ASCLS eNewsBytes
Jun. 23, 2015

Protein plays unexpected role in embryonic stem cells
Salk Institute via ScienceDaily
A protein long believed to only guard the nucleus also regulates gene expression and stem cell development, scientists report. The discovery gives a new understanding to genetic diseases that are caused by mutations in these proteins.More

Protein plays key role in spread of breast cancer
Health Canal
The cancer cells are spread via the blood vessels, and a research team at Lund University in Sweden has now proven that the protein ALK1 determines the extent of the tumor's spread in the body. The higher the levels of the protein on the surface of the blood vessels, the greater their permeability to tumor cells and therefore the greater the risk of metastases.More

Widespread Borrelia miyamotoi tick-borne fever found in US
Borrelia miyamotoi disease, a tick-borne infection that can cause more severe symptoms than Lyme disease, was first reported in the northeastern United States in 2013 but is becoming more common and should be considered in all areas where deer tick-transmitted infections are endemic, according to a case-series published online June 9 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.More

Genetic changes identified that make HIV elusive to drugs
Medical News Today
Scientists have identified two locations where slight differences in genetic code can change the way human immunodeficiency virus infects cells — a change associated with worsening symptoms and resistance to anti-retroviral drugs. The study, published in PLOS ONE, is the first to link genetic changes in these two locations with alterations in the progression of HIV.More

Study demonstrates potential of new approach for sorting out BRCA1 gene variants
Genetics Society of America via News-Medical.Net
Patients seeking certainty in genetic tests often receive a perplexing result. Many learn they carry a "variant of unknown significance" of a disease-linked gene. Such variants might — or equally might not — increase disease risk.More

Implications of introducing high-sensitivity cardiac troponin T into clinical practice
Journal of the American College of Cardiology via Medscape
Cardiac troponin is the preferred biomarker for diagnosing myocardial infarction. The aim of this study was to examine the implications of introducing high-sensitivity cardiac troponin T into clinical practice and to define at what hs-cTnT level risk starts to increase.More

New drugs might prevent migraines before they start
HealthDay News
Competing teams of researchers are closing in on a new class of drugs that can prevent chronic migraines by interrupting the chain of events thought to create the headaches. The drugs target a biochemical called calcitonin gene-related peptide. The results from clinical trials show that these drugs can effectively prevent migraines in a substantial portion of headache sufferers, according to the studies.More

How flu viruses use transportation networks in the US
Emory Health Sciences via Infection Control Today
To predict how a seasonal influenza epidemic will spread across the United States, one should focus more on the mobility of people than on their geographic proximity, a new study suggests. PLOS Pathogens published the analysis of transportation data and flu cases conducted by Emory University biologists. Their results mark the first time genetic patterns for the spread of flu have been detected at the scale of the continental United States.More

Study: Ebola virus mutated slower than 1st thought
The Ebola virus that devastated parts of West Africa over the past year did not mutate at a faster rate than in previous outbreaks, according to an international study. Contrary to research conducted early in the outbreak which suggested the virus was mutating at twice the rate previously seen, this study showed the mutation rate was only slightly higher in the West Africa epidemic — a finding experts said was reassuring.More

Because of sizeable deductibles, more patients owe more money to clinical pathology laboratories, spurring labs to get smarter about collecting from patients
DARK Daily
In today's clinical laboratory marketplace, competency in revenue management is becoming just as important as clinical excellence. Blame it on these multiyear trends: shrinking lab budgets, Medicare price cuts and payers excluding labs from narrow networks. At the dawn of this decade — just five years ago — few pathologists and clinical lab executives would have predicted that the financial survival of their lab organizations would depend upon becoming more proficient and more sophisticated with billing and collections. More

Disabling antibiotic-resistant bacteria
Lab Manager
Dreaded bacterial-related diseases have killed untold numbers of humans over the centuries. Today, 2 million illnesses and nearly 23,000 deaths can be attributed to antibiotic-resistant bacteria throughout the United States, say the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.More