This allows results to be reported within days compared with NHS waiting lists which can be substantially longer.
Our two arrays are rapid, simple and accurate which enables the simultaneous detection of 40 FH-causing mutations (20 mutations per array) within the LDLR, ApoB and PCSK9 genes.
The mutational status can be determined rapidly from a single test, with a reduced need for confirmatory testing. Genetic analysis for FH mutations also allows for more accurate diagnosis compared to lipid profiling.
Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH) Arrays I & II:
LDLR – 38 mutations
APOB – 1 mutation
PCSK9 – 1 mutation
To find out more about the products that we offer, email us email@example.com
A huge congratulations is in order for Science Higher Level Apprentice Sarah Casey who battled it out at the NI WorldSkills Regional Heat on 4th June to be awarded a well-deserved second place.
This was the first WorldSkills NI Regional Heat for Laboratory Technicians and was hosted at Southern Regional College, the Life Sciences Hub for Further Education in Northern Ireland.
The laboratory technician competition is based on real life scenarios in science that demonstrate technical competence in the use of complex instrumentation, laboratory equipment and skills. The competition is designed to reflect the work of a laboratory technician and tests their skills in techniques and procedures to solve practical problems through analysis, tests and measurements while ensuring safe and ethical working practices.
“This regional heat was a fantastic opportunity for higher education students across the sector to showcase their technical and analytical abilities. The competitors have performed exceptionally well under such challenging conditions” said Dr. Asha Jamil, Life Sciences Hub Development Manager at Southern Regional College.
She continued; “Judges have come from a variety of specialist scientific backgrounds from both education and industry across the UK and I am delighted that competitors from NI had this opportunity to demonstrate their range of skills on such a prestigious platform. Judges also commented that they were highly impressed by all the competitors’ technical and analytical skills and their professional approach to this challenging competition.”
Judges were representatives from Middlesex University, Norbrook Laboratories, and also included the current Team UK Laboratory Technician winner, Tonicha Roberts, who is a Forensic Reporting Scientist with Eurofins Forensic Services, UK.
Competitors came from a range of higher education programmes from across the NI sector including Foundation Degrees and Higher Level Apprenticeship (HLA) programmes. The HLA students study their underpinning Ulster University Foundation Degrees at Southern Regional College (Newry and Portadown campuses) and are employed with Norbrook Laboratories, Randox and Almac.
Sarah Casey, who was awarded second place, is currently a Southern Regional College student completing the Higher Level Apprenticeship in Applied Industrial Sciences (Life Sciences Pathway) in the Randox Science Park in Antrim. Sarah also won Southern Regional College’s Science Competition in January 2019.
The top performing competitors across the UK will now have a nail-biting wait to see if they have scored high enough to qualify for the WorldSkills UK Final at Birmingham’s NEC in November. We wish Sarah the best of luck!
At Randox Testing Services, we are always trying to think of new ways to get the message across about the positive impact workplace drug & alcohol testing can have on an organisation. So, we decided to speak with one of our colleagues; Simon Tibbo, who is regularly engaging with companies about how to be proactive in minimising the risks of substance misuse.
Read below to find out what he had to say.
From your experience and knowledge, what industries are currently implementing testing programmes?
Apart from the finance industry, I’ve personally seen testing programmes within almost all business sectors, from the obvious, safety critical industries, Rail Track, Maritime, Construction, Logistics, all the way through to manufacturing firms, retail outlets, and even predominantly clerical companies. If a company has a workplace substance misuse policy and are looking to satisfactorily enforce the terms within, they will be engaged with a service provider, such as Randox, to properly support the policy.
What are, in your opinion, the barriers that companies face when trying to implement working drug & alcohol testing?
The introduction of a substance misuse policy to an already existing ‘company handbook’ can be a challenge, especially if the work-force has been established for some time. People don’t tend to like change, especially within the workplace. Unions can sometimes be unwelcoming to the idea of random testing and will often look to restrict the scope of testing or the policy itself. I’d say that each industry/company will likely meet its own barriers whilst developing and implementing a policy, and some may well be unique to the individual circumstances. Often, customers may implement an amnesty period prior to the commencement of a drug testing programme. This gives employees the opportunity to come forward and declare if they have a substance misuse issue which they can address together with their employer without sanctions.
