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The Blog

Selected category: COVID-19

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Neopterin: The early warning indicator that could make all the difference

By Dajana Domik

When patients exhibit symptoms common to more than one disease or invading pathogen it is useful to have a universal biomarker that can help you narrow down the potential causes, monitor progress of an ongoing condition, and give you an advanced warning if the condition is going to worsen. In many cases, neopterin is that biomarker. It gives an early warning signal that the patient’s immune system has been triggered—often before disease-specific clinical symptoms have presented themselves. Here we explore neopterin, its origins, and what makes it such an important and universal marker.

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Genomics research beyond COVID-19 :  Embracing the new normal

By Roberta Veneroni

In the “new normal” post COVID-19, how can genomics labs be better prepared to respond quickly to the unexpected? How can they deliver reliable and insightful genetic sequencing results faster and more efficiently? What is the best way to scale up operations without being limited by benchtop tasks? In this article, Tecan talks to Dr. Davide Scaglione, CTO of the innovative NGS service provider IGATech, to get his perspective on how to embrace the new normal and put the latest genomics technologies to work to improve the health of humans, animals, and the planet.


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COVID-19: best liquid dispenser choices to prevent contamination and error in the lab

By David Wold

The global COVID-19 pandemic is putting unprecedented pressure on laboratories to meet demand for accurate, large-scale, high-throughput testing. In such extreme circumstances, conserving samples and minimizing risk of contamination is vital, and it all boils down to having the right pump at the heart of your test instrument. For most molecular diagnostics instruments, an air displacement pipettor (ADP) with disposable tips is the preferred approach.

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High Quality ELISA for measuring HMGB1 in COVID-19 samples

By Oliver Schmidt

HMGB1 is a key mediator in the immune response to SARS-CoV-2, and increased levels can be an important indicator for COVID-19 understanding and its prognosis. In this final piece in our series, we look at the performance of Tecan’s HMGB1 ELISA kits, and demonstrate the value of total HMGB1 as a clinical biomarker in a wide range of sample types and diseases. These highly sensitive kits are regarded by key opinion leaders to be the gold standard for quantitative HMGB1 analysis, making them the ideal starting point when it comes to measuring HMGB1 in COVID-19 patients.

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How to measure alarmin HMGB1 in SARS-CoV-2 immune response

By Oliver Schmidt

In the first article in this series, we looked at how HMGB1 has taken an increasingly important position as a key mediator in the immune response, playing a major role in many diseases, from cancer to coronavirus. There is now significant evidence that HMGB1 is essential for SARS-COV-2 replication, as well as potentially being a therapeutic target in severe cases of COVID-19.1 In this article we examine how we can effectively measure HMGB1 accurately in serum and other samples and begin the journey from research to clinic.

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Exploring the role of HMGB1 in the immune response to COVID-19

By Oliver Schmidt

How the human body deals with infection depends on an individual’s immune response. When looking at the body’s response to SARS-CoV-2, the state of the immune system has a crucial impact on the clinical outcome. For example, HMGB1 (High Mobility Group Box 1) protein is a key mediator of the immune system, and as such it has been shown to be critical in the replication of SARS-CoV-2. This article outlines the potential roles of HMGB1 in the race to find solutions to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Lessons of the pandemic: 3 ways to secure lab operations

By Dr Beatrice Marg-Haufe

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced everyone to look at laboratory routines to see if they are really pandemic proof. For example, the explosive demand for high throughput genomic analysis often creates pressures upstream to process many more samples and prepare high quality DNA. The rapid shut down of non-essential workplaces and services coupled with the surge in demand for laboratory testing put immense strain on multiple aspects of normal laboratory operations such as strict rules on the need for personal protective equipment which was in limited supply and required physical distancing. Consumable stocks and reagents also dwindled as they were being used at a much faster rate and the supply chains were affected by global demand. Now that limitations of current laboratory routines have been highlighted, it’s time to consider how to make laboratories pandemic proof.

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COVID-19: Six challenges to large-scale testing

By David Wold

Designing and manufacturing lab instruments that include automated liquid handling is challenging at the best of times, but in the face of increased demand for faster testing, it’s even more critical to select the right partner and reliable components. The global COVID-19 pandemic is posing unprecedented challenges for laboratories as they race to meet the demand for accurate, large-scale testing in a short amount of time, and without the risk of cross-contamination.

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Pandemic preparedness: Scaling up for the healthcare industry

By Joe Rotter

How do you prepare for the unexpected? The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light how challenging it is for labs and production facilities to scale up quickly in times of need. The sudden surge in demand for laboratory solutions at the very time that we are experiencing unprecedented constraints on the workforce and global supply chains is a wake-up call. This has put pressure on infrastructures in every sphere connected to the healthcare industry—from R&D and manufacturing to clinical diagnostics. Even relatively small labs and organizations have been required to rapidly shift focus and massively expand their outputs at an unprecedented rate.

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