ASCLS eNewsBytes
March 22, 2011

Whole-genome sequencing of breast cancers
is progressing

Medscape Medical News
The first report of the sequencing of a complete cancer genome appeared in Nature in November 2008. Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, identified eight previously unrecognized mutations in tumor cells from a patient with acute myelogenous leukemia that apparently contributed to the cancer's proliferation. By June 2010, the American Association for Cancer Research noted the publication of 70 whole cancer genomes or exomes that have the potential to shape therapeutic choices.More

Don't compromise on accuracy and precision — Quality pipette tips
The work performed in clinical, research and quality control laboratories can be majorly impacted by a single droplet or sample so small it can hardly be seen. It is critical to evaluate all of the components comprising the pipetting system, in order to maximize accuracy and reproducibility of volume delivery when using micropipettes.More

NCCN guideline: NSCLC histology first, then mutation testing
Medscape Medical News
There are a host of changes in the updated guideline for nonsmall-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN). Some of the most notable changes involve the evaluation process for potential systemic therapy in patients with recurrent or metastatic disease.More

Protein found in brain cells may be key to autism
BBC News
Scientists have shown how a single protein may trigger autistic spectrum disorders by stopping effective communication between brain cells. The team from Duke University in North Carolina created autistic mice by mutating the gene which controls production of the protein, Shank3.More

Scientists use light to move molecules within living cells
Using a light-triggered chemical tool, Johns Hopkins scientists report that they have refined a means of moving individual molecules around inside living cells and sending them to exact locations at precise times. This new tool, they say, gives scientists greater command than ever in manipulating single molecules, allowing them to see how molecules in certain cell locations can influence cell behavior and to determine whether cells will grow, die, move or divide.More

Blood manufactured for transfusions
UKPA via The Press Association
Four Scottish universities are working on a ground-breaking project to manufacture blood for transfusions. Work on the project has been boosted by £2.5 million from the Scottish Funding Council. Researchers are working with Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Blood Transfusion Service to generate red blood cells and manufacture them on a large scale for Scotland. More

FDA clears first mobile radiology diagnostic app. Is digital
pathology next?

DARK Daily
When the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently cleared—for the first time—a mobile application for Radiology Diagnostics, it set the scene for similar mobile apps to gain FDA clearance for use in evaluating digital pathology images. Both pathologists and clinical laboratory managers are likely to be intrigued with how swiftly mobile computing technology can adapted for use with health care images. More

HIV treatment gap widening
Medscape Medical News
There is a growing gap between the number of individuals living with HIV and the number of health care providers required to meet their needs, according to a new report from the Institute of Medicine entitled "HIV Screening and Access to Care: Health Care System Capacity for Increased HIV Testing and Provision of Care." There are believed to be 1.1 million people living with HIV in the United States, and an estimated 21 percent of them are not aware that they are infected.More

Research casts doubt on theory of cause of chronic fatigue
Chicago Tribune
A high-profile scientific paper that gave enormous hope to patients diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, and even prompted some to begin taking potent anti-HIV drugs, has been largely discredited by subsequent research. Evidence is mounting that a retrovirus called XMRV is not a new human pathogen infecting millions, as was feared, but a laboratory contaminant.More