Human Tissue Sample Blog

Your source for information about acquiring human biospecimens for your research.

The Importance of Bone Marrow Adult Stem Cells in Medicine

Posted by Luke Doiron on Oct 28, 2014 6:00:00 AM

We are born with a supply of bone marrow in the center of our large bones. This soft and spongy tissue is critical to the development of the immune system, as well as the source of new blood cells. At birth, all bone marrow is red, and consists primarily of hematopoietic tissue, key to the production of red and white blood cells, as well as platelets. Bone marrow stroma contains a number of other cells, including mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), which have been found to be extremely valuable in disease research. Many cell progenitors are also found in bone marrow and are useful in helping researchers understand the root causes of blood and autoimmune diseases. Adult bone marrow stem cells are now also used in actual patient treatments for a variety of serious diseases.

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Topics: adult stem cells

5 Benefits to Using Adult Stem Cells in Cancer Research

Posted by Luke Doiron on Oct 21, 2014 6:00:00 AM

While much of the popular media attention over the last 10 years has focused on embryonic stem cells, in fact, the adult stem cell has been shown to be a viable and valuable source in the long fight to better understand cancer's origins and treatment possibilities. Adult stem cells, in brief, are also known as progenitor cells or somatic stem cells. They are found in minute quantities in nearly every human body organ and tissue. Their key function is maintenance and repair of their specific tissues.

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Topics: adult stem cells, cancer research

6 Things to Know About Seropositive Rheumatoid Arthritis Research

Posted by Luke Doiron on Oct 14, 2014 6:00:00 AM

A chronic autoimmune disease, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), is theorized to be caused by some combination of genetics and environmental factors. What the precise molecular trigger is for RA is still under investigation so that better treatments can be developed and diagnosis made earlier, when the disease is more manageable. Early symptoms of RA include joint pain, swelling, and stiffness. As the disease progresses, it can lead to loss of mobility and joint deformity.

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Topics: seropositive rheumatoid arthritis

How are Extracted Nucleic Acids Used for Drug Development?

Posted by Luke Doiron on Oct 9, 2014 6:00:00 AM

Before powerful modern microscopes enabled medical researchers to clearly see and define microscopic organisms such as bacteria and viruses, the earliest microbe hunters used a rudimentary magnifying glass to gain superficial knowledge about the tiny world of microbes. Today, we can plausibly compare advancements in molecular medicine to that journey from a simple magnifying lens to a modern microscope.

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Topics: drug development

5 Frequently Asked Questions About Adult Stem Cell Research

Posted by Luke Doiron on Oct 7, 2014 6:00:00 AM

Stem cells are often referred to in the sociopolitical realm with some level of controversy and beyond that, some level of confusion. Many researchers are unaware of the basic scientific definitions of various types of stem cells and their medical therapeutic potential applications. In order to have a better understanding of the adult stem cell, here are five frequently asked questions (FAQs) about adult stem cell research:

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Topics: adult stem cells

What Lab Tests Are Used for Lupus Research?

Posted by Luke Doiron on Oct 2, 2014 6:00:00 AM

A definitive diagnosis of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) can be a lengthy and difficult process. One reason is that SLE symptoms can vary significantly from patient to patient; additionally, SLE sufferers experience periods of flare ups and remissions and so lab tests may not provide a clear diagnosis for those who are in a remission stage during testing. Making matters more complicated, in its early stages, lupus can look like a number of other diseases.

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Topics: Lupus Research

What New Biomarkers Have Been Found for Lupus Research?

Posted by Luke Doiron on Sep 30, 2014 6:00:00 AM

Like clues at a crime scene, biomarkers help researchers find molecular evidence to explain why and how diseases originate and progress. As early disease predictors, biomarkers are increasingly important in understanding lupus. As William Paul, MD, chair of the Lupus Research Institute Scientific Board explains,  "Biomarkers can take the guesswork out of treating lupus and help in creating a meaningful plan of action tailored to each person. They can also speed the development and approval of more effective and less toxic drugs."

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Topics: Lupus Research

The Importance of FFPE Tissue in Oncology Research

Posted by Luke Doiron on Sep 25, 2014 6:00:00 AM

The goal of most cancer research is centered upon identifying and understanding the molecular and cellular makeup of cancer cells as well as unlocking the reasons why and how these cells behave differently from normal human cells. High-quality human biospecimens are an irreplaceable and integral part of this effort, which means that to advance knowledge in cancer medicine, there is a great need for highly-annotated, well-sourced biospecimens. This can be a challenge, however. Sometimes it's hard to find enough fresh tissue specimens for extensive research protocols. This is why more researchers have turned to the vast libraries of archival Formalin-Fixed Paraffin-Embedded (FFPE) tissues for their oncology research.

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Topics: Oncology Research, FFPE tissue

4 Methods for Extracting DNA from FFPE Tissue Samples

Posted by Luke Doiron on Sep 23, 2014 6:00:00 AM

Tissues stored for long time periods are typically fixed with formalin to preserve the tissue’s protein structure and then embedded in paraffin wax so that the tissue can be readily prepared in thin slices. This technique, known as formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE), has been invaluable for providing well-annotated biospecimens for large-scale drug discovery and biotech research.  This is because, for many research protocols, there is often a lack of adequate numbers of fresh tissue samples for projects such as cancer biomarker research.

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Topics: FFPE tissue samples

How to Extract Nucleic Acids from FFPE Tissue Samples

Posted by Luke Doiron on Sep 18, 2014 6:00:00 AM

About a century ago, an excellent method of preserving tissue samples was developed. That technique, known as Formalin-Fixed, Paraffin-Embedded (FFPE) tissue, was a step forward for biospecimen research. However, FFPE was developed primarily for histological applications. Today, there is great interest in using FFPE biospecimens for molecular biological research.

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Topics: FFPE tissue