The ZRT Laboratory Blog

The ZRT Blog is an extensive resource for patients and health care providers searching for health and hormone testing information. Here, you can read about ZRT’s cutting edge research, advances in testing, wellness advice, and health industry highlights.

Celebrating ZRT's Laboratory Professionals

Posted by Dr. Sherry LaBeck on Friday, 29 April

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It may come as a surprise to most people that each year, the last full week of April is dedicated to recognizing and celebrating laboratory professionals. This year Medical Laboratory Professionals Week falls on April 24-30. Setting aside one week a year to acknowledge these experts is a perfect opportunity to increase public awareness of, and appreciation for, clinical laboratory personnel. 

Just who are these laboratory professionals? They are the skilled individuals whose expertise is vital to laboratory testing. At ZRT, state-of-the-art testing equipment is the norm and each instrument has an experienced specialist or team of specialists at the controls.

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Research Puts the "R" in ZRT

Posted by Margaret Groves on Friday, 15 April

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I have to admit, I believe that "research" is one of those words that I think is often misused today.

I started my own career in a cancer research lab, continued it in a pharmaceutical company research lab, and then got into medical information research and scientific writing, which meant using a range of medical literature databases and complex searching strategies. My early research career was back in the days before we had personal computers, so many hours – in between tending to assays and experiments (as well as late in the evening) – were spent thumbing through the pages of massive volumes of Index Medicus, the print version of Medline, in various university libraries to find relevant publications.

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High Air Levels of Arsenic & Cadmium May Be Linked to a Cancer Cluster in Portland, Oregon

Posted by Ted Zava on Thursday, 04 February

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Many residents were surprised to learn today that high levels of arsenic and cadmium are being detected at an air monitoring station in Southeast Portland, Oregon according to the state Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)

Watch the News: Dr. Zava comments on toxin exposure in SE Portland

The state began monitoring air quality after moss samples taken from the area last October were found to be high in arsenic and cadmium. The results, which were only made public in the past few days, show cadmium at 49 times the acceptable level and arsenic at 159 times the acceptable level for air.

Of key concern is that the testing location is in an area populated with businesses, schools, and parks. It is not clear yet how long exposure has occurred or whether it is caused by a nearby glass blowing facility. As of this week, the glass blowing facility decided to cease use of arsenic and cadmium.

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How Reference Ranges Determine a "Normal" Lab Test Result

Posted by Margaret Groves on Friday, 13 November

normal.chalkboard.jpgCLIA-certified testing laboratories such as ZRT are required to provide reference ranges as an aid to interpretation of test results.

Ideally, reference ranges provide the expected range of values for a healthy population. When methodology and equipment is identical for testing a particular analyte among different laboratories, reference ranges for that analyte should be the same.

However, when methodologies or equipment for the same test differ somewhat from lab to lab, each lab must provide its own reference range established with its own methods. These ranges are usually very close, but may differ slightly depending on method. An example would be testing testosterone in blood or saliva by extraction and LC-mass spectrometry vs. direct testing by immunoassay.

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