NEWS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Food Matters Live: “Changing the Future of Food and Drink” November 20/22 – ExCel -
Knight Scientific returns to ‘Food Matters Live’, the event that promises insight, debate and collaboration and with 800 exhibitors, 400 Speakers and 100 seminars there is something for everyone; visit Stand 4 at the Research Hub to see how we can help you with the measurement of free radicals, antioxidants, oxidative stress and inflammation.
Our stand will be focussing on Knight Scientific’s ABEL-RAC™ test which is used to optimise formulations, identify synergy between ingredients, produce ABEL-RAC (relative antioxidant capacity) scores per mg of ingredients and challenge ingredients and finished products with a range of reactive oxygen species.
ABEL-RAC™ is the unique test for natural products. To find out more please call us…
SCS Formulate: “The Next Generation of Formulating” November 13/14 - Ricoh Arena - Coventry
In a market that’s worth billions there is a vast amount to take in, but the SCS Formulate event has all: demonstrations and presentations, product development and emerging technology, future trends and new markets and with so much going on and so many industry experts, SCS Formulate is ‘the place’ to be if cosmetics is your business.
Our stand will be focussing on Knight Scientific’s ABEL-RAC™ method for the testing of materials and finished products. The test measures the antioxidant activity of different ingredients and it helps manufactures to understand the marketing claims that they can make as a result. In a nutshell we have the test that provides you with the science based evidence to support your products.
ABEL-RAC™ is the unique test for natural products. To find out more please call us…
Cosmetic Science Research at The London College of Fashion
Aimee Nottingham: “The London College of Fashion specialises in fashion education, research and consultancy. I chose the Applied Cosmetic Science course as it offers a wide choice of modules which provide a comprehensive overview of many sectors in the cosmetic industry. During the final Masters year students are required to identify a specific area that they want to research; typically this is an existing field of work where students can innovate and add something new. I have a particular interest in natural cosmetics and this led me to my research into antioxidants.”
The project was centred the skin damage caused by free radicals and reactive oxygen species where the aim was to assess the antioxidant activity of specific botanical extracts individually, as well as when they are incorporated into a cosmetic emulsion.
Aimee: “There are many analytical methods that measure antioxidant capacity; my research used the ABEL®-RAC test which has been developed by Knight Scientific. This test is quick, reliable and reproduceable; given that the issue if reproducibility is trending in the cosmetics industry and that the research work had to be completed in a set timeframe the ABEL®-RAC test was a good fit.
My research focused on three well-known brands of anti-aging cream and found that these commercial products had a low antioxidant activity when compared with the emulsions that I had developed. There are of course many factors to consider in this research, for example I tested fresh products, not aged products, but the one notable finding was that ABEL®-RAC is available today for existing cosmetic manufactures to use and as it can test existing products at the beginning and at the end of their shelf life, this is a useful tool to verify and substantiate the claims made by the manufacturers.”
Your chance to catch up with Knight Scientific on BBC television
Football Medicine Outcomes: Are we Winning?
The key questions to be explored this year are:
- What is the real impact of our player care work for the footballers of the world?
- Are we ready and able to measure outcomes?
- What are the outcomes of prevention, surgery and conservative management?
The 3-day conference offers a packed programme with presentations and workshops along with 40 exhibitors, including Knight Scientific who are sharing stand 15/16 with two companies; Proteal®- a biotechnology company based in Spain which offers medical and surgical regenerative therapies, in particular medical devices for producing platelet rich plasma used for would healing and cartilage repair and DiaGenomi Ltd - a high-tech company from Slovenia that offers genetic testing as the basis for personalised medicine including the assessment of risk of injury and cardiovascular complications with specific relevance to elite sport.
For more details http://www.footballmedicinestrategies.com/en/
COPA Series 2018
Earlier this month Knight Scientific attended Europe’s leading event for rehabilitation professionals; The COPA Series conference at ExCel in London. The event hosted 160 exhibitors and 90 seminars along with thousands of visitors who attended over the two days.
Dr Jan Knight, a Keynote Speaker, provided a presentation called: Monitoring Fitness, Fatigue and Infection in One Simple Blood Test.”
