ASCLS eNewsBytes
Feb. 15, 2011

MAKE A DIFFERENCE WITH ASCLS, CLMA, ASCP & AMT! Legislative Symposium 2011
ASCLS
ASCLS is proud to work with CLMA, ASCP, and AMT on the 2011 Legislative Symposium. Joining an ASCLS tradition since 1989, CLMA, ASCP and AMT members will meet with their Representatives and Senators on Capitol Hill as a unified front on behalf of our profession. We need you — committed laboratory professionals and leaders — to come to Washington to provide a visible and informed voice and make our concerns known inside Congress!More

Cellular chaos fights infection
The Scientist
Researchers have identified a molecule that disrupts RNA degradation in gram-positive bacteria such as the deadly MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) and the microbe that causes meningitis, according to research published in PLoS Pathogens. Treatment with this molecule leads to the accumulation of unneeded proteins that clutters the cytoplasm and ultimately results in cell death, suggesting this unexploited pathway may be used to create powerful antibiotics.More

Positive nodes, but axillary dissection not needed
Medscape Medical News
In certain women with early-stage breast cancer and positive nodes, sentinel lymph node dissection does not result in inferior survival, compared with axillary lymph node dissection, according to the authors of a major clinical trial from the American College of Surgeons Oncology Group. The practice-changing finding has been widely covered by the media, including the New York Times, Washington Post, and television networks.More

US scientists recreate heart defect in a lab dish
Reuters
Using skin cells taken from children with a rare heart defect, U.S. researchers have created beating heart cells in the lab with the same heart defect, allowing researchers to test new drugs in human cells instead of mice. The study is among the first to use powerful new technology to create human models of disease by reprogramming ordinary cells to behave like embryonic stem cells, the body's master cells that can give rise to any tissue in the body.More

CDC provides guidance on reverse sequence for syphilis screening
Medscape Medical News
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continue to recommend that nontreponemal tests be used first before a treponemal test to screen for syphilis, even though in practice, a reverse sequence of screening (treponemal followed by nontreponemal) is often used.More

Genetic tests can unearth family secrets, such as incest
ABC News
VideoBrief
The genetic tests that have revolutionized the identification and treatment of many illnesses can also unearth family secrets like incest, sparking an ethical discussion in the medical community over how these inadvertent findings should be handled. At Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, sophisticated DNA analyses used to diagnose such disabilities as birth defects, epilepsy or developmental delays revealed that in some children, about 25 percent of genetic material inherited from their mother was the same as material inherited from their father.More

Gonorrhea acquires a piece of human DNA: First evidence of gene transfer from human host to bacterial pathogen
ScienceDaily
If a human cell and a bacterial cell met at a speed-dating event, they would never be expected to exchange phone numbers, much less genetic material. In more scientific terms, a direct transfer of DNA has never been recorded from humans to bacteria. Until now.More

Surgery with real-time metabolic profiling
Labmate Online
Metabolic profiling of tissue samples could transform the way surgeons make decisions in the operating theatre following the opening of a new laboratory. Scientists have installed a high resolution solid state nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer in St Mary's Hospital in London. Researchers will use the machine to analyze intact tissue samples from patients taking part in studies, to investigate whether it can ultimately give surgeons detailed diagnostic information, while their patients are under the knife.More

Leprosy, plague and other visitors to New York
The New York Times
When New York City's health department revealed recently that three people had contracted cholera, it was a reminder that the city is not just a world capital of arts, business and the like — but also of exotic diseases. If a disease has cropped up in the world, there is a good chance it will eventually find its way to New York City through the diverse travelers who cross the city's borders. More