Description: Hemostasis and Thrombosis: Basic Principles and Clinical Practice is an encyclopedic reference that teaches the treatment of clotting disorders by focusing on basic scientific principles in order to explain clinical practices. The text offers full coverage of vessel wall physiology, molecular genetics of hemostatic proteins, wounds, and hemostatic abnormalities in AIDS. With 150 illustrations and tables, this book is a complete reference for vascular surgeons, cardiologists, and hematologists.

Additional Info

  • File Name Hemostasis and Thrombosis: Basic Principles and Clinical Practice - 5th Edition
  • Edition 5th
  • Year 2006
  • Editor(s) Robert W. Colman
  • ISBN-10 0781749964
  • ISBN-13 9780781749961
  • Size 77 MB
  • File Format .chm
  • Password bioscience.pk
Description: Handbook of Transfusion Medicine is unique in that it provides a comprehensive and practical description of all blood products and blood cell types currently used in transfusions, their appropriate applications, pathophysiology of conditions managed by transfusion, and pathophysiology of adverse reactions. Each chapter follows a standard format including numerous tables and algorithms, with summary elements highlighted throughout by a second-color for quick reference.

Sections Include:

  • Blood collection and testing 
  • Blood component description
  • Preparation and usage
  • Red blood cell antigens and antibodies
  • Specialized component processing
  • Specialized transfusion situations
  • Transfusion-transmitted diseases
  • Transfusion reactions
  • Infectious complications of transfusion
  • Therapeutic apheresis and quality
  • Acute bleeding and massive transfusion
  • Transfusion of the patient with a coagulopathy
  • Transfusion of obstetrics, pediatric, immunocompromised, and platelet refractory patients
  • Up-to-date references to all aspects of transfusion medicine

Additional Info

  • File Name Handbook of Transfusion Medicine
  • Edition 1st
  • Year 2001
  • Editor(s) Christopher Hillyer, Krista L. Hillyer, Frank Strobl, Leigh Jefferies, Leslie Silberstein
  • ISBN-10 0123487757
  • ISBN-13 978-0123487759
  • Size 4.89 MB
  • File Format .pdf
  • Password bioscience.pk
Description: This book provides a comprehensive overview in our understanding of the biology and therapeutic potential of hematopoietic stem cells, and is aimed at those engaged in stem cell research: undergraduate and postgraduate science students, investigators and clinicians.
 
Starting from fundamental principles in hematopoiesis, Advances in Hematopoietic Stem Cell Research assemble a wealth of information relevant to central mechanisms that may regulate differentiation, and expansion of hematopoietic stem cells in normal conditions and during disease. Starting from fundamental principles in hematopoiesis, Advances in Hematopoietic Stem Cell Research assemble a wealth of information relevant to central mechanisms that may regulate differentiation, and expansion of hematopoietic stem cells in normal conditions and during disease.

Additional Info

  • File Name Advances in Hematopoietic Stem Cell Research
  • Edition 1st
  • Year 2012
  • Editor(s) Rosana Pelayo
  • ISBN 978-953-307-930-1
  • Publisher InTech
  • Size 19.5 MB
  • File Format .pdf
  • Password bioscience.pk
Description: Multiple Myeloma (MM), the second most common blood cancer in adults, is a clonal plasma cell malignancy within the bone marrow characterized by osteolytic bone lesions, renal disease, and immunodeficiency. It is now well established that MM cell- induced disruption of the bone marrow homeostasis between the highly organized cellular and extracellular compartments supports MM cell proliferation, survival, migration, and drug resistance via activation of various signaling pathways. Based on this knowledge, the prototypic drugs thalidomide, bortezomib, and lenalidomide, which target both MM cells and the bone marrow microenvironment, have already fundamentally changed treatment options of this disease. Indeed, their benefit is now not only shown in relapsed and refractory disease but they also improve overall response, duration of response, and progression-free and overall survival when used as part of first-line regimens. However, despite new insights into MM pathogenesis and exciting derived therapeutic advances, MM still remains incurable. Ongoing studies are therefore aiming to further delineate mechanisms of MM pathogenesis within the bone marrow to identify novel agents with enhanced cytotoxicity and decreased drug resistance to improve patient outcome.
 
Multiple Myeloma - A New Era of Treatment Strategies is devoted to contributions from eminent scientists providing readers with comprehensive accounts of the most recent developments in the field of MM research. It addresses the interests of scientists and clinical investigators in MM research as well as other fields of oncology, in which the microenvironment is believed to play an important role.

Additional Info

  • File Name Multiple Myeloma – A New Era of Treatment Strategies
  • Edition 1st
  • Year 2012
  • Author(s) Klaus Podar, Kenneth C. Anderson
  • ISBN 978-1-60805-297-4
  • Publisher Bentham Science Publishers
  • Size 10.9 MB
  • File Format .pdf
  • Password bioscience.pk
Monday, 17 October 2016 10:41

Status of laboratory testing for HIV

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Two years have passed since the CDC finally published guidelines addressing HIV laboratory testing and officially endorsed the “new” HIV laboratory testing algorithm. Although many had become aware of the algorithm in the four years prior, and had adopted it to various degrees, this was the final word on this long-awaited guidance. The algorithm gained visibility prior to the official endorsement mainly because it had been heavily referenced in CDC publications and numerous scientific articles.

