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ASCLS eNewsBytes
June 9, 2009
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U.S. Health Care Overhaul on Fast Track
from Reuters
President Barack Obama has said he wants the U.S. Congress to deliver to him a sweeping overhaul of the $2.5 trillion U.S. health care system by October, arguing it would help put the struggling U.S. economy on a solid growth path for the future. It is a very tight timetable for very complex legislation that involves a number of committees in the House of Representatives and Senate. But leaders in both chambers believe they are on track to meet that goal. More    E-mail article

Beckman Coulter

New Formula Promises More Accurate Estimation of Kidney Function
from Medscape Today
Creatinine has been, is now, and will be for the foreseeable future our easiest way to monitor kidney function. However, the inadequacies and limitations of creatinine as such a marker are well described. Due to the nonlinear relationship between creatinine and kidney function, as well as the effect of a patient's muscle mass on the association between absolute value of creatinine and kidney function, formulas to approximate kidney function using serum creatinine and proxies for muscle mass are essential. More    E-mail article

'Warrior Gene' Linked To Gang Membership
from Science Daily
Boys who carry a particular variation of the gene Monoamine oxidase A (MAOA), sometimes called the "warrior gene," are more likely not only to join gangs but also to be among the most violent members and to use weapons, according to a new study from Florida State University that is the first to confirm an MAOA link specifically to gangs and guns. More    E-mail article

Researchers Detect Blood-clotting Mechanism
from HealthDay News via Forbes
Ever wonder how your blood miraculously stops flowing and forms a scab after a cut? Researchers have now pinpointed the mechanism down to the molecular level. "The human body has an incredible ability to heal from life's scrapes and bruises," study co-author Wesley P. Wong, a principal investigator at the Rowland Institute at Harvard University, said in a university news release. More    E-mail article

Swine Flu Pandemic Declaration will Include Severity
from Bloomberg
The World Health Organizationís pandemic alert scale should consider the severity of diseases instead of just the geographic spread, an advisory committee said. The Geneva-based WHO within days will declare the first influenza pandemic in 41 years, according to people familiar with the United Nations agency's plans. WHO's International Health Regulations Committee urged the agency "to introduce severity assessments in any future announcements of pandemic phase changes," WHO said in a statement. More    E-mail article


Hopkins in Pilot Study on Blood Transfusion Complications
from The Baltimore Sun
The Johns Hopkins Hospital and a handful of other medical centers around the country are set to begin collectively monitoring and tracking dangerous reactions to blood transfusions, the first piece of a nationwide "biovigilance" program that is arriving in the United States years later than in most other developed nations. The ultimate goal of the project, a collaboration between federal agencies and private medical associations, is to reduce the number of infections, allergic reactions, clerical errors and other complications related to blood transfusions. Such complications resulted in at least 46 deaths in the U.S. last year. More    E-mail article

Cellular Immune Responses Persist after Mumps Vaccination
from Reuters via Medscape
As long as 16 years after mumps vaccination, most adolescents show some degree of resistance, according to Belgian researchers. This protection may not be sufficient, however. "Our study," said lead investigator Dr. Corinne Vandermeulen, "showed that cellular immune responses can be detected in the blood of immunized adolescents aged between 18 and 22 years, even in the absence of circulating antibodies." More    E-mail article

A Mississippi Lab Services Director Named State's Science Educator of the Year
from Hattiesburg American
The Mississippi Society of the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science recognized Paula Ward as 2009 Educator of the Year. Ward, director of Laboratory Services at Wesley Medical Center, joined ASCLS in 1975 and has served both the Mississippi and Louisiana chapters. As laboratory director at Wesley, she has championed the effort to train clinical laboratory students and professionals. More    E-mail article

Promising Antimicrobial Attacks Virus, Stimulates Immune System
from Infection Control Today
A promising antimicrobial agent already known to kill bacteria can also kill viruses and stimulate the innate immune system, according to researchers at National Jewish Health. In the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, Michael Howell, PhD, assistant professor of pediatrics, and his colleagues demonstrated that the synthetic compound CSA-13 can kill vaccinia virus in cell cultures and in mice. Additionally, they showed that CSA-13 stimulates cells to produce their own antimicrobial proteins. More    E-mail article

A Global View of Methylation
from GenomeWeb LLC
Years after the high-quality draft of the human reference genome was delivered, it's now well known that it's not just genetic variation that causes differences in gene expression. Epigenomic changes, whether DNA methylation or histone modifications, are increasingly being studied for their role in both normal and disease-associated phenotype changes. More    E-mail article

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