Bio-Babble: March 2021
On a Wednesday morning like any other, a specialist military team is deployed to recover a satellite that has returned to Earth unexpectedly. At 11am they miss a scheduled check-in with mission control. By midday it’s established that they are dead, along with everyone else in the surrounding town. A new pandemic has reached earth and the rules of the game have changed…
The Andromeda Strain. Interplanetary contamination. Little green men. It makes for a fascinating science fiction thriller, especially in the hands of Michael Crichton. Science Fiction aside, could our increasingly frequent ventures into space lead to an extra-terrestrial contaminant? And what of the biospecimens returned to earth for scientific investigation? Are we as a species prepared to deal with the complexities of extra-terrestrial sample collection and biobanking?
Bio-Babble: February 2021
Welcome to your new look 2021 Bio-Babble; fresh start for a fresh year. 2020 was a challenge to say the least but despite the restrictions, disruptions to sample flow and requirements for many of us to periodically work from home - biobankers persevered. In many cases, biobanks rose to the challenge
and re-directed strategic goals to ensure they were best placed to partner with the scientific community; banking and distributing COVID-19 samples and joining international networks in a show of collaboration.
In 2021 the resilience of the biobanking world will once again be tested as we continue to face challenges posed by the COVID-19 world and an ever evolving funding landscape. Many of us now have renewed business plans, strategic goals and are prepared to move forward with a clear vision of our role within the research community. If the challenges faced through 2020 have demonstrated anything it's that continued support of scientific research is fundamental in modern society, not just in biomedical fields but environmental, chemical, historical and even extra-terrestrial.
Bio-Babble: December 2020
Despite what has been thrown at us in 2020, biobanking and biobankers have continued to maintain activity and, in some instances, pivot to provide support for Covid-19 research. More specifically, we have observed biobanking networks worldwide being utilised for support with biobanks coming together to share resources and information. ABNA has played a small part in this by ensuring our members are kept informed and as your association, continue to encourage interaction to promote biobanking related topics.
Many of ABNA's management committee have at some point been working from home. As we begin to return to our usual routines and wish our members a very Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous 2021, we wanted to take this opportunity to share with you some of our 2020 co-workers #coworkersofABNA2020
Bio-Babble: November 2020
Following on from our Annual General Meeting and in preparation for the launch of our new website, ABNA is in the process of reconciling organisational memberships with mailing lists. We recognise that for many, registration for our yearly conference is what instigates membership renewal and that without that impetus many may not have renewed for 2021. Unfortunately, it is a requirement that those who wish to remain on our mailing list retain status as an ABNA member so please be aware that if you have not renewed your membership for 2021, you’ll be removed from all ABNA communications including monthly newsletters, industry updates, conference updates and future employment opportunities.
Bio-Babble: October 2020
As a sign of the times, the ABNA 2020 Annual General Meeting (AGM) looked a little different to years passed. The AGM was held virtually on 23 October to review the past 12 months of ABNA activity, with the presidents report, delivered by ABNA president Anusha Hettiaratchi, covering key strategic initiatives such as the ABNA/ISBER affiliate agreement, website redesign and revision of the rules of the association.
Bio-Babble: September 2020
The ABNA committee is delighted to be unveiling Phase 1 of the new ABNA website, developed in partnership with ABN-Onc. The launch of our new online home will be the culmination of a long-standing partnership that lies at the heart of ABNA’s history. Members will receive an email notification once the new site goes live.
Bio-Babble: August 2020
ABNA's 2020 AGM will be a virtual meeting held on Friday October 23rd. A meeting invitation and agenda will be emailed to current members next month. Thank you to members who alerted us to an issue with the membership portal, this has now been rectified. For current members renewal rates are available until the end of August.
Bio-Babble: July 2020
The postponement of the 2020 ABNA Annual Conference has meant that this years Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held as a virtual meeting. The Management Committee will be setting the date and an agenda will be circulated, all current ABNA members are encouraged to attend.