Advantages of the new algorithm

Why is the new algorithm superior to the old algorithm? First, the new algorithm emphasizes the use of an antigen/antibody (Ag/Ab) combination assay to screen for HIV infection, as the first step. The use of this more advanced technology (fourth generation) provides improved detection of acute HIV-1 infection because antigen/antibody combination assays not only detect established infection in those who have seroconverted, but can also diagnose HIV infection prior to seroconversion by detecting p24 antigen. Fourth generation assays detect acute HIV infections, on average, five to seven days earlier than the third generation, antibody-only assays.

Second, substituting the HIV-1/HIV-2 differentiation assay for the Western blot in the second step allows for correct identification of HIV-2 infection and earlier detection of HIV-1 infection, compared to the Western blot.

Third, the official addition of nucleic acid testing (NAT) is used to rule out acute HIV-1 infection, which is necessary because although HIV-1/HIV-2 differentiation assays can detect HIV infection on average a few days earlier than the Western blot, none of these can detect HIV infection prior to seroconversion.

There is ample evidence that the new algorithm has increased detection of acute HIV-1 infections, due to the use of Ag/Ab combination assays. This is important both for the patient, who can receive prompt treatment that improves health outcome, and also from a public health perspective, because it reduces disease transmission. Many laboratories now have access to a fourth generation assay, since they are offered by multiple vendors on a variety of automated platforms.

The data are not yet in as to whether the new algorithm has resulted in a significant increase in yield of HIV-2 diagnoses; this would provide critical information regarding prevalence and transmission of HIV-2 infections in the United States.

Challenges of the new algorithm

The new algorithm, however, has presented some real challenges for the laboratory. The biggest adjustment to adopting the new algorithm has been replacing the Western blot with an HIV-1/HIV-2 differentiation assay. The only assay with this capability until recently was the Multispot (Bio-Rad). However, the Multispot is no longer available and will be replaced with Bio-Rad’s Geenius. Although the Geenius is also a single use test (FDA-cleared) for confirming reactive HIV screen results and differentiating between HIV-1 and HIV-2 antibodies, it differs from the Multispot in a number of important aspects. The test uses either recombinant or synthetic peptides corresponding to four HIV-1 antigens, gp160, gp41, p31 and p24, and two corresponding to HIV-2 antigens, gp140 and gp36. There are eight possible interpretations based on the pattern observed. Performance characteristics are comparable to Multispot. Sensitivity is 100 percent for both assays, and specificity values are 99.1 percent and 96.3 percent for the Multispot and Geenius, respectively. The results can be read within 30 minutes and are interpreted using an automated cassette reader, therefore eliminating inter-observer subjectivity. The cassette system also allows for placement of a bar code label on each specimen, improving sample tracking. Additionally, because software is necessary for interpretation, the results are digitally captured, automatically recorded, and stored.

However, because the new HIV-1/HIV-2 differentiation assay requires an additional investment in the reader/software component, beyond the cost of the reagents, there is some concern that some small hospital laboratories will revert to sending out supplemental HIV testing to a reference laboratory. It should also be noted that, although adoption of the new algorithm has grown significantly, there is still substantial demand for Western blot testing. Importantly, when a third or fourth generation assay was used for screening, an indeterminate or negative Western blot should also be followed up with NAAT.

There is also much confusion regarding appropriate use of the fourth generation rapid HIV test. Although at first glance it would appear that this assay can be used in lieu of the laboratory based Ag/Ab combination assay and serve as the entry point into the algorithm, that is not the current CDC recommendation. Citing insufficient evidence for such an approach, the CDC suggests that a preliminary positive result obtained with any rapid test, including an antigen/antibody combination rapid test, must be followed up with a laboratory-based antigen/antibody combination assay.

Fifth generation testing

The horizon appears even more complicated now that the “fifth generation” HIV testing is available. This technology is currently offered only by one vendor, but it has the ability to differentiate between antigen, HIV-1 and HIV-2 antibody-positive specimens. While this simplifies the answer with regard to HIV infection status for the patient, there are no guidelines as to how to proceed with follow-up testing. For example, if the sample is positive for antigen only, then the logical follow-up would be to send out for NAT testing, as there is no reason to test with the supplemental HIV-1/HIV-2 differentiation assay that only detects antibodies. If the sample is positive for HIV-2 only, is it appropriate to follow up with the HIV-1/HIV-2 differentiation assay, because the fifth generation test is FDA-approved as a screen only and a supplemental test is needed? Fifth generation technology presents further complications to the algorithm and more complexity for the laboratory in terms of appropriate follow-up and interpretation for clinicians.

