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Refining the Measurement of Biological Variation

Indianapolis, In. - October 2013

2013 Science Symposium Attendees photo The Symposium, entitled “Inside the Individual: Refining the Measurement of Biological Variation” addressed the issue of biological variability in the areas of hematology parameters and urinary steroid concentrations. The fields of clinical chemistry and hematology have addressed individual biological variability of many blood analytes over the last three decades. Biological variability has been used to set analytical performance specifications, evaluate changes in serial results, and assess the number of samples needed to estimate the homeostatic set point. The symposium addressed environmental and other factors that could affect biological variability. Potential refinements to the system in order to enhance the application of longitudinal testing were also discussed at the Symposium.

By gathering anti-doping scientists, WADA-accredited laboratory directors and representatives of national anti-doping organizations and international sport, the USADA anti-doping science symposium was a unique opportunity to present cutting-edge anti-doping science and research, and discuss refinements to the testing, evaluation and analysis systems in order to maximize both detection and deterrence. Longitudinal monitoring of indirect biological markers of doping, sometimes including supporting non-analytical evidence, is required to effectively tackle the corresponding evolution in sophistication of doping programs. Variance in these biological markers can be the result of the use of different Prohibited Substances with similar mechanisms of action, with the downstream effect being the same. This year’s Symposium outcomes focused on ways to minimize the sources of variability in biological measurement including pre-analytical and analytical variance within-subjects and between-subjects to improve both the sensitivity and specificity of serial modeling of biological parameters relevant to anti-doping. Presentations and discussion took place at the Walter Byers Auditorium on the NCAA Campus in the beautiful city of Indianapolis, Indiana.

Learn more about the annual USADA Science Symposium. 

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