Why has there been a delay in some companies developing workplace policies that directly relate to substance misuse?
There could be many reasons as to why a company hasn’t implemented a policy, but I’d expect somewhere near the top of that list would be either the assumption there isn’t a substance misuse issue within the business/industry, the worry that a substance misuse issue within the business/industry is highlighted by the introduction of a policy, and therefore creating more problems than its seen to be solving, or even that a company is simply unaware the solution is available and beneficial.
How important within a policy is it that a company clearly outlines what is expected of an employee, and the consequences of substance misuse?
Very! A policy needs to be clear and concise in its structure and procedures. If you aren’t explaining the terms or the consequences you could potentially end up with a problematic HR process and unresolvable tribunal cases. If an employee has sight of a straightforward policy they will know what to expect if the terms are breached, not to mention enforcing it should be equally as straightforward. It is also important to state why the policy is in place – i.e. to protect the workforce, the public and the company reputation.
Is it important to state cut-offs in substance misuse policies?
For alcohol, yes, most certainly. For drugs, not so much. An alcohol test with a home office approved breathalyser will provide an evidential result, which can be directly related to a ‘site cut-off’ (in the same manner as the existence of a road legal limit). Workplace drug testing should adhere to specific guidelines set-out by the EWDTS (European Workplace Drug Testing Society) in not just it’s procedures, but also its expected substance cut-offs. The cut-offs differ between substances so it’s not quite as straightforward. My suggestion would always be, if you feel it necessary to include drug cut-off information, refer to the EWDTS guidelines, they’re available to download on the EWDTS website if anyone needs sight, but ensure your provider is working to them and don’t go into full details, it’ll serve only to add unnecessary bulk to what should ideally be a streamlined policy.
How effective has workplace testing been in helping companies reduce the risk of drug & alcohol use?
From personal experience I can tell you, I’ve seen companies implement a policy/testing practice due to an awareness of substance misuse, only to reduce the volume of testing over time as the approach has proved successful in reducing or eradicating the specific problem. I’d say that’s a testament to implementing a random testing practice, it sends a sensible message in a fair and balanced manner, which ultimately gets results. If it’s done right, it’s going to be beneficial, even if it’s not particularly well received at its inception. Other examples where testing volume has been scaled back have led to an increase in the rates of positives demonstrating that an active testing programme is a deterrent to substance misuse.
Going forward, what industries do you see adopting a more proactive approach in use of substance misuse testing?
Likely most industries, every company has a duty of care to staff, contractors, visitors and/or the public. There will always be industries that don’t agree, don’t want to uncover issues or don’t believe they exist, but it’s the people that matter and the more that’s done to promote safety, welfare and overall good practice, the more industries will settle to the idea.
About Randox Testing Services
Randox Testing Services offer a wide range of products and services for the testing of illicit substances. We can craft customised packages to suit the needs of our customers, no matter what the industry.
Our expertise and experience working within this industry allow us to provide a range of testing solutions that will impact the risk of substance use in the workplace. With an extensive collection network and quality products, we can meet the needs of your business.
To find out more, contact us:
Phone: +44 (0) 28 9442 2413
Acetic Acid in winemaking
When it comes to winemaking, the acidity in wine is an important component for the quality and taste. It adds a sharpness to the flavours and is detected most readily by a prickling sensation on the sides of the tongue and a mouth-watering aftertaste.
Acetic acid is a two-carbon organic acid produced in wine during or after the fermentation period. It is the most volatile of the primary acids associated with wine and is responsible for the sour taste of vinegar.
During fermentation, activity by yeast cells naturally produces a small amount of acetic acid. If the wine is exposed to oxygen, Acetobacter bacteria will convert the ethanol into acetic acid. This process is known as the “acetification” of wine and is the primary process behind wine degradation into vinegar.
|RX misano||0.117 g/l||Conc. Of standard|
|RX Monaco||0.03 g/l||Conc. Of standard|
For more information about our food testing for winemaking please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The sun came out for the Wild Atlantic Adventure Race (WAAR) on Saturday 11th May 2019 as brave competitors once again took to the sea and shore to take on the iconic race.
The event started early in the morning with individuals being tasked to complete a 10k run, 42.5k cycle, 2k hike and 1k kayak along one of Ireland’s most beautiful coastlines – the run even featured a stint on the live runway of Donegal airport!
