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In a science-dependent world, most people understand that there are countless laboratories around the globe that are busy each day generating the products and information that we all demand.

But inside the walls of these laboratories, the work being done is very complex. New treatments that are being developed require far more than just an assortment of test tubes bubbling in a brightly-lit room lined with microscopes and clipboards. There are extensive governmental regulations, complex procedural requirements, and significant documentation processes that must be followed to the letter in order to assure safety, efficacy, and purity of the work being done.

The result of the complexity of these processes is that a number of firms exist in order to attend to the specialized requirements of various laboratory types. The work they do often supplants the efforts of in-house staff, freeing up resources to make the operation more economical.

One of the common tasks handled by outside vendors storage and transport. This process alone is complex enough to build its own industry. The types of biological samples handled by Pacific BioStorage require following very specific steps. These include comprehensive chain-of-custody documentation, proper packing methods, safe transport, and safe storage. Here are just a few of the things that go into each of these steps:


The integrity of sample identification is paramount. Whatever the purpose of the blood or tissue being stored, it must be absolutely assured to have originated where its documentation suggests. Any aberration from this standard can potentially destroy the entire process.

Consider the evidence gathered by police at the scene of a crime. If blood or DNA samples from two different murder weapons are interchanged, two killers could potentially go free. There could even be repercussions against the law enforcement personnel who collected the specimens after the implication of planted evidence.

The same is true with medical samples. If a new procedure has been attempted and the patient’s bloodwork must be stored for an extensive period, a serious statistical anomaly could take place if the identification is lost, jeopardizing years’ worth of work.

Proper Packing & Safe Transport

Mistakes in packing can cause three main problems. The first is spoilage. Improper insulation could cause temperatures to become too high or too low in the specimen, damaging important components.

The next is integrity. Poor packing of samples could cause their individual containers to leak, allowing various materials to intermingle and become contaminated.

The final problem is public health. Because so many biological samples are biohazards, it is critically important that they be fully contained inside impermeable containers at all times, so that the contents don’t leak into water, food, soil, or air.

Expert firms must be utilized to get these samples properly secured for their relocation or long-term storage.

Safe Storage

The key factors in safe storage of biological samples are security and redundancy. Samples must be secured with more than just a lock and key. There must be strict protocols in place for who can access which samples. Additionally, there will probably be documentation of who has had access to what specimens at any given time.

Redundancy is the other important area. A cooling system, power source, or tracking system cannot be one-dimensional. There must be provisions in place for power failures, equipment malfunctions, and maintenance downtime. Without properly maintaining the correct temperature, light, and humidity conditions, samples can be compromised.

The average person understands that scientific laboratories involve high-level chemistry and biology. But the process of just handling the samples involved in the work is so complex that it’s an industry of its own.


By Dr. Mandy Grimshaw

1) Your mouth is often thought of as an island separate from other parts of the body with not much attention given to it. But, in reality, the mouth is the gateway to the body. Teeth and gums are part of your body and an unhealthy or diseased mouth has a direct link to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and COPD. Ask your dental professional to screen you and your family members for periodontal disease. It is a chronic disease affecting more than 80% of the adult population, contagious and transmissible too! Think of your visit with your hygienist as one of the most important health checkups you can have. It is more than “just a cleaning.” It should include a blood pressure check, a health history review, an oral cancer screening, a periodontal screening, a bite screening and restorative screening.

2) Headaches, neckaches, backache, shoulder pain and tingling in fingers tips may be due to a bad bite. It is not normal to clench or grind your teeth. A dentist trained in neuromuscular dentistry can evaluate your bite and symptoms to diagnose and offer treatment for your pain.

3) Modern dentistry does not hurt. Comfort options that are available while in the dental chair are NuCalm, IV and Oral Sedation, Nitrous Oxide, noise cancelling headphones, and warm blankets.

4) Sleep disorders such as Obstructive Sleep Apnea & Snoring can be treated by a dentist trained in sleep dentistry. Candidates wear an oral appliance, similar to a mouth guard, instead of, or in conjunction with a CPAP to lower the pressure settings.

Dr. Mandy Grimshaw has been practicing leading-edge dentistry since 2005. After graduating from the University of North Carolina Dental School, she joined her father, Dr. David Kuhn in his private practice in Aberdeen, North Carolina.

How Sleep, Relaxation, and Meditation Affect Your Beauty Inside and Out (Infographic)

A lack of sleep is sucking a day of positive productivity each week from nearly half of all Americans. According to a 2014 study conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, “45 percent of Americans say that poor or insufficient sleep affected their daily activities at least once in the past seven days.”

