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Clinical microbiology at the IBMS

Announcement of DWS attendance at IBMS

Don Whitley Scientific will be exhibiting at the 2017 IBMS Congress in Birmingham in September. We’ll be on stand number 407, Hall 3.

The event is being held from 25 to 27 September 2017 at the International Convention Centre. This is an invitation to our customers, potential customers, distributors and suppliers to visit us over this 3-day conference and exhibition.

Come along and see why WASPLab has developed into a market leading, fully automated, barcode-driven, conveyor-connected system with remote plate image analysis and automatic incubation. New WASPFlow is an automatic bulk sample sorter that will introduce dramatic efficiencies and revolutionise workflow.

On show will be the latest innovations in anaerobic workstation technology. Our patented Instant Access Ports are now widely accepted as the industry standard, as is the Catalyst Monitoring System that provides an early indication of the deterioration of anaerobic conditions.

ChromaZona Screen You will also be able to experience ChromaZona, an automated microbial identification and antibiotic susceptibility testing (AST) analysis system that provides faster results in busy clinical laboratories.

Not yet registered?

For more information about the IBMS Congress and Exhibition or to register to attend (it’s free to attend the exhibition), visit the Congress website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hypoxia and the Hallmarks of Cancer: Angiogenesis and Metastasis

The following was provided by HypOxygen, our distributor of Hypoxic Workstations in the US

Hanahan and Weinberg’s “Hallmarks of Cancer” are at the root of the multi-step progression of cancer, and they are all influenced by hypoxia in the tumor microenvironment. In this mini-review series, HypOxygen has been taking a closer look at the way Hypoxystation users worldwide are delineating the effects of hypoxia on the Hallmarks of Cancer: so far, we’ve showcased Avoiding Immune Destruction and Tumor Promoting Inflammation and Genome Instability and Mutation and Enabling Replicative Immortality.

In the Hypoxystation, researchers working with cells in culture can mimic the physiological conditions that produce those characteristic Hallmarks. The Hypoxystation enables glove-less access to cultivate and manipulate cells under physiological conditions, in a HEPA-clean environment. Oxygen levels in the Hypoxystation can be reliably and accurately adjusted to below 1%, reflecting the high metabolism, low perfusion tumor microenvironment.

 

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1. Inducing Angiogenesis

Angiogenesis and tumor-associated neo-vascularization are central to the progression of cancer, and hypoxia in the fast-growing, poorly perfused tumor setting is one of the main factors driving the formation of new vessels. Hypoxia in the tumor activates the hypoxia stress response, which is mediated at the cellular level by HIF, VEGF and many other cytokines, growth factors and guidance molecules. As a consequence, endothelial cells and pericytes proliferate and form new blood vessels, which are, however, disorderly and leaky, in turn exacerbating hypoxia in the tumor. Cancer treatment strategies striving to normalize tumor vessels for the purpose of improved drug delivery and alleviation of hypoxia in the tumor are showing great promise.

AngiogenesisSliceLITERATURE:

2. Activating Invasion and Metastasis

As with the other Hallmarks of Cancer, metastasis and cancer progression are correlated with low oxygen levels in the tumor. HIF’s activate the expression of more than 1000 genes, numerous of which play a role in inducing genes involved in the EMT, through direct interactions with HRE’s at promotor sites and other mechanisms such as epigenetic alterations, like methylation/demethylation. Hypoxia promotes migration and invasion by facilitating the endothelial-mesenchymal transition, altering cell-cell contacts, and reducing adhesion to the extra-cellular matrix. Cancer cells and neighboring cells such as fibroblasts are all influenced by hypoxia, and all contribute to the restructuring of the tumor microenvironment. The effects of the Hallmarks of Cancer continually perturb and promote each other, as when hypoxia-driven metabolic reprogramming causes acidification of the extracellular microenvironment through increased production and secretion of lactate, in turn augmenting ECM remodeling and immune evasion. Similarly, formation of novel blood vessels enables extravasation and migration of cancer cells to form new tumors.

MetastasisSliceLITERATURE:


Investment in automation for PHE Public Health Laboratory in Manchester

This is a press release from Central Manchester University Hospitals Trust

The PHE Public Health Laboratory in Manchester, which is based at Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CMFT), has become the first Microbiology Laboratory in the North West to become automated using COPAN WASPLab (Walk Away Specimen Processor) technology.

Public Health England, the Department of Health and CMFT have all invested to support the introduction of a state-of-the-art automation system for the Manchester Medical Microbiology Partnership (MMMP) laboratory at Manchester Royal Infirmary.

