ASCLS eNewsBytes
Jun. 30, 2015

Nanoparticle 'wrapper' delivers chemical that stops fatty buildup in rodent arteries
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine via Lab Manager
In what may be a major leap forward in the quest for new treatments of the most common form of cardiovascular disease, scientists at Johns Hopkins University report they have found a way to halt and reverse the progression of atherosclerosis in rodents by loading microscopic nanoparticles with a chemical that restores the animals' ability to properly handle cholesterol. Cholesterol is a fatty substance that clogs, stiffens and narrows the blood vessels, greatly diminishing their ability to deliver blood to the heart muscle and the brain.More

Researchers uncover epigenetic switches that turn stem cells into blood vessel cells
University of Illinois at Chicago via ScienceDaily
A molecular mechanism that directs embryonic stem cells to mature into endothelial cells — the specialized cells that form blood vessels — has been discovered by researchers. Understanding the processes initiated by this mechanism could help scientists more efficiently convert stem cells into endothelial cells for use in tissue repair, or for engineering blood vessels to bypass blockages in the heart. More

Lab-made blood to enter human trials in 2 years
Medical News Today
Artificial blood grown in a lab from stem cells is one step closer to being available to people with complex blood types for whom it is difficult to find matching donors. The U.K.'s NHS Blood and Transplant say manufactured blood will be used in clinical trials with human volunteers within two years. More

New rapid Ebola test shows promise in African clinics
HealthDay News
A new rapid-detection test that diagnoses Ebola within minutes could improve treatment of the deadly virus and help health care workers contain outbreaks, researchers say. Harvard Medical School researchers found the rapid diagnostic test as sensitive as traditional lab tests that can take days to produce results. The findings suggest this diagnostic tool could be a potential game changer in the fight against Ebola, the researchers said.More

Scientists identify 'decoy' molecule that could help reduce risk of flu death
University of Maryland School of Medicine via Infection Control Today
The flu virus can be lethal, but what is often just as dangerous is the body's own reaction to the invader. This immune response consists of an inflammatory attack, meant to kill the virus. But if it gets too aggressive, this counterattack can end up harming the body's own tissues, causing damage that can lead to death.More

Use of long-read gene sequencing allows University of Washington researchers to uncover thousands of never-before-seen gene variations
DARK Daily
Whole human genome sequencing continues to become faster, easier, cheaper and more accurate to do. Because of these advances, the sheer number of human genomes being sequenced is skyrocketing. This huge increase in data is helping researchers unlock many new insights that, in turn, are fueling efforts to develop useful new medical laboratory tests and therapeutic drugs. More

US CDC updates recommendation for new meningitis B vaccines
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that decisions to use new meningitis B vaccines from Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline in people aged 16 to 23 be made on an individual patient basis by physicians, the companies said, potentially paving the way for wider access to the drugs. The CDC stopped short of broadly recommending Pfizer's Trumenba and Glaxo's Bexsero, but did expand the target group.More

UCLA study: Breast cancer treatment with fewer potential side effects has equally good patient outcomes
Health Canal
A new study by UCLA scientists has found that women diagnosed with breast cancer and treated with a one-week regimen of partial breast radiation after the surgical removal of the tumor, or lumpectomy, saw no increase in cancer recurrence or difference in cosmetic outcomes compared to women who received radiation of the entire breast for a period of up to six weeks after surgery. The study is one of the largest ever done on partial breast irradiation. More

Researchers mass-producing stem cells to satisfy the demands of regenerative medicine
Agency for Science, Technology and Research via
Steve Oh had been growing stem cells by conventional means at the A*STAR Bioprocessing Technology Institute for seven years, when in 2008 his colleague Shaul Reuveny proposed an idea for speeding up the process. Instead of culturing the cells on round, flat petri dishes, he could try growing them on tiny polystyrene beads known as microcarriers floating in a nutritional brew, suggested Reuveny, a visiting scientist at the BTI. More