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ASCLS eNewsBytes
September 15, 2009
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Immunity Growing to West Nile Virus
from The Baltimore Sun
As many as 3 million Americans may now be immune to the West Nile virus thanks to antibodies they produced after being infected by the bite of an infected mosquito.And a tenth of 1 percent of the population - about 300,000 people - acquire new West Nile infections each year, most without ever experiencing any symptoms of the disease, according to a study in the current issue of the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases. More
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Beckman Coulter

Inflammation Linked to Increased Cognitive Decline in Alzheimer's Disease
from Medscape Medical News
A new study finds a link between systemic inflammation and increased cognitive decline in patients with established Alzheimer's disease. In this study, both acute and chronic inflammation, which were in turn associated with increased serum levels of proinflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor a, were associated with an increase in the rate of cognitive decline in patients with mild to severe Alzheimer's disease.  More
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FDA OKs New Ovarian Cancer Blood Test
from WebMD Health News
The FDA approved a new ovarian cancer blood test, called OVA1, that can help detect ovarian cancer in a pelvic mass that is already known to require surgery. In a news release, the FDA says the test helps patients and health care professionals decide what type of surgery should be done and by whom -- but not to screen for ovarian cancer and not for a definitive diagnosis of ovarian cancer.   More
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Young People at High Risk of Death Worldwide
from U.S. News & World Report
In a study of global death rates, researchers have found that 97 percent of deaths among children and young adults aged 10 to 24 occur in poor and middle-income countries. While much of the world focuses on infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, 40 percent of the deaths in this age group occur because of accidents or violence, including war.  More
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Pharmacogenetic Testing for Warfarin Advances
from Clinical Lab Products
Pharmacogenetics has the potential to avoid some of the three quarter million adverse drug events seen each year. To the general public, pharmacogenetics may remain a somewhat elusive term, but many experts in personalized medicine view pharmacogenetics testing as an unparalleled opportunity to improve health care.  More
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Researchers Find Prostate Cancer Stem Cell
from Reuters
Researchers have found a stem cell, a kind of master cell, that may cause at least some types of prostate cancer. Their findings are only experimental -- the stem cells were found in mice -- but could explain at least some types of prostate cancer and eventually offer new ways to treat it, they reported in the journal Nature.  More
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Equitech

New Guidelines Issued for Prosthetic Valve Evaluation
from Medical Medical News

The American Society of Echocardiography's Guidelines and Standards Committee and the Task Force on Prosthetic Valves have issued new guidelines for evaluation of prosthetic valves. "Over the last 40 years, a large variety of prosthetic valves have been developed with the aim of improving blood flow function, increasing durability and reducing complications," guidelines chair and lead author William A. Zoghbi, MD, from Methodist DeBakey Heart and Vascular Center, Houston, said in a news release. “Nevertheless, there is no ideal valve and all prosthetic valves are prone to dysfunction. The guidelines are critical to handling the evaluation of prosthetic valves and emphasize the importance of echocardiography."
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U.S. Trials Confirm One Dose of H1N1 Vaccine Works
from Reuters

U.S. trials of Sanofi- Pasteur SA's and CSL Ltd's H1N1 swine flu vaccines confirm that only one dose is needed to protect people, U.S. health officials said. "I am very pleased to be able to tell you that the initial results from the NIH (National Institutes of Health) sponsored trial corroborate and reinforce the findings from the companies," Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told a news conference.
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Related story:  Two Flu Strains in One Pig Led to New H1N1 (The Chicago Tribune)

Virus Responsible for Deadly Brain Disease Found in MS Patients Treated with Natalizumab
from Science Daily
The virus responsible for PML (progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy), a rare brain disease that typically affects AIDS patients and other individuals with compromised immune systems, has been found to be reactivated in multiple-sclerosis patients being treated with natalizumab. The findings, led by scientists at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center,  appear in The New England Journal of Medicine.  More
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Cellular Alarm Bell Secrets Uncovered
from Laboratory News
Our genome is constantly under attack from things like UV light and toxins, which can damage or even break DNA strands and ultimately lead to cancer and other diseases. Scientists have known for a long time that when DNA is damaged, a key enzyme sets off a cellular ‘alarm bell’ to alert the cell to start the repair process, but until recently little was known about how the cell detects and responds to this alarm.  More
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Inner Workings of Molecular Thermostat Point to Pathways to Fight Diabetes, Obesity
from Medical News Today
Best known as the oxygen-carrying component of hemoglobin, the protein that makes blood red, heme also plays a role in chemical detoxification and energy metabolism within the cell. Heme levels are tightly maintained, and with good reason: Too little heme prevents cell growth and division; excessive amounts of heme are toxic.  More
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