Dr Jan Knight: “The COPA Series was a wonderful event to attend; so many interesting people to mix with and from a business point of view it proved to be very good for Knight Scientific as we established many interesting connections and opportunities.”
Jan has delivered many presentations at international conferences along with seminars and practical workshops for pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, personal care and medical device companies, so some consideration had to be given to the presentation for this most prestigious event…
Dr Jan Knight: “The COPA Series provided Knight Scientific with the perfect platform to provide attendees with detailed insight to one of our most valuable test kits: ABELsport®. The seminar also provided the opportunity for me to present the ABELsport® test through my talk entitled:‘Monitoring Fitness, Fatigue and Infection in One Simple Blood Test.’ We know that the question that sports coaches have is: “Who should I push and who should I rest?” – The ABELsport™ test provides the answer.”
During the event delegates were shown how the test can be performed by coaches at the track side, in a changing room or just about anywhere – for example the boot of a car – and how the test can be conducted at Knight Scientific’s laboratory.
Who’s afraid of the big bad antioxidant?
Dr Jan Knight will be speaking at the SCI’s “Food Antioxidants and Functional Ingredients” Conference: March 7th/ 8th - London.
Dr Jan Knight: “I am delighted to be invited to speak at this most prestigious event along with guest speakers from all over the world. During my presentation I will explore how the whole field of antioxidants in food, antioxidant status in people and oxidative stress, led many supplement companies to promote how their products might be working in the body and how the marketing people got a little carried away the message: ‘more is better’…”
Antioxidants are recognised as important components in human and animal nutrition and also serve as functional ingredients in protecting products from deterioration due to attack by free radicals. The whole field of antioxidants in foods, antioxidant status in people and oxidative stress led many supplement companies to promote their antioxidant products without necessarily understanding how their products might be working in the body. With the growing awareness of the importance of antioxidants in our diet and the simplistic presentation of oxidative stress it was understandable how the marketing people got carried away with the message, more is better.
Then came some big scientific studies with Vitamin E in which it started to emerge that more might not necessarily be better but too much could also be harmful. Overnight, this excellent ‘brand’ ANTIOXIDANT was trashed because some people marketing these products had lost sight of the scientific advances in the understanding of how antioxidants actually work in the body as well as in the products. Jan brings clarity to this whole area while also explaining how Knight Scientific has developed accurate methods for measuring antioxidant activity which can be used to make products based on natural products make perfectly batch to batch.
Therefore, if a formulation with antioxidant activity leads to a beneficial effect on the individual taking the product, while it is tempting to claim the effect is directly linked to antioxidant activity this may or may not be the case. The ingredients are clearly interacting in the body in a way that is bestowing a beneficial effect. The most important thing is to guarantee that your natural product can be manufactured, batch to batch, with perfectly reproducible antioxidant activity, so that it will perform exactly as it did in a trial or when the beneficial effect was confirmed. The beneficial effect can be repeated providing you can match the antioxidant activity of your product batch to batch.
Dr Jan Knight: “This kind of view is not new, after all, if you drink too much water you can die. However, many companies started to panic, especially when the EFSA rejected registration of many products that had the word ‘antioxidant’ on their package or in their promotion. The companies responded by removing the word from their packets and substituted words such as phytochemicals, polyphenols, flavonoids which all have antioxidant properties. However, the word on its own had very little meaning to most people.
I predicted a few years ago that the fuss would die down; after all we need antioxidants in our body and during food production. The question is how the body obtains antioxidant protect from harmful effects of too many free radical and non-radical oxidants. I suggested that if manufacturers had good experimental evidence to support their marketing claims, they should hold their nerve and not throw the ‘antioxidant baby’ out with the bathwater.”
The talk will also show how the measurement of antioxidant activity can be used to monitor real time shelf life, to measure batch to batch uniformity and to identify where in a manufacturing process a product is being damaged by excess oxidation as well being able to measure the freshness of food. Jan also rounds-up her talk with a description of an accurate method for measuring antioxidant capacity of plasma/serum of humans (and some other animals) which can be used to identify people with poor diets at possible risk of type 2 diabetes as well as identify oxidative stress.