The MMMP, which is a partnership between Public Health England and CMFT, will be significantly strengthened by the investment and the automation, which will assist in the introduction and implementation of new technologies, facilitate new laboratory processes and lead to major improvements in clinical diagnostics within the NHS.

Working with Don Whitley Scientific, two COPAN WASPLab systems have been installed in a completely refurbished laboratory.

The WASPLab is a total laboratory automation system; specimens received into the lab will be processed on the Walk-Away Specimen Processor (WASP), and then incubated automatically. Biomedical Scientists will no longer be faced with stacks of plates and manual inputting of results into the laboratory information system. Instead, they will be interpreting and reporting results from 27 megapixel images.

It has long been thought that Bacteriology was the last bastion of traditional manual techniques, but the way in which the plates are read and interpreted will change dramatically with the new system.The new laboratory was recently officially opened by PHE Chief Executive Duncan Selbie and Sir Michael Deegan, CMFT Trust Chief Executive.

The investment will lead to significant increases in specimen processing quality, traceability, capacity and reduction in turnaround times – all good news for our users and our patients.

 

PHE - Total Laboratory Automation

A35_Front

Duck, duck, goose – diagnosis of avian botulism redefined

This article was provided by Microbiology International, Don Whitley Scientific’s US distributor of Anaerobic Workstations.

Large outbreaks of avian botulism with losses of over 50,000 wild birds occur regularly in Canada and the United States, and poultry farms worldwide also experience serious losses due to botulism neurotoxins. Clostridium botulinum is an obligate anaerobe that produces spores that persist for many years, and the botulinum toxin is one of the most potent toxins known to man.

Workstation users Le Marechal et al. at ANSES in France have previously developed a reliable, rapid and less expensive alternative to the mouse bioassay for confirmation of botulism, using liver from birds exhibiting symptoms as matrices for real-time PCR.  In their new paper “Development and Validation of a New Reliable Method for the Diagnosis of Avian Botulism”, Le Marechal et al. describe their investigation into optimised consensus conditions for the detection of type III avian botulism strains in liver.

The group at ANSES examined a number of parameters in developing their assay, including the options for pooling samples at different time points; times and temperatures of storage; homogenisation methods; and methods for producing anaerobic culture conditions. Both naturally contaminated and spiked liver samples were incubated in anaerobic jars, using either Gas-Paks or an anaerobic gas mix (10% CO2, 10% H2 and 80% N2), or in the Don Whitley Scientific A35 anaerobic workstation. Results were unambiguous: detection of low levels of some spores in anaerobic jars was only ~30% (gas mix) and ~65% (Gas-Pak) of the detection achieved in the A35 anaerobic chamber. The authors conclude that “Anaerobic chambers should therefore be preferred to detect low levels of type C spores.”

The A35, distributed in the US by Microbiology International, achieves reliably anaerobic culture conditions throughout the full internal volume of the chamber; the optional “anaerobic conditions monitoring system” senses and displays real-time oxygen levels for added security. Features such as automated humidity control, glove-less access ports, airlock and single-plate entry into the chamber, password protected user interaction and a removable front make the A35 the most user-friendly and reliable anaerobic workstation available to microbiology labs.

It’s no wonder Le Marechal et al. conclude, “The use of an anaerobic chamber was also better than the use of an anaerobic container, regardless of the anaerobic atmosphere. Therefore, insofar as possible, the use of an anaerobic chamber for the detection of Cbotulinum group III is recommended, especially for the detection of a low level of spores”.

 

 

AvianBotulism

Diagnosis scheme for avian botulism by detection of C. botulinumin livers using real-time PCR. Parameters optimized in this study are shown in bold. From “Development and Validation of a New Reliable Method for the Diagnosis of Avian Botulism”,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Hallmarks of Cancer: Genome Instability and Immortality

 

Dr Burga Kalz Fuller continues to look at the way the iconic “Hallmarks of Cancer“, as first described by Douglas Hanahan and Robert Weinberg, are influenced by hypoxia in the tumour microenvironment.

Oxygen around and within the tumour cells is central to metabolism, immunology, epigenetics and therapy resistance of all the cancers; in the lab, oxygen levels during tumour cell culture exert effects on metabolism, maintenance, cell yield, and cell survival. That’s why the authentic physiological cell culture conditions in the Hypoxystation help advance research into tumour progression and other events which determine malignancy and outcome of cancer diseases. The Hypoxystation enables glove-less access to cultivate and manipulate cells under physiological conditions, in a HEPA-clean environment.

