ASCLS eNewsBytes
Nov. 22, 2011

Virus hunter tracks new and deadly pathogens around the globe
PBS NewsHour
Stanford University biologist Nathan Wolfe is the founder and director of the Global Viral Forecasting Initiative and one of the world's more prominent virus hunters. Ray Suarez and Wolfe discuss his new book, "The Viral Storm: The Dawn of a New Pandemic Age," and new viruses emerging around the planet.More

Recurrent PID linked to infertility, chronic pelvic pain
Medscape Medical News
Recurrent pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is associated with an increased risk for infertility and chronic pelvic pain, according to a study. Compared with women without recurrent PID, those who did have a recurrence were 80 percent more likely to experience fertility and four times as likely to have common pelvic pain.More

Weak spot discovered on deadly Ebola virus
Scientists from The Scripps Research Institute and the U.S. Army's Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases have isolated and analyzed an antibody that neutralizes Sudan virus, a major species of Ebola virus and one of the most dangerous human pathogens. More

Study: Blood type may affect stroke risk
USA Today
Your blood type might affect your risk for stroke. People with AB and women with B were a little more likely to suffer one than people with O blood — the most common type, a study found. More

A biomarker for TIA?
Medscape Medical News
Patients with acute transient ischemic attack (TIA) have different patterns of gene expression in their blood compared with asymptomatic control patients who have vascular risk factors, researchers have found. These genes are associated with systemic inflammation and coagulation activation, a finding that supports the plausibility of their biological association with TIA, the researchers say. More

Antinuclear antibody testing dilemmas
Clinical Laboratory News
Autoantibodies have been used as a biomarker for systemic autoimmune rheumatic diseases for more than a half-century and have found a solid place as a tool in diagnosing conditions such as systemic lupus erythematosus, scleroderma, and Sjögren syndrome. Recently, however, evolving technologies and inadequate understanding of the limitations of various methods have led antinuclear antibody results to be used inappropriately as a screening test for SRDs. Given this challenge, laboratorians have a responsibility to know the ins-and-outs of their methods and educate physicians to make the best use of ANA testing, according to experts.More

CDC: 19 million new STD infections reported annually
USA Today
The 19 million new cases of syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia diagnosed in the United States each year cost the nation's health care system $17 billion annually, according to an annual report released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More

Tear drops may rival blood drops in testing blood sugar in diabetes
Scientists are reporting development and successful laboratory testing of an electrochemical sensor device that has the potential to measure blood sugar levels from tears instead of blood — an advance that could save the world's 350 million diabetes patients the discomfort of pricking their fingers for droplets of blood used in traditional blood sugar tests. Their report appears in ACS' journal Analytical Chemistry.More

Enoxaparin ups survival in cirrhotic portal vein thrombosis
Medscape Medical News
A new treatment regimen with the low-molecular-weight heparin enoxaparin reduced the incidence of portal vein thrombosis, leading to fewer events of clinical decompensation and enhanced survival in patients with advanced cirrhosis, according to data presented at The Liver Meeting 2011: American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases 62nd Annual Meeting. More

Bridging the generation gap
Advance for Administrators of the Laboratory
The generation gap, more specifically how baby boomers (born from 1945-1965 roughly) interact with Generation Y (1980-1995, roughly), can represent one of the most common sources of workplace conflict in the laboratory. Some discussion about generational differences may paint a very broad stroke and stereotype behaviors.More

UN: AIDS epidemic stabilizing, still work to do
The Associated Press via NPR
The AIDS epidemic is leveling off and the number of people newly infected with the virus that causes it has remained unchanged since 2007, the United Nations said in a report. Critics say that the body's aim of wiping out the disease is overly optimistic, however, considering there is no vaccine, millions remain untreated and donations have slumped amid the economic crisis. There were 2.7 million new HIV infections last year, approximately the same figure as in the three previous years.More

H. Gobind Khorana, biochemist and Nobel Prize winner, dies
The Washington Post
H. Gobind Khorana, who rose from poverty in rural India to become one of the world's foremost biochemists and who shared the Nobel Prize for helping unravel how genetic information in a cell is used to make proteins vital for human life, died Nov. 9 at a rehabilitation facility in Concord, Mass. He was believed to be 89.More

Some tumors contain factors that may block metastasis
eBio News
Scientists are another step closer to understanding what drives tumor metastasis, as laboratory models suggest there are factors inside tumors that can slow their own growth. In a recent issue of Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, Raul A. Ruggiero, Ph.D., a biological researcher at the National Academy of Medicine in Buenos Aires, Argentina, described this novel mechanism.More

Swipe a loyalty card, help a food detective?
Imagine someone asking you what you had for breakfast, lunch and dinner weeks ago. Most of us would do a fair to miserable job of recalling that. But it's exactly the information that investigators need to sleuth out the source of an outbreak of Salmonella or E. coli, as German officials learned the hard way this summer. More