Bio-Babble: June 2020
The 2020 ABNA Conference Organising Committee has made the difficult decision to postpone ABNA's 18th Annual Conference. The conference will now run from Wednesday 20th to Friday 22nd October 2021.
Bio-Babble: May 2020
May is Brain Cancer awareness month and provides an opportunity to unite those working in brain cancer research and raise awareness of this insidious disease within the wider community. In 2010 Robyn Leonard, a tireless advocate of brain cancer research, launched the first Brain Cancer Action Week – supported by the Cancer Council NSW and Cancer Institute NSW. Since then it has grown to become Brain Cancer Awareness month, coinciding with other international awareness raising efforts.
Bio-Babble: April 2020
The current coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the essential role Biobanks play in studies on emerging pathogenic human viruses and other infectious diseases. The COVID-19 pandemic is caused by a human coronavirus taxonomically known as SARS-CoV-2; Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2.
Bio-Babble: March 2020
ABNA Conference Update
As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve many of our members will be busy at this time putting into action business continuity plans to ensure that staff can be supported and critical functions continue through a variety of scenarios. There is a lot of uncertainty ahead, however in challenging times we pull through by supporting each other and banding together - with appropriate social distancing in this instance.
Bio-Babble: February 2020
The Australian PlantBank
Although summer fires are common and can have an important regenerative role in some vegetation communities, the extent and severity of this season’s events is unprecedented. Recent fires have impacted billions of plants, animals and fungi across Australia leading many experts to question whether or not the ecosystem can fully recover.
Bio-Babble: January 2020
Qualification in Repository Science
The American Society for Clinical Pathology Board of Certification (ASCP BOC) and ISBER have announced a new Qualification in Repository Science (QBRS) for biobankers. The ASCP BOC is the gold standard in global certification for medical laboratory professionals and has certified more than 560,000 individuals. This new qualification aims to further advance the field of biorepository science.
Bio Babble: December 2019
A 10 year follow up to a 2009 review of 16 initiatives in biobanking networks and major national biobank programs has recently been published in Biopreservation and Biobanking.
Edited by Daniel Catchpoole the 2019 review follows up with the original 16 initiatives, including ABN-Onc from which ABNA was established. Responses from 12 of these 16 initiatives provides a snapshot of the changing face of biobanking around the world.
Bio Babble: November 2019
In an important step for moving biobanking forward in Australia, the first National Biobanking Summit, was held on Monday 21st October 2019 at the University of Sydney. The National Biobanking Summit was co-convened by Professor Jennifer Byrne (Director of Biobanking, NSW Health Pathology and Professor of Molecular Oncology, Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney) and Professor Sunil Lakhani (Executive Director Research; Head, Breast Pathology Group, University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research and Pathology Queensland) and organised by a National Biobanking Working Group. It brought together 90 experts at both state and national levels, to begin a national conversation about what we need in Australia.
Bio Babble: October 2019
On behalf of the 2019 Conference Organising Committee, ABNA hopes all attendees enjoyed The FNQ of Biobanking: Futureproof, Network, Quality. Following a Welcome to Country by Carl and presentation of a spear thrower to the ABNA President, the conference was opened by Prof Jennifer Byrne, Director of Biobanking, NSW Health.
Bio-Babble: September 2019
ABNA/ANRRC shared Network session
Announcing that ABNA's 17th Annual Conference in Cairns will include a live stream with the 2019 Asian Network of Research Resource Centers (ANRRC), Philippines 11th Annual Meeting "BioResource Centers: Infrastructure for Biodiversity Conservation, Biotechnology and Biomedicine", University of the Philippines Los Banos, College, Laguna, Philippines. This shared session will include a Network Keynote presentation from Dr Soo Yong Tan from ANRRC, Luguna, and a presentation by Prof Peter Watson from ABNA, Cairns. The session will conclude with a shared Q&A between both sites.
