The RX series celebrate Medical Laboratory Professionals Week
Medical Laboratory Professionals Week is taking place this year from 22nd– 28th April 2018. This is an annual celebration of professionals working in the laboratory, highlighting and recognising their contributions to medicine and healthcare.
To celebrate Medical Laboratory Professionals Week the RX series interviewed Aidan Murphy, one of our laboratory analysts at Randox to find out more about what his job in the lab entails day-to-day. Aidan works with the RX series of clinical chemistry analysers and Randox QC on a daily basis.
We asked Aidan a few questions about his life as a scientist. See what he gets up to in Randox on a daily basis …
1. What attracted you to a career in laboratory science?
Science has always interested me in both my academic and personal life, I always aspired to get a science based degree and after achieving this I now hope to improve my laboratory skills to increase my employability.
2. What were your stronger subjects at school?
My strongest subjects in school were biology, chemistry, music and politics. Some of which are more applicable to my current role than others.
3. What does your job in Randox entail?
My job entails a variety of roles ranging from testing Randox diagnostic kits before they’re released to customers as well as maintenance and precision checks of the machines in our lab.
4. What aspects of your job do you enjoy the most?
The independence in my job is great. Knowing what I have to do at the start of each week and the deadlines to do these jobs requires me to organise and prioritise my work accordingly.
5. What are some common preconceived ideas the public have about what laboratory staff do?
From my friends’ ideas of what I do in the lab I have found that a stereotypical image of a lab is one of a dark quiet lab full of strange equipment and even stranger people. However fortunately my lab is a lively one and thankfully with normal people.
6. In your opinion, what are the most important aspects of laboratory work?
Following correct protocols and procedures are imperative in an efficient laboratory. As well as this, good lab practice and good hygiene can have a massive effect on the accuracy of our results.
7. What’s in your lab coat pocket?
My lab coat pockets are quite boring. I have a pair of safety goggles, some post-its and some pens and markers.
8. In what ways does your work make a difference to people’s lives?
Randox is dedicated to improving the quality of diagnostics globally, so knowing that the kits that I have tested are then sent to customers to be used in patient diagnosis gives me a level of job satisfaction that I haven’t got from previous jobs.
Aidan is a fundamental member of the Randox team and plays an essential role in the diagnosis and prevention of disease through his work. Without our valuable laboratory team working extremely hard behind the scenes the lifesaving work we do here at Randox would not be possible.
To find out more about Randox products contact us at theRXseries@randox.com.
Check out our social media sites for more on Medical Laboratory Professionals Week.
Metabolic health is a term used to describe a collection of required chemical reactions that take place in all living organisms. A metabolic disorder develops when an abnormal chemical reaction occurs which alters the normal metabolic process.
A common misconception surrounding metabolic health is that it refers solely to your weight, and if you are overweight you are considered to be unhealthy. But in actual fact this may not be entirely true. Good metabolism means that your body is in good overall health, which doesn’t account for just your weight! Common metabolic disorders include genetic metabolic disorders, diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Understanding and testing to see how well your metabolism is functioning is key to ensuring long lasting health.
There are a number of genetic metabolic disorders caused by mutations of single genes. Examples of common disorders include Gaucher’s disease, hemochromatosis and cystic fibrosis. Gaucher’s disease is a genetic disorder that affects the body’s ability to break down fat that can accumulate in the liver/spleen and bone marrow. Hemochromatosis is a condition that is caused by the over-absorption and build-up of iron while cystic fibrosis is a metabolic disorder that appears as a result of a build-up of mucus in lungs/liver and intestines. Each of these metabolic disorders affect certain organs from functioning properly and therefore your overall healthiness.
Type 2 diabetes is one of the most common types of metabolic disorders in the world that is expected to affect 592 million people by 2035. It is characterised by high blood sugar, insulin resistance or a lack of insulin being produced by the pancreas. Insulin resistance occurs when the body isn’t able to use insulin the right way which increases blood glucose levels. Insulin is needed for cells to take in glucose (sugar) from the bloodstream and convert it into energy. Over time this lack of insulin can damage the organs in your body.
