Category Archive: National Measurement Laboratory

Oct 14

Standards to foster innovation: the NML at the forefront

Thousands of experts worldwide give significant time and effort each year to develop the voluntary technical agreements that are published as international standards. These standards contain expert knowledge and best practice and have a wide range of applications – from how to produce reference materials, to state-of-the-art methods to monitor heavy metals in air, to …

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Sep 26

Is your morning soya latte putting you at risk of iodine deficiency?

Iodine is an essential part of a balanced diet, required to produce the thyroid hormones that regulate growth and metabolism. It is found in a variety of foods, including white fish, shellfish, eggs, milk and dairy products. Iodine is of specific importance for women during pregnancy as it is vital for foetal brain development: even …

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Apr 20

Transplant care: ensuring consistency across the globe

Reference materials (RMs) are the cornerstone of accurate and traceable measurements – they are measurement standards which can be used to validate analytical methods, establish traceability and support quality control. A month ahead of World Metrology Day, we look at the use of our certified reference materials (CRMs, reference materials with evidence of metrological traceability …

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Apr 05

Nanotechnology standardisation: for materials 100,000 times smaller than this full stop.

  As the impact of nanotechnologies on human life becomes more prevalent, it is increasingly important to be able to characterise nanomaterials within biological systems and understand their behaviour in order to protect human health and the environment. Significant efforts are being made to ensure the appropriate regulatory frameworks are in place to support this …

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Mar 21

The stress of competition: a novel cortisol assay

Stress biomarkers, such as cortisol, are often used to monitor the effectiveness of an athlete’s training regime. However, levels of cortisol change quickly following exercise and so need to be monitored trackside to determine whether an athlete needs to be rested or whether they can train further and harder the next day. Researchers at LGC …

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Feb 23

Monitoring mercury: measurements to make air cleaner

Air pollution across the EU accounts for more than 400,000 premature deaths and 6.5 million people falling ill each year. It causes significant damages to our natural environment, with almost two thirds of our ecosystems threatened by the effects of air pollution. It is often the primary air pollutants – e.g. nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide …

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Jan 27

Securing UK borders: the measurements making you safer

The increasing threat posed by terrorism is one of the major challenges facing UK border security [2015 UK Government National Security Risk Assessment]. When you or your luggage is screened as you pass through an airport, it will typically be done using an ion mobility spectrometer (IMS). This is well-established technology: in 2004 alone there …

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Nov 15

Underpinning measurements: written standards

Reference materials are a type of measurement standard used to validate analytical methods, establish traceability and support quality control. They are particularly important for analytical chemistry and clinical analysis as most analytical instrumentation is comparative so samples of known composition (reference materials) are needed to ensure accurate calibration. A reference material (RMs) can either be …

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Oct 14

Cell manufacturing: standardising the future of medicine

Today, on World Standards Day, we consider the need for standardisation in regenerative and personalised medicine to support healthcare developments and ensure the future of medicine arrives early. Cell therapies, where living cells are transplanted into a patient, have significant potential to treat and change the course of diseases currently unaffected by existing medicines. Cell therapies …

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Sep 21

Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis: the need for speed

Every three seconds there is a new case of dementia somewhere in the world. Dementia is the broad term for brain disorders that affect memory, thinking, behaviour and emotion, and is a debilitating and currently incurable condition that affects 10.5 million people in Europe and over 46 million people globally. With an aging population this …

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