Cheered on by crowds of spectators along the challenging route, over 600 participants battled against eachother to be crowned WAAR winner.
Congratulations to Shaun Stewart who was the first male across the finish line with a time of 2 hours, 17 minutes and 5 seconds.
Congratulations to Siobhan Gallagher who was the first female across the finish line with a time of 2 hours, 43 minutes and 48 seconds.
Dr. Ciaran Richardson, Head of Research & Development at Randox Teoranta in Dungloe, said:
“We are delighted to have partnered with the WAAR event, in our ongoing work to promote positive physical and mental health in the wider Donegal community.
“The race was an outstanding success, and we even had our own Randox Teoranta employees taking part – congratulations to Noel, Donal, Eibhlin, Nadine, Rosemary, Ernest, Michael, Claire, Michelle, Robert and Breid.
“This race is a test of both physical and mental strength. Indeed, in the last number of years at Randox Teoranta we have developed ground-breaking innovations aimed at the diagnosis of a broad spectrum of conditions including kidney disease, cancer, gastrointestinal disorders and stroke.
“As headline sponsor of the Wild Atlantic Adventure Race and on behalf of everyone here at Randox Teoranta, I would like to say a massive congratulations to all WAAR participants, organisers and those who helped in any way on the day – what a fantastic achievement! You should all be very proud of yourselves.”
All the results from WAAR 2019 can be viewed here.
For more information on Randox Teoranta, please contact the Randox PR team at RandoxPR@randox.com or phone (+44) 28 9442 2413.
Randox IT are recruiting and are looking for enthusiastic team players. Here at Randox, our IT team work from the state-of-the-art Randox Science Park in Antrim, only a short walk away from the town centre and Antrim Train Station.
Whether you’re interested in a placement or graduate position, or are already experienced in your IT field, there are roles at Randox IT for you.
Randox IT staff work in the following areas;
- Software Testing
- Software Development
- IT Operations
- Web Development
- IT Support
Randox IT are in a unique position to work in a company that helps people to live healthier for longer. The vision of Randox is one of ambition, innovation and commitment to improving health worldwide. We firmly believe that the healthcare of tomorrow depends on the innovations developed today. We are advancing cutting-edge science and technologies that hold the key to groundbreaking improvements in diagnostics and healthcare.
In recent years, we’ve developed diagnostics tests for stroke, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and many more, as well as the development of workplace drug testing kits, animal feed tests and food tests for milk, wine and honey. Randox IT are key to making this all possible.
Every day is different here but, ultimately, our teams are working to constantly evolve and improve our diagnostic capabilities around the world so that we can help to make a difference to global healthcare.
Randox is a global company with its roots firmly in Northern Ireland. Randox IT work with the latest technologies and software developments, allowing staff to even get to grips with unreleased prototypes. We always strive to expose our staff to the latest in IT innovation, not only to improve healthcare worldwide, but to continually expand the skills of all our teams.
If working in a close-knit, friendly team with access to cutting-edge technology sounds like the kind of place you’ve been looking for, why not get in touch?
Visit https://www.careers.randox.com to see all our current vacancies or email your CV to email@example.com.
Seafood is one of the most important exports in India with its shrimp being a staple food in many countries worldwide. However, 2017 and 2018 saw 27 shipments of shrimp refused entry into the US by the FDA. This was followed closely in January 2019, when 26 lines were refused due to the presence of two banned antibiotics, nitrofurans and chloramphenicol.
With Indian shrimp accounting for around one third of the countries seafood exports, India has expressed its concern over the rejections. It responded by calling the tests on the products ‘too stringent’.
The global shrimp industry is estimated to be worth around $30 billion and India’s market share is estimated at 13% in value terms.
Dr. Ramraj, President of the All Indian Shrimp Hatcheries Association has stated, “some of the metabolites in shrimp and crustacean shells are known to mimic antibiotics and therefore could give false results”.
The use of antibiotics in shrimp farming in India is banned. Madhusudano Rao, Principal scientist at India’s Central Institute of Fisheries Technology has said, “All shrimp hatchery operators and shrimp farmers and advised to use only these antibiotic- free inputs during shrimp farming”.
