Under the Microscope
July 27, 2011

Molecular test help identify cancers of unknown origin
Medscape News
A molecular profiling assay developed to aid in tumor diagnosis is "highly accurate," according to a report of 45 cancer cases published in Clinica Chimica Acta. The identity of most tumors can be determined "with confidence" by clinicians with histologic, clinical and radiographic findings, say the study authors at the University of California, San Francisco. According to the study, immunohistochemical stains may or may not be helpful in identifying the tumor origin. Molecular testing of tumors is an additional means of characterizing these tumors, the authors say.More

Scientists build most detailed genetic map of African-Americans
Boston Globe's White Coat Notes Blog
An international team of scientists led by a Harvard researcher recently published a sweeping genetic map of African-Americans, an accomplishment that could help illuminate the biological basis for disease. The study analyzed data from 30,000 African-Americans and highlights a subtle, but surprising variability between people of different ancestry: During the genetic shuffling that occurs when DNA from a mother and father mix to create sperm and eggs, African-Americans' genetic material combines differently than Europeans'.More

Apply for Newcomer-Newcomer Regional Scholarships by Aug. 12
Newcomer Supply has made $500 available to a member from each region of NSH who has never attended the symposium/convention. Funds can be used for travel, registration or hotel. Applying is easy.More

HistoTALK: NSH meeting manager talks about upcoming symposium
Aubrey Wanner, NSH meeting manager, recently discussed the upcoming 37th Annual NSH Symposium/Convention with David Kimler of HistoTALK. Wanner details how NSH selects its convention city, how members can volunteer for the convention committee, exhibitors' roles at the convention and much more.More

Breast cancer cell examined up close, under electron microscope
The Huffington Post
In most cases breast cancer isn't visible until it's a real problem. But a new image gives an incredible up-close look at exactly what happens to a breast cell when it becomes cancerous. Researchers at the University of Jordan dehydrated and then fixed this cell in place before viewing it under an FEI Inspect microscope. More

Researchers find potential key for unlocking biomass energy
Michigan State University News
Pretreating non-edible biomass — corn leaves, stalks or switch grass — holds the keys for unlocking its energy potential and making it economically viable, according to a team of researchers led by Michigan State University. The team of researchers identified a potential pretreatment method that can make plant cellulose five times more digestible by enzymes that convert it into ethanol, a useful biofuel. "By using an ammonia-based solvent, we were able to pull a lever and flip the entire cellulose crystal from one structure to another, one that's much easier to break down," said Shishir Chundawat, a postdoctoral researcher.More

Studying protein folding with fluorescence detection
By combining a spectrograph, a lamp-based fluorescence detector and capillary electrophoresis, a team of Dutch pharmaceutical scientists are able to study protein folding in two complementary but entirely different ways. As well as revealing more information about how proteins fold and unfold, this technique could help pharmaceutical companies monitor the quality of their therapeutic proteins and offer a new way to study the many diseases caused by misfolded proteins, such as Alzheimer's disease.More

Cancer stroma proteome expression profile of superficial bladder transitional cell carcinoma and biomarker discover
Uro Today (abstract)
To globally characterize the stroma expression profile of superficial bladder transitional cell carcinoma and to discuss the cancer biology as well as biomarker discovery from stromal cells. Laser capture microdissection was used to harvest purified bladder cancer stromal cells and normal stromal cells from four paired samples. Next, two-dimensional liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry was used to identify the proteome expression profile.More

Recurrent lesion on the right ala nasi and an odontogenic cyst in a soldier
JAAPA (case report)
A 30-year-old male presented at a clinic to be seen for a skin condition that had not resolved with past treatment. The condition was a lesion on the right ala nasi that had undergone cryotherapy by a civilian provider before deployment. The treatment had failed, and the lesion recurred. The patient's history was nonspecific except for several lesions diagnosed as basal cell carcinoma that had been removed in the past from various areas of his body.More

Studies reveal importance of pre-op testing for Lynch syndrome
General Surgery News
Researchers are calling for young patients with colorectal cancer to undergo preoperative testing for Lynch syndrome as the results can significantly alter surgical management. Preoperative testing could improve treatment for younger patients, a group that is showing increased incidence of CRC, said Michael Stamos, professor and chair of surgery at the University of California, Irvine, where surgeons and gastroenterologists routinely do immunohistochemistry staining testing prior to surgery.More

Mayo Medical Laboratories enters pathology testing agreement with China's Kindstar
Dark Daily
In a trans-Pacific Ocean collaboration with major implications, Mayo Clinic of Rochester, Minn., and Wuhan Kindstar Globalgene Technology, Inc. of Wuhan, China, have inked a multi-year pact. Mayo Clinic said that it would support Kindstar by providing "specialized laboratory support based on provision of knowledge from Mayo Clinic's Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology and its reference laboratory, Mayo Medical Laboratories." Mayo Clinic also said that it will receive equity in Kindstar and had participated in Kindstar's Series B financing, which raised approximately $11 million.More

Target-selective joint polymerase chain reaction
BMC Biotechnology via 7th Space Interactive
Researchers with BMC Biotechnology have developed a novel overlap extension polymerase chain reaction, the target-selective joint polymerase chain reaction, and applied it to the generation of linear immunoglobulin gene expression constructs. The system reduces the burden of antibody discovery and engineering by rapidly producing large numbers of recombinant monoclonal antibodies in a short period of time. More

How labs can recognize and overcome its negative effects
American Association for Clinical Chemistry
In the laboratory, producing accurate and timely patient test results depends on teamwork, communication and a collaborative work environment. However, laboratory staff who display intimidating and disruptive behaviors can quickly destabilize this cooperative environment and negatively impact patient safety. The Joint Commission advises health care organizations to confront behavior problems in order to promote a culture of safety and efficient team performance.More

Teen among top chemistry students in US, contributes to neuroblastoma research
Daily Herald
Nolan Maloney of Naperville, Ill., is a promising teenage scientist. He has worked with his professor, Nao Ikegaki, an associate professor of histology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, on neuroblastoma research since the fall. Their research focuses on finding drugs that deactivate proteins produced by the MYCN gene, which is amplified in neuroblastoma patients. More

Medicare patient co-pay for clinical laboratory tests is 1 of 27 cost-cutting proposals in federal debt ceiling negotiations
Spending cuts of between $334 billion and $353 billion over the next 10 years are on the table in the negotiations over the federal debt ceiling. The bad news for the clinical laboratory industry is that restoration of the Medicare patient co-pay for medical laboratory tests is not only on the list of proposed spending cuts, but represents a significant chunk of money — as much as $16 billion during the next decade.More