Direct-to-consumer tests in AACC spotlight | Blood tests for Alzheimer's disease | Transgender reference values wanted

Dear LabPulse Member,

ANAHEIM, CA - Greetings from Anaheim! is making its debut at the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo, being held August 4-8.

The opening day of the meeting featured a special session on direct-to-consumer genetic testing, which reviewed the good and the bad about this trend gaining momentum. Dr. Jill Hagenkord, former chief medical officer at a range of companies, including 23andMe, Color Genomics, and Invitae, shared her take on the limitations of currently available tests. She also discussed what needs to happen in the future for consumers to take further advantage of their own health information while avoiding pitfalls such as false negatives.

Even people with doctorates are liable to have too much faith in a negative result on a genetic test ordered online, said Dr. Theodora Ross, PhD, director of the cancer genetics program at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, in the special session. Ross told the AACC audience that she would like to see more information for consumers, clinicians, and genetic counselors alike about differences in tests and how to interpret results.

David Walt, PhD, a professor of pathology at Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, delivered the Wallace H. Coulter lecture during the meeting's opening plenary session. Walt explained his role in developing microwell arrays for single-molecule detection and analysis for use in DNA sequencing and genotyping, and he traced the roots of the founding of Illumina and Quanterix.

We're also pleased to provide a video interview with AACC President and Veravas executive Carmen Wiley, PhD, who highlighted the top sessions at the meeting and discussed some of the major issues facing clinical chemistry.

The AACC press program this year featured research on the potential for increasingly popular cannabinoids such as cannabinol to interfere with test results, a blood test for measuring the cognitive benefits of exercise in Alzheimer's patients, prospects for measuring salt sensitivity in urine tests, and how hormone therapy can affect lab results for transgendered individuals.

Meanwhile, Kalorama Information publisher Bruce Carlson is roaming the expo floor, checking out product updates, including new diagnostics for sepsis and high-sensitivity cardiac troponin.

Are you here in Anaheim? If you are in the exhibition hall, please check out our booth -- No. 4326. AACC attendees who visit the LabPulse booth and register for a free membership will be entered to win an Amazon Fire 7 tablet with Alexa.

Be sure to watch out for more news on scientific sessions and products in the coming days.

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