In this mini-review series, we take a closer look at the way Hypoxystation users worldwide are delineating Hypoxia and the Hallmarks of Cancer. Previously, we had showcased research by Hypoxystation users involved with Avoiding Immune Destruction and Tumour Promoting Inflammation. Next, we want to show the many ways in which Hypoxystation users are researching the Hallmarks Genome Instability and Mutation and Enabling Replicative Immortality. One of those researchers, Dr. David Ho of the University of Miami, presented his results at the Cell Symposium on Cancer, Inflammation and Immunity in San Diego in June.


Let us show you how Don Whitley Scientific can Define Your Environment.

David Ho

Dr. David Ho from the University of Miami with his poster presentation at the Cell Symposium on Cancer, Inflammation and Immunity

GenomeSlice

1. Genome Instability and Mutation

Tumour hypoxia drives genomic instability both by increasing the volume of mutations (DNA strand breaks, base damage, and gene amplification) and by diminishing DNA repair efficiency. The low levels of oxygen typical of the tumor microenvironment decrease transcription of genes related to homologous repair and non-homologous end-joining, leading to the genetic instability observed in hypoxic tumour cells. Hypoxia induces production of reactive oxygen species ROS, which interact with nucleic acids, proteins and lipids, causing cellular damage and mutagenesis. Hypoxic activation of HIF-1 also upregulates expression of certain miRNA’s which suppress DNA repair pathways.

 

LITERATURE:

  • Jiang et al. (2016) “Hypoxia Potentiates the Radiation-Sensitizing Effect of Olaparib in Human Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Xenografts by Contextual Synthetic Lethality” Int J Radiation Oncol Biol Phys, Vol. 95, No. 2, pp. 772 e781, 2016
    www.redjournal.org/article/S0360-3016(16)00056-0/abstract Hypoxystation user
  • Doherty et al. (2016) “Photodynamic killing of cancer cells by a Platinum(II) complex with cyclometallating ligand” Nature Scientific Reports 6:22668 (2016)
    www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4778139/ Hypoxystation user
  • Hunter et al. (2016) “Hypoxia-activated prodrugs: paths forward in the era of personalised medicine” Br J Cancer. 2016 May 10; 114(10): 1071–1077
    www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4865974/Hypoxystation user
  • Leszczynska et al. (2016) “Mechanisms and consequences of ATMIN repression in hypoxic conditions: roles for p53 and HIF-1” Scientific Reports 6:21698 (2016
    www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4753685/ Hypoxystation user
  • Timpano and Uniacke (2016) “Human Cells Cultured Under Physiological Oxygen Utilize Two Cap-binding Proteins to Recruit Distinct mRNAs for Translation” Journal of Biological Chemistry 291(20):jbc.M116.717363
    www.jbc.org/content/291/20/10772.abstract Hypoxystation user
  • Haider et al. (2016) “Genomic alterations underlie a pan-cancer metabolic shift associated with tumour hypoxia“ Genome Biology (2016) 17:140
    www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27358048

ImmortalitySlice

2. Enabling Replicative Immortality

Cancer is characterized by a nearly unlimited capacity of the tumour cells to proliferate. Hypoxia in the rapidly growing tumour supports immortalisation of a subset of cancer cells, the “cancer stem cells”. Factors such as hypoxia in the tumour microenvironment derail signals indicating senescence and initiating apoptosis, enabling an immortal lifespan. Telomerase, Notch, c-Myc, and OCT4 mediate the acquisition of a stem cell-like phenotype through down-regulation of differentiation genes and activation of stem genes, generating CSC’s with aggressive properties. These cancer stem cells residing in an hypoxic tumour niche are uniquely resistant to many therapies, where low oxygen promotes stemness, maintenance, and self-renewal of the CSC’s. Metastasis and invasion by these CSC’s induce the formation of secondary tumours, which in most cases dramatically worsen the prognosis for cancer patients.

LITERATURE:

Sfam summer 2017

Successful SfAM Summer Meeting for DWS

Don Whitley Scientific exhibited at SfAM’s Conference last week, held in the BALTIC Arts Centre in Gateshead. SfAM (The Society for Applied Microbiology) offered an open invitation to all scientists with an interest in food microbiology to attend and participate in the event.

The event ran for four days, with Don Whitley Scientific setting up an exhibition stand on the Riverside Terrace of the BALTIC centre for day two. Our exhibition stand featured WASP Touch and ProtoCOL3, two products that are well suited to food microbiology applications. The WASP Touch is Don Whitley Scientific’s latest model of Whitley Automated Spiral Plater, which is extremely simple to use and provides real cost savings and process improvements. The ProtoCOL3 is a next generation instrument for colony counting and zone measuring, which works perfectly with the spiral plates that WASP Touch produces.

sfam prize winner

Olotu was very happy with her prize!

