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May 19, 2009
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Molecule of Life Emerges from Laboratory Slime
from New Scientist magazine
Creating life in the primordial soup may have been easier than we thought. Two essential elements of RNA have finally been made from scratch, under conditions similar to those that likely prevailed during the dawn of life. More    E-mail article

Beckman Coulter

Gene Transfer Technology may Lead to HIV Vaccine
from Science Daily
A research team may have broken the stubborn impasse that has frustrated the invention of an effective HIV vaccine, by using an approach that bypasses the usual path followed by vaccine developers. By using gene transfer technology that produces molecules that block infection, the scientists protected monkeys from infection by a virus closely related to HIV—the simian immunodeficiency virus, or SIV—that causes AIDS in rhesus monkeys. More    E-mail article

NYC Health Chief Named to Lead CDC
from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
New York City's outspoken health commissioner was appointed to lead the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and immediately sent a memo to employees that affirmed the agency's commitment to science. The two-page memo calmed some critics who had accused his predecessor of allowing politics to steer the agency’s work. In making the appointment, President Barack Obama described Dr. Thomas Frieden as an expert in preparing for and responding to health emergencies. More    E-mail article

Recent Discoveries in the Pathogenesis and Immune Response toward Entamoeba Histolytica
from Medscape Today
Entamoeba histolytica is an enteric dwelling human protozoan parasite that causes the disease amoebiasis, which is endemic in the developing world. Over the past four decades, considerable effort has been made to understand the parasite and the disease. Improved diagnostics can now differentiate pathogenic E. histolytica from that of the related but nonpathogenic Entamoeba dispar, thus minimizing screening errors. Classically, the triad of Gal-lectin, cysteine proteinases and amoebapores of the parasite were thought to be the major proteins involved in the pathogenesis of amoebiasis. More    E-mail article

Chronic Kidney Disease Increases Risk for Hypoglycemia with or without Diabetes
from Medscape Medical News
Patients with chronic kidney disease have an increased incidence of hypoglycemia, which is associated with excessive mortality rate, according to the results of a retrospective cohort analysis reported in the Online First issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. More    E-mail article

Gene Test Predicts Return of Colon Cancer
from WebMD Health News
A test that characterizes each tumor by its genetic signature may soon help some colon cancer patients decide whether to have chemotherapy after surgery or whether they can safely forgo additional treatment. Called Oncotype DX, the test predicts the chance that cancer will come back after surgery alone in people with stage II colon cancer. More    E-mail article


Chronic Infection Now Clearly Tied to Immune System Protein
from Infection Control Today
The reason deadly infections like human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C never go away is because these viruses disarm the body’s defense system. Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) have discovered that a key immunity protein must be present for this defense system to have a chance against chronic infection. More    E-mail article

Three Genes Help Breast Cancer Spread to Brain
from Medscape Today
Three genes in mice may help explain how breast cancer cells overcome a natural barrier to get into the brain, scientists said. Two of the genes, COX2 and HB-EGF, have already been found to help cancer spread to the lungs, the team reported in the journal Nature. The third -- ST6GALNAC5 -- appears to make the outer coat of cancer cells sticky, allowing them to linger in tiny blood vessels in the brain long enough to seep through and enter brain tissue. More    E-mail article

The Blood Tester
from The Baltimore Sun
Matt Christoph always enjoyed science as a high school student. After high school, he joined the Army and completed its medical laboratory technician program and is an accredited medical laboratory technician through the American Society for Clinical Pathology. More    E-mail article

H1N1 Pandemic Precautions for Frontline Workers
from Infection Control Today
If the H1N1 pandemic flu follows the pattern of the 1918 Great Pandemic it could come back with more vigor in a second wave next fall. In 1918, three separate recurrences of influenza followed each other with unusual rapidity, resulting in three pandemic waves within a year's time. Dr. Thomas O'Brien, vice president of the Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics and microbiology lab director at Brigham and Women's Hospital, stated this concern before a Congressional Subcommittee, chaired by Congressman Stephen Lynch from the Ninth District of Massachusetts. More    E-mail article

Axillary Recurrence after Negative Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy: Frequency and Factors Influencing Recurrence on the Long Term
from The Breast Journal via Wiley InterScience
Sentinel lymph node biopsy is a less invasive method for determining tumor stage. Purpose of this study was to determine the frequency of axillary recurrence after negative SLN biopsy for women with breast cancer. A total of 121 patients with a negative SLN biopsy, from Jan.1, 2000 to Dec. 31, 2004, were identified from a maintained pathology database. Retrospective chart review and data analysis were performed until Sept. 1, 2006, to determine frequency of axillary recurrence and identify variables predictive of recurrence. More    E-mail article

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