ASCLS eNewsBytes
Oct. 25, 2011

The era of personalized medicine in cancer
Will companion diagnostics be the tipping Point?

Clinical Laboratory News
In the 40 years since the Nixon Administration declared the war on cancer, real inroads in terms of improving the burden of the disease have been frustratingly elusive despite an enormous investment in research, considerable gains in knowledge, and some notable treatment successes. Today's rapid advances in technology coupled with a deeper understanding of cancer biology, however, are set to transform the field and make it one of the most fertile for personalized medicine. More

Nation's clinical laboratories may see significant reductions in federal funding for medical laboratory tests in the 2012 federal budget
Unprecedented cuts in funding for clinical laboratory services are expected from Congress in coming months. That's because federal legislators need deep cuts from many sources to cope with the current budget crisis. It is also why some Beltway insiders predict that fees for medical laboratory testing will be substantially reduced.More

Examining how fibrin works against the patient in the clinical laboratory
ADVANCE for Medical Laboratory Professionals
When you accidentally cut yourself or are bleeding from an injury, fibrin is your friend. It stops the bleeding and eventually forms a stable mat of tissue that seals the wound from infection while the damaged tissue regenerates. But when you pull red-top tubes from the centrifuge, the same fibrin is your foe. More accurately, it's your patient's foe. That's because fibrin formation in the tube to be tested may lead to instrumentation problems and/or inaccurate results. More

1 fungus may keep another in check for a healthy mouth
Medical News Today
By characterizing, for the first time, the core oral mycobiome and bacteriome of HIV-infected patients and control individuals, researchers at The Cleveland Clinic have shown that Pichia, a genus in the yeast family, inhibits Candida from forming biofilms, suggesting that changes in oral microbiota significantly affect human health and disease.More

Cotton candy glass fibers could heal diabetic wounds
Laboratory Equipment
Diabetics who suffer from hard-to-heal open wounds may soon have help in the form of a cottony glass material. The glass fiber material could become a source of relief for diabetics fighting infections. It also could be used by battlefield medics or emergency medical technicians to treat wounds in the field.More

Amplification assay effective at detecting C difficile
Medscape Medical News
The illumigene loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP, Meridian Bioscience) assay outperforms enzyme immunoassays (EIAs) in the detection of Clostridium difficile, which is a common cause of antibiotic-associated diarrhea and pseudomembranous colitis. This finding comes from a study presented recently at the American Society for Clinical Pathology 2011 Annual Meeting.More

Animal transplants coming 'soon'
BBC News
Using animals as a source of organs for transplantation into humans was once one of medicine's next big things — a solution to transplant waiting lists. However, there have been problems with rejection — and recently stem cells have been grabbing the spotlight.More

Beneficial gut bacteria can become virus collaborators
Discover Magazine
Our body is home to a hundred trillion bacteria. There are ten of them for every one of our own cells. These residents, collectively known as the microbiome, are found throughout our bodies but the biggest populations live in our guts. They act like a hidden organ, which manufactures nutrients that we cannot produce, harvests energy from our food, and suppresses the growth of harmful bacteria that would make us ill. They are more than just passengers — they are our partners in life.More

Study: Umbilical cord holds key to heart repair
QMI Agency via The Toronto Sun
New U.K. research out of the University of Bristol suggests stem cells from human umbilical cords could be used to treat heart attack victims. "Our research suggests that in the future, stem cells derived from cord blood bank facilities might be used for repair after a heart attack," said lead author Raimondo Ascione. Following a heart attack, doctors may use a patient's own stem cells to help repair the damaged heart muscle. But that technique is limited because aging and other risk factors can make the patient's cells non-functional. More

Minnesota eggs recalled in salmonella probe
Larry Schultz Organic Farm of Owatonna, Minn., is recalling organic eggs after at least six people became ill from salmonella, state officials said. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture and Department of Health are investigating the salmonella infections, which took place from Aug. 12 to Sept. 24, the agencies said in a statement on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's website. More