ASCLS eNewsBytes
May. 15, 2012

How labs can enhance their role in patient care
Clinical Laboratory News
Much has been written about how laboratory professionals can partner with clinicians to improve patient outcomes. But as physicians struggle to keep up with the demands of today's complex healthcare system and the constant stream of new research findings, some forward-thinking laboratorians are finding that working directly with pharmacists can enhance the value and efficiency of both lab tests and drugs. This trend has gathered momentum, especially over the last few years, according to Paul Jannetto, PhD, DABCC, FACB, MT (ASCP). More

Worm blood may be used in human substitute
Australian Associated Press via NineMSN
Worm blood could hold the key to developing a new generation of synthetic blood substitutes for people because of its powerful oxygen-carrying abilities, scientists say. The haemoglobin found in earth and sea worms carries about 50 times more oxygen than human blood, prompting University of California researchers in San Diego to examine the potential to replicate the same oxygen-carrying capacity in artificial blood.More

Interferon-gamma release assays better for TB testing
Reuters via Medscape
Interferon-gamma release assays are significantly better than tuberculin skin tests at predicting progression from latent tuberculosis, a new meta-analysis from Germany shows. This means that patients with a positive IGRA, "especially if they belong to high risk groups for TB, will probably have a higher benefit when receiving preventive therapy in order to avoid TB disease later on than subjects scored positive by the TST," Dr. Roland Diel told Reuters Health by email.More

Tracking the spread of a nasty virus
When members of a travel soccer team in Oregon fell ill last year, the details of how the disease spread through the team were mysterious. Kimberly Repp, an epidemiologist in Washington County, Ore., describes the medical detective work that led epidemiologists through the chain of transmission of the norovirus.More

Got ethics?
Lab Manager Magazine
Does your laboratory have "ethical muscle"? Do you feel your employees are flexing this muscle? Ethics and data integrity should be an integral part of your laboratory’s quality program. Just as peanut butter, jelly and bread go together, so do ethics, data integrity, and quality. However, it is a concept that is too often overlooked in the field of science. More

Next-generation exome sequencing works in clinical setting
Medscape Medical News
A practical test of the value of exome sequencing in diagnosing children with unexplained intellectual disabilities, developmental delay, and/or congenital anomalies in a clinical setting has yielded very promising results. Of 12 children in the study, investigators found diagnostic mutations in 7. Exome sequencing focuses on the protein-encoding parts of the genome, which include most of the genes behind single-gene disorders. The technology, which uses next-generation sequencing, is increasingly being used to solve diagnostic challenges.More

Clinical laboratory leaders can expect increasing demand for LIS-physician EHR integration
Dark Daily
Hospitals are adopting electronic health records at an accelerating rate. That's the good news. But many hospitals lack the resources to acquire an EHR and implement it in a fast and robust manner, as many pathologists and clinical laboratory managers know from experience. More

Family watches 'miraculous survival' of woman fighting flesh-eating bacteria
A 24-year-old woman in a hospital bed fighting off flesh-eating bacteria has to be told repeatedly — each time she wakes up — what has happened, her parents told CNN. Yet Aimee Copeland, who has lost a leg and part of her abdomen to the virulent bacteria and may lose more, including her fingers, is keeping her spirits strong, her father said. More

Chlamydia screening guidelines miss some high-risk groups
Medscape Medical News
National age-related screening guidelines for Chlamydia trachomatis might miss some at-risk women older than 25 years, according to research presented at the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists 60th Annual Clinical Meeting. "Chlamydia is known to vary by age and race, but also by region. To look at screening just by age is simple and easy, but we also have to look at what's the most cost-effective use for our dollars," said Mark Martens, M.D., from the Jersey Shore Medical Center in Neptune, N.J.More

Researchers progress toward fast, low-cost DNA sequencing device
Advance for Medical Laboratory Professionals
Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Yale University have developed a new concept for use in a high-speed genomic sequencing device that may have the potential to substantially drive down costs. The research is part of a nearly decade-long drive to support the science needed to bring the cost of sequencing a human genome down to $1,000.More

Minnesota governor signs bill on newborn blood screening, retention of test samples
St. Paul Pioneer Press
Parents of babies who are tested through Minnesota's newborn screening program will have the option of letting public health officials retain the infant's blood sample and test results for up to 18 years. The law fills a gap created by a state Supreme Court ruling last year that found the health department's previous practice of simply retaining the samples and test results indefinitely should stop because parents had not given informed consent for such uses.More

Children without private insurance get fewer tests in
emergency department

Children with public health insurance or no insurance undergo less diagnostic testing and intervention when visiting the emergency department compared with children with private healthcare insurance, according to a new, retrospective study. The study authors note, in an article published online May 10 in the Journal of Pediatrics, that the reasons for the disparity remain unclear.More

Nearly two-thirds of worldwide child deaths were caused by preventable diseases in 2010
U.S. News & World Report
Two-thirds of all child deaths were caused by preventable infectious diseases, but the death rate of children younger than 5 sharply declined over the past 10 years, according to a new report. Despite increased birth rates, the overall number of children who died before their fifth birthday decreased from about 9.6 million in 2000 to 7.6 million in 2010, mainly caused by decreasing pneumonia, measles and diarrhea rates.More

Researchers: Immune cell therapy cures diabetic mice
Bloomberg Businessweek
An experimental therapy that reprograms the immune system then spurs the growth of healthy insulin-producing cells reversed late-stage diabetes in mice and may lead to a cure for people, researchers said.More

Examining the causal link between antimicrobial therapy hospital acquired infections
Advance for Medical Laboratory Professionals
Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE), first reported in the United States in 1987, now comprises 25 percent of all Enterococcus species isolated in the clinical laboratory. Because of its resistance to common antimicrobial agents, VRE poses a distinct health risk both in the United States and in other countries around the world. More

Researchers discover CD19 pathway that leads to lymphoma
The Medical News
Researchers studying the molecular signals that drive a specific type of lymphoma have discovered a key biological pathway leading to this type of cancer. Cancerous cells have been described as being "addicted" to certain oncogenes, and the new research may lay the groundwork for breaking that addiction and effectively treating aggressive types of B-cell lymphoma.More