The story of antioxidants is a complex one, but not a bad one; Jan will be talking about recent research that indicates that reactive oxygen may trigger the body to make its own antioxidants. It’s an exciting story and one that is not to be missed.
Horizon 2020: The Largest EU Research and Innovation Programme Ever.
Dr Jan Knight recently travelled back from the historic city of Pisa having had the most productive two-day meeting with the participants of the Lumiblast Project, working alongside her project counterparts from Norway, Greece and Spain. Jan explains:
“Lumiblast is a Horizon 2020 science research project under the banner of ‘FET’ – Future Emerging Technologies. As the name suggests, this is all about EU funding for research into areas that are largely un-explored. We hear the word ‘innovation’ a great deal these days, but this really is new ground; FET is about thinking, researching and finding radical new technologies that challenge our current thinking and in some cases, our current knowledge – and ultimately putting this all to work to solve some of the biggest challenges that we all face. This is what makes our work and contribution so exciting.”
To understand more about the relevance of the this work it’s necessary to look at brain cancers and in particular those defined as glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). Such cancers make up approximately 15% of brain tumours, they are typically inaccessible and highly aggressive with fewer than 3-5% of people surviving longer than five years after diagnosis. The problem with treating GBM is that the tumour is not localised or solid, rather it has invisible tentacles that spread throughout the brain, so surgical removal of the tumour along with chemotherapy and radiotherapy remains very much a treatment – not a cure. There are however other brain cancers that do respond well to treatment but not GBM.
There is currently an approach to cancer treatment that is very effective It is called photo dynamic therapy or PDT. It is used, for example, to treat cancers at the surface of the body such as skin cancers. The process involves applying a ‘sensitiser’ chemical in a cream to the affected area and leaving it to be absorbed by the cancerous cells. Light then is directed onto the area where it activates the sensitiser in the cancer cells to produce very reactive molecules that kill the cells. These reactive molecules, derived from oxygen are called singlet oxygen.
Jan explains further: “Wouldn’t it be nice if we could use PDT to cure virtually incurable cancers such as GBM, but it’s not possible to penetrate the brain with light and even when the GBM is exposed surgically to such treatment, the invisible threads throughout the brain remain. This is where our group has come up with a crazy idea: we will use PDT inside out. We are aiming to turn the cancer cells inside the brain into miniature ‘light bulbs’ and when these get ‘switched on’ the light will activate the sensitiser, which will in turn kill the cancer cells.”
The whole process is the focus of the Lumiblast research project and there are many areas to be assessed and developed, but the objective is clear: a ‘drug’ comprising a ‘light bulb + sensitiser’ will be introduced into the patient where it will make its way into the brain and inside the cancer cells and at a deeper level it will use the excess electrons (released by the normal functions of the cells’ mitochondria) as the energy that switches on the light that will activate the sensitiser that will then, in turn kill the cell…
Jan Knight: “This is a remarkable idea and one that the EU has selected for funding as it is best placed to bring together the diverse groups that have the expertise to make this work. The Lumiblast projects brings together leaders in the fields of PDT and photomedicine, synthetic organic chemistry, photochemistry, drug delivery and ROS-activated luminescence. We are working closely with our partners at Oslo University Hospital, Oslo University, the University of Athens and the Polytechnic University of Valencia. The meeting with all the partners in Pisa proved to be an ideal opportunity to review the work to date and for us all to prepare for the next milestone; a meeting in Brussels which will determine the course of the research project.”
For more information on the Lumiblast Project please visit cordis.europa.eu/project/rcn/203541
Knight Scientific is on BBC1 Countryfile
The pharmaceutical industry spends enormous resources on hunting down new plants that have medicinal properties. They then isolate the active ingredients in order to copy these molecules for use in new drugs for treatment of all kinds of illnesses and conditions. However, sometimes the natural material with its active ingredients works much better in its natural state instead of as an isolated pure ingredient. However, how to match products based on natural plant materials, so that the finished product has the exact same activity, batch to batch, is a problem that Knight Scientific has been able to solve with its unique ABEL-RAC method.
