ASCLS eNewsBytes
Sept. 27, 2011

Cancer cost 'becoming unsustainable' in
rich nations

An explosion of new technologies and treatments for cancer coupled with a rapid rise in cases of the disease worldwide mean cancer care is rapidly becoming unaffordable in many developed countries, oncology experts said. With costs ballooning, a radical shift in thinking is needed to ensure fairer access to medicines and address tricky questions like balancing extra months of life for patients against costs of a new drug, technology or care plan, they said.More

Scientists identify key molecule that blocks abnormal blood vessel growth in tumors
Bioscience Technology
A new and better understanding of blood vessel growth and vascular development (angiogenesis) in cancer has been made possible by research carried out by a team of scientists from Moffitt Cancer Center, the University of Florida, Harvard University, Yale University and the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles. The research team published the results of their investigation in a recent issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.More

Stem cell's shape determines its fate
Laboratory Equipment
"Form follows function!" was the credo of early 20th century architects making design choices based on the intended use of the structure. Cell biologists may be turning that on its head. New research by a team working at the National Institute of Standards and Technology reinforces the idea that stem cells can be induced to develop into specific types of cells solely by controlling their shape.More

Improving your protein predictions
Laboratory News
Developing protein-based products demands an understanding of how they behave in solution since this underpins our ability to predict aggregation behavior and to determine appropriate conditions for storage, crystallization, and other processing parameters. Zeta potential, which is related to surface charge, is one of the parameters used in predicting the stability of protein-based preparations, but denaturation of the sample during measurement has always posed a particular challenge.More

OSHA Fact Sheet: Protecting yourself when handling
contaminated sharps

Becker's ASC Review
A needlestick or a cut from a contaminated sharp can result in a worker being infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and other bloodborne pathogens. The standard specifies measures to reduce these types of injuries and the risk of infection. Careful handling of contaminated sharps can prevent injury and reduce the risk of infection. Employers must ensure that workers follow these work practices to decrease the workers’ chances of contracting bloodborne diseases.More

Cellular origin of a rare form of breast cancer identified
Bioscience Technology
Identifying the cellular origins of breast cancer might lead to earlier diagnosis and more efficient management of the disease. New research led by Charlotte Kuperwasser of Tufts University School of Medicine has determined that common forms of breast cancer originate from breast cells known as luminal epithelial cells while rarer forms of breast cancer, such as metaplastic carcinomas, originate from basal epithelial cell types. The study was published online ahead of print this week in PNAS Early Edition as part of its breast cancer special feature.More

New tick-borne disease is discovered
The New York Times
A new tick-borne disease that may be stealthily infecting some Americans has been discovered by Yale researchers working with Russian scientists. The disease is caused by a spirochete bacterium called Borrelia miyamotoi, which is distantly related to Borrelia burgdorferi, the spirochete that causes Lyme disease. More

Viral theory is set back in chronic fatigue study
The New York Times
Two research groups had earlier reported an association between chronic fatigue syndrome and the group of viruses, known as murine leukemia viruses, or MLV's, raising hopes that a treatment or cure could be found. But later studies did not substantiate the link, and many researchers suggested that that the initial findings were the result of contamination of laboratory samples or equipment. More

Oral metronidazole equivalent to vancomycin for C difficile
Medscape Medical News
Oral vancomycin and oral metronidazole appear to be equally effective in treating patients with Clostridium difficile infection, regardless of the severity of infection, lead author Qamar Saleheen, M.D., an infectious diseases fellow at the Hines Veterans Administration Hospital in Illinois, reported during a poster session at the 51st Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. The rate of recurrence and the complication rate were not statistically different between the two drugs, he announced.More

Contagion: A nice nod to lab community
ADVANCE's Press Start Blog
Glen McDaniel, a veteran laboratorian, says he is pretty impressed with the blockbuster film. McDaniel says the biohazard room, research facilities, equipment and departments like Epidemic Intelligence Service are all authentic. The audience is educated with terms like fomite and R0 (R nought) without being entirely condescending. More

Death toll may be as high as 10 in listeria outbreak
USA Today
The death toll in the 15-state listeria outbreak linked to cantaloupe from Colorado may now be as high as 10; at least 60 people have been reported ill. Food safety experts are warning anyone who might have had the cantaloupes in their home to clean and sanitize their countertops and refrigerator with bleach because listeria can colonize even on the inside of a vegetable drawer.More

Hospital privacy curtains laden with germs
The privacy curtains that separate care spaces in hospitals and clinics are frequently contaminated with potentially dangerous bacteria, researchers said in Chicago. To avoid spreading those bugs, healthcare providers should make sure to wash their hands after routine contact with the curtains and before interacting with patients, Dr. Michael Ohl, from the University of Iowa, Iowa City, said at the 51st Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. More

Faster-than-light neutrinos baffle scientists
Laboratory Equipment
A startling find at one of the world's foremost laboratories that a subatomic particle seemed to move faster than the speed of light has scientists around the world rethinking Albert Einstein and one of the foundations of physics. Now they are planning to put the finding to further high-speed tests to see if a revolutionary shift in explaining the workings of the universe is needed-or if the European scientists made a mistake. More

E. coli fears prompt massive ground beef recall
CBS News
Palo Duro Meat of Amarillo, Texas is recalling 40,000 pounds of frozen ground beef because of fears of E. coli contamination. The frozen beef was produced on Sept. 9 and was shipped in 40-lb. boxes to six Georgia school districts associated with the federally assisted National School Lunch Program, the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced. More