ASCLS eNewsBytes
Apr. 9, 2013

Anti-HIV antibodies may spur AIDS vaccine development
Researchers led by Barton Haynes, director of the Duke University Human Vaccine Institute at Duke University School of Medicine, believe they have found a way to tip the odds in the immune system's favor in the fight against HIV. By carefully mapping the different mutations that HIV generates, and the resulting antibodies made against them in an African patient who is able to produce broadly neutralizing antibodies, Haynes and his colleagues believe they have come up with a way to drive the immune system to preferentially churn out HIV-fighting immune cells.More

Hepatitis C viral load fluctuates without treatment
Medscape Medical News
Fluctuations in circulating hepatitis C virus RNA could be "clinically meaningful" in a substantial number of patients with chronic infection, and could influence the best time to prescribe antiviral therapy. Vincent Soriano, M.D., from Hospital Carlos III in Madrid, Spain, and his team conducted a retrospective review of longitudinal plasma hepatitis C RNA determinations in 818 consecutive untreated patients with chronic virus seen at a clinic in Madrid.More

China culls birds as flu deaths mount
Chinese authorities slaughtered over 20,000 birds at a poultry market in Shanghai as the death toll from a new strain of bird flu mounted to six, spreading concern overseas. The local government in Shanghai said the Huhuai market for live birds had been shut down and 20,536 birds had been culled after authorities detected the H7N9 virus from samples of pigeons in the market.More

For older women, missed mammograms tied to worse breast cancer outcomes
HealthDay News
Older women diagnosed with breast cancer years after their last mammogram, and those who never had a mammogram, have an increased risk of dying from their cancer, a new study suggests. Investigators found that 23 percent of women who had their last mammogram five or more years before being diagnosed with breast cancer had advanced cancer, compared with 20 percent of those who had a mammogram six months to a year before their diagnosis.More

Looking to share your expertise?
In an effort to enhance the overall content of ASCLS eNewsbytes, we'd like to include peer-written articles in future editions. As a member of the association, your knowledge and experience in the industry can be of great help to your fellow members. And we're hoping you'll share this expertise with your peers through well-written commentary. Because of the digital format, there's no word or graphical limit, and our group of talented editors can help with final edits. If you're interested in participating, please contact Ronnie Richard to discuss logistics.More

Better understanding of DNA's 'dark matter' may lead to new lab tests
Dark Daily
Growing knowledge about DNA "dark matter" may soon make it possible for clinical laboratories to develop new assays that reveal clinical information useful in diagnosing and guiding therapeutic decisions. In genetics, “dark matter” describes the non-coding areas of DNA. Recent discoveries indicate that dark matter plays more important roles than previously thought.More

Cancer clinics, citing sequester, turn away thousands of Medicare patients
The Washington Post
Cancer clinics across the country have begun turning away thousands of Medicare patients, blaming the sequester budget cuts. Oncologists say the reduced funding, which took effect for Medicare on April 1, makes it impossible to administer expensive chemotherapy drugs while staying afloat financially.More

Cell machinery untangles misfolded proteins
Evolution News and Views
A multipart machine in bacteria, fungi and plants is able to take "irreversible" aggregates of misfolded proteins and untangle them, then refold them for proper function. Aggregates have been implicated in diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, making the study of protein folding an important focus of research.More

Lab automation is happening faster than you think
Laboratory Equipment
Automation technology is revolutionizing the health care and food industries. From infusion pumps to 24/7 temperature control and real-time testing and analysis, the development of embedded smart technologies is leading to better care and safety, new growth and vastly improved research and analysis. More

Scientists map dengue, estimate 390 million infections per year
Los Angeles Times
An international team has released new estimates of the number of dengue infections around the world, mapping out the places where risk of getting the viral illness is great and those where it's low. It estimated there are 390 million dengue infections per year, about a quarter of which are "apparent," meaning they are accompanied by symptoms of illness, such as fever or shock. More

Important trends point to cloudy future for clinical labs, pathology groups
Dark Daily
By every measure, the clinical laboratory industry is entering a high-stakes period during the next 24 months. Powerful trends are reducing lab budgets and payers are cutting the prices paid for medical laboratory testing. The question on everyone's mind is "will it get better or worse in the months ahead?"More

Lab automation is happening faster than you think
Laboratory Equipment
From infusion pumps to 24/7 temperature control and real-time testing and analysis, the development of embedded smart technologies is leading to better care and safety, new growth and vastly improved research and analysis. More

Study: Hormone therapy increases breast cancer risk, mortality
Los Angeles Times
In the nearly 11 years since researchers first rang alarm bells that women on hormone replacement therapy faced an increased risk of breast cancer, some have suggested that taking estrogen and progestin to treat symptoms of menopause might not be so dangerous after all. More

Cutting copays may increase women's cancer screening
\A year after the Japanese government started picking up the tab for Pap smears and mammograms for certain groups of women, the percentage of eligible women who got screened for breast and cervical cancers nearly doubled. More

Preventing cancer in the community
North American Precis Syndicate via San Diego Scoop
Cervical cancer affects women of color more than it does white women. One reason is that women of color are diagnosed with cervical cancer at a later stage than are white women. Black women are more likely to die from cervical cancer than women of other races or ethnicities, possibly because of decreased access to Pap testing or follow-up treatment. More

10 million pounds of frozen pizza, snacks recalled in rare E. coli outbreak
NBC News
A New York snack food maker now says it is recalling 10 million pounds of frozen pizza, mozzarella bites, Philly cheese steaks and other products linked to a rare and potentially dangerous outbreak of E. coli poisoning. Three million pound of the products remain in the marketplace, a company spokesman said.More

Stem cells 'nanokicked' to grow new bone
A new technique has been developed by a Scottish research team that could help patients with spinal injuries grow new bone. Researchers call it "nanokicking." It plays on the potential our bodies' stem cells possess to turn into any other kind of tissue — blood, muscle or, in this case, bone. More

Immune therapy offers hope in ovarian cancer
MedPage Today
A novel two-step immunotherapy process appears to be effective in nearly three-fourths of women with advanced ovarian cancer, a researcher said. The process begins with treatment with a personalized vaccine derived from the patient's own dendritic cells, according to Lana Kandalaft, PharmD, Ph.D., of the University of Pennsylvania.More