News Update on Biochemistry : April 21

[1] Practical clinical biochemistry

 It is seldom that a reviewer can agree with the “commercial patter” on the dust jacket of a technical book, and far too often such advertisements can only give rise to cynical laughter when the book is read. This book can, however, be said to have lived up to the claim that it should be especially valuable to all who have to carry out routine biochemical tests, i.e., to clinical pathologists, hospital biochemists, laboratory technicians, and to workers in university and other laboratories engaged in research work requiring the determination of chemical constituents of body fluids.
The author provides a comprehensive collection of those biochemical tests found most convenient for the hospital biochemist. In a few cases, more than one method could reasonably have been mentioned, but where the need is strong (e.g. in blood sugar analyses for which seven methods are given) he has not hesitated to give alternative methods and often discusses their intrinsic merits. Summaries of the findings in health and disease are also included wherever desirable.-D. S. PAPWORTH.

[2] Principles of Biochemistry

That this textbook should appear in a new edition only 5 years after its first appearance is an indication both of the rapid advance of biochemistry and of the concern of the authors and publishers that their book should contain the latest information. It may also partly explain why the book is so expensive: at nearly £6 it is beyond the pockets of many of the private buyers for whom it is designed. However, those who are prepared to pay will possess a very comprehensive, up-to-date, readable and carefully-compiled introduction to all aspects of human biochemistry.
This second edition follows closely the arrangement of the first edition. It consists of 51 chapters divided into 7 parts. The title of the book may be misleading. Only the first 3 parts are really concerned with fundamental principles. The latter sections deal with the specialized biochemistry of man and other mammals, with frequent reference to the biochemical aspects of disease, and to therapy based on this biochemical understanding. This is proper in a work designed primarily as a textbook for medical students, and this aim has been well fulfilled.

[3] Biochemistry of Cryoprotectants

The role of polyhydric alcohols in cryoprotection is probably the most extensively studied feature of insect cold hardiness. The importance of glycerol as a cryoprotectant was first recognized by R. W. Salt after he and others linked the presence of high levels of glycerol with winter hibernation, diapause, or freezing survival (Salt, 1957, 1959, 1961; Wyatt and Kalf, 1957; Chino, 1957). Over the last 30 years, literally hundreds of publications have described the occurrence of glycerol or other polyols in both freeze-tolerant and freeze-avoiding insects (for reviews, see Salt, 1961; Hansen, 1980; Ring, 1980; Sømme, 1982; Miller, 1982; Duman et al., 1982; Baust et al., 1982; Zachariassen, 1985; Lee et al., 1986; Storey and Storey, 1988). Glycerol is by far the most common cryoprotectant, but sorbitol, mannitol, ribitol, erythritol, threitol, and ethylene glycol also occur along with a selection of sugars, including trehalose, sucrose, glucose, and fructose (see Fig. 4.1) (Miller and Smith, 1975; Hayakawa and Chino, 1981; Sømme, 1982; Gehrken, 1984; Zachariassen, 1985; Hamilton et al., 1985; Storey and Storey, 1988). Glycerol contents that range as high as 25% of the fresh weight of the animal have been reported with polyol concentrations in excess of 2 M in the body fluids of many species (Salt, 1961; Ring, 1981; Zachariassen, 1985; Storey and Storey, 1988). The majority of species produce only a single polyol, but dual or even multiple component systems also occur, glycerol plus sorbitol being the most common pairing (Storey and Storey, 1988).

[4] Errors in Clinical Biochemistry Laboratory

Introduction: Clinical laboratories have focused their attention on quality control methods and quality assessment programs dealing with analytical aspects of testing. But studies in recent years demonstrates that quality in clinical laboratories cannot be assured by merely focusing on analytical aspects. But mistakes occur more frequently before (pre-analytical) and after (post-analytical) the test has been performed. Objective of our study is to analyze the causes of errors occurring in our Clinical Biochemistry Laboratory and categorize them, find the frequency and percentage of errors.

Methodology: This study was carried out in a newly established Clinical biochemistry laboratory.  Causes of errors were noted down and were categorized in to pre analytical, analytical and post analytical errors. Data has been noted down from April 2015 to December 2015.

Results: Pre analytical errors were contributing significantly to laboratory errors (59.8%) as compared to analytical (30.84%) and post-analytical errors (9.35%). Hemolyzed and clotted samples were the main causes of pre analytical errors (37.5% and 21.87% respectively). Calibration drifts were contributing mainly to analytical errors (39.39%).Transcription error (60%) was the main contributor to the post analytical error.

Conclusion: Errors can be minimized by training the laboratory personnel regarding phlebotomy techniques, storage, transport of specimen, instrument handling .Computerization of entire process will help to minimize the errors. The success of any efforts to reduce errors must be monitored in order to assess the efficacy of the measures taken. In the testing process areas involving non-laboratory personnel, interdepartmental communication and cooperation are crucial to avoid errors.

[5] Biochemical and Phytochemical Properties of Cola acuminata Varieties

Aims: The aim of this work was to determine the biochemical and phytochemical properties of Cola acuminata varieties.
Place and Duration of Study: Department of Food Science and Technology, Osun State Polytechnic, Iree, Nigeria, between August 2012 to June 2013.
Methodology: The kolanuts (white and red varieties of Cola acuminata) were oven dried at 80ºC for 16h and pulverized into powder. Proximate, mineral and phytochemical analyses were analyzed using standard methods.
Results: The results showed higher dry matter (91.88%) in the white variety, ash (4.71%) and fat (11.80%) contents were higher in the red varieties. White variety had higher crude fibre (10.08%), protein (10.92%) and carbohydrate (55.65%), sugar (2.29%) and starch (10.80%) contents. Carotenoid contents of red varieties (25.90mg/100g) were higher than that of white variety. The red variety had higher calcium (734.89mg/kg), magnesium (486.93mg/kg) and potassium (360.68 mg/kg) contents while the white variety had higher values in sodium (78.74mg/kg) and phosphorus (112.20mg/kg) contents. Red variety of Cola acuminata had higher phytate (10.67mg/100g), phenol (33.50mg/100g) and flavonoid (12.13mg/100g) contents while the white variety had higher values in alkaloid (8.21mg/100g) and tannin (8.13mg/100g) contents.
Conclusion: The nutrients in Cola acuminata varieties are comparable to other nuts with
high nutritional values. Apart from the potentials in pharmaceutical company, it could be explored in food industry for wine and juice production.




[1]  Varley, H., 1954. Practical clinical biochemistry. Practical clinical biochemistry.

White, A., Handler, P., Smith, E. and Stetten Jr, D., 1959. Principles of biochemistry. Principles of Biochemistry., (Edn 2).

[3] Storey, K.B. and Storey, J.M., 1991. Biochemistry of cryoprotectants. In Insects at low temperature (pp. 64-93). Springer, Boston, MA.

[4]  Adiga, U. and Preethika, A., 2016. Errors in Clinical Biochemistry Laboratory. Journal of Advances in Medicine and Medical Research, pp.1-6.

[5]  Abiodun, O.A., Oyekanmi, A.M. and Oluoti, O.J., 2014. Biochemical and phytochemical properties of Cola acuminata varieties. Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, pp.1280-1287.

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