Metabolic syndrome (also known as syndrome X, Reaven’s syndrome, and CHAOS) is not a disease but a collection of risk factors that affect your health; these include high blood pressure, high blood sugar/cholesterol and abdominal fat. Left untreated, these risk factors, together, can lead to long term serious problems including an increased risk of heart disease, stroke and developing type 2 diabetes.
Can you improve your metabolic health?
Yes! The good news is that if you discover that your metabolic health is not up to scratch you can improve it through a combination of diet, exercise and lifestyle adjustments such as:
- 30 minutes of moderate to intense exercise 5-7 times a week
- Low-dose aspirin to reduce your risk of stroke or heart attack
- Quit smoking
- Medication for blood pressure/cholesterol/ blood sugar
- Limit alcohol intake
- Eat a healthy balanced diet
Randox has developed the RX series of clinical chemistry analysers for superior semi-automated and fully automated testing. The RX series extensive dedicated test menu goes beyond routine testing and has many unique and high-performance tests available. Our range of tests covers several parameters to assess your overall metabolic health.
Metabolic Health Profile
|Alkaline Phosphatase||C02 Total||Sodium|
|AST (GOT)||Glucose||Total Protein|
The RX series clinical chemistry analysers provide laboratories with a robust and smart solution ensuring you maintain a consistent workflow and can provide accurate results first time, every time. Offering excellent customer support services, our trained engineers are on hand to work with you in preserving the continuity of your operations while maximising the potential of your RX series instrument. Our world-famous test menu of high quality reagents ensures excellence in patient care, guaranteeing unrivalled precision and accuracy reducing costly test re-runs or misdiagnosis and offering complete confidence in results.
For more information visit: https://dev.randox.com/clinical-chemistry-analysers/
Medical Laboratory Professionals Week is taking place this year from 24th-30th April 2017. This is an annual celebration of professionals working in the laboratory, highlighting and recognising their contributions to medicine and healthcare.
To celebrate Medical Laboratory Professionals Week the RX series interviewed Emmett Donnelly, one of our R&D Scientists at Randox to find out more about what his job in the lab entails day-to-day. Emmett works with the RX series of clinical chemistry analysers and Randox reagents on a daily basis to develop or improve new tests for the market.
We asked Emmett a few questions about his life as a scientist. See what he gets up to in Randox on a daily basis …
What attracted you to a career in laboratory science?
I have always been interested in science and around the time of GCSEs I had a fantastic science teacher that made the subject interesting and easy, so from there I wanted to follow some kind of Science related career. When I learned about the role of Biology and Chemistry in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics I wanted to become more involved in that area.
What were you good at in school?
I was always interested in science so did well in these subjects. I also did well in maths and loved technology class. I took sciences to A’ level and liked languages so took French at A level too. I was never really that interested in history or arts so these were never my strong points come exam times.
What do you do in your job for Randox?
I am primarily involved in the Development and improvement of new reagents making sure that they work to a high standard on our automated analysers. I am also involved in troubleshooting product and customer queries, transfer work onto new analysers and some formulation of products.
Can you tell us an example of your daily routine as an R&D scientist?
I’m usually involved in a project so I work through all the data that needs to be generated for that. However product and customer queries may come through the lab and this would take priority. Other studies such as stress studies and stability may need done at the same time every week and is therefore scheduled. I am dealing with emails, calls throughout the day and more recently mentoring of graduate and placement students.
What is your favourite test to perform & why?
I like several tests. I like simple tests such as ALP, AST and Creatinine designed to monitor the health of our vital organs. I also like tests such as IGs designed to test for infection and Therapeutic Drug tests like Valproic acid and Theophylline used to monitor patient response to therapies.
What aspects of your job do you enjoy the most?