Bio-Babble: August 2019
ABNA's Annual Conference in Cairns will be hosting two workshops on Wednesday Oct 16th from 12:30pm which will reflect the Futureproof, Network & Quality themes of this years conference.
Bio-Babble: July 2019
Message from ABNA President & Conference Update
As ABNA President I am very proud to announce the 2nd anniversary edition of the ABNA newsletter BioBabble. I would like to thank our BioBabble subcommittee led by Anusha Hettiaratchi and assisted by Georget Reaiche and Cassandra Griffin for their ongoing journalistic endeavours.
The committee would value having our ABNA members/readers submit articles of interest for inclusion in our publication. The ABNA committee will continue to bring information of interest to Australasian Biobankers so please contribute and help us make BioBabble a relevant member driven publication. Let us know about your biobank, an event you are hosting or issues of general interest relating to biobanking.
Bio-Babble: June 2019
ABNA Conference Update
ABNA invites biobankers and researchers to submit abstracts for presentation at our 17th annual meeting 'The FNQ of Biobanking: Futureproof, Network, Quality' in Cairns October 16-18th 2019. Poster presentations will take place on Thursday and Friday, October 17 and 18. Opportunities for oral presentations will also be available, with details to follow. Early bird registration to close September 20th.
Bio-Babble: May 2019
ABNA Annual Conference update
Announcing that internationally renowned scientist Dr Fay Betsou will be a keynote speaker at ABNA's Annual Conference The FNQ of Biobanking: Futureproof, Network, Quality. This will be a fantastic opportunity for ABNA members to hear from Dr Betsou who is a leading authority on biospecimen quality assurance schemes and validation of biospecimen QC methods.
Bio-Babble: April 2019
ABNA Annual Conference 2019
ABNA announced that the ABNA's 17th Annual Conference, The FNQ of Biobanking: Futureproof, Network, Quality, will be held in Cairns , Far North Queensland. This year for the first time the conference will be held over three days, from 16th to 18th October, inclusive. Please save the date and keep an eye on the ABNA website for further details.
The theme of this years conference will provide an interesting platform for workshops, presentations and discussions for both new and experienced biobankers. The ABNA Conference Organising Committee looks forwarding to hosting biobankers from around Australia, New Zealand and beyond.
Bio-Babble: September 2018
Shanghai, May 7 - 10 Mark your calendars: On September 10, 2018, ISBER will be accepting submissions for abstracts and workshop proposals. Deadline to submit your workshop proposals and abstracts will be December 3, 2018. Please note that there will be no extension on the abstract submission deadline for the ISBER 2019 Annual Meeting & Exhibits. More information regarding the submission guidelines and where to submit both the workshop proposals and abstract submissions will be available on September 10, 2018, so stay tuned!
Bio-Babble: July 2018
It was announced that ISBER 2019 will be held in our “neighbourhood” in Shanghai, May 7th-10th.
A Little Bit of Light Reading
The ISBER Best Practices 4th ed. has enjoyed a very successful launch with many hundreds of downloads within the first few days; the active translation in Chinese, Japanese and Korean; and plans afoot for translations in French and Persian. The actual document and the translations (once completed) are available free of charge through the ISBER website.
Bio-Babble: December 2017
Another successful ABNA meeting was held in Brisbane in October with the Keynote speaker being Distinguished Professor Judith Clements. The conference theme: Bridging the Gap – From the Clinic to the Biobank.
Topics ranged from “Challenges of establishing and maintaining a psychiatric Biomarker Centre” to “From Biobank to Koalas: Translating Science across species”.
Bio-Babble: July 2017
Welcome to our first edition of Bio-Babble:
ABNA Annual Meeting 2017: October 12th and 13th - This year the committee would like to invite you to join us in Brisbane for another informative meeting to catch up on the latest in Biobanking news and views. Also, an ideal format for collaboration with your peers and our invited speakers. More information will be released shortly on the ABNA website