Sleep is vital to the body.  Studies have shown that motor skill abilities sharpen after a night of good sleep. However, a deprivation of sleep causes the brain to lack focus and concentration and also comprises the immune system, putting the body at risk for illness.

Sleep also affects growth. Deep sleep induces the pituitary gland to release growth hormones in children, teens and young adults. Kids do, in fact, grow overnight…and sleep encourages that growth.

Sleep duration affects the body’s internal clockwork, but stress—which can lead to a night of less sleep—also takes a nasty toll on physical appearance. Beauty may only be skin deep, but skin under great stress results in a reflection worthy of a good long weep.

Stress isn’t sexy and it definitely isn’t pretty. Failure to clock enough shut eye from a night awake stressing over daily problems can leave the face prone to acne, wrinkles and sagginess. Eyes become puffy. And, of course, dark circles appear under the eyes adding to the droopy appearance.

The body needs sleep and daily relaxation to lower stress levels and help encourage healing and overall wellness. Americans also need more sleep and times of meditative relaxation to promote good mental and emotional health, because quiet relaxation helps center the mind and calm the mood.

Sleep and relaxation techniques also help us look good. The body does, in fact, need beauty rest…and lots of it! Most adults between the ages of 18 to 64 need on average seven to nine hours of sleep each night.

While most adults think that lost sleep during the week can be cashed in by sleeping late on the weekend, the reality is that lost sleep is irreplaceable.  The body needs the same amount of sleep each night, so binge sleeping during Saturday morning doesn’t make up for the productivity that was lost on a Tuesday night.

Be good to the body. Treat it to a long restful slumber every night and extra moments of relaxation during days of high stress. Enjoy the healthful benefits that sleep and relaxation techniques provide the body, and revel in the beautiful returns that rest provides the reflection in the morning mirror.

How Sleep, Relaxation, and Meditation Affect Your Beauty Inside and Out

From the perspective of a patient–that would be me–one of the most irksome aspects of being within the realm of pain management is having to go to a different provider to get tests done. Over the years I have had 4 MRIs, a half dozen CAT Scans (with and without contrast dye), 3 EMG/NCV tests and the list goes on from there. Therefore, I know that of which I speak (or write). But enough about me…

Technology Has Leapt Ahead

Back in the day of the Flintstones and the Rubbles…Ok, not quite that long ago, but close when it comes to computers and other electronics!

Not all that long ago no doctor could put even a fraction of the available diagnostic equipment in their office space. However, today’s medical professionals can have an EMG machine and other advanced equipment at their immediate disposal.

A Plethora of Conditions

Physicians in many specialty fields may find a need to order an EMG/NCV test. There are several reasons a medical professional may want to order an EMG/NCV beyond just diagnosing an injury from a car accident. Having an EMG machine in-house can expedite the process.

What Kinds of Benefits

There are several benefits of having this powerful tool close at hand.

Trust in the test administrator — When you send YOUR patient off to another facility, it is more likely than not that person running the test is a cipher to you. However, you will be eminently familiar with your own abilities as well as those under your employ.

Eliminating the middleman — The doctor or technician who reviews the data and writes the report may write off a result as an anomaly or glitch. However, a single result missed or misinterpreted could be the key to unlocking your patient’s problem.

Relieving the patient’s anxieties — When a person enters your office, he or she begins to develop a rapport with you and your staff. In other words, they start to trust you, to become confident in both your knowledge and abilities. To me, the cornerstone of any relationship, whether personal or professional, is trust. Because you are running the test and interpreting the results in-house, the patient won’t have the added stress of unfamiliar surroundings, strange people and the interminable wait for the results.

Back to a patient’s point of view, nothing can make a weekend crawl by like treading water in a pool of anxiety that happens when we are told “the results should be in on Friday” only to find out the diagnostic center won’t have the report ready until Monday. Or {the horror!} Tuesday on a 3-day weekend.

A Frightening Scenario

An outside doctor is, perforce, interpreting the data in a vacuum void of patient history and conversations between you and the patient. That can lead to potentially deadly disaster. Granted, most patients who haven’t gone through years of diagnostic tests are unlikely to pore over their copy of the report (if they think to ask for one in the first place) and find a secondary diagnosis of a completely unrelated nature that was overlooked by everyone. They put their trust in you for that.

That type occurrence may have a microscopically small chance of happening. Even if the chance is 1:10,000,000, I do NOT want to be that one. In all likelihood, my doctor feels the same way. That’s why I trust him.