A “Whole New World” of Lymphatic System Discovered

The Discovery

Recent findings at the University of Finland and UVA School of Medicine have overturned 300 years of accepted anatomical fact. Until recent years, the scientific community believed that the lymphatic system — which functions in the body to remove waste and toxins — did not extend into the human brain.

Then came Kari Alitalo. Kari desired a better map of the lymphatic vessels, so three years ago he dosed the lymph cells of mice with a glowing jellyfish gene. At the end of the experiment, he was shocked to see that the mice’s heads were glowing. To be certain his results were correct, he repeated the experiment. His repeat showed exactly the same phenomenon.

As it turns out, Kari had discovered what he termed to be the glymphatic system — the division of the lymphatic system that exists as “glia” cells in the brain.

The Glymphatic System

As it turns out, the glymphatic system may have major implications for degenerative diseases. It’s possible that Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, and Parkinson’s diseases could be effected by dysfunction in the glymphatic system. A dysfunctional lymphatic system can lead to a buildup of toxins and waste in the body — and a dysfunctional glymphatic system may lead to a buildup of toxins in the brain.

Early studies at Yale and Oregon Health & Science University suggest that a functioning glymphatic system is essential to a healthy brain. Harvard has shown that glymphatic flow is decreased right before a migraine. Research has also shown that the glymphatic system works best when we are asleep, and that sleeping on your side is better than sleeping on your stomach or back.


It’s clear that this revolutionary anatomical discovery will have major impact for clinical therapies for all kinds of neurodegenerative diseases. Read the full article from the Washington Post here, and make sure to subscribe to our blog for the latest news and events across the biotech world.

Alzheimer’s PET Scan – US National Institute on Aging, Alzheimer’s Disease Education and Referral Center

The Importance of Sample Processing for Clinical Trials

Cambridge Biomedical frequently works with clients on the optimum methodology for the collection of clinical samples. For many clinical trials this  involves collection sites situated in different countries with varying levels of expertise and understanding of the correct processes to follow.

One of the critical areas we investigate when we develop an assay for a client, is the sample collection process and particularly the stability of the sample. For example, assays may involve the collection of PBMC’s, if these are not processed, correctly, within 24 hours of collection then the resulting data obtained from the assay can be seriously affected.

We identified this issue several years ago and introduced a video service for our clients. These videos are specifically tailored to the study requirements and  detail the complete process,from venipuncture through to sample shipment.

The result of using these training videos has been a resounding success and we have seen a dramatic decrease in the quality of the resulting data.

If you would like to learn more about how Cambridge Biomedical can help with your sample collection process and bioanalytical analysis please visit our website and we will be delighted to assist.


Could Alzheimer’s Stem From Infections? It Makes Sense, Experts Say

Could it be that Alzheimer’s disease stems from the toxic remnants of the brain’s attempt to fight off infection?

Provocative new research by a team of investigators at Harvard leads to this startling hypothesis, which could explain the origins of plaque, the mysterious hard little balls that pockmark the brains of people with Alzheimer’s.

It is still early days, but Alzheimer’s experts not associated with the work are captivated by the idea that infections, including ones that are too mild to elicit symptoms, may produce a fierce reaction that leaves debris in the brain, causing Alzheimer’s. The idea is surprising, but it makes sense, and the Harvard group’s data, published Wednesday in the journal Science Translational Medicine, supports it. If it holds up, the hypothesis has major implications for preventing and treating this degenerative brain disease.

The Harvard researchers report a scenario seemingly out of science fiction. A virus, fungus or bacterium gets into the brain, passing through a membrane — the blood-brain barrier — that becomes leaky as people age. The brain’s defense system rushes in to stop the invader by making a sticky cage out of proteins, called beta amyloid. The microbe, like a fly in a spider web, becomes trapped in the cage and dies. What is left behind is the cage — a plaque that is the hallmark of Alzheimer’s.

Read at New York Times

The MIT lab flushing out a city’s secrets

Researchers in Massachusetts are looking at ways to tackle public health issues by delving into the sewers. Luckily, a robot does all the dirty work…


Here in this small room within the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA, I am making the acquaintance of Luigi. As explorers go, he lacks charisma – not for him a winning smile, witty catchphrase and firm handshake. But then, Luigi isn’t your typical pioneer. He’s a robot. And it isn’t curios he collects. It’s sewage.

At first take, it seems an unlikely subject for Luigi’s creators – the Senseable City Lab – to embrace. Along twisting corridors, sleek black panels showcase the group’s off-the-wall ideas: LED-clad micro helicopters, location-tracked trash, theCopenhagen wheel – a motorised hub for bicycles that won a James Dyson prize. I am almost surprised to find the lab didn’t invent the flat white. “We usually say our top projects should be both in Nature and in MoMA [Museum of Modern Art],” admits the lab’s director, Professor Carlo Ratti, when we meet in his office, a room dominated by a vast table covered with piles of paper.


Read article at The Guardian

Barbara Osband, Chairwoman and CEO, Announces Addition of Dr Thomas Burnell to Cambridge Biomedical Advisory Board

Cambridge Biomedical announces the addition of Dr. Thomas W. Burnell to the Cambridge Biomedical Advisory Board.


“We welcome the addition of Dr. Burnell to our Advisory Board” said Barbara Osband, Chairwoman and CEO “ his extensive experience in the CRO and diagnostic laboratory market will greatly assist as we continue to expand or capabilities and client base”


Dr Burnell


Dr. Burnell, is an Operating Partner with Ampersand Capital Partners.  In this capacity, he has served as President and CEO of Nutramed, Inc., and its successor corporation, Elite One Source Nutritional Services, Inc.  Currently, he serves as Exec Chair of Elite One and formerly Accuratus Lab Services, Inc. Prior to this, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Viracor-IBT Laboratories, Inc.  He has served as President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of the The Nebraska Heart Institute, P.C. and Nebraska Heart Hospital, LLC. Dr. Burnell previously served as the Chief Executive Officer and Vice Chairman for Eurofins Scientific, Inc.  Dr. Burnell has served as a Director of numerous privately-held corporations and non-profit philanthropic organizations.  He has more than 25 years of experience in healthcare, biotechnology, laboratory sciences, manufacturing and international business development. Dr. Burnell received his BS and Master’s degrees from the University of Nebraska and holds a PhD in Nutrition with emphasis in Statistics and Biochemistry from the University of Kentucky.




About Cambridge Biomedical


Cambridge Biomedical, based in Boston, Massachusetts, supports sponsors by developing customized assays for small and large molecules, biomarkers, and other critical analytes, along with validation and sample testing in our CLIA certified and CAP accredited, GLP/GCLP compliant facilities,


The Company has extensive expertise in technology transfer, assay development, optimization and validation. It also offers specific services in analytical support for PK/PD studies, biomarker development, clinical assay development, assay validation, specimen analysis, and testing services in support of clinical trial and drug or device development.


Our personalized project methodology, along with a focus on delivering quality results and regulatory submission ready documentation and rapid turnaround times, ensures we meet our client’s product development timelines.