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ASCLS eNewsBytes
November 10, 2009
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New WHO criteria to qualify flu viruses as pandemic strains
Medical News Today    Share   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
More flu viruses could qualify as pandemic strains as a result of recent changes to the World Health Organization (WHO) criteria for a flu pandemic, according to an editorial published the in BMJ Clinical Evidence. Under the 2005 criteria, the appearance of a new influenza subtype was required before a pandemic was declared. However, according to the new definition, almost any influenza virus that mutates from the original subtype would qualify as a pandemic strain if it spread readily from human to human. MORE

Beckman Coulter
RT-PCR sentinel lymph node assay comparable to cytology for detection of breast cancer
Medscape Medical News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A molecular intraoperative technique for assessing sentinel lymph nodes (SLNs) in breast cancer patients compares well with intraoperative cytology in detecting metastases, and might be more sensitive in identifying isolated tumor cells, according to a study presented at the American Society for Clinical Pathology 2009 Annual Meeting. "Two-dimensional slices of complex 3-dimensional tumors make accurate detection difficult," said Malak Abedalthagafi, MD, from Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, DC. More
What's the best marker of iron status?
Clinical Laboratory News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Anemia compromises quality of life through fatigue and impaired cognitive function and has been linked to cardiovascular disease morbidity, increased hospitalization, and mortality. Despite the significant health consequences associated with the condition, anemia remains one of the most prevalent conditions worldwide and is the most common nutritional deficiency, affecting an estimated one-quarter of the world's population. Even with such a profound disease burden, iron deficiency anemia (IDA) and anemia of chronic disease often receive sub-optimal clinical management. More
New vaccine offers hope in Africa's malaria battle
The Associated Press via Google News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A mother watched with dread as a nurse inserted a tube in her baby's head. Blood streamed into the anemic 4-month-old who already has malaria, the mosquito-borne disease that kills a million African children every year. "Malaria is one of the deadliest sicknesses for children," the nurse said — words that sent the young mother into a crumpled heap on the bed beside her wide-eyed baby boy, wrapped in a blue-and-yellow floral blanket. A vaccine that appears to be able to prevent the disease in about 50 percent of children, is now undergoing the final stage of testing. More

Equitech
Adequate cervical tissue sample required to assess p16 positivity
Medscape Medical News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In cases in which the endocervical curettage tissue sample size is limited, atypical p16-positive columnar cells might represent conditions other than cervical intraepithelial lesions or malignancy, according to a series of cases analyzed by Hanna Kaspar, MD, from Geisinger Medical Laboratories in Danville, Penn. The results were presented at a poster session here at the American Society for Clinical Pathology 2009 Annual Meeting. More
Pig DNA mapped: May help with vaccines
Reuters via ABC News    Share    Share on
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An international team of researchers said it had mapped the DNA of a domestic pig, work they say could help lead to better breeding techniques as well as improve vaccines against diseases such as swine flu. They plan to look for genes useful in pork production and immunity in pigs, which are similar in size to humans. And, like humans, they catch influenza very easily.  Understanding the swine genome will lead to health advancements in the swine population and accelerate the development of vaccinations for pigs," said Roger Beachy, Director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture. More
Will new anemia drug top current treatments?
U.S. News & World Report    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A new drug designed to treat patients with a rare form of anemia could possibly have wider applications, perhaps replacing other anemia treatments that have been linked to an increased risk of death, cancer and stroke, experts say. The drug, Hematide, was successful in treating patients who have pure red-cell aplasia, a condition caused by antibodies to a hormone needed to produce red blood cells. More

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

Gene therapy saves two boys from rare brain disease
Bloomberg    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Two 7-year-old boys with a fatal brain disease who couldn't get bone marrow transplants were saved by scientists whose gene therapy technique may let doctors treat other incurable disorders. Doctors in Paris delivered the gene into the boys’ bodies using HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. The virus, stripped of genetic material that makes it toxic, integrates permanently into the DNA of cells it enters, scientists said. That means the modified gene remains in the blood-forming stem cells for the life of the patient, according to a report in the journal Science. More
PerkinElmer gets an OK for a screening processor
The Boston Globe    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
PerkinElmer Inc., a Waltham life sciences company, said that it has received 510K clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for a genetic screening processor, or GSP, that public health laboratories will use in the their newborn screening programs. Newborn screening programs are generally used to test infants for a range of genetic, metabolic, or hematologic disorders, the company noted. More
Legionnaires' disease cases have families worried
Chicago Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Relatives of residents at a Chicago-area Vernon Hills senior citizens facility are asking whether officials at the home informed them quickly enough of two deaths connected to Legionnaires' disease. Officials at The Park at Vernon Hills said they have tried to contain the disease, a type of bacterial pneumonia, by closing a rain forest atrium at the home. A lab analysis confirmed Thursday that a second resident of the facility -- who died last week -- had Legionnaires' disease, said Jane Woloson, executive director of the assisted-living home. More

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