Dr Jan Knight of Knight Scientific explains:
Most natural materials have components which have antioxidant properties that are capable of counteracting the harmful effects of free radicals and other reactive oxygen species (ROS). These ROS occur during normal plant biochemistry and physiology but also can be produced by exposure to UV light or environmental stresses of drought, insects, pesticides and herbicides. Antioxidants in the plants protect the plant from damage caused by these ROS. They are the first line of defence for this ROS attack but they get used up or lose some or all of their antioxidant activity putting the plant at risk.
Knight Scientific has harnessed the measurement of this antioxidant activity as a means to standardise natural products. The ABEL®-RAC (relative antioxidant capacity) method is used for ingredients and finished products, including natural products such as plant extracts that contain a complex mixture of molecules. The ABEL-RAC score, usually expressed per mg of material, gives you a measure of activity of the natural material. This score can be used directly in formulae with the amount added depending upon the ABEL-RAC score. Because of the accuracy of our method it is possible to use the ABEL®-RAC scores to measure loss of activity over time (shelf life) and match new batches of product perfectly, batch to batch. ABEL-RAC mg scores are also used for optimising formulations and identifying possible synergy between ingredients in the formulation.
The Future of Football Medicine May 2017 at Camp Nou Barcelona
It’s all about winning and like all sports success is centred on the fitness of the squad, but it’s more than this. At its heart lies planning; playing the best players at the optimum time given the circumstances of moment; the pitch condition, the prevailing weather, the altitude and the opposition. The Manager and Coach work with the Medical Team to create a strategy based on information and data; the more data you have, the more you can analyse and the more options you have. Fitness data of individuals and the team is what lies at the heart of ABELsport™ the all in one test from Knight Scientific to identify early infection, measure fatigue and predict levels of performance before each match.
Jan Knight: “This event has been amazing; there was such a good atmosphere and Barcelona is such a lovely city; we have been at the conference these last 3 years and having the event at Camp Nou has been the best for so many reasons.
The show was so well organised; we were inundated with people who all wanted to find out about ABELsport™. Our customers already know that the test can monitor and predict infection and that it’s a tool to measure, manage and prevent fatigue, but what people wanted to know was: how can this be done in one test? The Conference gave us the platform to explain how the test works, the science behind it and the supporting data that we have. In short, it is possible to predict and manage infection and fatigue and it is also a robust test; one that is highly relevant to football and all other team and individual sports.
Furthermore, we demonstrated that ABELsport™ is now in a ‘ready to go format’ in terms of software and equipment; it can be used by Team Medics and Coaches. We explained that Knight Scientific provides training and support for the administration of the ABELsport™ test, much in the same way that we do for clients like Plymouth Argyle FC and we could show the data and results from real tests taken from both teams and individuals.”
ABELsport™ is so much of the time; it’s another example of how visualisation of data provides real insight; in this case it allows for better management of athletes. And it’s not about simply taking Players off the pitch, it’s all about that strategy and planning; having fitness data allows Mangers to play the players at the right time, perhaps saving those with high talent to the later stages of a match where they may have most impact.
ABELsport™ is a practical test that gets value from data, where access to fitness information is crucial for the best overall team performance, with the least injury, to win the most matches. No wonder there has been such a phenomenal response with enquiries from all over the world: The US, Africa, South America, Europe and Asia… from a whole host of professionals: Chief Medical Officers, Team Doctors and Physiotherapists.
Jan Knight: “We were so busy, but we still managed to see other incredibly interesting companies and innovations, in fact we shared space with two highly complementary organisations, Proteal from Spain, who have products for regenerative medicine, in particular medical devices for producing platelet rich plasma used for would healing and cartilage repair. The other company, Diagenomi from Slovenia, with their genetic test to assess personal risk of injury and cardiovascular complications with specific relevance to elite sport. The synergy was so good that we are already thinking about next year with plans for the exhibition and the possibility of commercial collaboration.”
A worthwhile conference and one to put in your diary for next year; a vibrant city, a fantastic ‘pitch side’ location for the Guest Speakers not to mention the food and fun… could there be anything else?
