ASCLS eNewsBytes
Jan. 31, 2012

Make a difference with ASCLS, CLMA, ASCP & AMT
2012 Legislative Symposium

ASCLS is proud to work with CLMA, ASCP and AMT on the 2012 Legislative Symposium. Joining an ASCLS tradition since 1989, CLMA, ASCP and AMT members will meet with their Representatives and Senators on Capitol Hill as a unified front on behalf of our profession. We need you — committed laboratory professionals and leaders — to come to Washington, D.C., to provide a visible and informed voice and make our concerns known inside Congress!More

New standard for vitamin D testing to ensure accurate test results
Analytical Chemistry
At a time of increasing concern about low vitamin D levels in the world's population and increased use of blood tests for the vitamin, scientists are reporting development of a much-needed reference material to assure that measurements of vitamin D levels are accurate. The report appears in ACS' journal Analytical Chemistry. Karen Phinney and colleagues explain that medical research suggests vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency may be even more common than previously thought and a risk factor for more than just bone diseases. More

Consensus Guidelines: Neoadjuvant therapy in breast cancer
The most important clinical goals remain to improve disease-free and overall survival and enable more limited surgery. Neoadjuvant therapy increases the rates of conservation for patients with locally advanced disease. There is still controversy about proper management in patients whose response to neoadjuvant therapy is suboptimal, as well as the extent of axillary surgery in patients who had involved nodes at presentation.More

A 'wild card' in your genes
ACS Chemical Biology
The human genome and the endowments of genes in other animals and plants are like a deck of poker cards containing a "wild card" that in a genetic sense introduces an element of variety and surprise that has a key role in life. That's what scientists are describing in a review of more than 100 studies on the topic that appears in ACS Chemical Biology.More

More use of whole gene sequencing poised to play important new roles in microbiology and medical laboratory testing
In clinical laboratories across the nation, microbiology has greatly benefited from the introduction of molecular diagnostics in clinical practice. Now the field of microbiology is poised to undergo a more profound transformation of clinical practice, due to advances in whole genome sequencing. Leaders in this field are calling these developments "transformative" and say they have the potential to change "all aspects of microbiology." More

Speculate to accumulate
Laboratory News
Rapid microbial methods can save a laboratory time and money – but incorporating them can be a battle with management. Here is a guide to getting the money men to recognise the importance of your lab practices More

No more swabbing: Spit sampling gets a whole lot easier
Advance for Medical Laboratory Professionals
Researchers are constantly finding new ways to figure out what makes us human beings tick, and one of the newer methods makes you want to spit-literally. Saliva is full of analytes and biomarkers that create a biological journal of exposure to chemicals and disease, and genetic variability. However, the collection of oral fluid has always proved cumbersome, with researchers depending on swabs or collection cups.More

Protein in brain could be a key target in controlling Alzheimer's
A protein recently discovered in the brain could play a key role in regulating the creation of amyloid beta, the major component of plaques implicated in the development of Alzheimer's disease, according to researchers at Temple University's School of Medicine. More

CD4 levels predict response to laryngeal cancer therapy
Levels of circulating CD4 lymphocytes can help predict the degree to which patients with advanced laryngeal cancer respond to induction chemotherapy, according to research presented here at the 2012 Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Cancer Symposium. The retrospective analysis, conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, involved 97 patients with advanced laryngeal cancer and 66 patients with advanced oropharyngeal cancer involved in identical phase 2 clinical trials.More

Cord blood stem cells may restore hearing
U.S. researchers are undergoing a phase I safety study using a child's umbilical cord blood stem cells to try to restore hearing loss. The yearlong study will follow 10 children, ages 6 weeks to 18 months, who have sustained post-birth hearing loss. Children who are deaf as a result of a genetic anomaly or syndrome are not eligible for the test.More

Study finds early signs of autism in baby brains
Reuters via Medscape
Children who develop autism already show signs of different brain responses in their first year of life, scientists said in a study that may in the future help doctors diagnose the disorder earlier. British researchers studied 104 babies at 6 to 10 months and then again at 3 years old, and found that those who went on to develop autism had unusual patterns of brain activity in response to eye contact with another person.More

Scientist plays down danger of flu strain
The New York Times
A Wisconsin virology team that created a more contagious form of bird flu did not produce a highly lethal superflu, as a Dutch team famously and controversially did last year, according to the leader of the Wisconsin team. More

How labs can confront the challenges of low health literacy
American Association for Clinical Chemistry
As consumers take on more responsibility for their own health, health literacy is fast becoming a patient safety issue that is relevant to clinical laboratory services. In this interview, Mark V. Williams, MD, FACP, FHM, a national expert on health literacy, talks about actions labs can take to overcome communication barriers. More