ASCLS eNewsBytes
Jan. 29, 2013

Scientists seek out cancer cells hiding from treatment
Imperial College London
Each year 300 British children are diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a cancer of the blood. The majority respond well to current therapies, but the disease returns in a quarter of patients. The long term outlook for adults is much worse, with initial treatments being effective in fewer than half of all patients. Now, scientists hope to improve leukemia treatment by investigating how cancer cells use "hiding places" in the body to avoid chemotherapy drugs.More

Make a difference with ASCLS, CLMA, ASCP, AGT and AMT!
ASCLS is proud to work with CLMA, ASCP, AMT and now AGT on the 2013 Legislative Symposium. Joining an ASCLS tradition since 1989, CLMA, ASCP, AMT and AGT members will meet with their representatives and senators on Capitol Hill as a unified front on behalf of our profession. We need you!! Click HERE for a registration form. More

CDC: Salmonella cause of most foodborne-illness outbreaks
HealthDay News via U.S. News & World Report
Food poisoning sickens millions of Americans each year, and most outbreaks are caused by salmonella-tainted foods or norovirus, federal health officials report. Salmonella-contaminated eggs alone accounted for 2,231 illnesses in 2009-2010, according to researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who set out to identify the specific pathogens responsible for widespread foodborne illnesses.More

In breast cancer metastasis, researchers identify possible drug target
The spread of breast cancer to distant organs within the body, an event that often leads to death, appears in many cases to involve the loss of a key protein, according to UC San Francisco researchers, whose new discoveries point to possible targets for therapy.More

2012's top 10 stories in infectious disease that will change practice
Medscape Medical News
The epidemic of fungal meningitis that began in the fall of 2012 involved three contaminated lots of vials of prednisone that were used for spinal and joint injections. The three contaminated lots were distributed to 76 facilities in 23 states. At last count (January 2013), 13,534 persons were exposed. More than 99 percent of these individuals were contacted, and 678 patients in 19 states are known to be infected, with 44 deaths. More

Putting the squeeze on cells
MIT via Science Codex
Living cells are surrounded by a membrane that tightly regulates what gets in and out of the cell. This barrier is necessary for cells to control their internal environment, but it makes it more difficult for scientists to deliver large molecules such as nanoparticles for imaging, or proteins that can reprogram them into pluripotent stem cells. Researchers from MIT have now found a safe and efficient way to get large molecules through the cell membrane, by squeezing the cells through a narrow constriction that opens up tiny, temporary holes in the membrane.More

Folic acid unlikely to increase risk of cancer
Medical News Today
Folic acid supplements are unlikely to increase people's risk of cancer when taken for up to 5 years. The finding came from new research which looked at data on nearly 50,000 people. Short-term use of folic acid supplements is unlikely to considerably increase or decrease overall cancer risk and has little impact on the risk of developing any specific cancers, such as prostate, colon, lung and breast. More

Scientists grow kidney tissues from stem cells
The Economic Times
For the first time, Japanese researchers claim to have successfully grown human kidney tissues from stem cells, a potential breakthrough for millions with damaged organs who are dependent on dialysis. The latest accomplishment is seen as the first step towards transplanting kidney tissue generated from pluripotent stem cells.More

Researchers observe cell polarity using advanced microscopy
Over the past several years, Dr. Rong Li, at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research has been making crucial discoveries about the development of cell polarity — the process by which one side of a cell becomes different from the other side. Such polarity is critical for the functioning of the vast majority of cells.More

Stroke recovery aided by stem cells
Medical News Today
Stem cells from bone marrow or fat improve recovery after stroke in rats, finds a study published in BioMed Central's open access journal Stem Cell Research & Therapy. Treatment with stem cells improved the amount of brain and nerve repair and the ability of the animals to complete behavioral tasks. More

New disease-in-a-dish model could lead to new treatments for rare heart condition
For the first time ever, researchers have been able to develop a maturation-based "disease-in-a-dish" model for an inherited heart ailment – a discovery that will help researchers study and test new therapies for the condition. Patients suffering from the condition, which is known as arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia/cardiomyopathy (ARVD/C), typically do not become aware that they have a heart problem until they are in their early 20s, researchers from the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute said in a statement.More

Enzyme helps cancer cells avoid genetic instability
Rockefeller University via PhysOrg
Cancer cells are resourceful survivors with plenty of tricks for staying alive. Researchers have uncovered one of these stratagems, showing how cells lacking the tumor suppressor BRCA1 can resume one form of DNA repair, sparing themselves from stagnation or death. The study appears in the Jan. 21 issue of The Journal of Cell Biology.More