Jan Knight: “These events are very useful for generating relationships and networking and ultimately for marketing products, but the overarching memory is one of like minded people from all over the world, coming together to talk enthusiastically about the things that they love. Knight Scientific were happy to sponsor Hend Adel Abdelhalim Dorgham; she is a physiotherapist from Egypt with great ambitions. We were able to introduce her to Paul Atkinson from Plymouth Argyle and Dr Saul Bloxham from University of St Mark and St John and best of all we are hoping to arrange an internship for her, here in the UK.”
Knight Scientific is at Food Matters Live!
From the 18th-20th of November at London's ExCel will host the Food Matters Live event and this year we will be exhibiting!
Food Matters Live is the new annual event dedicated to food, health & nutrition, taking place at London's ExCel from Tuesday the 18th - Thursday the 20th of November. It is set to bring together over 450 renowned speakers, 200 exhibitors and 1000's of the most influential figures in food, health and nutrition for three days of networking, debate and cross-sector collaboration.
Food Matters Live combines an exhibition with a unique education programme including over 450 speakers in free-to-attend conferences, seminars, and practical demonstrations.
The conference will include 20 high-level debates over three days, covering a range of compelling topics, from understanding complex issues affecting the nutritional state of the nation to exciting new developments in food science, such as the advent of nutrigenomics.
There will also be a series of 80 practical and informative seminars, featuring over 300 speakers, on themes ranging from the emergence of new technologies that are redefining product reformulation and applications, to the marketing potential for brands that drive healthy food choice, and the factors driving growth in nutrition for health and wellbeing.
Food Matters Live will create a unique place in the industy where those driving the sector forward can gather to unveil new innovations, debate the critical issues affecting the food and health sectors industries, connect with new contacts and set the agenda for future research, development and production.
Food Matters Live is free to attend, just click on the picture below to register! Knight Scientific will be at stand RP26 in the Research Pavilion, so come on down and see how we can help you optimise & develop your products!
A Scientist Meets a Chancellor
PLYMOUTH scientist Dr Jan Knight travelled to Downing Street as part of a delegation to inform Chancellor George Osborne on the state of the economy and export growth.
Working With Sporting Excellence
7th July 2014
KNIGHT Scientific have started weekly testing of the British Rowing team and next week we will go to Manchester to demonstrate our ABELmeter and ABELsport test for the team doctor for British Cycling and Team Sky.
Growth and Export Talk at Downing Street
2nd July 2014
KNIGHT Scientific was invited to attend 11 Downing Street to meet the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne. George Osborne hosted the private breakfast meeting with a dozen dynamic and fast-growing Chamber of Commerce businesses from across Britain. The discussion focused on practical ways to boost exports, business investment, and growth.
Winner of Plymouth Herald Business Awards 2014 for Innovation
KNIGHT Scientific have been successful in winning the Herald 2014 Business award for Innovation.
Knight Scientific shortlisted in Herald Business Awards 2014
<h4 class="font_4">We're shortlisted for our innovation!</h4>
"This is wonderful news for our company," said Dr Jan Knight, founder of Knight Scientific, in between taking enquiries about the company's revolutionary ABEL-Meter portable luminometer.
"We're having a great time here at the show with so much interest in what we're offering - so to be shortlisted for one of these highly sought-after awards is the icing on the cake."
Among Knight Scientific's innovations are the ABEL-Meter, which enables researchers to carry out the same tests they do on bulky lab luminometers but wherever they like; the ABEL-Sport test, which helps prevent overtraining and detects infection in elite athletes; the ABEL-STI test, which detects sexually-transmitted infections in six minutes instead of 10 to 14 days; and its test kits and assays that are used by household-name companies around the world.
We're aiming to triple our exports. How about you?
Sign up for the Tripling Export Challenge
We do about a quarter of our business overseas, and we believe the Plymouth Chamber of Commerce-backed trade club could make a dramatic difference to the local economy by encouraging a huge increase in exports from the city.
"We were there at the inaugural meeting and it really opened our eyes to the possibilities," says Knight Scientific's founder, Dr Jan Knight.
"Although we've been exporting our test kits for years to numerous countries, there's so much more we could do - and Plymouth International Business Club is showing us the way.
