ASCLS eNewsBytes
Jul. 16, 2013

Emerging infectious diseases remain a dire threat
When HIV/AIDS first began to emerge widely in the early 1980s, we weren't too far removed from an era when doctors believed humanity was on the verge of essentially wiping out infectious disease. HIV — a virus that initially jumped from chimpanzees to humans more than a century ago — shattered that illusion fast, as did the new infections that would emerge in the years to follow: Nipah virus, SARS, H5N1 avian influenza, hantavirus pulmonary syndrome.More

ASCLS Annual Meeting: Purchase the educational session recordings at a discount price!
American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science
The ASCLS Annual Meeting July 30-Aug. 3 in Houston offers a wealth of continuing education! Purchase the session recordings package at the low pre-conference rate of $99! Go to to reserve your download of all 47 sessions now! The price WILL INCREASE on-site and then after the meeting!

Earn P.A.C.E.® credit for the sessions through Jan. 31, 2014. P.A.C.E.® credit information and session downloads will be available within 3 weeks after the meeting. More

Looking for a new job? Searching for employees?
American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science
Don't miss the ASCLS Career Fair, onsite in Houston! Register now to meet with employers on-site on Friday, Aug. 2 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Royal Sonesta Hotel.

Employers are invited to sign up to attend. Register now! More

Banned for life: Why gay men still can't donate blood
Men's Health via Today
Even with a clean bill of health, a gay man is considered more of a threat to the blood supply than a straight man who was treated for chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhea, venereal warts, and genital herpes within the past year. That's because gay men, the Food and Drug Administration argues, are at "increased risk of certain transfusion transmissible infections" like AIDS and hepatitis B. And that argument isn't necessarily without merit: Gay men make up roughly half of the patients living with HIV in the United States, despite accounting for just 4 percent of the population.More

Scientists use HIV to 'cure' 2 rare genetic diseases
HealthDay News
Turning a medical foe into a therapeutic friend, Italian scientists say they used a piece of HIV to cure two rare genetic diseases affecting children. Gene therapy using the technique proved effective in three children with metachromatic leukodystrophy and three others with Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome.More

Cancer cure just got closer thanks to a tiny British company
The Independent
A single-story workshop on a nondescript business park in Oxfordshire, England, is not the sort of place where you would expect scientific revolutions to take place. But behind the white-painted walls of this small startup company, scientists are talking about the impossible — a potential cure for cancer.More

Tuberculosis rates spike in HIV patients on antiretrovirals
Medscape Medical News
The incidence of active tuberculosis infection increased as much as 5 times for HIV-infected patients who received highly active antiretroviral therapy in rural South Africa, according to a new study. This finding is indicative of a growing global health problem, and represents a significant barrier to the expansion of HIV/AIDS treatment programs in areas where TB is endemic.More

Bacterial infection risk may be higher for pregnant women with diabetes
HealthDay News
Pregnant women with diabetes are three times more likely to develop a potentially deadly hospital-acquired infection than those without diabetes, a new study finds. The new study found that increased risk is associated with having diabetes before becoming pregnant, but not with diabetes that develops during pregnancy (gestational diabetes), according to the UCLA researchers.More

Mesenchymal stem cells in organ transplantation
By Maria Frisch
In October of 2012, the Mesenchymal Stem Cells Solid Organ Transplantation Consortium met to review the current state of clinical data. In June, they released a position paper that reviewed the safety and efficacy of mesenchymal stem cells as a therapeutic agent in solid organ transplantation. This article has been adapted from that position paper to present the clinically applicable highlights and to summarize what you need to know for your practice. More

Report: State of US health 'mediocre'
The United States is falling behind its economic peers in most measures of health, despite making gains in the past two decades, according to a sweeping study of data from 34 countries. The study by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington in Seattle is the first comprehensive analysis of disease burden in the United States in more than 15 years. It includes estimates for death and disability from 291 diseases, conditions and injuries as well as 67 risk factors.More

Study offers clue about how cancers become aggressive
The Boston Globe
As tools for detecting cancer early have improved, medical understanding simply has not kept up. Finding tumors early is of limited help when doctors still struggle to tell which cancers are highly aggressive and likely to spread and which are slow-growing and benign, leading to a long-running debate over the benefits and possible harm of screening.More

Why are universities trying to limit access to breast cancer tests?
The Washington Post
Why are universities trying to force a potentially life-saving cancer test off the market? Many universities now have "technology transfer" offices whose job it is to obtain patents based on university research and license them to private industry. More

Next-generation DNA sequencing finds use as a diagnostic
Chemical & Engineering News
A few years ago, scientists thought such next-gen sequencing was about a decade away from regular clinical use. But things are moving faster than expected. More

Prescription for procrastination
By Michael J. Berens
Everyone has parts of their job they don't like, and it's only human nature that we tend to put off those tasks that annoy or bore us. One of the principles of good time management is to modulate your work schedule so that you parcel out the tasks you don't like into tolerable chunks rather than let them pile up throughout your work day or week. The idea is to suck it up and do the things you don't like as quickly as possible and then move on to something more challenging, engaging or, dare I say, fun. Most disciplined workers respond well to this approach, but what do you do with the employee who consistently neglects part of their duties?More

Emerging infectious diseases remain a dire threat
When HIV/AIDS first began to emerge widely in the early 1980s, we weren't too far removed from an era when doctors believed humanity was on the verge of essentially wiping out infectious disease. HIV shattered that illusion fast, as did the new infections that would emerge in the years to follow.More

New HIV treatment guidelines to cut millions of deaths
Medscape Medical News
The World Health Organization has unveiled its much-anticipated new HIV treatment guidelines. Officials say the new approach will prevent 3 million deaths by 2025 and will stop 3.5 million new infections. More

Corning working on bacteria-killing smartphone screens
All Things D
The U.S.-based glass and ceramics company behind the protective Gorilla Glass screen found on many smartphones today is developing an anti-microbial glass cover that can kill drug-resistant bacteria and viruses. More

Overcoming infertility after a childhood cancer
The Boston Globe
While cancer treatments for pediatric cancers have largely been a success story, leading to a survival rate of above 80 percent, some of the lifesaving therapies have left female survivors with infertility problems in their adult years. But a study led by researchers at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women's Hospital provides a glimmer of hope for these women.More

Researchers study existence of cross-protection between multiple strains of infectious disease
University of Massachusetts Amherst via The Medical News
Using a unique data set spanning 40 years of dengue fever incidence in Thailand, an international team led by biostatistician Nicholas Reich at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has for the first time estimated from data that after an initial dengue infection, a person is protected from infection with other strains for between one and three years. Their results have implications for designing more effective vaccine studies, say researchers.More

Copper may be helpful against hospital-acquired infections
Infectious Disease Special Edition
Does copper have a place in lowering the risk for hospital-acquired infections? Two recent studies suggest that it might. More

New research reveals nerve growth stimulates prostate cancer
BioNews Texas
A recent study conducted on laboratory mice suggests that the nerve growth at or around cancer in the body is responsible for the metastatic and locally invasive potential of prostate cancer. The results of this remarkable study have been published in the scientific journal Science and could change the current treatment modalities of prostate cancer.More