ASCLS eNewsBytes
Nov. 17, 2009

Recalculating the tally in swine flu deaths
The New York Times
About 4,000 Americans — rather than about 1,200 — have died of swine flu since the disease emerged in April, according to new figures being calculated by epidemiologists for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.More

Metabolic effects of dark chocolate consumption on energy, gut microbiota, and stress-related metabolism in free-living subjects
Journal of Proteome Research
Dietary preferences influence basal human metabolism and gut microbiome activity that in turn may have long-term health consequences. The present study reports the metabolic responses of free living subjects to a daily consumption of 40 g of dark chocolate for up to 14 days. A clinical trial was performed on a population of 30 human subjects, who were classified in low and high anxiety traits using validated psychological questionnaires. Biological fluids (urine and blood plasma) were collected during 3 test days at the beginning, midtime and at the end of a two-week study.More

Mutant genes linked to Parkinson's in some
People of Japanese and European descent who have mutant versions of five genes may be at higher risk of developing Parkinson's disease, two large teams of researchers have found. The two independent studies, published in the latest issue of Nature Genetics, involved more than 25,000 participants in total and are the largest studies to date to try to uncover genetic associations behind Parkinson's disease.More

Largest-ever database for liver proteins may lead to treatments for hepatitis
Journal of Proteome Research via Science Daily
Scientists at a group of 11 research centers in China are reporting for the first time assembly of the largest-ever collection of data about the proteins produced by genes in a single human organ. Their focus was the liver, and their massive database in both protein and transcript levels could become a roadmap for finding possible new biomarkers and treatments for liver disease. Those include hepatitis and liver cancer, which is at epidemic levels in China and affects millions of people worldwide.More

HHS releases $9 million to help fight health care acquired infections
Healthcare IT News
To reduce health care-acquired infections in surgical centers, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has made up to $9 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act available to state survey agencies in 43 states.More

Postnatal HIV transmission seen after infant prophylaxis stopped
Reuters Health via Medscape Medical News
A large study of infants uninfected with HIV at 14 weeks of age shows that transmission of the virus through breast milk occurs after extended antiretroviral prophylaxis is stopped. The results suggest that infant prophylaxis is only effective while the prophylactic agents are being administered, Dr. Taha E. Taha, from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, and colleagues state. Thus, added preventive measures are required for the duration of infant breast-feeding.More

Screening MRIs find clinically significant pathology in children with neurofibromatosis 1
Medscape Medical News
The authors of a study assessing the use of screening magnetic resonance imaging to diagnose central nervous system pathology and other CNS malformations in children with neurofibromatosis 1 suggest that centers skilled in pediatric sedation and imaging might reconsider the use of MRIs to identify clinically significant NF1 pathologies.More

Families could benefit from gene tests in sudden cardiac death victims
U.S. News & World Report
Genetic testing of people who've suffered sudden unexplained death is an effective and cost-efficient way of identifying genetic mutations that may put surviving relatives at increased risk for potentially deadly heart rhythm disturbances, a new study suggests.More

Two units of umbilical cord blood reduce risk of leukemia recurrence
Science Daily
A new study from the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota shows that patients who have acute leukemia and are transplanted with two units of umbilical cord blood have significantly reduced risk of the disease returning. This finding has the potential to change the current medical practice of using one unit of UCB for treatment of patients who are at high risk for recurrence of leukemia and other cancers of the blood and bone marrow.More