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Diagnostics Screening and monitoring, Regulation and standards, Analytical science

Quick Hits

Credit: Louis Reed/

Left Behind
The Association for Molecular Pathology has highlighted major barriers to achieving truly interoperable genomic data in electronic health records (1). The report identifies challenges such as lack of sufficient information, limitations in interoperability standards, lack of consensus guidelines on best practice, and variability between labs in the structure and content of genomic reports.

Collaboration is Key
The European Platform for Neurodegenerative Diseases (EPND) has announced that it will be developing a collaborative platform to promote efficient sample and data sharing within European research networks (2). The platform hopes to accelerate biomarker, diagnostic, and treatment discoveries for people with neurodegenerative diseases.

Express Test
Researchers have developed an electrochemical assay to identify antibiotic resistance in less than 90 minutes – a marked improvement on the one- to two-day wait for conventional tests (3). The technique uses mediated extracellular electron transfer to directly measure cellular respiration and classify strains as antibiotic-resistant or -susceptible.

Tailored Treatments
Therapeutic monitoring of isoniazid and rifampicin serum concentrations in adolescents and children may enable fixing of dosages and more tailored tuberculosis treatment (4). The researchers found that low plasma concentration levels of either drug led to poorer treatment outcomes and onset of drug-resistant strains.

Laying Foundations
RareCan – a company aiming to accelerate rare cancer research development – has been granted approval from the NHS Research Ethics Committee to set up its BioResource at Newcastle University (5). In doing so, the company hopes to reduce the time it takes to provide rare cancer researchers with samples from months to weeks.

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  1. AB Carter et al., Review J Mol Diagn, [Online ahead of print] (2021). PMID: 34656760.
  2. Alzheimer Europe (2021). Available at:
  3. G Tibbits et al., Biosens Bioelectron, [Online ahead of print] (2021). PMID: 34773749.
  4. C Tersigni et al., BMC Infect Dis, 21, 1087 (2021). PMID: 34674665.
  5. Technology Networks (2021). Available at:
About the Author
Liv Gaskill

During my undergraduate degree in psychology and Master’s in neuroimaging for clinical and cognitive neuroscience, I realized the tasks my classmates found tedious – writing essays, editing, proofreading – were the ones that gave me the greatest satisfaction. I quickly gathered that rambling on about science in the bar wasn’t exactly riveting for my non-scientist friends, so my thoughts turned to a career in science writing. At Texere, I get to craft science into stories, interact with international experts, and engage with readers who love science just as much as I do.

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