ASCLS eNewsBytes
Oct. 14, 2014

Type 1 diabetes breakthrough as stem cells make billions of human insulin cells
Medical News Today
In what is being described as an important advance in the field of stem cell research, a new study reveals how scientists successfully created billions of insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells from embryonic stem cells. Writing in the journal Cell, the Harvard stem cell researchers describe how they also transplanted the stem cell-derived beta cells into the kidney of a diabetic mouse that showed no signs of the disease.More

BRCA mutations linked to salivary gland cancer
Reuters via Medscape
Individuals who carry BRCA mutations face an increased risk for salivary gland cancer, according to results of a retrospective review. "This study suggests that patients and their family members who carry BRCA mutations may be at 20-fold increased risk for salivary gland cancers compared to the general population," Tim K. Shen from The Ohio State University College of Medicine in Columbus told Reuters by email.More

Atomic map reveals clues to how cholesterol is made
Rockefeller University via ScienceDaily
In spite of its dangerous reputation, cholesterol is in fact an essential component of human cells. By mapping the structure of a key enzyme involved in making it, researchers have gained new insight into this complex process with implications for understanding and treating disease, including high cholesterol.More

Anatomic pathology laboratories adopt new ways to package, transport and store specimens to reduce formalin and improve staff safety in operating theaters and histology laboratories
DARK Daily
One seldom-reported development in anatomic pathology is the new priority histology laboratories are giving to employee safety. Laboratories have long recognized that exposure to the dangerous chemicals used in processing tissue creates risk for histotechnologists. More

Kids and flu: How common are complications, really?
Medscape
Influenza in children differs in a few essential ways from influenza in adults, starting with the rate of infection from influenza viruses, which is highest in children. The characteristic symptoms — fever, nonproductive cough, sore throat, malaise and myalgia — are not always present, especially in very young children. Children are more likely to exhibit gastrointestinal symptoms (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain) and symptoms of otitis media.More

Scientists sniff out unexpected role for stem cells in the brain
National Institutes of Health via Medical Xpress
For decades, scientists thought that neurons in the brain were born only during the early development period and could not be replenished. More recently, however, they discovered cells with the ability to divide and turn into new neurons in specific brain regions. The function of these neuroprogenitor cells remains an intense area of research. Scientists at the National Institutes of Health report that newly formed brain cells in the mouse olfactory system — the area that processes smells — play a critical role in maintaining proper connections. More

Scientists inch closer to Alzheimer's origins
HealthDay News
A laboratory study seems to support the theory that a buildup of beta-amyloid plaques in the brain is the first step in a process that leads to Alzheimer's disease. Researchers also pinpointed the important role of a particular enzyme in this process, and they believe the enzyme could offer a target for new drugs to fight Alzheimer's.More

Researchers reveal genomic diversity of individual lung tumors
HealthCanal
Known cancer-driving genomic aberrations in localized lung cancer appear to be so consistently present across tumors that a single biopsy of one region of the tumor is likely to identify most of them, according to a paper published in Science. The study led by scientists at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center addresses the challenge of what scientists call genomic heterogeneity, the presence of many different variations that drive tumor formation, growth and progression, and likely complicate the choice and potential efficacy of therapy.More

Real-life social networking prompts people to get tested for HIV
Infection Control Today
Old-school face-to-face social networking is a more effective way to identify people with HIV than the traditional referral method, suggests research being presented at IDWeek 2014. The study shows that social networking strategies — enlisting people in high-risk groups to recruit their peers to get tested — are more efficient and targeted than traditional testing and referral programs.More

Is the US prepared for an Ebola outbreak?
The New York Times
The handling of the first person found to have Ebola in the United States has raised questions over whether the country is prepared for an outbreak. Nearly a dozen federal, state and local government agencies, as well as several private entities, were involved in responding to the case in Dallas.More

Type 1 diabetes breakthrough as stem cells make billions of human insulin cells
Medical News Today
In what is being described as an important advance in the field of stem cell research, a new study reveals how scientists successfully created billions of insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells from embryonic stem cells. Writing in the journal Cell, the Harvard stem cell researchers describe how they also transplanted the stem cell-derived beta cells into the kidney of a diabetic mouse that showed no signs of the disease.More

A frightening curve: How fast is the Ebola outbreak growing?
NPR
Researchers at Columbia University developed a model to forecast how the current Ebola epidemic might continue through mid-October, based on the infection rates as of Sept. 7. The "no change" forecast assumes that current efforts at stopping the virus will continue at the same rate of effectiveness. The "improved" forecast assumes that interventions will become more effective.More

Scientists explain how rabies 'hijacks' neurons to attack the brain
Tel Aviv University via Infection Control Today
Rabies causes acute inflammation of the brain, producing psychosis and violent aggression. The virus, which paralyzes the body's internal organs, is always deadly for those unable to obtain vaccines in time. Some 55,000 people die from rabies every year. For the first time, Tel Aviv University scientists have discovered the exact mechanism this killer virus uses to efficiently enter the central nervous system, where it erupts in a toxic explosion of symptoms.More

Novel technique yields fast results in drug, biomedical testing
Lab Manager
The technique works by extracting minute quantities of target molecules contained in specimens of blood, urine or other biological fluids, and then testing the sample with a mass spectrometer. Testing carried out with the technology takes minutes, whereas conventional laboratory methods take hours or days to yield results and require a complex sequence of steps, said Zheng Ouyang, an associate professor in Purdue University's Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering.More

CDC head criticized for blaming 'protocol breach' as nurse gets Ebola
Reuters
Some healthcare experts are bristling at the assertion by a top U.S. health official that a "protocol breach" caused a Dallas nurse to be infected with Ebola while caring for a dying patient, saying the case instead shows how far the nation's hospitals are from adequately training staff to deal with the deadly virus. Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, made the declaration at a news conference and called for an investigation into how the unidentified nurse became infected while caring for Liberian national Thomas Eric Duncan, the first Ebola patient diagnosed in the United States.More