ASCLS eNewsBytes
Jan. 28, 2014

Dogs carry the oldest known living cancer
National Geographic
Canines are in a rare category when it comes to cancer: They and Tasmanian devils are the only two animals that can transmit it from one individual to another. A new genetic study reveals that the dog form of the cancer, which causes genital tumors, is 11,000 years old — making it the oldest continuously living cancer.More

Learn more about CLMA's KnowledgeLab 2014 in Las Vegas!
American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science
Registration for KnowledgeLab 2014 is now live! KnowledgeLab 2014, the Clinical Laboratory Management Association's premier education event, provides an excellent opportunity to connect with fellow laboratorians in Las Vegas, May 4-7, to grow your knowledge and advance your leadership within the profession. Learn more about the schedule of events, exciting educational offerings and many networking opportunities that KnowledgeLab will provide. Early registration discounts are available through Friday, March 28. More

Freezing cancerous tumors provides pain relief to patients
The Plain Dealer
Results of a study conducted at Ohio's University Hospitals Case Medical Center may provide relief to patients who endure the pain of metastatic cancer. Cryoablation therapy freezes and destroys abnormal or cancerous cells with the use of liquid nitrogen. A probe, placed through the skin under image guidance, targets a tumor or other affected area without destroying healthy tissue around it.More

Research: Severe infections damage ability to form spatial memories
Infection Control Today
Increased inflammation following an infection impairs the brain's ability to form spatial memories, according to new research. The impairment results from a decrease in glucose metabolism in the brain's memory center, disrupting the neural circuits involved in learning and memory.More

Dengue 'under-recognized' as source of febrile illness in US
Medscape Medical News
Dengue is commonly considered to be a tropical scourge, but the mosquito-borne viral infection is present in the United States and may be under-recognized as a cause of potentially fatal acute febrile illness, according to public health experts. The case of a 63-year-old woman who died from complications of dengue acquired in New Mexico or Texas in 2012 indicates that clinicians should consider a diagnosis of locally acquired or travel-associated dengue in certain circumstances, write Tyler Sharp, Ph.D., from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues.More

Genome of intestinal disease bacteria to be sequenced
University of Liverpool via Bioscience Technology
The University of Liverpool is set to decipher the genomes of the U.K.'s main bacterial cause of food poisoning which results in more than 21,000 hospital admissions and 100 deaths each year. Using the latest whole genome sequencing technologies available at the University's Centre for Genomic Research, scientists will decode and analyze the 510 archived isolates of Campylobacter from earlier collections of human feces.More

Fever treatments may cause more flu deaths
People sick with the flu often take medication to alleviate the accompanying fever. But their relief may come at a price for others: New findings suggest that suppressing fever can result in the infection of tens of thousands of additional people each flu season.More

Influenza: Fact or fallacy?
Medscape Medical News
Many clinicians hold misperceptions about influenza testing and treatment. This article identifies a few of the more common myths surrounding this topic, which have been identified through Centers for Disease Control and Prevention formative research with clinicians, including in-depth-interviews.More

Mathematical modeling may create opportunities for clinical pathology labs
Dark Daily
New approaches to mathematical modeling are poised to transform pharmaceutical drug research and development — and create new opportunities in clinical laboratory testing down the road. U.S. and Chinese scientists have developed statistical models that more accurately simulate a drug's reaction in a patient. Using differential equations, these researchers seek to integrate mathematical modeling of drug reactions into pharmacogenomics. More

Immunosuppressive therapy ups risk for skin cancers
The Oncology Report
Current and previous use of thiopurines, biologics and combination therapies are all independent risk factors for skin cancer, according to expert analysis given at a conference on inflammatory bowel diseases. Although population-based cohort studies have shown that the baseline risk for nonmelanoma skin cancer in IBD has risen more than a third since the preimmunomodulator era, regardless of the mode of treatment, "Cutaneous side effects of immunomodulators and biologics are a rising concern in clinical practice," said Dr. Jean-Frederic Colombel of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York.More

Culture shock: Reviving ancient cholera
MedPage Today
Vibrio cholerae has, on the face of it, very little in common with Mammuthus subplaniforms. The first item — the pathogen that causes cholera — is about a micron wide and couple of microns long and it's everywhere. The second — also known as the woolly mammoth — stood up to 11 feet tall at the shoulder and weighed up to 6.6 tons. And the beast is extinct. But there's some neat science that links them, according to Hendrik Poinar, PhD, principal investigator at the Ancient DNA Center at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, west of Toronto.More

Waived testing: The last mountain
Advance for Administrators of the Laboratory
Have you noticed how much more attention waived testing is getting these days? We know that Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments have defined waived tests as laboratory procedures which employ methodologies that are so simple and accurate as to render the likelihood of erroneous results negligible and which pose no reasonable risk of harm to the patient if the test is performed incorrectly. Tests cleared for home use by the FDA are also classified as waived.More

Dogs carry the oldest known living cancer
National Geographic
Canines are in a rare category when it comes to cancer: They and Tasmanian devils are the only two animals that can transmit it from one individual to another. A new genetic study reveals that the dog form of the cancer, which causes genital tumors, is 11,000 years old — making it the oldest continuously living cancer.More

Procalcitonin levels predict positive blood culture in sepsis patients
Reuters via Medscape Medical News
Procalcitonin testing can predict whether sepsis patients will have positive blood cultures, a new pilot study shows. Among 40 patients admitted to the hospital with a diagnosis of sepsis, using a cutoff of 1.35 ng/ml identified all 10 who had positive blood cultures, Dr. Walid Saliba of Technion School of Medicine in Haifa, Israel, and colleagues found.More

CDC names top 5 health threats in 2014
MedCity News
The disease detectives at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention named the top five global health threats they expect to tackle in 2014. Topping the list is the threat of the emergence and spread of new microbes, but several other threats are also on the CDC's radar. More

Germy lab coats and ties prompt dress code for doctors
USA Today
Studies have found all sorts of nasty germs on lab coats, sleeves, ties, watches, rings and even shoes worn by health workers. Studies have yet to show that grimy coats and swinging ties play a major role in spreading those germs, but a push for cleaner attire makes sense, says new expert guidance from the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, published online in the journal Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.More

Searching genes to avoid medical side effects
The Wall Street Journal
Scientists searching for a way to avoid prescribing medications to patients that may cause dangerous physical or behavioral responses are turning increasingly to those patients' DNA. The concept of personalized medicine, tailoring treatment to patients based on their genetic makeup or other individual characteristics, is more often associated with determining which patients may respond best to which drug. Yet predicting bad reactions may be as or more important.More

Making music videos 'helps young cancer patients cope'
BBC News
Music therapy can help teenagers and young people cope better when faced with treatment for cancer, a study in Cancer journal suggests. American researchers followed the experiences of a group of patients aged 11-24 as they produced a music video over three weeks. They found the patients gained resilience and improved relationships with family and friends.More