"It's made us aware of opportunities that could make our exports rocket, so we've set ourselves a target of tripling the value of our exports within a year.
"We hope we'll do even better than that – and we're sure that many other Plymouth businesses could do the same.
"So we're laying down the gauntlet and challenging other Plymouth businesses to try to triple their own exports in a year - with the backing of Plymouth International Trade Club - which would be lucrative for them and fantastic for our city.
"The trade club is heavily supported by UKTi (UK Trade & Investment) and the Chamber, so there is a lot of expertise and experience available for anyone who's new to exporting or, like us, wants to up their game."
Knight Scientific is a world leader in easy-to-use test kits for inflammatory and infectious disease research, monitoring wellbeing, and measuring antioxidant activity in food, cosmetics and nutraceuticals.
It's hoping to vastly increase the number of cell activation and antioxidant test kits it sells to scientific and medical researchers around the world.
Its most sought-after product is the pioneering sports overtraining test, ABEL-Sport, which coaches, sports nutritionists, and team doctors use with elite athletes, football teams and other sports professionals including Olympians.
"The trade club is so fortunate to have Cate Taynton of the Chamber behind it," adds Dr Knight. "She's a human dynamo and is every bit as determined as we are to transform Plymouth's exports and make an impact on the local economy."
HOW TO TAKE PART
It's easy: all you need to do is make your pledge public via Twitter or by contacting Cate Tanton at Plymouth International Trade Club. Then make it happen!
Plymouth International Trade Club can be contacted via Cate Taynton on 01752 273891 and it is on Twitter at @ExportPlymouth.
BioCare and Knight Scientific support Plymouth Argyle
PLYMOUTH Argyle has a new supporter – a household-name vitamin and supplements supplier that is giving the League Two team's players a Premier League-style boost.
BioCare decided to offer vitamins, supplements and dietary advice to the Pilgrims, free of charge, after it saw the pioneering work that Plymouth-based sports-testing company Knight Scientific has been doing with the team.
John Harbin, Performance Manager at Plymouth Argyle, is already the envy of his Premier League counterparts because his players are the first to be tested for overtraining and infection using the finger-prick ABEL-Sport blood test.
It can tell whether the players need to be rested or can be pushed harder, and it also reveals whether they are suffering from an infection, up to 48 hours before any symptoms appear.
Mr Harbin, one of the most highly respected authorities in the coaching world, has been adjusting the players' training regimes in the light of the test results - and is keen to back that with specialist nutritional support.
Knight Scientific arranged for John Harbin and the players to have a private session with BioCare nutritional consultant Mike Wakeman to discuss how vitamins and supplements could contribute to the fitness optimisation programme that Mr Harbin is championing.
"Although the club already provides the players with good nutrition, there are always circumstances in which the right supplements can make a difference," says Mr Wakeman.
"For instance, most of us become vitamin D deficient in Winter, simply due to a lack of sunlight, so adding vitamin D will help boost players' immunity and could prevent them from catching colds and flu that can affect the whole team.
"To ensure that Plymouth Argyle's players really have the best, we’re giving them multivitamins, probiotics, Omega-3 fish oils and glucosamine to help support joints and tendons – and Knight Scientific will be monitoring the players' condition and progress."
The supplements and vitamins BioCare is supplying are designed to help the players maintain full fitness and support their immunity - and they are also certified as safe for the team to use.
The Birmingham-based company is one of the few suppliers able to guarantee that any vitamins or supplements it gives the players meet the strict standards of the World Anti-Doping Agency, WADA.
"That's important because innocent players in other teams have failed drugs tests due to contaminated supplements and we want to ensure there's no chance of this happening to Plymouth Argyle's players," says Mr Wakeman, whose clients include numerous Premiership football and rugby teams and Olympians.
"This all adds more power to our elbow," says John Harbin. "We're very fortunate to have the best overtraining and infection-detection tests in the world at our disposal, and BioCare's generosity means our players now have world-class nutritional support on tap, too.
"I'm confident that the support we're getting from Knight Scientific and BioCare will help us improve and maintain fitness, reduce injuries, and send our players on to the pitch in the best possible condition to win."
