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New Life Science Conference: “Molecular Diagnostics Europe” at BIOTECHNICA 2010

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BIOTECHNICA, Europe’s Leading Exhibition for Biotechnology and Life Sciences, is broadening its portfolio to include a new conference and special display on molecular diagnostics.

Produced by the Cambridge Healthtech Institute, the “Molecular Diagnostics Europe” (MDxEU) conference is making its debut this year. The main focus will be on new methods for molecular diagnostics, particularly with regard to cancer and infectious diseases.

Thanks to the systematic and increasingly easy analysis of genes and proteins, researchers are beginning to understand diseases at the molecular level. This new understanding is paving the way for easy-to-apply testing systems, since if a particular molecule or gene segment is characteristic of an infectious agent or particular kind of tumor, that molecule or gene can also be detected.

Automatic diagnostic systems — “Sample in, answer out”:

The goal of biomedical researchers is to create automatic diagnostic systems - so-called, “sample in - answer out” solutions. These systems promise to give doctors and their patients clear and fast answers to their questions without needing to submit samples and wait days or weeks for the laboratory results.

NGS enables rapid analysis of human or bacterial genomes:

A key foundation for the new diagnostic methods involves a new DNA sequencing technology known as “Next-Generation Sequencing” (NGS). This technology enables faster analysis of human or bacterial genomes than was previously possible. Analyses which used to take months now take only days when NGS methods are applied. These new screening methods allow researchers to find pathogens which can only survive in complex systems such as natural biofilms and which cannot be produced in a laboratory environment. These new methods also make possible the analysis of gene segments which are characteristic to particular types of cancer as well as familial disease or unstable genes that are especially susceptible to illness.

Point-of-care diagnosis: Immediate diagnostics in the hospital or doctor’s office:

Point-of-care testing is becoming increasingly important for physicians who need to deliver an initial diagnosis at the patient’s bedside, in the doctor’s office or in an ambulance. The physician can test blood, urine or a smear without needing to send in the samples to a lab. Although point-of-care testing cannot replace detailed laboratory analysis, the market is growing rapidly, especially as involves new microfluidic systems. Tiny lab-on-a-chip solutions combined with new, highly-sensitive molecular markers make point-of-care systems a key tool in rapid diagnostics.

Dr. Rosanna W. Peeling, Professor of Diagnostics Research at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, will deliver a keynote presentation detailing the opportunities and challenges associated with systems for the diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases.

Other keynote speakers include Dr. Johan den Dunnen from the Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands, Dr. Rudi Pauwels from Biocartis in Switzerland, Dr. Stephen Little from QIAGEN in the United Kingdom and Dr. Mark P. Stevenson from Life Technologies in the United States.

The conference takes place from 5 to 7 October 2010 at the Convention Center at the Hannover Exhibition Center. The conference language is English.