ASCLS eNewsBytes
Feb. 5, 2013

Study recommends new tools to improve global mapping
of infectious disease

National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis via Medical Xpress
Since the mid-19th century, maps have helped elucidate the deadly mysteries of diseases like cholera and yellow fever. Yet today's global mapping of infectious diseases is considerably unreliable and may do little to inform the control of potential outbreaks, according to a new systematic mapping review of all clinically important infectious diseases known to humans.More

Health officials deal with growing AIDS epidemic in Latino community
Fox News Latino
A rise in AIDS cases in New York City's immigrant community has prompted city officials to call it a "public health failure." But New York, which saw a 4 percent rise in AIDS cases among foreign-born Latinos in three years, to 31 percent, is not alone in dealing with a growing crisis in the Latino community — and health officials are scrambling to figure how to solve the problem.More

WCRF: 13,000 cancer deaths 'can be prevented'
At least 13,000 premature deaths from cancer could be prevented each year in the U.K., says the World Cancer Research Fund. It says the government could do more to raise awareness of how people can reduce their cancer risk.More

Researchers: Vitamin D holds promise in battling a deadly breast cancer
In research published in The Journal of Cell Biology, a team led by Dr. Susana Gonzalo, assistant professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Saint Louis University, has discovered a molecular pathway that contributes to triple-negative breast cancer. In addition, Gonzalo and her team identified vitamin D and some protease inhibitors as possible new therapies and discovered a set of three biomarkers that can help to identify patients who could benefit from the treatment.More

Computer-assisted diagnostics systems may help improve utilization
of clinical pathology laboratory tests

Dark Daily
Computer diagnostics could offer opportunity for pathologists and clinical laboratory managers to add value to clinicians in diagnosing diseases Efforts are intensifying to develop computer software that successfully emulates the skills of highly proficient diagnosticians. The motivation is increased pressure to reduce medical errors, including misdiagnosis.More

Tuberculosis vaccine hopes dashed
A major trial of a new booster vaccine has ended in failure, marking a major setback in the fight against tuberculosis. It was the first major trial of a TB vaccine since Bacillus Calmette-Guerin was introduced in 1921. The trial, in South Africa, involved 2,794 healthy children aged four to six months, half of whom received MVA85A and the rest a placebo.More

Consumer Reports tackles cancer screening tests
ABC News
For the first time ever, consumers can get ratings of cancer screening tests the same way they do for their toaster. Of the 11 common screenings evaluated by Consumer Reports, only three were recommended — and even then, only for certain age groups. Specifically, Consumer Reports gave its most positive ratings for cervical cancer screening in women age 21 to 65 and colon cancer screening in people age 50 to 75. More

Bird flu research resumes — but not in US
Drama surrounding research on the deadly H5N1 avian flu continues, as 40 scientists urge work on the virus to continue in countries that have established guidelines on the safety and aims of the research. The United States is not among them. This new correspondence, a letter from researchers published recently in the journals Science and Nature, comes after a "voluntary pause" in the research, which scientists announced in January 2012. More

Spread of hepatitis C pinpointed
Scientists say they have, for the first time, worked out the pattern of spread of hepatitis C, showing early diagnosis is key to preventing epidemics. A study in injecting drug users in Greece indicated that each infected person spread the disease to 20 others — 10 of these in the first two years.More

Tuberculosis early diagnosis improved by assay
Medscape Medical News
A Cochrane Review shows that the rapid, automated Xpert MTB/RIF assay is a sensitive and specific test for tuberculosis. It is effective when used as an initial diagnostic test for TB as well as for rifampicin-resistant TB.More

Cancer researchers find progress in glowing mice
The Daily Tar Heel
University of North Carolina researchers are continuing to seek innovative ways to fight cancer — this time, with glow-in-the-dark mice. Professor of Medicine Dr. Norman Sharpless' latest experiment involved genetically engineering mice to measure an organic response to aging and cancerous cells. More

DIY bioprinter lets wannabe scientists build structures from living cells
A new bioprinter developed at a hackerspace can print living cells for less than the cost of an iPod touch. The 3-D bioprinters have the potential to change the way medical research is conducted, even print living tissue and replacement organs, but they are expensive and highly specialized. They literally build living structures, like blood vessels or skin tissue, cell by cell, revolutionizing biomedical engineering. More

Hops, key to flavor in beer, may prove useful in new drugs
University of Washington via HealthDay
Age-old wisdom has suggested that a bit of beer might be good for you. Now, new information suggests that the bitter compounds in beer might aid in the development of new drugs for diabetes, some types of cancer and other health problems.More