I generally like being involved in an area that improves people’s wellbeing. It’s nice to develop a new product and get it performing to a point that can be used in the market especially if it is something that has never been produced before.
What are some common preconceived ideas the public have about what laboratory staff do?
I think the public have little knowledge of what happens in a lab. They have an interest but tend not to question in detail what staff do because they perhaps think that the work is too complex for them to understand. I also think that the public isn’t aware that practically everything they use in daily life has been developed in a laboratory environment and fail to see the link between primary testing and the final product.
In your opinion, what are the most important aspects of laboratory work?
It is important that all work is carried out in accordance to Standard Operating Procedures to keep in line with Regulatory criteria. It is also important that the analyst knows their exact aims and have the right technical knowledge to achieve these aims. It is especially important to keep with deadlines as well if the Laboratory work is business based.
What are common errors of pipetting?
FinnPipettes require routine maintenance so it’s important that they are calibrated and maintained properly. When using them it’s important that liquid is removed and dispensed slowly to avoid air bubbles. Too fast and air will be introduced into the plastic tip resulting in inaccurate volumes. It’s also important that with viscous liquids not to forget to remove excess liquid from the tip. Users also sometimes place pipettes on the bench horizontally with the tip on resulting in material finding its way into the pipette. Slow adjustment of the volume control will prolong the life of the pipette. With normal pipetting it’s important to always read the liquid meniscus at the required reading.
What’s in your lab coat pocket?
I have a calculator, a couple of pens and a marker though I have a habit of losing mine so they probably belong to my work mates.
In what ways does your work make a difference to people’s lives?
For me my work supports the old saying Prevention is better than cure. The use of Diagnostic reagents help detect the development of disease at an early stage and therefore enable something to be done about it early. In addition, the reagents can be used to monitor treatment during illness as the results will tell if treatment is working.
Emmett is a fundamental member of the Randox team and plays an essential role in the diagnosis and prevention of disease through research and development of new tests. Without our valuable laboratory team working extremely hard behind the scenes the lifesaving work we do here at Randox would not be possible.
To find out more about Randox products contact us at theRXseries@randox.com.
Check out our social media sites for more on Medical Laboratory Professionals Week.
As a global diagnostic company with employees situated in 145 different countries across the globe, working with Randox offers amazing opportunities for international travel, and even for relocating half way across the world!
Our aim is to revolutionise healthcare through innovative diagnostics and save lives, and we can’t achieve this aim without the support of each and every one of our employees who are situated throughout the world.
Recently we took the time to catch up with Andrew Dunlop, who relocated from our Headquarters in Crumlin to Austin, Texas, USA.
Hi Andrew, what’s your current job title at Randox?
Currently my job title is National Sales Manager for the RX Sales department at Randox. I have been working for Randox for over four years now and I am really enjoying my role. My main job responsibilities include selling RX instrumentation to clinical labs, research sites and education facilities while also managing staff who do the same.
Was relocating something that you imagined doing when you first started your career with Randox?
Relocating was always something that I thought may have been an option but wasn’t sure how realistic it would be. I was always encouraged to pursue international travel and I loved the idea of seeing how business was done in other parts of the world. Having previously lived in the USA for two years through an internship with another company before I started working for Randox, I loved the idea of returning someday but didn’t know if it would be possible. I didn’t know anyone who already lived in Texas but because I had travelled to Austin on so many occasions for business I knew it was a great city. As I was travelling quite frequently to the USA I brought up the possibility of relocating there which was fully supported by the company.
What happened in the first few weeks of your relocation? Did you face any challenges?
The first few weeks were fairly hectic: I had to source getting a new car, a driver’s licence and finding an apartment and furniture. Randox helped me settle in by putting me up in a hotel initially and they also bring me home at least once per year which is something that I always look forward to.
How are you finding living in a new culture?
I love the culture in the USA and I have got used to pronouncing words a certain way so people can understand me such as two, eight, hour and even Andrew. The American’s use different terms such as Cell Phone, trunk, Gas etc too. The weather is also great, blue skies and sun is the norm for me now. I am able to live an outdoor lifestyle in my spare time, go hiking, mountain biking, BBQs etc, the list could go on and on!
