ASCLS eNewsBytes
Nov. 29, 2011

Stopping the hospital spread of gram-negative bacilli
Infectious Diseases Society of America via Medscape
In recognition of the CDC's 2011 Get Smart About Antibiotics Week, Dr. John Bartlett from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine joins Dr. Alex Kallen from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to discuss stopping the spread of Gram-negative bacilli in U.S. hospitals. The Medscape podcast is a must-see for every doctor, nurse, and healthcare provider who work in an in-patient or outpatient hospital setting and are facing untreatable infections.More

Genetic rearrangements drive 5 to 7 percent of breast cancers
Researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center have discovered two cancer-spurring gene rearrangements that may trigger 5 to 7 percent of all breast cancers. These types of genetic recombinations have previously been linked to blood cancers and rare soft-tissue tumors, but are beginning to be discovered in common solid tumors, including a large subset of prostate cancers and some lung cancers. More

Delayed hemolytic transfusion reaction without detectable autoantibodies or alloantibodies
Medscape's Laboratory Medicine
Delayed hemolytic transfusion reactions may occur when there is an antigen mismatch between transfused RBCs and recipient RBC antibodies where sensitized RBCs are cleared by macrophages or complement activation leading to immunoglobulin G mediated hemolysis. Some DHTR etiologies remain unknown since there are cases of DHTR when an RBC autoantibody or alloantibody is absent. Mechanisms have been proposed to explain these types of cases of DHTR, including bystander or reactive hemolysis by hyperactive macrophages. More

SNaPshot: Screening for many mutations at once
Medscape Medical News
Sending off a tumor sample for a broad screening of genetic aberrations, instead of just a single test, increases the chance of finding a therapy that the patient will respond to, and it might also improve survival, say researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, who are already using the screen in routine clinical practice. The broad genetic screen, known as SNaPshot, is advertised around the hospital with a poster that depicts a fingerprint, declaring: "Our patients are unique. So are their tumors."More

The immune system has protective memory cells
Bioscience Technology
The immune system possesses a type of cell that can be activated by tissues within the body to remind the immune system not to attack our own molecules, cells and organs, UCSF researchers have discovered. The discovery is likely to lead to new strategies for fighting a range of autoimmune diseases — in which the immune system attacks and harms specific molecules and cells within us — as well as for preventing transplant rejection.More

ASL-MRI promising for Alzheimer's diagnosis
Medscape Medical News
Arterial spin-labeled perfusion magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can detect changes in brain function associated with Alzheimer's disease on par with 18-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography, according to two new studies. The researchers suggest that there is considerable qualitative and quantitative similarity between the two techniques, and confirm that regional cerebral blood flow closely parallels regional cerebral glucose metabolism.More

Evidence suggests HPV testing not superior to conventional pap tests
Medscape Education Clinical Briefs
Cervical cancer screening by conventional cytology testing has reduced cervical cancer incidence and mortality rates, as noted by the International Agency for Research on Cancer in the 2005 IARC Handbook of Cancer Prevention. Alternative or adjunct methods for screening include liquid-based cytology and human papillomavirus (HPV) testing.More

Beta-D-glucan assay
Medscape's Laboratory Medicine
A new fungal surrogate marker, (1–3)-β-D glucan, offers a noninvasive method for the potential surveillance and diagnosis of invasive fungal infections. Invasive fungal infections have long been associated with significantly high morbidity and mortality on hematology-oncology wards and recipients of either solid-organ or hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. The diagnoses of invasive fungal infections have historically been made difficult by the need for invasive methods. More

Navigating the waters of social networking
ADVANCE for Medical Laboratory Professionals (Column)
The American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science is continuing to expand usage of social networking platforms. The goal is to provide all of our members with any information they could ever need about ASCLS, and to do so through their favorite means of communication whether that be our traditional publications and mail notices, member emails and website content, or Facebook posts, tweets, FourSquare check-ins, and blog posts, said Rebecca L. Rogers, chair of ASCLS Social Networking Task Force. More