ASCLS eNewsBytes
Feb. 18, 2014

US launches global initiative to stem infectious disease threats
The Washington Post
Faced with what they describe as a perfect storm of converging threats from infectious-disease epidemics, U.S. officials launched a global effort with more than two dozen countries and international organizations to prevent deadly outbreaks from spreading. The goal is to prevent, detect and respond to infectious-disease threats where they start.More

March 6 webinar: Quality Indicators for Pre- & Post-analytical Lab Processes
American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science
In this one-hour webinar you will learn an approach for selecting and developing pre-analytic and post-analytic process indicators so that your laboratory can assess and control key activities that contribute to quality laboratory results. For more information and to register your site, go to www.ascls.org/webinars. ASCLS members register at a discount with code wsdc14. More

Medical Laboratory Professionals Week — April 20-26
American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science
It is time to celebrate and educate others about what YOU do! Start planning your celebration now. Purchase official logo items and more. For more information go to www.ascls.org/MLPW.More

Neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio predicts outcomes in lung cancer patients with VTE
Medscape Medical News
A high neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio predicts a poor response to anticoagulation and other adverse outcomes in lung cancer patients with venous thromboembolism, researchers from Korea report. In other studies of lung cancer patients, NLR has been associated with response to treatment and survival, but there have been few studies of the relationship between NLR and cancer-related thrombosis. More

Breast cancer and BRCA mutations: Removing healthy breast saves lives
Los Angeles Times
Women considering a mastectomy after being diagnosed with breast cancer often face a difficult decision: whether to remove their healthy breast as well. A new study should make it easier for some of these women to make up their minds. It concludes that patients with a dangerous mutation in their BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene were able to cut their risk of dying from breast cancer nearly in half by opting to remove both breasts.More

Latest research offers promise in detection of pancreatic cancer
By Rosemary Sparacio
Pancreatic cancer causes more than 38,000 deaths in the U.S. each year, and is the fourth-most common cause of cancer deaths in the western world. No routine screening methods for pancreatic cancer are available due to the subtle differences among cancerous, atypical and healthy tissue. Recently, however, two studies have identified biomarkers that show potential as a method for early detection of pancreatic cancer.More

Number of test-tube babies born in US hits record percentage
Reuters via Fox News
More test-tube babies were born in the United States in 2012 than ever before, and they constituted a higher percentage of total births than at any time since the technology was introduced in the 1980s, according to a report.More

'Bizarre' cluster of severe birth defects stuns health experts
NBC News
A mysterious cluster of severe birth defects in rural Washington state is confounding health experts, who say they can find no cause, even as reports of new cases continue to climb. Federal and state officials won’t say how many women in a three-county area near Yakima, Wash., have had babies with anencephaly, a heart-breaking condition in which they're born missing parts of the brain or skull. More

Chemotherapy then radiation effective against brain tumor
UPI
Those with low-grade gliomas — brain tumors — who received chemotherapy and then radiation lived longer than those who received only radiation, U.S. researchers say. Co-lead investigator Dr. Jan Buckner, professor of oncology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., said all three chemotherapy drugs in the regimen are commercially available, so the treatment used in the clinical trial is available for use.More

Next-generation gene sequencing could lead to more precise pathology lab tests
Dark Daily
Scientists are beginning to incorporate next-generation gene sequencing into a growing number of clinical trials. This is an important development because knowledge developed in clinical trials often forms the foundation for the evidence-based medicine guidelines issued following a successful clinical trial. More

US launches global initiative to stem infectious disease threats
The Washington Post
Faced with what they describe as a perfect storm of converging threats from infectious-disease epidemics, U.S. officials launched a global effort with more than two dozen countries and international organizations to prevent deadly outbreaks from spreading. More

30 years later: Are we any closer to a cure for AIDS?
By Dorothy L. Tengler
Over the past decade, the number of people living with HIV has increased, while the annual number of new HIV infections has remained relatively stable. But are researchers any closer to finding a cure now than when the HIV/AIDS connection was established 30 years ago?More

HIV/AIDS discovery shows how wrong assumptions can be
Forbes
Until recently, clinicians and scientists believed the human body went after the CD4+ T helper cells that were most infected by HIV. They assumed destroying the cells with the highest levels of the virus was the body’s way of trying to limit the disease. But new research contradicts this belief.More

Research: New flu viruses often arise in domestic animals
NPR
There's intriguing evidence that the ancestor of modern flu viruses first appeared in horses — and not that long ago, in evolutionary terms. Its introduction is marked by an explosive equine flu epidemic that began near Toronto in late 1872 quickly devastated horse populations all over North America.More

How geo-personalized care for infectious disease management is catching on
Advance for Administrators of the Laboratory
Knowledge of local resistance trends is key to managing infections. This insight can support more targeted antibiotic prescribing, which is vital to curbing the spread of superbugs.More

New study: Dense breast tissue drives early stages of cancer
Medical News Today
Scientists at the University of Manchester in the U.K. think that a key biological mechanism may explain for the first time why women with dense breast tissue have an increased risk of developing breast cancer. Using structural cells called fibroblasts from high-density breast tissue to generate a "molecular signature," the scientists found that a cell communication network called JNK1 exhibited more activity in fibroblasts from high-density breast tissue than in lower-density breast tissue. More