How are you coping living so far from home?
I miss family and friends a lot, but as time passes it becomes normal. But the company does fly me home once per year which is something I always look forward to. I will have been home three times in 2016, but I wasn’t home at all in 2015.
Are you doing the same job in your new role?
My job role didn’t change significantly, I do a very similar job that I did before when I was located in Ardmore. Previously I managed staff who sold RX equipment in Brazil, Spain, UK and USA but now I purely focus on the US market. Plus being in the market has allowed me to understand it so much more and sales have really grown as a result which is a big plus!
What’s been the highlight of your move so far?
The highlight for me is being in a city that I truly love.
If you are interested in joining an international company that can offer you the chance to relocate to some of the biggest cities in the world, make sure that you check out our website for any current opportunities. We also offer a student placement program and graduate development program to help students and recent grads build the necessary experience needed to work within a global company.
Make sure to follow Randox Careers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay up-to-date with the hashtag #WeAreRandox
Age is associated with increases in body weight, body fat, abdominal fat, deterioration of muscles, and arthritis. However, everything in the body happens at the cellular level. Outward signs of aging that you may see, such as wrinkles and grey hair, are only symptoms of what is happening on a microscopic scale.
A study carried out by Raul A Martins, using the RX imola, outlined an experiment, investigating how we can affect our own inner-biological make-up, on a much deeper scale than muscle build-up, through exercise and activity:
“To investigate the training effect of sixteen weeks of moderate intensity, progressive aerobic and strength-based training on metabolic health of old women and men. Sixty three sedentary individuals were randomly assigned to control or exercising groups. The training group was separated to aerobic or strength-based. Training took place 3 times a week. Subjects agreed not to change their diet or lifestyle over the experimental period. Exercising group attained after treatment significant differences on body weight, waist circumference, body mass index, diastolic blood pressure, triglycerides, total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, total cholesterol/HDL-cholesterol relationship, high sensitivity C-reaction protein and 6 minute walk distance. The control group only had significant differences on waist circumference” wrote R.A. Martins and colleagues, university of Coimbra.”
As shown in the experiment, exercising does not only affect our muscle mass and body fat index. It does, in fact, affect us on a cellular level.
Before outward aging symptoms are expressed, your cells, your DNA, and everything that makes up you is reacting to your lifestyle and responding appropriately. A particularly lifestyle-sensitive part of your DNA associated with aging are telomeres.
Telomeres are caps at the ends of DNA strands, made up of a combination of DNA and protein. They protect the ends of the chromosome and keep them stable. Telomeres, however, are incredibly sensitive and have a tendency to become damaged and unravel, prompting a process called “telomere shortening”. Telomeres are associated with the changing nature of our bodies, and therefore, are classed as important aging biomarkers – with their length indicating lifespan. Each time our cells divide, our telomeres shorten. After many dozens of years of cell division, these biomarkers have reached a point where they can longer become any shorter. At this point, cell division discontinues and this is where aging will occur, as cells begin to die faster than they are created. Our body begins to break down. Effects such as hair falling out and skin sagging, are all symptoms of telomere damage or shortening. Telomere shortening has not only been associated with aging, but also age-related diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimers, cardiovascular disease, Diabetes, and some forms of cancer.
There is good news, Martins noted in his experiment that exercise appears to keep telomeres from unravelling, shortening and becoming damaged, and therefore, can be classed as a natural anti-aging activity.
Through examining white blood cells, scientists can monitor telomere shortening (and damaging) whilst monitoring exercise and lifestyle of subjects. Another group of scientists in Germany conducted a similar experiment, gathering women and men of different ages to examine their lifespans relative to exercising, they noted:
The sedentary older subjects had telomeres that were on average 40 percent shorter than in the sedentary young subjects, suggesting that the older subjects’ cells were, like them, aging. The runners, on the other hand, had remarkably youthful telomeres, a bit shorter than those in the young runners, but only by about 10 percent. In general, telomere loss was reduced by approximately 75 percent in the aging runners. Or, to put it more succinctly, exercise, Dr. Werner says, ‘‘at the molecular level has an anti-aging effect.’’
