ASCLS eNewsBytes
Jul. 1, 2014

Scientists map cell's DNA history to embryonic origin
Medical News Today
The fertilization of an egg gives rise to a genetically unique cell lineage that unfolds as cell division ensues — eventually to produce a mature organism that in the case of humans comprises some 100 million cells. Meanwhile, over the lifetime of the organism, cellular DNA accumulates mutations that are not inherited from parental — these so-called "somatic" mutations carry a record of the lifetime experiences of each cell.More

Diabolical duo: Known breast cancer gene needs a partner to initiate and spread tumors
HealthCanal
A study led by Princeton University researchers has revealed that the gene metadherin — which is implicated in promoting the spread of breast cancer tumors — only stimulates tumor growth when the protein made by the gene interacts with a second protein known as SND1. The researchers report in the journal Cancer Cell that metadherin also plays a role in the initial growth of tumors, which occurs much earlier than the gene's role in metastasis of the cancer to other parts of the body. More

HIV lab testing recommendations updated
Monthly Prescribing Reference
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released updated recommendations on laboratory testing for diagnosing HIV infection in patients greater than 24 months of age. A new type of combination testing that can more accurately detect HIV infection based on testing of serum or plasma specimens is recommended.More

Gut cells may be coaxed to make insulin for people with Type 1 diabetes
HealthDay News
VideoBrief Scientists are hopeful that cells inside the human gut might someday be retrained to produce insulin, the metabolic hormone that's lacking in people with Type 1 diabetes. The team from Columbia University Medical Center in New York City said their findings hold promise for the development of a new treatment for Type 1 diabetes that does not involve stem cells.More

OIG issues fraud alert for physician-lab relationships
By Jessica Belle
The Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General recently issued a special fraud alert that singles out the laboratory-referring physician relationship for its focused attention. The OIG has repeatedly emphasized that a lab providing free or below-market goods or services to a physician who is a source of referrals, or paying a physician more than fair market value for his or her services, could constitute illegal remuneration under the federal anti-kickback statute. In light of this special fraud alert, physicians and laboratories should review their compensation arrangements.More

Herpes virus infection drives HIV infection among noninjecting drug users in New York
Infection Control Today
HIV and its transmission has long been associated with injecting drug use, where hypodermic syringes are used to administer illicit drugs. Now, a newly reported study by researchers affiliated with New York University's Center for Drug Use and HIV Research in the journal PLOS ONE, shows that HIV infection among heterosexual noninjecting drug users in New York City has now surpassed HIV infection among persons who inject drugs.More

Scientists: Bacteria can evolve biological timer to survive antibiotics
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem via ScienceDaily
When exposed to repeated cycles of antibiotics, bacteria can evolve a new adaptation by remaining dormant for the treatment period to survive antibiotic stress. The results show for the first time that bacteria can develop a biological timer to survive antibiotic exposure.More

A cure for heart disease? Scientists develop lab-grown miniature beating hearts, test medications with them
Medical Daily
A team of scientists from Abertay University have developed miniature beating hearts in the laboratory, providing researchers with a better insight into heart disease. By inducing ventricular hypertrophy into the hearts, they were able to test medications for the condition that might help find a cure.More

Breast cancer: Advancements in treatment
By Rosemary Sparacio
According to the American Cancer Society, the percentage of women who die from breast cancer has steadily declined since 1989. This is often attributed to screening and early diagnosis, but improvements in treatment have also helped. The established treatments for breast cancer are radiation and drug therapy. New drugs — still in preliminary stages and early clinical trials — could add to the chemotherapy options available for breast cancer treatment. In the other "half" of breast cancer treatment, breakthroughs in radiation-related therapy are also showing promise.More

Scientists map cell's DNA history to embryonic origin
Medical News Today
The fertilization of an egg gives rise to a genetically unique cell lineage that unfolds as cell division ensues — eventually to produce a mature organism that in the case of humans comprises some 100 million cells. Meanwhile, over the lifetime of the organism, cellular DNA accumulates mutations that are not inherited from parental — these so-called "somatic" mutations carry a record of the lifetime experiences of each cell.More

Multiple protocol breaches behind anthrax exposure at US federal labs
Reuters
The safety breach at a government lab that may have exposed 84 workers to live anthrax centered on a pivotal lapse in procedure: Researchers working with the bacteria waited 24 hours to be sure they had killed the pathogens, half the time required by a new scientific protocol. More

Fasting triggers stem cell regeneration of damaged, old immune system
HealthCanal
In the first evidence of a natural intervention triggering stem cell-based regeneration of an organ or system, a study in the June 5 issue of the Cell Stem Cell shows that cycles of prolonged fasting not only protect against immune system damage — a major side effect of chemotherapy — but also induce immune system regeneration, shifting stem cells from a dormant state to a state of self-renewal.More

Device can transport stem cells on planes
Laboratory Equipment
VideoBriefA group of mechanical engineering students are developing a device to transport stem cells on airplanes — an important problem for the research and biomedical community. The challenge with transporting live cells for stem cell therapies on a plane is twofold. The cells need to be constantly agitated so that they don't clump together and lose their medical properties. More