ASCLS eNewsBytes
July 20, 2010

Breast-specific gamma imaging detects occult cancer
Medscape Medical News
Breast-specific gamma imaging appears to be comparable to magnetic resonance imaging in its ability to detect additional occult breast cancer lesions in women who already have biopsy-proven breast cancer, a new study concludes. The study involved 159 women. BSGI, which is also known as molecular breast imaging, found occult cancer in the same breast as the index lesion in nine women (6 percent) and in the contralateral breast in five women (3 percent). "Our study demonstrates that the detection of occult foci of breast cancer with BSGI is comparable to that reported for MRI," write the authors, led by Rachel Brem, MD, from the George Washington University Hospital in Washington, D.C. The study appears in the June issue of the Academic Radiology.More

Examining immune response to viruses at the atomic level
Infection Control Today
A team of biochemists has identified the molecular mechanism by which an immune response is triggered by the invading viruses, according to recent research. The results could eventually lead to new therapies for many different kinds of viral infections, from the common cold to hepatitis and AIDS, according to Dr. Pingwei Li, Texas A&M University's department of biochemistry and biophysics. "This work provided insight into how our immune system recognizes viral RNA at the atomic level," Li said. The results of the team's research were published by Structure of Cell Press.More

Microneedles may make getting flu shots easier
The Associated Press via Google News
One day your annual flu shot could come in the mail. At least that's the hope of researchers developing a new method of vaccine delivery that people could even use at home: a patch with microneedles.More

Rescuing fruit flies from Alzheimer's disease
Science Daily
Investigators have found that fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) males — in which the activity of an Alzheimer's disease protein is reduced by 50 percent — show impairments in learning and memory as they age. What's more, the researchers were able to prevent the age-related deficits by treating the flies with drugs such as lithium, or by genetic manipulations that reduced nerve-cell signaling.More

Animal study shows potential of universal influenza vaccine
Medscape Medical News
A universal influenza vaccine tested on mice and ferrets successfully immunized the animals against a virus strain from 1934, according to scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The experimental vaccine, which consisted of a primer dose and a booster, generated antibodies in mice and ferrets against virus strains from four different decades — not only H1 subtypes of influenza virus A but also other subtypes such as H5N1, or avian influenza.More

Study: Blood cells can generate stem cells
CNN
Researchers have successfully reprogrammed human blood cells into embryonic-like stem cells according to three news studies. Experts say this has the potential for changing the course of stem cell research.More

CDC: Nearly 5 percent exposed to dengue virus in Key West, Fla.
Medscape
Nearly 5 percent of the population of Key West, Fla, showed evidence of recent exposure to dengue virus in 2009, according to a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Glen R. Gallagher, from the CDC's National Center for Zoonotic, Vector-Borne, and Enteric Diseases, in Puerto Rico, and colleagues from the Florida Department of Health presented the findings in a poster session here at the International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases 2010.More

How saving umbilical cords saves lives
TIME magazine
As their due date creeps closer, many pregnant women pack a go bag for the hospital: toothbrush, iPod, cute bringing-baby-home outfit. But in recent months, savvy mothers-to-be have started tucking in one more important item: a kit to collect and donate the blood in their babies' umbilical cord. Cord blood is a noncontroversial source of stem cells, yet experts estimate that 99 percent of this potentially lifesaving resource gets thrown away postpartum.More