(Gretchen Reynolds, 2010)
So, to put a number on it, studies show, exercise can reduce the aging process by up to a whopping 75%.
As well as it’s anti-aging properties, there are a surplus of other benefits of exercising, such as increased release of endorphins and relieving of muscular pain. Currently, there’s a good deal of research being conducted into potential drug based approaches for telomere shortening, yet these drugs are still years away. So, for now, exercise and healthy eating is the only known way to stave off aging… As if we needed another healthy reason to get active!
Read more about the experiment conducted on the RX imola:
Year upon year, WHO (World Health Organisation) have set a date to raise awareness of various health issues from Food Safety, to Hypertension to Vector-Borne diseases. This year, WHO are setting their goals in raising awareness on Diabetes; those with family and friends affected and those diagnosed. The RX series take a closer look at a type of Diabetes we don’t often talk about to raise awareness for the #BeatDiabetes campaign by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Diabetes is a life-long condition, featuring in the top 10 causes of death globally, responsible for approximately 1,497,371 deaths worldwide and 6,088 in the UK alone yearly. As a major non-communicable disease, diabetes claims on average around 8% of total health budgets in developed countries.
As many know, diabetes can come in 2 common forms: Types I Diabetes; where the pancreas does not produce insulin and Type II Diabetes; where the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin/the body’s cells do not react to insulin. Not very often, however, do we hear the term Gestational Diabetes.
Gestational Diabetes is a type of diabetes that affects pregnant women, usually in their third trimester. The good news is, the condition usually disappears soon after the baby is born, but what are the risks, how serious is it really and what are the chances you may find yourself dealing with the condition?
Pregnancy puts extra demands on the body, as it demands higher level of nutrition, and energy. Gestational Diabetes (GDM) occurs when the body can’t produce enough extra insulin to meet these demands.
The condition is surprisingly common, with 15% of all pregnancies resulting in the mother suffering from GDM. Whilst it only occurs in pregnancy; it is estimated that over 50% of women who have had gestational diabetes will go on to develop type II diabetes within 5-10 years of delivery which is a startling statistic.
A study carried out at JSS Medical College aimed to investigate the biochemical parameters that could be used to diagnose GDM. Levels of serum creatinine, uric acid and the albumin were studied in GDM patients and unaffected pregnant women to consider any correlation between these biochemical markers and certain clinical parameters. The RX daytona, a clinical chemistry analyser from Randox’s RX series range was used to analyse the samples. The conclusion was that biochemical parameters such as serum creatinine, uric acid and albumin, can help in predicting the early onset and progression of GDM.
The study also stated that early diagnosis was paramount as it could help in the proper treatment of gestational diabetes and its associated complications for mother and baby, thus helping to improve the quality of life of the GDM patients and their offspring.
There are measures women can take before and during pregnancy to prevent the likelihood of Gestational Diabetes occurring. One study shows that increasing fibre intake to 10g per day reduces the risk by 26%. Also, women who exercise before pregnancy have a lower risk of gestational diabetes, the more intense the exercise, the lower the risk. However, this doesn’t have to mean extremely strenuous exercise, anything as simple as walking at a brisk pace, rather than at a leisurely pace will reduce your risks.
This year on World Health Day, we urge you to share your stories and give support for those affected by diabetes and use the hashtag #BeatDiabetes to get involved with the conversation.
Randox offers high quality tests for the diagnosis of diabetes and the monitoring of its complications.
To find out more about the RX series range of clinical chemistry analysers and how we tackle Diabetes with accurate and early diagnosis, take a look at our brochures below.
Questions? Speak to the RX team: theRXseries@Randox.com
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