The meeting itself featured a packed schedule of lectures and poster sessions featuring topics from a range of international speakers that revolved around foodborne disease. There was also a social programme that included a barbecue on the Riverside Terrace, an interactive quiz and a conference meal in the restaurant located on the top floor of the conference centre. DWS also provided a prize for the exhibition competition, a picnic rucksack which was won by conference delegate Olotu Ifeoluwa, a food scientist from South Africa.

Social media is beginning to play a big role in how delegates and exhibitors can interact with events. SfAM set up a hashtag on Twitter at  which people could follow to keep up with what was happening at the exhibition. Don Whitley himself even featured on this hashtag as a delegate was keen to get a selfie with him!

This was a great exhibition for DWS to showcase products, with plenty of delegates showing interest in both WASP Touch and ProtoCOL3.

 

Biomedical Scientist_Clinical Microbiology of Anaerobes Course

Time to automate your media preparation?

 

Want the flexibility of making your own media?

Want to automate media production to save time?

Want consistently good quality plates?

 

 

Here’s what we can offer – faster, easier to clean systems that provide greater traceability.

Look no further than Masterclave Media Preparators

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Masterclave 10                                                                       This modern, colour touchscreen operated device can prepare from 1 to 10 litres of media. It is a benchtop media preparator but can be supplied with a trolley.

Masterclave 20 The Masterclave 20 can prepare from 1 to 20 litres of media. It comes complete with wheels and will fit perfectly under a laboratory bench when space is at a premium.

Masterclave 20
The Masterclave 20 can prepare from 1 to 20 litres of media. It comes complete with wheels and will fit perfectly under a laboratory bench when space is at a premium.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Use your Masterclave as part of a fully automated process for culture media preparation.

With a range of modern features plus options to tailor the Masterclave to your application, arrange your demonstration today.

                       Contact our sales office for more information on Tel: 01274 595728 or Email: sales@dwscientific.co.uk 

Please note that Don Whitley Scientific can only sell these products within the UK

 

 

 

 

 

bacr 2017 2

A Manic Month Continues for DWS

June continues to be busy for Don Whitley Scientific, with 6 exhibitions and events attended already. And we have two more to go!

In the month of June, we have attended several meetings and exhibitions that featured topics ranging from pathology, cancer research, LIMS systems and more. We helped to administer the 2017 Practical and Clinical Microbiology of Anaerobes Course, hosted by the UK Anaerobe Reference Unit, Cardiff. It was once again a fantastic success.

Next week (26th-28th June) DWS will be attending the Association for Radiation Research Annual Meeting, which this year focuses on the topic “Improving Radiotherapy Response through Radiation Research” featuring speakers from cancer research institutes from around the world. Don Whitley Scientific will have an exhibition stand at this meeting displaying the Whitley H45 Workstation. There will also be an interactive touchscreen presentation, which allows users to explore the full range of Whitley Workstations.

On 4th July we will also have an exhibition stand at the Society for Applied Microbiology Annual Applied Microbiology Conference at the BALTIC Centre in Gateshead. This meeting will focus on new insights into food safety. Here we will exhibit the ProtoCOL and WASP Touch, two products that provide real benefits in food microbiology applications.

 

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Don Whitley Scientific featured in Production Engineering Solutions

Don Whitley Scientific has featured in an article in the publication “Production Engineering Solutions”. The article focuses on the work that Hoffman Group did at the premises in Shipley to improve the efficiency of our production department.  Hoffman Group did a fantastic job in refurbishing our production department, installing equipment and furniture which will improve our levels of productivity and efficiency.

Read the article in full here – https://www.pesmedia.com/taking-efficiency-next-level/

 

Scientist Working in Whitley Workstation

Hypoxia in the Tumour Microenvironment

Hypoxia in the tumour microenvironment affects all the characteristic Hallmarks of Cancer, significantly impacting progression of the cancer and the patients’ prognosis. Inflammation and immunity are both acutely influenced by the low oxygen typical of the tumour microenvironment: hypoxia creates an immune-suppressive network supporting tumour growth and metastasis, and it induces sustained inflammation in a “wound that never heals”.

Cancer research depends on recreating a physiologically accurate environment for cell cultures in the lab, and hypoxia in a closed workstation format such as a Whitley Hypoxystation is the best way to do that. Incubate, image, manipulate and assay – all inside the continuous, reliably stable hypoxic environment. HEPA filtered air scrubbed to ISO 14644 class 3 standards, sterile humidity, and containment options make the Hypoxystation the safest, cleanest workstation available for hypoxic cell culture down to 0.1% O2.

Our Hypoxystation users are investigating all aspects of the Hallmarks of Cancer and how they are shaped by hypoxia. We review their recent research on Avoiding Immune Destruction and Tumour Promoting Inflammation here.

 

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