Randox Food Diagnostics offer the most comprehensive range of ELISA and Biochip tests currently on the market, specifically designed to identify and detect the smallest traces of the most prevalent antibiotics used in seafood, including nitrofurans and chloramphenicol.
The Evidence Investigator is a compact, semi-automated benchtop analyser which is renowned for its versatility, robustness and effective reporting methods. The Evidence Investigator has offered efficient and comprehensive testing in a wide range of laboratory settings for many years including, clinical diagnostics, molecular, research, toxicology and food diagnostics.
The Evidence Investigator is the perfect fit for medium throughput laboratories seeking maximum use of bench space and can process up to 44 results from a single sample, with a maximum throughput of up to 2376 tests per hour.
It is extremely well equipped to provide reliable and accurate results because results are generated using Charge Coupled Device (CCD) camera, which quantifies chemiluminescent light. The light then measures the degree of binding between the sample and specific biochip bound ligands. The Evidence Investigator image processing software translates light signal generated from chemiluminescent reactions into analyte concentrations which removes the need for any manual processing of data.
Our molecular product range offers diagnostic, prognostic and predictive solutions across a variety of disease areas including sexually transmitted infection (STI), respiratory tract infection, colorectal cancer, familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Additionally, we can provide a wide range of assay formats including single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) genotyping, pathogen detection and mutation detection. The technology allows simultaneous detection of multiple analytes from a single sample for efficient and cost-effective testing.
STI and Respiratory Arrays
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) affect more than 1 million people every day and each year 500 million new cases of STIs occur.1 Therefore, it is vital for early and accurate detection. Randox’s Sexually Transmitted Infections Multiplex Array simultaneously detects 10 bacterial, viral and protozoan including primary, secondary and asymptomatic co-infection for a complete infection profile. The assay is based on a combination of multiplex PCR and biochip array hybridisation. Innovative PCR priming technology permits high discrimination between multiple targets.
Respiratory tract infections are caused by many viral and bacterial pathogens and are the second most common cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide.2 The Respiratory Multiplex Array is the most comprehensive screening test for infections of both the upper and lower respiratory tracts, simultaneously detecting 22 bacterial and viral pathogens from a single sputum lavage or nasopharyngeal sample.
Both arrays detect the most common and frequently requested infections in sexual and respiratory health. These comprehensive, highly sensitive and specific tests enable identification of co-infections simultaneously, often in asymptomatic patients and enable antibiotic stewardship.
KRAS, BRAF, PIK3CA Array and Familial Hypercholesterolemia Arrays I & II
The colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common cancer worldwide. Overall, the lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer is: about 1 in 22 (4.49%) for men and 1 in 24 (4.15%) for women.3 The KRAS, BRAF, PIK3CA Array simultaneously detects 20 point mutations within the KRAS, BRAF and PIK3CA genes. The assay is validated for use with the DNA extracted from fresh/frozen and formalin fixed paraffin embedded tissue. The array is CE marked for routine clinical use.
Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH) is a genetic disorder of lipoprotein metabolism. 4It is the most common autosomal dominant, or inherited disease and affects the plasma clearance of LDL-cholesterol, resulting in premature onset of cardiovascular disease and higher mortality risk.5 Early diagnosis is crucial as by the time the FH sufferer enters early adulthood they will have accumulated >20 years of continuous exposure to build up of fatty or lipid masses in the arterial walls and are at the hundred-fold greater risk of a heart attack than other young people. The Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH) Arrays I & II are rapid, simple and accurate detection of 40 FH-causing mutations within the LDLR ApoB and PCSK9 genes.
These unique biochip assays permit high discrimination between multiple targets in several genes with a rapid turnaround time (3 hours). The arrays enable detection of the most frequently occurring mutations known to cause disease (FH) and adversely affect patient treatment (KRAS, BRAF, PIK3CA). A unique primer set is designed for each target which will hybridise to a complimentary oligo-nucleotide probe spotted on a biochip discrete test region (DTR).
Cardiovascular Risk Prediction Array
Coronary Heart Disease is the leading cause of death in the developed world and its prevention is a core activity for public health systems worldwide.6 Randox have the Cardiac Risk Prediction Array which will allow for 19 SNPs to be genotyped simultaneously, which incorporate a test to identify patients predisposed to statin-induced myopathy.
