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ASCLS eNewsBytes
Feb. 3, 2009
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Options Running Out to Treat Superbugs
from United Press International
People are dying from "superbugs" because our antibiotic arsenal has run dry, leaving the world without sufficient weapons to fight ever-changing bacteria, warn infectious disease researchers at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston. More

Thermo Scientific

Blue Light Destroys Two MRSA Strains
from Infection Control Today
Two common strains of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) were virtually eradicated in the laboratory by exposing them to a wavelength of blue light, in a process called photo-irradiation that is described in a paper published online ahead of print in Photomedicine and Laser Surgery. Antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections represent an important and increasing public health threat. More

Primary Care Management of Skin Pigmentation Disorders Reviewed
from Medscape Medical News
Hyperpigmented lesions frequently encountered by the primary care clinician include postinflammatory hyperpigmentation, melasma, solar lentigines, ephelides (freckles), nevi, and café-au-lait macules. Most hyperpigmented lesions seen in this setting are benign and are easily diagnosed. However, the clinician must rule out melanoma and its precursors and be able to diagnose skin manifestations of systemic disease. More

Stem Cell Transplants Show Promise for MS
from Reuters
U.S. researchers have reversed multiple sclerosis symptoms in early stage patients by using bone marrow stem cell transplants to reset the immune system. Some 81 percent of patients in the early phase study showed signs of improvement with the treatment, which used chemotherapy to destroy the immune system, and injections of the patient's bone marrow cells taken beforehand to rebuild it. More

New Tool Predicts Women's Outcome in Breast Cancer
from Reuters
Evaluating how various proteins interact in tumors can help predict a woman's chances of surviving breast cancer, allowing doctors to better tailor treatment. Writing in the journal Nature Biotechnology, they said tracking these protein interactions enabled them to accurately predict in 82 percent of patients whether their breast cancer would kill them or not. More

Genes Linked to Parkinson's Side Effects Identified
from Science Daily
People with Parkinson's disease commonly suffer a slowing or freezing of movement caused by the death of neurons that make dopamine, a key chemical that allows brain cells to send and receive messages essential to voluntary movements. Patients regain the ability to move, seemingly miraculously, by taking L-DOPA or related drugs that mimic the missing dopamine. More

Polymedco

How Ebola Virus Avoids the Immune System
from Infection Control Today
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have likely found one reason why the Ebola virus is such a powerful, deadly, and effective virus. Using a cell culture model for Ebola virus infection, they have discovered that the virus disables a cellular protein called tetherin that normally can block the spread of virus from cell to cell. More

Gene Variants Affecting Blood Fats Identified
from Science Daily
A team of researchers has identified new genetic sites harboring common variations in DNA that are linked to imbalances in concentrations of blood lipids (fats). The findings provide another step forward in understanding the genetic contribution to dyslipidemia, a condition marked by overproduction of low-density lipoprotein (LDL "bad" cholesterol) and triglycerides, and underproduction of high-density lipoprotein (HDL "good"cholesterol). More

Bacteria Tied to Legionnaires Found in Water at Facility in Galveston, Texas
from The Houston Chronicle
For the second time, water at a Galveston facility has tested positive for the bacterium that can cause a serious lung infection with up to a 30 percent fatality rate known as Legionnaires’ disease. Lab tests this week confirmed the bacteria are blooming in the water pipes of the Galveston district headquarters for the U.S. Corps of Engineers at a level that violates Occupational Safety and Health Administration standard. More

Laboratory Diagnosis of Syphilis with Automated Immunoassays
from the Journal of Clinical Laboratory Analysis
The serological detection of specific antibodies to Treponema pallidum is of particular importance in the diagnosis of syphilis. The purpose of this study was to evaluate diagnostic performances of automated immunoassays in comparison with T. pallidum hemagglutination test and Western Blot. The retrospective study was performed with different panels of sera: 244 clinical and serological characterized syphilitic sera and 203 potentially interfering samples. More




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