ASCLS eNewsBytes
Nov. 8, 2011

Oral microbial profiles differ with varying pneumonia risk
Medscape Medical News
The mix of oral bacteria differs in individuals with different risks for pneumonia, Samit Joshi, DO, MPH, a fellow in infectious diseases at the Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut, reported at the Infectious Diseases Society of America 49th Annual Meeting. In a prospective study, Joshi and his team found that the oral microbial profiles are different between community-dwelling adults and adults at higher risk for pneumonia, and that intubated patients who developed pneumonia had profiles that were distinct from those who did not develop it.More

Breast cancer stem cell markers CD44, CD24 and ALDH1: Expression distribution within intrinsic molecular subtype
Journal of Clinical Pathology
The study of CD44/CD24 and ALDH1 expression is the most accurate method to identify cancer stem cells (CSC) from breast cancer populations. However, the overlap between CD44+CD24−/low and ALDH1 CSC phenotypes in breast cancer seems to be very small, as well as their distribution among intrinsic breast cancer subtypes. Due to this discrepancy, it is imperative to improve the understanding of breast CSC marker distribution. More

Clinical pathology laboratories in the United States face tougher accreditation and CLIA environment
Across the United States, medical laboratory accreditation and CLIA compliance is quietly getting tougher. This is a trend which affects every clinical laboratory and anatomic pathology medical group that must comply with CLIA and meet the accreditation requirements of the Medicare program. One sign that laboratory accreditation and compliance is getting tougher is the increased number of hospital laboratories willing to publicly acknowledge that a recent assessment, survey, or inspection resulted in serious deficiencies. More

A new approach to quality control
Clinical Laboratory News
When the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services finalized the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments regulations in 2003, many in the lab community expressed dissatisfaction with what was perceived as ambiguous and unscientific guidance on how to conduct quality control. While the regulations set basic requirements for testing external quality control materials, most laboratories found they needed to go above and beyond these standards to avoid quality problems.More

Changes in T3 levels seen with weight loss in obese
Medscape Medical News
Obese people who undergo controlled weight loss show sustained changes in thyroid hormone triiodothyronine (T3) levels; however, the effects on central thyroid homeostasis are otherwise marginal, according to research presented at the American Thyroid Association 81st Annual Meeting.More

Purging cells in mice is found to combat aging ills
The New York Times
In a potentially fundamental advance, researchers have opened up a novel approach to combating the effects of aging with the discovery that a special category of cells, known as senescent cells, are bad actors that promote the aging of the tissues. Cleansing the body of the cells, they hope, could postpone many of the diseases of aging. More

Helping pathologists use new technology to identify and classify cancer-related cells research
Surgical pathologists may have an exciting new tool for identifying and classifying cancer-related cells. Medical researchers at Duke University are demonstrating that "active learning" software developed for finding and recognizing undersea mines can help pathologists identify and classify cancer-related cells. More

AASLD: African-Americans face hepatitis C 'triple whammy'
MedPage Today
African-Americans face a "triple whammy" when it comes to the hepatitis C virus, a researcher said during the annual meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD). Two aspects of this triple threat are well known: the high prevalence of the virus in the African-American community and the lower response to therapy of infected individuals. But there's a third threat.More

New hope for sickle cell disease treatment
Medical News Today
A new mouse study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, appears to have discovered a way to trigger production of red blood cells, raising hope of a potential new treatment for preventing the painful episodes and organ damage often experienced by people with sickle cell disease. A team of experts in childhood blood disorders, pathologists and developmental biologists, both from the University of Michigan Health System and the University of Tsukuba in Japan. More

Researchers aim to untangle Alzheimer's brains
Laboratory Equipment
Neurofibrillary tangles — odd, twisted clumps of protein found within nerve cells — are a pathological hallmark of Alzheimer's disease. The tangles, which were first identified in the early 1900s by German psychiatrist and neuropathologist Aloysius Alzheimer, are formed when changes in a protein called tau cause it to aggregate in an insoluble mass in the cytoplasm of cells. More

Diabetes and the stem cell promise
Los Angeles Times
Ever since scientists started talking about the medical potential of embryonic stem cells, curing Type 1 diabetes has been one of the dearest dreams. When researchers announced in 1998 that they had derived stem cells from human embryos, their landmark report flagged juvenile-onset diabetes as a disease that might be treated by stem cell transplants.More