ASCLS eNewsBytes
Dec. 14, 2010

Researchers turn stem cells into intestinal
tissue in lab

HealthDay News via U.S. News & World Report
Researchers say they've turned human stem cells into functioning human intestinal tissue in a laboratory setting. The study team described its accomplishment as a "significant step" forward in efforts to better understand the function and development of the human intestine. They also expressed hope that the innovation will spur the development of new strategies to combat intestinal diseases, while opening up new avenues for the generation of transplantation tissue.More

Circulating tumor cells: Useful tool in metastatic breast cancer?
Medical News Today
Measuring circulating tumor cells (CTCs) is a useful tool for managing patients with metastatic breast cancer, says one breast cancer expert, but another disagrees and says it adds nothing to the information that is already available clinically and from imaging. This sharp difference in opinion emerged during a press conference here at the 33rd Annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, at which new data on CTCs from clinical trials in both metastatic and early breast cancer were being highlighted.More

There's a new 'officer' in the infection control army
Johns Hopkins scientists have identified a previously unrecognized step in the activation of infection-fighting white blood cells, the main immunity troops in the body's war on bacteria, viruses and foreign proteins. "It's as if we knew many of the generals, colonels and majors and now we have discovered a new officer that helps the troops carry out the right battle plan," says Joel Pomerantz, Ph.D., an assistant professor of Biological Chemistry in the Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences and member of the Institute for Cell Engineering at Johns Hopkins.More

Dirty money: Tests detect chemical BPA on dollar bills
Tests on a small sample of dollar bills found traces of bisphenol A, the hormone-mimicking chemical linked to health problems from infertility and cancer to early puberty and obesity, said Erika Schreder, a scientist who led the study. "Most people don't expect to find a toxic chemical in their wallets," said Schreder, who works for the Washington Toxics Coalition in Seattle, which co-sponsored the report with the advocacy group Safer Chemicals Health Families.More

10 dead as H1N1 flu returns to Britain
The H1N1 swine flu virus which swept the globe last year has returned to Britain with 10 people dying in the last six weeks, health officials said. Britain's Health Protection Agency said the 10 deaths had occurred in adults all under the age of 65, most of whom had underlying health issues.More

Study: Baby illness can be scanned in mother's blood
Parents may soon be able to find out if their unborn child is prone to any inherited diseases, researchers said, after developing a non-invasive technique to draw the entire gene map of the human fetus. By analyzing a sample of the mother's blood, which contains DNA from the fetus, scientists in Hong Kong and the United States were able to identify all the DNA strands that belong to the child and piece them together.More

Double block of blood vessels to starve cancerous tumors
A novel strategy of blocking the growth of blood vessels with antibodies should result in improved treatment of cancerous tumors. The growth of new blood vessels from pre-existing vasculature is called angiogenesis. In adults, angiogenesis occurs only during wound healing and menstrual cycling, but is abundant and harmful in cancerous tumors and the old-age eye disease frequently leading to blindness called age-related macular degeneration. Without the formation of new blood vessels, tumors cannot grow beyond a small size due to lack of oxygen and nutrients. More

Grant to develop 'artificial blood' received by CCNY professor
Medical News Today
As a post-doc at The University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Ron Koder, assistant professor of physics at The City College of New York, was part of a team that devised a novel method for producing an artificial protein capable of transporting oxygen, similar to human neuroglobin. He was recently awarded a three-year $1.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense to develop an artificial blood that can be administered to injured troops on the battlefield. More