ASCLS eNewsBytes
Apr. 7, 2015

'Open' stem cell chromosomes reveal new possibilities for diabetes
University of California, San Diego via
Stem cells hold great promise for treating a number of diseases, in part because they have the unique ability to differentiate, specializing into any one of the hundreds of cell types that comprise the human body. Harnessing this potential, though, is difficult. In some cases, it takes up to seven carefully orchestrated steps of adding certain growth factors at specific times to coax stem cells into the desired cell type.More

April 16 webinar: A Rational Approach to Emerging Pathogen Biosafety Considerations
Dr. Michael Pentella of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health will discuss the biosafety considerations regarding test performance from specimens that may contain emerging pathogens and present a serious concern to staff and management. For more information and to register, go to ASCLS members receive a discounted registration rate. More

New titles available in the ASCLS online store
Shop the ASCLS online store at and discover many great new titles. Some of our newest additions include Body of Knowledge (CLS, CLT and Phlebotomy), Rodak's Hematology, 5th edition, Linne' and Ringrud's Clinical Laboratory Science, 7th edition and Immunology & Serology, 5th edition. Deep discounts are available for ASCLS members. Shop today!More

Researchers find that microbes are 'scared to death' by virus presence
University of Illinois via Infection Control Today
The microbes could surrender to the harmless virus, but instead freeze in place, dormant, waiting for their potential predator to go away, according to a recent study in mBio. University of Illinois researchers found that Sulfolobus islandicus can go dormant, ceasing to grow and reproduce, in order to protect themselves from infection by Sulfolobus spindle-shaped virus 9.More

1,000-year-old potion shows promise against MRSA
Medical News Today
MRSA has become one of the deadliest bacteria of modern times. The cause of more than 80,000 severe infections in the U.S. every year, the "superbug" has evolved to develop resistance to many antibiotics that once killed it. But researchers from the University of Nottingham in the U.K. say they may have uncovered a new treatment for MRSA: a 1,000-year-old remedy for eye infections taken from a manuscript found in the British Library. More

Gene identified that drives aggressive form of breast cancer
Medical News Today
A team of researchers have identified a gene that drives one of the most aggressive forms of breast cancer. They hope that by finding a way to block the gene they may be able to make the cancer less aggressive. More

Pathologists and clinical lab executives take note: Medicare has new goals and deadlines for transitioning from fee-for-service health care models to value-based reimbursement
DARK Daily
What happens to pathologists and clinical laboratories when fee-for-service reimbursement ceases to be the primary payment method for anatomic pathology services and medical laboratory tests? After all, fee-for-service reimbursement for laboratory tests is what underpins today's financial model for laboratory test services. Under this transaction-based business arrangement, a clinical laboratory that can increase its specimen volume will realize a lower average cost-per-test because of economies of scale within the laboratory. More

Mitochondria are altered in human cell model of Parkinson's disease
Buck Institute for Age Research via Medical Xpress
Based on research in fruit flies, it has long been suspected that the most common mutation linked to both sporadic and familial Parkinson's disease wreaks its havoc by altering the function of mitochondria in neurons that produce the neurotransmitter dopamine. Using stem cells derived from patients who have Parkinson's disease, scientist at the Buck Institute have confirmed that finding in human cells for the first time.More

Fetal DNA tests prove highly accurate but experts warn of exceptions
A Roche blood test to screen fetuses for Down syndrome worked far better than standard prenatal screening tests in younger, low-risk women, U.S. researchers said, setting the stage for more widespread use. The new study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, is the largest to show the tests are accurate in even low-risk women. More

Future antibiotic-making kit for amateurs? Kit could 1 day be widely available
ResearchSEA via ScienceDaily
Researchers have developed a rapid, simple and safe method for generating large libraries of novel organic molecules in a fraction of the time required for traditional organic synthesis. Researchers hope to provide a do-it-yourself method. More

Researchers find patterns in evolving genomes of thousands of species
Iowa State University via Lab Manager
This graph demonstrates some of the genetic patterns uncovered in recent Iowa State University research. The left panel shows the approximate equality of adenine and thymine in genomes across taxonomies. The right panel illustrates the same rule on the parts of genomes within species that vary among individuals and lead to divergence within a population.More