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As 2014 comes to a close, NSH would like to wish its members, partners and other industry professionals a safe and happy holiday season. As we reflect on the past year for the industry, we would like to provide the readers of Under the Microscope a look at the top 20 most accessed articles from the year. Here is part one. Enjoy!



TOP STORIES

Are we doing our best to protect our laboratory workers?
Lab Manager
From June 4: Because the safety guys write about this stuff all the time, you know that laboratory workers are exposed to numerous hazards spanning biological, chemical, physical and radioactive risks. Repetitive tasks of production labs and high-volume analytical labs as well as the challenges of handling research animals can also lead to musculoskeletal disorders. The diverse and serious potential hazards faced daily by laboratory workers begs two questions: Are our labs safe enough? Are we doing our best to protect our laboratory workers? Sadly, given some examples below, the answer is definitely not.
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Progress in stem cell biology: This could change everything about the practice of medicine
MedCityNews
From Feb. 5: As you may have heard, striking news hit recently in the field of stem cell biology. Researchers from Boston and Japan published two papers in the prestigious journal Nature in which they describe new and easy ways to transform mouse cells back into stem cells. Make no mistake, this is not mundane science news. This is big.
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Anatomic pathology labs adopt new ways to package, transport, and store specimens to reduce formalin and improve staff safety
Dark Daily
From Oct. 15: One seldom-reported development in anatomic pathology is the new priority histology laboratories are giving to employee safety. Labs have long recognized that exposure to the dangerous chemicals used in processing tissue creates risk for histotechnologists. Today, a rising number of medical laboratories in the United States and other countries are seeking to reduce those risks. Routine chemicals still used today in histology include formalin, toluene and xylene.
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The 1st healthy baby to have his genome sequenced before birth, but is it ethical?
Medical Daily
From June 25: Imagine growing up and knowing exactly what diseases you were genetically predisposed to. If it was Alzheimer's, would you take all possible measures to maintain your mental health? What if you were never actually predisposed to the disease and your parents had just interpreted your genome sequence wrong? These are questions many scientists are asking when it comes to sequencing the DNA of soon-to-be-born kids. And in part, they're asking them because of people like Razib Khan, the father of the first healthy baby to be born with his entire genome sequenced before birth.
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Chemical imaging brings cancer tissue analysis into the digital age
R&D Magazine
From Jan. 8: A new method for analyzing biological samples based on their chemical makeup is set to transform the way medical scientists examine diseased tissue. When tests are carried out on a patient's tissue today, such as to look for cancer, the test has to be interpreted by a histology specialist, and can take weeks to obtain a full result. Mass spectrometry imaging uses technologies that reveal how hundreds or thousands of chemical components are distributed in a tissue sample.
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Recent change to NAACLS standards
NSH
From Oct. 8: At its September 2014 meeting, after reviewing over 100 public comments, the NAACLS Board of Directors approved a change to Standard I.D.1.g, requiring HT programs to culminate in either an associate degree or higher, or a certificate for students who hold or complete the required degree. Remaining consistent with similar changes in the past (notably in 2001 with MLT programs), NAACLS accredited HT programs will have until their next accreditation review to show proof of compliance with this standard. Click here to read more about this approved change.
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Nation's clinical labs, pathology groups face greatest pressure to cut costs and deliver more value than any other time in past 25 years
Dark Daily
From Sept. 10: Topic number one at clinical laboratories and anatomic pathology groups across the nation is cost-cutting, for two reasons. First, it is budget time at hospitals and labs are being told to aggressively reduce their costs in 2015. Second, health insurers are paying less for medical lab testing. Simply said, labs are experiencing one of the toughest financial squeezes in two decades.
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This breath test could help sniff out lung cancer
The Huffington Post
From June 11: A test of patients' breath could reveal whether they have lung cancer and how advanced it is, or whether they suffer from chronic, noncancerous lung conditions, a new study shows. The researchers developed a device that can "smell" lung cancer when patients blow into a balloon. Cancer cells produce specific compounds that enter the blood stream and cause changes in a patient's blood chemistry and breath, the researchers say.
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Diagnosing diseases with smartphones
R&D Magazine
From March 12: Smartphones are capable of giving us directions when we're lost, sending photos and videos to our friends in mere seconds, and even helping us find the best burger joint in a three-mile radius. But thanks to UH Cullen College of Engineering researchers, smart phones may soon be boasting another very important function: diagnosing diseases in real time.
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2nd Ebola Case in US stokes fears of healthcare workers
The New York Times
From Oct. 15: A nurse here became the first person to contract Ebola within the United States, prompting local, state and federal officials who had settled into a choreographed response to scramble to solve the mystery of how she became infected, despite wearing protective gear, and to monitor additional people possibly at risk. The news further stoked fears of healthcare workers across the country, many of whom have grown increasingly anxious about having to handle Ebola cases.
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Under the Microscope
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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