ASCLS eNewsBytes
Jul. 22, 2014

Bowel cancer breakthrough may benefit thousands of patients
Health Canal
Researchers at Queen's University have made a significant breakthrough that may benefit patients with bowel cancer. Dr. Sandra van Schaeybroeck and her team have discovered how two genes cause bowel cancer cells to become resistant to treatments used against the disease. The research, which was funded by Cancer Research UK, was published in the prestigious international journal Cell Reports.More

Gene therapy creates 'biological pacemaker' cells for the heart
Reuters
Researchers have succeeded in turning ordinary cardiac muscle cells into specialized ones that deliver a steady heartbeat using a gene therapy procedure they predict could become an alternative to implanted electronic pacemakers. A study involved pigs with a condition called heart block that makes their hearts beat too slowly. More

Scientists: Ancient protein-building enzymes have undergone metamorphosis and evolved diverse new functions
Medical News Today
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and their collaborators have found that ancient enzymes, known for their fundamental role in translating genetic information into proteins, evolved myriad other functions in humans. The surprising discovery highlights an intriguing oddity of protein evolution, as well as a potentially valuable new class of therapeutic proteins and therapeutic targets.More

CDC: Improperly sent dangerous pathogens in 5 incidents in past decade
Reuters via The Washington Post
VideoBriefFederal government laboratories in Atlanta improperly sent potentially deadly pathogens, including anthrax, botulism bacteria and a virulent bird flu virus, to other laboratories in five separate incidents over the past decade. The incidents, which raise troubling questions about the government's ability to safely store and transport dangerous microbes, prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to halt operations at its bioterrorism rapid-response lab and an influenza lab.More

Scientists spot gene behind rare but fatal disease in children
HealthDay News
Researchers say they've identified a gene mutation tied to a rare but severe, and often fatal, disease in children. The disease is called STING-associated vasculopathy with onset in infancy. It's an autoinflammatory disease, involving an immune-system malfunction that causes prolonged inflammation that in turn can damage the body.More

Debilitating case of mosquito-borne chikungunya reported in US
CNN
Chikungunya — a tropical disease with a funny name that packs a wallop like having your bones crushed — has finally taken up residence in the U.S. Ever since the first transmission of chikungunya was reported in the Americas in 2013, health officials have been bracing for the arrival of the debilitating, mosquito-borne virus in the U.S.More

Scientists find way to trap, kill malaria parasite
Washington University School of Medicine via Infection Control Today
Scientists may be able to entomb the malaria parasite in a prison of its own making, researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis report July 16 in Nature. As it invades a red blood cell, the malaria parasite takes part of the host cell's membrane to build a protective compartment.More

'Support' cells in brain play important role in Down syndrome
University of California, Davis Health System via ScienceDaily
A group of cells in the brain has been identified by researchers who say that it plays an important role in the abnormal neuron development in Down syndrome. After developing a new model for studying the syndrome using patient-derived stem cells, the scientists also found that applying an inexpensive antibiotic to the cells appears to correct many abnormalities in the interaction between the cells and developing neurons.More

Bowel cancer breakthrough may benefit thousands of patients
Health Canal
Researchers at Queen's University have made a significant breakthrough that may benefit patients with bowel cancer. Dr. Sandra van Schaeybroeck and her team have discovered how two genes cause bowel cancer cells to become resistant to treatments used against the disease. More

HIE use rises along with adoption of EHRs, but full interoperability remains elusive for hospitals, physicians, clinical laboratories and pathology groups
DARK Daily
Pathologists tracking the adoption of electronic health record systems by hospitals and physicians will be interested to learn that, according to the federal government, more than 80 percent of hospitals and 50 percent of physicians now use these products.More

Researchers regrow corneas using adult human stem cells
Fox News
Boston researchers have successfully regrown human corneal tissue — a feat that could potentially restore vision in the blind. The achievement also marks one of the first times that scientists have constructed tissue using adult-derived human stem cells.More

Researchers developing immortal line of breast cancer cells
Loyola University Health System via Medical Xpress
Biomedical scientist Kimberly L. Koss, Ph.D., is fighting an extremely aggressive and difficult-to-treat form of breast cancer. She hopes that long after she dies, her cancer cells will continue to live on in an immortal cell line being developed at the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. "I think we can unlock the secrets of these deadly cells," she said. More