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Home   About   Scholarships   Meetings   Publications   Resources   December 30, 2014

 


As 2014 comes to a close, ASCLS would like to wish its members a safe and happy holiday season. As we reflect on the past year for the industry, we would like to provide the readers of ASCLS eNewsBytes a look at the most accessed articles from the year. Our regular publication will resume Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015.


30 years later: Are we any closer to a cure for AIDS?
By Dorothy L. Tengler
From Feb. 11: Human immunodeficiency virus was first discovered in 1983. In 1984, HIV was definitively linked to acquired immune deficiency syndrome patients and to groups whose members were at high risk for developing AIDS. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 1.1 million persons aged 13 years and older are living with HIV infection. Over the past decade, the number of people living with HIV has increased, while the annual number of new HIV infections has remained relatively stable. But are researchers any closer to finding a cure now than when the HIV/AIDS connection was established 30 years ago?
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Breast cancer: Advancements in treatment
By Rosemary Sparacio
From July 1: According to the American Cancer Society, the percentage of women who die from breast cancer has steadily declined since 1989. This is often attributed to screening and early diagnosis, but improvements in treatment have also helped. The established treatments for breast cancer are radiation and drug therapy. New drugs — still in preliminary stages and early clinical trials — could add to the chemotherapy options available for breast cancer treatment. In the other "half" of breast cancer treatment, breakthroughs in radiation-related therapy are also showing promise.
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Chikungunya virus spreading across the US
By Rosemary Sparacio
From July 29: The Chikungunya virus — an arthropod-borne virus transmitted to humans by the Aedes mosquito — was discovered in Tanzania, Africa, more than 60 years ago. Until recently, this virus was found primarily in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Indian and Pacific Oceans. But late last year, cases began popping up in the Caribbean. And with many Americans vacationing in the Caribbean islands, cases are now being reported in the U.S. — and at what some experts consider an alarming rate.
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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
  Embedded RFID Tags for Diagnostic Disposables
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Chronic fatigue syndrome may be linked to brain abnormalities
By Dorothy L. Tengler
From Nov. 11: Up to 4 million Americans experience chronic fatigue syndrome, or CFS, a debilitating, difficult-to-diagnose and complex disorder marked by extreme periods of fatigue that can last up to six months and are not improved by bed rest. Because CFS can devastate a person's life for 10 to 30 years, researchers have been following 200 CFS patients for several years to identify the syndrome's underlying mechanisms. Recently, scientists decided to try brain imaging to see if there were any differences between the brains of 14 healthy people and 15 CFS patients. And there were.
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Cultured red blood cells: There's nothing artificial about it
By Rosemary Sparacio
From April 29: Blood transfusions play a critical role in clinical practice. Over 90 million transfusions take place each year. Transfusions are made possible throughout the U.S by donations from individuals, blood-donor programs, blood banks and the American Red Cross. However, in order to get the supplies they need, all venues must participate. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. The relatively short lifespan of donated blood, which is 120 days, demands that there is always a constant fresh supply. And even though there are testing parameters in place, there is always the risk of transmitting infections and the potential for incompatibility issues between donor and recipient.
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Federal government amends patient access to laboratory test results
By Jessica Belle
From Feb. 25: Soon patients and patients' personal representatives will be able to obtain copies of completed laboratory test reports directly from laboratories. The Department of Health and Human Services recently released new rules amending the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. This article explains the current rules governing patients' direct access to test results and what will change under the new rules.
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Is overprescribing really to blame for antibiotic resistance?
By Lauren Swan
From May 14: The World Health Organization recently released a report regarding antimicrobial resistance and how it's being found in every part of the world. According to the WHO, the cause of this resistance is overuse and abuse of antibiotic medications, posing a potential threat for civilization as more diseases become drug resistant. However, antibiotics are only available with a prescription, and it's no secret they have become harder to receive in the past 10 years due to possibilities such as this. Yet more drug-resistant diseases have been popping up — whooping cough, gonorrhea and TB, just to name a few. Is overprescribing really at fault? Or are there other factors to consider?
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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
  Trust in Cleveland Clinic Laboratories
Cleveland Clinic Laboratories is a full-service, national reference lab dedicated to providing world class care. We have a dedicated staff of more than 1,300 employees, including board-certified subspecialty pathologists, PhDs, technologists, technicians, and support personnel. Cleveland Clinic Laboratories is proud to serve hospitals, outpatient facilities and physician offices worldwide. For more information, please visit clevelandcliniclabs.com.
 


Latest Alzheimer's research passes the smell test
By Denise A. Valenti
From Aug. 5: Researchers have recognized that reductions in the ability to detect odors is an early sign of neurodegenerative disease. Several studies supporting the use of olfactory system reductions as a means to diagnose Alzheimer's disease in the early stages were presented at this year's Alzheimer's Association International Conference held recently in Copenhagen, Denmark. The AAIC brings together top researchers in the field of dementia in order to engage a multidisciplinary international exchange of ideas.
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Researchers show the danger of dormant viruses in the body
By Dorothy L. Tengler
From July 15: Sepsis is caused by many different types of microbes, including bacteria, fungi and viruses. This is a major challenge in the intensive care unit of hospitals, where it is one of the leading causes of death. Every year, severe sepsis strikes about 750,000 Americans. It's been estimated that between 28 to 50 percent of these people die — far more than the number of deaths in the United States from prostate cancer, breast cancer and AIDS combined. Now, a provocative new study links prolonged episodes of sepsis to the reactivation of otherwise dormant viruses in the body.
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New research shows promise in blood cancer treatment
By Rosemary Sparacio
From April 1: Blood cancers pose many challenges for healthcare professionals engaged in clinical research, patient care and treatment. Several new approaches published recently show promise for the future in this field of medicine. One approach for treating leukemia, discovered by a team in Montreal, disarms a gene that is responsible for tumor progression. By targeting the gene, known as Brg1, in leukemia stem cells, researchers think this may offer new therapeutic opportunities by preventing the disease from coming back. Several new drugs are also on the horizon.
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ASCLS eNewsBytes

Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Katina Smallwood, Senior Editor, 469.420.2675   
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