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ASCLS eNewsBytes
October 6, 2009
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Impact of reporting Gram stain results from blood culture bottles on the selection of antimicrobial agents
from American Journal of Clinical Pathology via Medscape Today
We assessed the usefulness of reporting direct blood Gram stain results compared with the results of positive blood cultures in 482 episodes and monitored impact on selection of antimicrobial treatment. We found that the reporting groups "Staphylococcus spp," "Pseudomonas spp and related organisms," and "yeasts" identified in this way matched perfectly with later culture identification. More
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Beckman Coulter

New paradigms in fetal lung maturity testing
from Clinical Laboratory News
Since the early 1970s, fetal lung maturity (FLM) testing has played an important role in identifying neonates at risk of respiratory distress syndrome. The various assays, developed in the 1970s and 1980s, maintained their popularity into the 1990s. However, FLM testing has been on the wane in recent years as physicians have found the results less informative to their decision making about when to time delivery. Even so, information about FLM still has a place in certain situations, and the potential loss of one of the assays will require laboratorians and clinicians to collaborate about available options and develop continuity plans.  More
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Race to stop disease in Samoa
from ABC News
The confirmed death toll from the devastating tsunamis that crashed into the Samoan islands and Tonga has risen to 164 with at least 16 more people unaccounted for. Attention now is on getting fresh water, food, shelter and other needs to those left homeless and burying the dead. So far there has been no outbreak of diseases, but epidemics remain a large worry for authorities.  More
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PSA test is imperfect screening tool: What to do?
from Medscape Medical News
The controversies surrounding population-based screening for prostate cancer — and the problems that plague the use of the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test — will not go away anytime soon, suggest the authors of a new essay published in the British Medical Journal.  More
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Scientists discover what makes the same type of cells different
from Science Daily
A research team has managed to decipher a well-known phenomenon that had, until now, remained unexplained: why cells of the same type can react differently, and what the reason for this is. The properties of a cell population determine the different cell activities observed in cells of the same type.  More
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DOCK2 is a microglial specific regulator of central nervous system innate immunity found in normal and Alzheimer’s disease brain
from American Journal of Pathology
Neuroinflammation is a hallmark of several neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease. Strong epidemiological and experimental evidence supports the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce AD risk. However, poor outcome in clinical trials and toxicity in a prevention trial have shifted focus away from these cyclooxygenase inhibitors to seek additional therapeutic targets in the prostaglandin pathway.   More
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Equitech

Multiple new gene variants associated with prostate cancer susceptibility
from Medscape Medical News
New findings of multiple gene variants associated with prostate cancer susceptibility may enable risk prediction and targeted screening of high-risk individuals, according to four studies published online in Nature Genetics. Notable among the risk variants is a collection of loci — some reported by each of three independent research groups — at 8q24 on the long arm of chromosome 8.  More
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First doses of H1N1 flu vaccine going out
from CNN
A national campaign to inoculate tens of millions of Americans against H1N1 influenza began this week, with health care workers in Tennessee and Indiana targeted as the first recipients, federal health authorities said. "We're not sure how many [doses] are coming; we're waiting for the vaccine to arrive," said Jennilyn Utkov, a spokeswoman for LeBonheur Children's Medical Center in Memphis, Tennessee, where three children have died from H1N1, sometimes referred to as swine flu.  More
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StatSpin® CytoFuge 12
The NEW StatSpin® CytoFuge 12 is a compact, low cost cytocentrifuge that concentrates 12 samples from 50 µL up to 800 µL onto microscope slides for a variety of cell preparations. Inside is a removable sealed autoclavable rotor that can be loaded in a hood to eliminate exposure to biohazards. The program key pad is easy to use; up to 24 programs can be stored. The unit operates from 200-2,000 rpm. More info

New approach to targeting the hidden reservoir of HIV
from Science Daily
The drugs used to treat individuals infected with HIV-1 keep the virus under control and dramatically improve prognosis, but they do not eliminate the virus from the body completely, some remains hidden in immune cells known as resting CD4+ T cells. There are currently no clinically acceptable strategies for eliminating this reservoir of HIV-1.  More
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Celiac disease: A diagnosis often missed
from CBS News
There's a disease that American doctors are absolutely terrible at diagnosing. It's estimated that three million Americans have celiac disease and only a small percentage of them know it. In celiac disease, a component of wheat, rye, and barley called gluten sets off an immune reaction that attacks the intestine and can affect the entire body. Patients are unable to properly absorb essential nutrients because the absorptive fingers (villi) in the small intestine have been damaged or destroyed. Doctors usually miss the diagnosis because they don't realize how variable the disease can be.  More
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