ASCLS eNewsBytes
Feb. 7, 2012

Handheld device for doing blood tests moves closer to medical use
Analytical Chemistry
Scientists are reporting a key advance in efforts to develop a handheld device that could revolutionize the complete blood cell count, one of the most frequently performed blood tests used to diagnose and treat disease. In a report in ACS' journal Analytical Chemistry, they describe adding a key feature to their "blood lab-on-a-chip" that allows it to count white blood cells more accurately.More

Variant H3N2 influenza virus: What you should know
Dr. Michael Jhung, medical officer in the Epidemiology and Prevention Branch of CDC's Influenza Division, discusses human infection with a new influenza A H3N2 virus being called "variant H3N2," or "H3N2v," for short. In this video report, Jhung reviews what is know about this virus and cases reported as of the end of 2011.More

When recruiting and training Generation Y to work
in medical laboratories

Workforce issues in medical laboratories received special attention here at the 10th Annual Frontiers in Laboratory Medicine (FiLM) conference. Probably the major concern going forward is how to attract, train, and sustain adequate numbers in the medical laboratory workforce. Two speakers addressed medical laboratory workforce issues at a strategic level, with an overview about Speaking about developments in the United Kingdom and the United States. Executive Vice President Elissa Passiment, Ed.M., CLS (NCA), of American Society of Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS), was one of the speakers. More

The laboratory diagnosis of paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria
Laboratory Medicine via Medscape
Paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) is a rare acquired stem cell disorder associated with periodic hemolytic events. This benign clonal condition is caused by the abnormal X-linked phosphatidylinositol glycan class A gene and has been associated with cytopenias and thrombosis. Recent improvements in PNH diagnostics relate to technical advances in flow cytometry, which can detect PNH cells at about 0.01 percent of total cells. More

Clinical trial could prove white blood cells help curb cancer
At 66-years-old, Rene O'Reilly is a mother and grandmother fighting throat and lung cancer. Chemotherapy is working, but doctors say it won't save her life. She's turning to Dr. Dipnarine Maharaj, who may be able to help through a clinical trial out of his Boynton Beach practice. "I believe our clinical study is the only one of its kind using this method in the U.S.," said Dr. Maharaj. The doctor would infuse patients with white blood cells to attack the cancer, but a host of blood donors are needed so Rene can participate. 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. More

Lyme disease ticks endemic in Northeast, Northern Midwest
The eastern half of the United States contains two main foci with a high mean density of infected ticks that can cause Lyme disease. One focus is between southern Maine and northern Virginia, and the other is primarily in Wisconsin, northern Minnesota, and an area of northern Illinois. Concerned that human tick reports are unreliable for determining areas where Lyme disease is endemic, researchers assembled a field staff of 80 tick hunters who meticulously worked at 304 sites from Maine to Florida in the most extensive mapping project of Lyme disease to date.More

Stem cell injections may fix damaged heart muscle
The Toronto Star
After more than a decade of study, Toronto scientists have begun injecting stem cells directly into a patient's heart with the hope of fixing muscle damaged by a serious heart attack. So far, two patients have had the experimental treatment while undergoing open-heart surgery. The process involves extracting bone marrow from a patient's hip, processing the marrow to retrieve stem cells and then injecting the powerful cells into the patient's heart. More

Laboratory outlook 2012 ... and beyond
Advance for Medical Laboratory Professionals
Medical laboratory science is used to periods of change; 2011 was no exception. While there were no singular "dramatic" developments this past year, various threats and possibilities were concerns that, fortunately, never quite materialized ... yet. 2012 is here and many are left wondering what the future holds. More

Stem cells could drive hepatitis research forward
Hepatitis C, an infectious disease that can cause inflammation and organ failure, has different effects on different people. But no one is sure why some people are very susceptible to the infection, while others are resistant. Scientists believe that if they could study liver cells from different people in the lab, they could determine how genetic differences produce these varying responses. More

A question of freedom for chimpanzees who spend lives in labs
NBC News
Rosie and Ken are 30-year-old chimpanzees who've never known a day of freedom. They were born in research labs and have spent almost their entire lives being experimented on by scientists in search of cures for human diseases. More

Study: Anemia complicates recovery after a stroke
Los Angeles Times
Being anemic could triple an individual's chances of dying in the year following a stroke, researchers said. Both anemia, which is a lack of healthy red blood cells, and stroke are common conditions among the elderly. Anemia is known to worsen the outcomes of people who have heart attacks. But the new study shows stroke patients are at higher risk, too.More