Under the Microscope
Jun. 27, 2012

New vitamin D tests called 'inaccurate'
Advance for Medical Laboratory Professionals
Blood tests to measure vitamin D deficiency are among the most frequently ordered tests in medicine. But a Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine study of two new vitamin D tests found the kits are inaccurate in many cases. Researchers examined how well the two new tests performed on 163 randomly selected blood samples. In 40 percent of one and 48 percent of the other, results were at least 25 percent too high or 25 percent too low.More

A new dimension for cell culture
Medical Xpress
VideoBriefCancer cells and stem cells can now be cultivated in three dimensions to serve in various experiments to great advantage for researchers. This matrix, commercialized by the start-up QGel, offers the cells a similar environment to a living organism and is adaptable to the needs of the researcher.More

Imaging technique sheds new light on bacterial mobility
A scientific endeavor carried out by two French groups shows for the first time that both bacterium adhesion to and bacterium motion on a surface are driven by the same mechanism. Those findings result from collaborative work with Nanolane, a French company that specializes in optical characterization. Nanolane has devised a new generation of advanced microscope slides specifically for this type of investigation.More

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Stem cells used to study blood-brain barrier
Laboratory Equipment
The blood-brain barrier effectively separates circulating blood from the fluid that bathes the brain, and keeps out bacteria, viruses and other agents that could damage it. But the barrier can be disrupted by disease, and is a challenge for medicine to treat neurological disorders. Now, University of Wisconsin researchers have transformed stem cells into endothelial cells with blood-brain barrier qualities.More

New method generates cardiac muscle patches from stem cells
Medical Xpress
A cutting-edge method developed at the University of Michigan Center for Arrhythmia Research successfully uses stem cells to create heart cells capable of mimicking the heart's crucial squeezing action. At 60 beats per minute, the rhythmic electrical impulse transmission of the engineered cells in the study is 10 times faster than in most other reported stem cell studies.More

Drugs help infants from getting mother's HIV
United Press International
Adding nevirapine to drugs given newborns of women diagnosed with HIV shortly before or during labor halves the newborns' risk of HIV, U.S. researchers say. Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development researchers said the rate of mother-to-child HIV transmission around the time of delivery was 2.2 percent among infants who received the standard drug zidovudine combined with nevirapine, compared with 4.8 percent among infants treated with zidovudine alone.More

Discovery of 'master molecule' could improve heart attack treatment
R&D Magazine
Johns Hopkins University researchers have discovered that a single protein molecule may hold the key to turning cardiac stem cells into blood vessels or muscle tissue, a finding that may lead to better ways to treat heart attack patients. More

Study links carcinogens to cancer stem cells — But spinach can help
Medical Xpress
Oregon State University researchers for the first time have traced the actions of a known carcinogen in cooked meat to its complex biological effects on microRNA and cancer stem cells. The findings are part of a growing awareness of the role of epigenetics in cancer, or the ways in which gene expression and cell behavior can be changed even though DNA sequence information is unaltered.More

Adoption of EHRs accelerates, rural providers slow to embrace
Dark Daily
As larger numbers of physicians implement electronic health record systems, clinical laboratories are faced with the task of building interfaces that connect their laboratory information systems to those EHRs. Medical laboratories and anatomic pathology groups are squarely in the midst of the drive to encourage physicians to both implement an EHR in their clinical practice and use that EHR in ways that meet "Meaningful Use" requirements.More

Researchers discover cause of inherited epilepsy
Laboratory Equipment
McGill University researchers have discovered the cause of an inherited form of epilepsy. The disease, known as double-cortex syndrome, primarily affects females and arises from mutations on a gene located on the X chromosome. Researchers have used a highly advanced microscope to discover how these mutations cause a malformation of the human brain. More

Blood test identifies increased risk of death following surgery
Advance for Medical Laboratory Professionals
A simple blood test can help identify people who are at high risk of dying within the month after non-cardiac surgery, a study by researchers at Ontario's McMaster University has found. Knowing who is at risk through the test called Troponin T can help physicians target patients who need enhanced observation or interventions, says the major study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. More

Thrombospondin-1 mimetic peptide ABT-898 affects neovascularization, survival of endometriotic lesions
The American Journal of Pathology
Because endometriotic lesions require new blood supply for survival, inhibiting angiogenesis could provide a novel therapeutic strategy. Researchers hypothesized ABT-898 will prevent neovascularization of human endometriotic lesions and that ABT-898 treatment will not affect reproductive outcomes in a mouse model. The study results suggest ABT-898 inhibits neovascularization of human endometriotic lesions without affecting mouse fecundity. More