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Archive for February, 2015

Filming (2)

New Hypoxystation Videos

Hot on the heels of the Oscars, we go behind the scenes in science!

Earlier this week, we filmed the latest in our series of short videos about the research that is being conducted in our Hypoxic workstations. We went to visit Dr Ayse Latif from the Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences, University of Manchester, and Dr Michael Cross from the Department of Molecular and Clinical Pharmacology, University of Liverpool.

Both Dr Latif and Dr Cross use Whitley H35 HEPA Hypoxystations in their work, and Dr Latif also uses a Whitley i2 Instrument Workstation housing a Seahorse XFe96 Analyzer. These videos will be uploaded to our website shortly.

Dr Cross spoke about his study of endothelial cells, the long-term incubation of multicellular cardiac spheroids and ischaemia in the human heart. Dr Latif discussed her work in exploiting tumour cell metabolism in order to improve treatment for gynaecological cancer patients.

Click here to have a look at our earlier video with Dr Violaine See.

 

 

Anaerobic and Microaerophilic Workstations

New Product Brochure

 

Hot off the press! You can now download a product brochure for Whitley Anaerobic and Microaerophilic workstations; covering everything you need to know about this innovative product range and the unique features, options, support and service that you won’t get from any other supplier.

We’ve sold thousands of workstations, in over 50 countries, and have an established network of distributors around the globe. We have been granted numerous patents as we’ve striven to create the best products for our customers, and offer a truly comprehensive range of products in this field.

Click here to see for yourself.

 

University of Würzburg

i2 Installed at University of Würzburg

 

Engineers from Don Whitley Scientific and our German subsidiary Meintrup-DWS recently installed a Whitley i2 Instrument Workstation at the University of Würzburg, Germany. The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology have an existing Whitley H35 Hypoxystation, and the i2 has been connected to this via the Whitley Transfer Tunnel.

The combination of a Whitley i2 Instrument Workstation and Seahorse XF Analyzer (pictured below inside the workstation) permits simultaneous, real-time analysis of mitochondrial respiration and glycolysis in mammalian cells under precisely controlled hypoxic conditions.

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Whitley Hypoxystation 12 Litre Airlock

The Fastest Oxygen Control on the Market

If you need a workstation that responds rapidly to changes in oxygen set point, read on. We have conducted tests that lead us to believe that no other manufacturer’s hypoxic workstations are able to offer the same accuracy and speed of response to set point changes as those achievable in Whitley Hypoxystations.

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Genius Baby

The Science Behind “Three-person Babies”

Last week, the House of Commons voted to allow in vitro fertilisation (IVF) to be carried out with eggs from two different women and sperm from one man, a technique which has been dubbed the “three-person baby”. The vote opened a novel avenue for treating mitochondrial diseases because the actual nuclear mother, whose family would have a history of mitochondrial (MT) diseases, does not pass on her mitochondria, with the baby receiving the female donor’s healthy mitochondria instead.

Dr Burga Kalz Fuller, product manager at HypOxygen, presents an interesting outline of the scientific implications and explains why the media’s term “three-person baby” is a misnomer:

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TC-3 Bioreactor

Culturing Tissue-Engineered Constructs of Clinically Relevant Size Using Perfusion

What is in-vitro tissue engineering?

In vitro tissue engineering is a relatively recent phenomenon that usually refers to cell culture systems combining biomaterials, tissue specific cells, and chemicals such as growth factors and cytokines that aim to direct the behaviour of the cells in the way they interact with their material scaffolds, and each other. These tissue engineered constructs may then be used in a variety of model systems, or they may be cultured with the aim of creating a suitable transplant.

Why is it useful?

The advantages of a tissue engineered transplant graft are numerous; patient tailored design, lack of donor site morbidity and the opportunity to use autologous cells in order to avoid the host immune response, to name just a few. The advantages of tissue engineered model systems are similarly numerous, with the most significant probably being the reduction in the research community’s reliance on animal models and improved safety when animal trials are used.

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Studying Mitochondria in Hypoxia

Having recently attended the joint symposium on “Mitochondria, Metabolism and Heart Failure” and “Diabetes and Metabolic Dysfunction” in Santa Fe, New Mexico, our product manager, Dr Burga Kalz Fuller of HypOxygen, was fascinated by the enthusiasm of the attendees and the wide range of topics. Some of these included:

  • Metabolic communication between different organs and tissues based on energy expenditure
  • Anti-diabetic and anti-obesity effects of thermogenic pathways in brown and beige fat
  • PINK1 and Parkin in mitophagy and MAPL/Drp1 in mitochondrial fission
  • The role of mitochondrial DNA in ageing and degenerative diseases
  • The influence of gut microbiota on human metabolism and gene expression through accessing intestinal chromatin
  • Localisation of fatty acids in lipid droplets or mitochondria in well-fed and starved cells
  • Postnatal mitochondrial remodelling in cardiomyocytes
  • Association of branched-chain amino acids with insulin resistance, obesity and coronary heart disease
  • Protection of cardiac mitochondria from elevated ROS in ischemia/reperfusion states.

    Whitley i2 Instrument Workstation

    Whitley i2 Instrument Workstation

What brought all these researchers to Santa Fe were the different facets of metabolism and energy homeostasis, with mitochondria proving the most common theme. Mitochondria are the primary oxygen sensors in the cell, operating through mechanisms of reactive oxygen species, HIF pathways, TOR signalling and other means. Physiological normoxia in healthy tissue is significantly lower than the 21% oxygen present in air, and oxygen tension in many disease states is even lower. As a result of this, in vitro cell culture performed under ambient conditions in a CO2 incubator is entirely unrepresentative of in vivo conditions in tissue.

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Scientist working in Anaerobic Workstation

Botulism Cases Rise

Scottish media has recently reported an increase in the number of diagnosed cases of botulism. Caused by toxins produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, this condition attacks the nervous system, can cause paralysis, and may be fatal if left untreated. There are three types of botulism: food-borne, wound and infant. Diagnosis is achieved by conducting tests on samples of blood, faeces, stomach contents or food to detect the bacteria or toxins.

Having to send samples off to an external laboratory for analysis can mean delaying diagnosis and by extension, treatment, for longer than necessary. Hospitals which are equipped to perform these tests in-house will have a much greater chance of containing and treating this illness effectively.

Anaerobic jars can be restrictive when processing a large number of samples, whereas an anaerobic workstation provides a sustainable environment where parameters can be altered to create the required conditions.

The Whitley A35 Anaerobic Workstation can accommodate up to 600 x 90mm Petri dishes and like our other anaerobic chambers, it provides excellent conditions for the processing, incubation and examination of samples without exposure to atmospheric oxygen.

For more information please contact us.