ASCLS eNewsBytes
July 5, 2011

A decade of lab tests online
Clinical Laboratory News
This year hospitals and physicians begin marching into the age of electronic health records under a new paradigm of information sharing and patient access, chasing government financial incentives now coming into effect. However, it looks like patients are already one step ahead. An estimated 80 percent of Web users now search online for health information, or about 59 percent of all adults in the U.S. Already 1 in 4 Internet users have tracked some aspect of their health online and 16 percent report looking online for information about medical test results, according to a new report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, "The Social Life of Health Information, 2011."More

Technology triggers change for microbiology
Advance for Medical Laboratory Professionals
Unlike last year, the past 12 months for microbiology were not influenced by influenza, unique strains associated with specific disease entities or emergence of multi-drug resistant isolates from around the world. In fact, 2010 seemed to be more of a stable year regarding laboratory methodologies. More

PSA testing can stop if levels undetectable 10 years after prostatectomy
Reuters via Medscape
Men with undetectable prostate specific antigen levels for at least a decade after radical prostatectomy have about a 1 in 16 chance of biochemical recurrence, according to a new study. While recurrence rates vary depending on initial extent of disease, overall the results suggest a low risk after 10 years. More

How green is my lab?
The Scientist
At Harvard University, laboratories account for 21 percent of the 26 million-odd square feet of university real estate. Yet the labs consume 48 percent of the energy, says Jamie Bemis, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Green Program Coordinator at Harvard's Office for Sustainability. "It's a very energy-intensive space," Bemis says—not to mention one that uses vast quantities of water and generates mountains of waste.More

Modern Healthcare's Top 10 largest health system rankings also reveal nation's largest hospital-based laboratories
When it comes to the nation's largest health care systems, it is no surprise that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs tops the list, at least when ranked by annual revenue. That is the finding of a Top 10 survey of health care systems recently published by Modern Healthcare magazine. This survey is useful to pathologists and clinical laboratory managers because these Top 10 health care system rankings also provide insight as to where the nation's largest hospital-based laboratory organizations can be found. More

Scientists find bacteria from Dutch poultry linked to superbugs in people
Bacteria on raw poultry meat in the Netherlands may be a source of superbugs in people, according to a study that suggests the use of antibiotics in food animals is causing life-saving drugs to lose their potency. Multidrug-resistant bacteria were found in 80 percent of raw chicken bought from grocery stores in the southern Netherlands. When the researchers compared the germs with specimens collected from hospital patients, they found the predominant resistance genes were identical. More

A comparative analysis of molecular genetic and conventional cytogenetic detection of diagnostically important translocations in more than 400 cases of acute Leukemia
American Journal of Clinical Pathology via Medscape
In this study, we correlated the results of concurrent molecular and cytogenetic detection of entity-defining translocations in adults with acute leukemia to determine the frequency of cryptic translocations missed by conventional cytogenetics and of recurrent, prognostically relevant translocations not detectable by multiplex reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction.More

Salmonella outbreak linked to sprouts in 5 states
USA Today
An outbreak of salmonella linked to alfalfa sprouts has sent three people to the hospital, and sickened 21 in five states since April 12 and appears to be ongoing, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports. The outbreak is not the same as the E. coli outbreak originating in sprouts in Germany and Europe which has sickened more than 823 people.More

Scientists implicate overlooked amyloid beta peptide in Alzheimer disease pathology
Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News
A largely overlooked amyloid-β peptide could play a greater role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer disease than previously envisaged, scientists claim. Mice engineered to overexpress Aβ43 were found to display impairment of short-term memory and acceleration of amyloid-β pathology. This was accompanied by pronounced accumulation of Aβ43 in plaque cores that were similar in biochemical composition to those observed in the brains of affected human patients.More

Copper kills bacteria, lots of it
The International Business Times
New research has found copper to be an effective antimicrobial agent, killing nearly all pathogens in certain parts of hospitals, for instance. In a study presented at the World Health Organization's first International Conference on Prevention and Infection Control, researchers said copper surfaces substantially reduced the risk of infection. More

Who wants to live forever? Scientist sees aging cured
If Aubrey de Grey's predictions are right, the first person who will live to see their 150th birthday has already been born. And the first person to live for 1,000 years could be less than 20 years younger. More

Clue to kids' early aging disease found
Standing 3 feet tall, Meg didn't look like her peers. Bald and skinny, her body was aging rapidly because she had a rare genetic disease called Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome. People with progeria wrinkle and develop the same circulation and joint ailments as the elderly — except most of them die by age 13. More

Environmental factors may be just as important as genes in autism
Time magazine
Autism is undeniably influenced by genes, but a new study suggests that environmental factors may also contribute significantly — more than researchers previously thought — to the developmental disorder. In fact, environmental factors may play at least as big a role as genes in causing autism. More