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June 9, 2009
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World Health Organization Calls Swine Flu Outbreak a Pandemic
from The Washington Post
The World Health Organization yesterday declared the seven-week-old outbreak of the novel H1N1 influenza virus a pandemic, marking it as a historic global health event, one whose consequences may not be known for years. More    E-mail article Related story: Origins of the Swine Flu Virus ( Science News via U.S. News & World Report )

Beckman Coulter

Staff Shortages in Labs May Put Patients at Risk
from The Wall Street Journal
The swine-flu outbreak has focused a spotlight on a looming risk for hospitals and their patients: a shortage of technicians to run critical lab tests. Vanderbilt University Hospital's lab in Nashville, Tenn., had to pull staffers from other parts of the hospital and ask technicians to work double shifts to test incoming patients for swine flu earlier this month. "It was all hands on deck for a week," says Michael Laposata, chief pathologist. More    E-mail article

CDC Releases Recommendations for Genetic Testing
from Medscape Medical News
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released recommendations for best practices in genetic testing for heritable diseases and conditions. Published online in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the recommendations are the first issued by the federal government regarding the accuracy and proper use of DNA-based genetic testing. More    E-mail article

Obama: Health System a 'Ticking Time Bomb'
from TIME magazine
President Barack Obama pushed hard for a health care overhaul, saying the system is "a ticking bomb" for the budget that could force America to "go the way of GM" without a legislative fix. Obama went before the American Medical Association in Chicago to declare anew that the existing system leaves too many uninsured and forces "excessive defensive medicine" by doctors worried about malpractice suits. More    E-mail article

Misreading of Histone Code Linked to Human Cancer
from Science Daily
The development of blood from stem cell to fully formed blood cell follows a genetically determined program. When it works properly, blood formation stops when it reaches maturity. But when it doesn't, genetic mutations can prevent the stop signal and cause the developing cells to turn cancerous. More    E-mail article


Fat Cells in Bone Marrow Impair Transplant Healing
from Reuters
Fat cells appear to slow the formation of new blood cells in bone marrow, and trimming them may be a new way to help cancer patients recover faster from bone marrow transplants, U.S. researchers said. Scientists had thought that clumps of fat cells in bone marrow just took up space, but a team led by Dr. George Daley at Children's Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School said they actually get in the way of blood cell production. More    E-mail article

Reconciling Neuroimaging and Neuropathological Findings in Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder
from Medscape Medical News
Although structural magnetic resonance imaging and neuropathological investigations offer complementary information that can be used to formulate and test hypotheses about pathophysiological mechanisms in psychiatric disorders, the findings from these two fields are seldom integrated in a systematic manner. In this study, we overview recent sMRI findings in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and consider how they relate to neuropathological data. More    E-mail article

Fetal Stem Cells: a Clinical Trial Update
from The Oregonian
A potential stem cell treatment for the deadly childhood illness known as Batten disease cleared safety testing at Oregon Health & Science University. Children with Batten disease lack a crucial enzyme, which causes toxins to accumulate and destroy brain cells. Affected children aren't likely to survive past their teens. Researchers are attempting to restore production of the missing enzyme using stem cells isolated from fetal brain tissue. More    E-mail article

Pesticides Linked to Pre-cancer Condition
from United Press International
A U.S. study linked pesticides used in agricultural work to a pre-malignant condition, researchers said. Lead author Dr. Ola Landgren of the National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, said monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance is characterized by an abnormal level of a plasma protein a pre-cancerous condition that can lead to multiple myeloma, a painful cancer of the plasma cells in the bone marrow. Multiple myeloma accounts for approximately 1 percent of all cancers. More    E-mail article

Man on a Mission to Encourage Platelet Donations
from Minnesota Public Radio
Al Whitney can check another state off his list. The 71-year-old Ohio man has made it his personal mission to donate blood platelets in all 50 states. He recently visited the Memorial Blood Centers in Minnesota. Whitney started his tour in 2007, and already he's more than halfway to his goal. Minnesota is the 29th state on his platelet donation tour. He would have come here sooner, but he's paying for the travel out of his own pocket. More    E-mail article

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