ASCLS eNewsBytes
Apr. 8, 2014

Can a transplant drug help eliminate lingering HIV infections?
Los Angeles Times
Researchers studying the effects of immune suppressant drugs on transplant patients with HIV have made a surprising discovery: A drug intended to hobble the body's defense system may actually help destroy dormant reservoirs of the virus that causes AIDS. In a paper published in the American Journal of Transplantation, authors found that when a small group of transplant patients received the drug sirolimus, they experienced a two- to threefold drop in HIV levels, whereas patients who received other immunosuppressants did not.More

Key chocolate ingredients could help prevent obesity, diabetes
American Chemical Society via ScienceDaily
The potential health benefits of dark chocolate keep piling up and scientists are now homing in on what ingredients in chocolate might help prevent obesity, as well as Type 2 diabetes. They found that one particular type of antioxidant in cocoa prevented laboratory mice from gaining excess weight and lowered their blood sugar levels. More

Medical Laboratory Professionals Week — April 20-26
American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science
It is time to celebrate and educate others about what YOU do! Start planning your celebration now. Purchase official logo items, download the logo, and more at

April 17 webinar — Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing Case Studies: Effective Resistance Detection and Reporting
American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science
Renowned expert Janet Hindler will present case studies to highlight the most clinically significant types of resistance encountered today, methods for accurate detection and options for results reporting. For more information and to register, go to ASCLS members register at a discount with code wsdc14.More

Anticancer compounds show potential in schizophrenia
Medscape Medical News
Experimental p21-activated kinase inhibitors reversed schizophrenia-like behaviors and restored some lost brain function in a mouse model of schizophrenia. Researchers from the United States and Japan engineered mice to carry the mutant disrupted-in-schizophrenia 1 gene, which leads to synaptic deterioration akin to that seen in schizophrenia.More

Novel CDK4/6 inhibitor shows strong promise in breast cancer
Medscape Medical News
A novel drug for breast cancer, palbociclib, has shown a significant clinical benefit in a subgroup of women with advanced breast cancer in a phase 2 trial, known as PALOMA-1. However, an expert at the meeting warned that the results come from a phase 2 trial, and that such results are not always confirmed in larger phase 3 trials.More

Fatal virus in Ghana tests negative for Ebola
Blood tests have shown that a 12-year-old girl in Ghana who died of viral fever with bleeding did not have Ebola, Health Minister Sherry Ayittey said. The girl was the first suspected case in Ghana of Ebola, which has killed more than 90 people in Guinea and Liberia. Another suspected case has been reported in Mali.More

Fighting cancer with lasers and nanoballoons that pop
Chemotherapeutic drugs excel at fighting cancer, but they’re not so efficient at getting where they need to go. Now, researchers are developing a better delivery method by encapsulating the drugs in nanoballoons — which are tiny modified liposomes that, upon being struck by a red laser, pop open and deliver concentrated doses of medicine.More

Study: Mushrooms can fight cervical cancer
A recent study indicates that mushrooms can help fight cervical cancer. In the study, researchers treated cervical cancer cells with AHCC, which is a proprietary extract made from the thread-like part of the mushroom. Researchers were able to suggest that AHCC can eliminate HPB infections and may have a role in the prevention of HPV-related cancers.More

DNA test may gauge risk of prostate cancer's return
HealthDay News
A new DNA test can identify prostate cancer patients at high risk for a return of their cancer, researchers say. The test uses DNA from biopsy (tissue) samples taken before patients undergo surgery or radiation therapy for their cancer. The test is about 80 percent accurate in predicting which men have a high or low risk of their cancer returning within two years, according to the study.More

Antibiotics in manure have a far-reaching impact on the abundance of human pathogenic bacteria in soils
Helmholtz Zentrum München via HealthCanal
Scientists of Helmholtz Zentrum München, in a joint study with researchers of Julius Kühn Institute in Braunschweig, have found that the repeated application of manure contaminated with antibiotics lastingly changes the composition of bacteria in the soil. In PLoS ONE, the researchers report that repeated application of the antibiotic sulfadiazine leads to a decrease in beneficial soil bacteria and at the same time an increase in bacteria that are harmful to humans.More

Can a transplant drug help eliminate lingering HIV infections?
Los Angeles Times
Researchers studying the effects of immune suppressant drugs on transplant patients with HIV have made a surprising discovery: A drug intended to hobble the body's defense system may actually help destroy dormant reservoirs of the virus that causes AIDS.More

New research shows promise in blood cancer treatment
By Rosemary Sparacio
Blood cancers pose many challenges for healthcare professionals engaged in clinical research, patient care and treatment. Several new approaches published recently show promise for the future in this field of medicine.More

MIT researchers develop living material using E. coli
Nature World News
Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology have created a material with the properties of both living and non living things using E. coli bacteria. Their study paves the way for futuristic self-assembling materials that could be used in solar cells and biosensors.More

Simple blood test to spot early lung cancer getting closer
At the Stanford School of Medicine, Dr. Maximilian Diehn spends some of his time as a radiation oncologist treating patients with cancer, and some of his time delving into the world of DNA. In particular, he's been working on ways to detect DNA that has been shed from a tumor and ends up in a patient's blood.More

Diabetes tied to higher risk of pancreatic cancer in study
HealthDay News
People with diabetes have double the risk of pancreatic cancer compared to people who don't have diabetes, according to a new analysis of 88 previous studies. Diabetes has been considered a risk factor for pancreatic cancer, but what's not clear is which condition comes first. This new analysis suggests that at least for some people, pancreatic cancer might be responsible for diabetes.More