This array identifies individuals with a genetic predisposition to coronary heart disease (CHD). The innovative multiplex primers are designed to discriminate DNA sequences which differ only at one base.
For more information on our Evidence Series or Molecular range of Assays, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
A stroke can happen to anyone at any time. It is a serious life-threatening medical condition which occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off. It causes the brain cells to die resulting the abilities controlled by the brain such as memory and muscle control to become damaged. 1
According to the Stroke Association, strokes are considered the fourth biggest killer in the UK. There are more than 100,000 strokes each year which equals around one stroke every five minutes.2 Some people recover from the condition; however, two thirds of the survivors will have some sort of disability. 3
There are two mains types of strokes which are defined as “Ischemic strokes” and “Hemorrhagic stroke”.
Ischemic stroke is by far the most common kind of stroke, accounting for about 88% of all cases4. Ischemic strokes occur when there is an artery blockage which cuts off the blood supply to certain areas of the brain, which then results in brain cells being unable to make energy and dying. The arteries are vital for the brain as they bring fresh blood from the heart and lungs carrying oxygen and nutrients and taking away carbon dioxide and cellular waste. 4
The hemorrhagic stroke is less common but is more severe as there is a higher risk of dying within the first three months. It is when a blood vessel ruptures causing a bleed inside the brain, resulting in the death of brain cells. They are responsible for 40% of all stroke deaths.5
Symptoms of Stroke
The most commons symptoms of a stroke are:
- Weakness or numbness of the face, arm, or leg on one side of the body
- Loss of vision or dimming in one or both eyes
- Loss of speech, difficulty talking, or understanding what others are saying
- Sudden, severe headache with no known cause
- Loss of balance or unstable walking, usually combined with another symptom
Many risk factors can increase your chance of having a stroke. Some life style factors include being obese/overweight, not exercising enough, heavy drinking, use of illegal drug such as cocaine, cigarette smoking, high cholesterol, diabetes, disruptive sleeping pattern and family history of having stroke or heart attack.
Up to 80% of strokes are preventable. 3 There are simple healthy lifestyle recommendations that could decrease your chances of developing a stroke in the future which include:
- Controlling your blood pressures as it is one of the biggest preventions of developing a stroke.
- Maintaining a healthy weight through a well-balanced diet involving rich fruit and vegetables as well as decreasing the amount of cholesterol, saturated fat and sodium intake.
- Exercising regularly and staying within a good routine will also reduce your risk of having a stroke.
- Quitting tobacco usage and decreasing alohcal intake will help as well as regular usage increases the risk of having high blood pressure.
- Avoid taking illegal drugs such as cocaine as it reduces your blood flow which narrows the arteries.
Randox Biosciences offers a stroke array which works quickly to determine which type of stroke a person has experienced. Ischaemic stroke can be treated by thrombolysis and, with early usage, it can help limit stroke damage and disability.
However, inappropriate administration of thrombolytic therapy can cause serious adverse effects, including intracranial haemorrhage. Hence, there is an unmet clinical need for a rapid and highly sensitive testing that complements existing CT scanning approaches and facilitate the definitive identification of ischaemic stroke patients.
Randox’s innovative Biochip Array Technology enables simultaneous detection of eight stroke biomarkers from a single blood sample.
The eight biomarkers that can be detected in a single blood sample are:
- Glutathione S-Transferase-Pi (GSTP-Pi)
- Nucleoside Diphosphate Kinase A (NDKA)
- Parkinson Protein 7 (PARK7)
- Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein (GFAP)
- Interleukin 6 (IL-6)
- Heart Fatty Acid Binding Protein (H-FABP)
Acusera Linearity Verifier Sets are designed to challenge a larger section of an instruments reportable range and test if a system’s calibration is still valid. Our linearity materials cover a wide range of testing including, CRP, RF, Lipids, Therapeutic Drugs, Esoterics and more. Designed with user convenience in mind, all our linearity sets are supplied in a liquid format and in varying levels. Our unique combination of analytes enables laboratories to reduce the number of individual products required while ultimately reducing costs and time.
Complimentary, cloud-based data reduction software is supplied with all linearity sets, providing a graphical representation of results for at-a-glance performance assessment. Access to instantly updated peer group data and automatically generated statistics also helps to speed up data review. To view more of our quality control products click here.
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