ASCLS eNewsBytes
Feb. 22, 2011

Cyber attacks against Internet-enabled medical devices new threat to clinical pathology laboratories
DARK Daily
Clinical laboratories and anatomic pathology groups face a growing security threat to the integrity of their analyzers, laboratory information systems, and other devices used daily by their employees. This rapidly-developing threat comes from outside hackers who are launching cyber-attacks aimed at the various medical devices and wireless systems that are directly connected to the Internet and are used by hospitals, physicians, and other health care providers.More

CDC issues best practices on use of PCR to diagnose pertussis
Medscape Medical News
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has issued a statement on best practices for the use of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to diagnose pertussis, as posted online and distributed via the Health Alert Network Information Service. They also provide a link to information regarding the clinical features of pertussis.More

Michigan bus driver didn't know she'd fuel cancer research
Detroit Free Press
A quarter-century ago, a Michigan Cancer Foundation scientist slid a scraping of Sue Cutting's non-malignant breast cells into a standard cell culture solution. Unlike most cells that divide a few dozen times and die, Cutting's — incredibly — began reproducing without end.These immortal cells became a cornerstone discovery at the Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit — patented as an endless supply of normal breast tissue that researchers could manipulate for a better understanding of the cancer that killed an estimated 40,000 U.S. women last year.More

Ultrasound fusion imaging for diagnosing musculoskeletal tumors
Medscape Medical News
A novel technique using ultrasound fusion appears to be safe and effective for obtaining musculoskeletal biopsies, and just as accurate as conventional methods. New results with the technique were presented at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons 2011 Annual Meeting, held in San Diego. The diagnosis of musculoskeletal tumors has traditionally been based on tissue biopsies obtained with ultrasound, computed tomography, or magnetic resonance imaging guidance.More

Genes may explain apparent link between narcolepsy and flu vaccine
The Washington Post
Scientists may have found a clue to explain a possible increased risk for narcolepsy among some people who got the H1N1 flu vaccine. According to the World Health Organization, excess cases of narcolepsy appear to have occurred among people with a gene that increases the risk for the rare disorder, which causes people to suddenly fall asleep. Cases of narcolepsy have been reported in 12 countries among children and adolescents who received the swine flu vaccine in 2009. Sweden and Finland reported the most cases, with 60 of them in the latter country. More

Antioxidant drugs may aid in cancer treatment
Drugs that provide a dose of antioxidants, such as those used to treat malaria and diabetes, might also help treat cancer, a new study suggests. The results show a process known as oxidative stress, which damages cells, can fuel tumor growth. Specifically, oxidative stress triggers cells near the cancer to release nutrients, which feed the cancer cells.More

Cancer drug could prevent blindness in preemies
The cancer drug Avastin could help prevent blindness in a group of premature babies who were born before their eyes developed completely, according to a new study. About 50,000 people worldwide are blind — among them singer Stevie Wonder — because of this condition, called "retinopathy of prematurity" for its effects on the retina.More

New test detects infection faster for babies

When a baby is sick, is it a virus or bacteria? The decision is crucial and must be made quickly. In the past, it could take up to a month to be sure. Now a diagnosis can be made in one day.More

Enzyme helps prepare lung tissue for metastatic development
A Massachusetts General Hospital study has identified a new role for an important enzyme in preparing lung tissue for the development of metastases. Published in the early edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the report describes how focal adhesion kinase is involved in producing areas of vascular leakiness in lung tissue — known to be part of the premetastatic process — and increases expression of a molecule that attracts cancer cells to potential metastatic sites.More