ASCLS eNewsBytes
Jan. 22, 2013

Australian researchers use HIV to prevent AIDS
Voice of America
Australian scientists at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research say they have found a way to use the human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, to prevent AIDS, describing the technique as "fighting fire with fire." Senior researcher David Harrich has designed a way to modify a protein in HIV to alter the virus so that it provides long-lasting, and possibly permanent, protection against AIDS, the disease that HIV causes.More

New tick-borne infection similar to Lyme disease found in humans
New Haven Register via The Reporter
A new tick-borne infection, similar to Lyme disease, has been found in humans in the Northeast region for the first time, according to researchers at the Yale schools of Public Health and Medicine. And while its unfamiliarity may result in some misdiagnosis — the disease, carried by deer ticks, has yet to be given a name — the good news is that the same treatment used for Lyme disease will cure this infection as well.More

NY hospital patients potentially exposed to HIV, hepatitis through reused insulin pens
The Associated Press via CBS News
More than 700 patients admitted to the Veterans Affairs Western New York Healthcare System in Buffalo, N.Y., over a two-year period may have been exposed to HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C, authorities said. Officials made the announcement following a review that found that multi-dose insulin pens intended for use by a single patient may have been used on more than one person. More

'Quadruple helix' DNA seen in human cells
Cambridge University scientists say they have seen four-stranded DNA at work in human cells for the first time. The famous "molecule of life," which carries our genetic code, is more familiar to us as a double helix. But researchers tell the journal Nature Chemistry that the "quadruple helix" is also present in our cells, and in ways that might possibly relate to cancer.More

Handheld mobile device performs laboratory-quality HIV testing
American Association for Clinical Chemistry via ScienceDaily
New research appearing in Clinical Chemistry, the journal of American Association for Clinical Chemistry, shows that a handheld mobile device can check patients' HIV status with just a finger prick, and synchronize the results in real time with electronic health records. This technology takes a step toward providing remote areas of the world with diagnostic services traditionally available only in centralized healthcare settings.More

Call for contributors
In an effort to enhance the overall content of ASCLS eNewsbytes, we'd like to include peer-written articles in future editions. As a member of the ASCLS, your knowledge of the industry lends itself to unprecedented expertise. And we're hoping you'll share this expertise with your peers through well-written commentary. Because of the digital format, there's no word or graphic limit and our group of talented editors can help with final edits. If you're interested in participating, please contact Colby Horton to discuss logistics and payment.More

Cell communication protein may be key to better cancer drugs
University of Georgia via Laboratory Equipment
Even when at rest, the human body is a flurry of activity. Like a microscopic metropolis locked in a state of perpetual rush hour traffic, the trillions of cells that make us who we are work feverishly policing the streets, making repairs, building new structures and delivering important cargo throughout the bustling organic society. For everything to work properly there must be something to organize and direct the various workers. Enter protein kinases.More

Study: TB drug shortages put US patients in peril
HealthDay News
Shortages of key tuberculosis drugs are posing a real hazard to patients throughout the United States, a new report finds. The shortages are making it even more difficult to treat what's known as multidrug-resistant forms of the infectious respiratory illness, the researchers said. These patients often require so-called "second-line drugs" when the medication of choice fails.More

Experts: US needs more effective flu shots
USA Today
Public health officials are urging unvaccinated people to get flu shots. But experts are still hoping that someday universal flu vaccines can offer longer-term protection.More

Hepatitis E risk factors may differ in US, UK
Medscape Medical News
A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a U.K. study published by the CDC identified several risk factors related to hepatitis E virus infection, but the risk factors may differ in the two countries. The CDC study was performed by Jan Drobeniuc, M.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues, and the U.K. study was conducted by Brendan AI Payne, M.D., from Newcastle-upon-Tyne Hospitals and Newcastle University, and colleagues. More

TSRI chemists develop new cell-marking method
The Medical News
Chemists at The Scripps Research Institute have found an easier way to perform one of the most fundamental tasks in molecular biology. Their new method allows scientists to add a marker to certain cells, so that these cells may be easily located and/or selected out from a larger cell population. More

Biomaterial improves knee cartilage repair
Johns Hopkins University via Laboratory Equipment
In a small study, researchers reported increased healthy tissue growth after surgical repair of damaged cartilage if they put a hydrogel scaffolding into the wound to support and nourish the healing process. The squishy hydrogel material was implanted in 15 patients during standard microfracture surgery, in which tiny holes are punched in a bone near the injured cartilage. The holes stimulate patients' own specialized stem cells to emerge from bone marrow and grow new cartilage atop the bone.More

The bacteria are winning
The Philadelphia Inquirer
The bacteria are gaining on us. That was the gist of a conference recently involving a Nobel Prize-winning chemist and six local scientists at Drexel University, discussing the state of antibiotics research, especially the shortage of new drugs as old diseases keep gaining strength.More

Infant pertussis: Early white blood cell counts crucial
Medscape Medical News
Early serial monitoring of white blood cell counts is crucial for determining the prognosis of infants with pertussis, according to a retrospective study published online in the Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society. Erin L. Murray, Ph.D., from the California Department of Public Health, Richmond, and colleagues found that infants 90 days old or younger with severe Bordatella pertussis infection leading to pulmonary hypertension or death had high and rapidly rising WBC counts compared with their less-ill counterparts.More

NCBS researches cell biology to comprehend mechanisms of healthy and diseased cell states
National Center for Biological Sciences Cellular Organization and Signalling Group is now studying the chemical and physical processes of cell biology. "The research is on new insights into regulated cell surface organization and membrane dynamics. It is necessary to understand the self-organization and trafficking of membrane molecules in living cells and the signaling between cells," said professor Satyajit Mayor.More