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AACC 2017 Focus on CRISPR and Futuristic Testing Devices

By Labmedica International staff writers
Posted on 01 Aug 2017
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Image: AACC 2017 focuses largely on clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR), Star Trek-like testing devices, and antibiotic resistance (Photo courtesy of iStock).
Image: AACC 2017 focuses largely on clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR), Star Trek-like testing devices, and antibiotic resistance (Photo courtesy of iStock).
At the 69th AACC Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo, the world’s largest exposition for clinical laboratory products and services, over 750 exhibitors displayed pioneering diagnostic technology, including the latest in mobile health, molecular diagnostics, mass spectrometry, point-of-care, and automation. But the focus was largely on clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR), Star Trek-like testing devices, and antibiotic resistance.

Kalorama Information, (New York, NY, USA), an independent medical market research firm, estimates the market for CRISPR to be worth USD 28 billion and believes that gene editing is reaching mainstream testing. According to experts, CRISPR will be first used to treat people for blood-related diseases in a way similar to a bone marrow transplant, but to correct a person’s own blood-producing cells instead of implanting donated ones.

The 2017 AACC Clinical Lab Expo held at the San Diego Convention Center from July 30–August 3, also featured a talk by CRISPR co-inventor Jennifer Doudna, PhD, on the future of genome engineering using this revolutionary tool, as well as a plenary on the clinical lab's critical role in combating the antibiotic resistance crisis.

Among the exhibitors at the event was Final Frontier Medical Devices, which presented its real-life Star Trek tricorder for the first time at a U.S. scientific conference. The mobile health device, named DxtER, weighs less than five pounds and allows users to monitor five real-time health vital signs and diagnose 34 diseases without the help of a clinician.

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