Overtraining test is "a Godsend" says Plymouth Argyle
The Devon side is using science to reduce sickness and prevent injury - and it's proving so successful that Plymouth Argyle's Performance Manager, John Harbin, describes it as "a Godsend".
"We're trendsetters, and we're welcoming the scientific input."
The ABEL-Sport test, developed in Plymouth by Knight Scientific, can help predict overtraining, a dangerous condition in which a player might train too hard without giving the body enough chance to recover, resulting in illness or injury.
"The problem with training is knowing when to stop," says Mr Harbin. "If you keep going without having enough recovery time, you can seriously damage yourself. But if you stop training when you still have capacity, you won't be as fit as you could have been.
"The ABEL-Sport test can show me when a player's heading towards overtraining, before it happens, so I can adjust what he's doing in the gym or the pool and keep him in match-fit condition.
"The test also detects some infections before any symptoms appear, so I can isolate a player or send him for treatment to prevent it becoming a problem for him or even for the whole team."
Mr Harbin, 65, has always relied on his years of experience and professional instincts to tell whether players are under-par or reaching their training limit, but 10 weeks of testing has shown that his hunches or gut reactions were spot-on.
"We've always had our assumptions and observations, but now we have the scientific evidence as well," he says. 'This test is the vital link."
Mr Harbin is working hand-in-glove with Dr Jan Knight of Knight Scientific, using the test results to monitor individual players' health and performance.
"You might ask why I need the tests now that they've shown my own assessments were accurate anyway, but the tests also show me things I couldn't possibly have known, such as when a player has an infection but isn't yet showing symptoms.
"It's vital that there's a respect between players and coaches, and that's so evident at Plymouth Argyle. The testing has made the players feel more involved in their own health and fitness, and they turn up for the finger-prick blood testing every week without a grumble."
Dr Knight, a scientist with a worldwide reputation in the field of bioluminescence and oxidative stress research, says she's not in the least surprised that the tests have proven to be so accurate.
"The body knows you're going to be ill long before you do, so our test can reveal that information and give you a chance to manage the infection or begin treating it much earlier," she says.
"It's also an invaluable indicator of the state of health of a player. It's quite common for elite athletes to go into denial and keep on training when they really ought to be giving their bodies a chance to recover, so it's difficult for a coach to know whether to keep pushing them or give them a rest when they protest that they're feeling fine.
"The ABEL-Sport test tells the truth about how they are, without fear or favour. That means the coach can intervene and either adjust the training regime or rest the player, depending on how much they're at risk of overtraining or infection.
"The players know that the coach has their best interests at heart, and seeing the results on a print-out makes it easier for them to appreciate the danger they've been saved from.
"It's been such a pleasure to work with people of the calibre and reputation of John Harbin, and the players have been so utterly charming and co-operative every time I've seen them, even though they know I'm after their blood!
"We don't just sell people a test and leave them to it. I work very closely with John Harbin and ring him on the coach to an away match if the tests reveal something about a player that he needs to be concerned about.
"And he asks me whether the tests show he should rest or push a player. No, we're not using a test tube to pick the teams, but John Harbin's reliance on the test results has certainly coincided with a measurable reduction in sickness and injury at Plymouth Argyle that is making life easier for the Manager, John Sheridan."
Knight Scientific's test is already attracting interest from several Premiership clubs, but Plymouth Argyle is the first football team to use it over a sustained period with support and feedback from the laboratory that invented it in Plymouth.
"We're confident the ABEL-Sport test will become the gold standard for footballers around the world," says Dr Knight. "It's reliable, it's scientifically proven, and it gives teams invaluable information in minutes that can make a real, practical difference."
New test measures antioxidant activity within the skin
Skin test to launch at SCS Formulate
The event, at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry from 12 to 13 November, will also feature a masterclass given by Knight Scientific's co-founder, Dr Jan Knight.
The event is an important one in the calendar for Knight Scientific, which already helps global names in the cosmetics industry test and formulate products.
"We're expecting our new test to cause quite a lot of interest throughout the cosmetics world when we unveil it on our stand at the show."
In the meantime, if you have any media enquiries, please contact Jon McKnight on 07720 709724 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org