Last, one unintended consequence of the new algorithm is the effect on HIV surveillance programs. Ideally for the purpose of HIV surveillance, public health departments would like to have the final answer as to whether a patient has HIV-1, HIV-2, or acute HIV-1 infection, once the HIV testing algorithm is complete. The problem is that this is almost impossible because testing is almost always fragmented and different steps of the algorithm are performed in different laboratories. Often primary institution laboratories have the ability to perform the screening, even with a fourth generation Ag/Ab combination assay, but cannot complete the remainder of the algorithm. The sample is then sent to the reference laboratory, and that laboratory has to determine how to interpret the results without having the screen results. How to report a partial result and make it clear to the clinician that additional testing is needed and also satisfy public reporting needs is much more difficult in the context of the new algorithm, for both the primary and reference laboratory.

In summary, many technological advances have been made that importantly improve detection of HIV-2 and acute HIV-1 infections. These advances are beneficial for both the patient and society. Although most clinicians and laboratories are now familiar with and support the implementation of the algorithm, laboratories are challenged more than ever to provide appropriate test result interpretation and utilization as well as adequate public health reporting for HIV.

References

  1. "Laboratory Testing for the Diagnosis of HIV Infection: Updated Recommendations". BioScience.pk Digital Library Database. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Published June 27, 2014.

    About the author: Patricia Slev, PhD, DABCC, is Associate Professor of Pathology (Clinical), University of Utah and Medical Director of the Serologic Hepatitis and Retrovirus Laboratory, Core Immunology Laboratory and Co-Director Microbial Immunology Laboratory,  at ARUP. Board certified by the American Board of Clinical Chemistry, Dr. Slev’s research interests are immunogenetics and pathogen interactions, particularly HIV and viral hepatitis.

Source: Medical Laboratory Observer: The status of laboratory testing for the diagnosis of HIV infection

Description: As of 2010, an estimated 1.1 million persons in the United States were living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, of whom an estimated 181,000 were unaware of their infection. Approximately 49,000 new HIV diagnoses are reported to CDC each year, and the estimated number of new infections has remained stable at approximately 50,000 annually from 2008 to 2010. As of 2009, an estimated 83 million adults aged 18 to 64 years reported they had been tested for HIV. Accurate laboratory diagnosis of HIV is essential to identify persons who could benefit from treatment, to reassure persons who are uninfected, and to reduce HIV transmission.

Additional Info

  • File Name Laboratory Testing for the Diagnosis of HIV Infection: Updated Recommendations
  • Year 2014
  • Editor(s) Bernard M. Branson MD, S. Michele Owen PhD, Laura G. Wesolowski PhD, Berry Bennett MPH, Barbara G. Werner, PhD, Kelly E. Wroblewski MPH, Michael A. Pentella PhD
  • Publisher Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • Size 1.31 MB
  • File Format .pdf
Friday, 14 October 2016 13:58

Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry

Written by

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry is a monthly, peer-reviewedscientific journal published by the Japan Society for Bioscience, Biotechnology and Agrochemistry, of which it is the official journal. It was established in 1924 as Bulletin of the Agricultural Chemical Society of Japan, which was renamed to Agriculture and Biological Chemistry in 1961. The journal took its current name in 1991.

Scope

The focus of Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry is previously unpublished original research results on all topics and fields concerning bioscience, biotechnology, and biochemistry. In addition, articles cover basic and applied sciences regarding microorganisms, including systems supporting their production, and structure. Broad topical coverage includes organic chemistry, bioorganic chemistry, physical chemistry, analytical chemistry, enzymology, biopolymer science, microbiology (including virology), animal science, plant science, food science, and environmental science.

Research applications are directed toward human welfare in general. Hence applications are transferred to industries of fermentation, chemistry and biochemistry, medicines and pharmaceuticals, foods and feeds, and agriculture.

Abstracting and indexing

Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry is indexed in the following databases.

According to the Journal Citation Reports, it has an impact factor of 1.063 for 2014.

References

  1. "Agricultural and Biological Chemistry". Literature / Source Database. European Virtual Institute for Speciation Analysis. Retrieved 2010-08-19.
  2. "Agricultural and Biological Chemistry". Library of Congress Online Catalog. Library of Congress. Retrieved 2010-08-19.
  3. "Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry".Literature/Source database. European Virtual Institute for Speciation Analysis. Retrieved 2010-08-19.
  4. "An Introduction to the Japan Society for Bioscience, Biotechnology and Agrochemistry". Academy of Science, Fields of Research, Contributions. JSBBA. August 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-19.

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A simple explanation to the question "If humans evolved from monkeys, then why are there still monkeys?" (Infographic courtesy of user "slipperyfish" from reddit.com.)
 
ubZNn
 
Monday, 10 October 2016 16:27

Is Drinking Cold Water Bad?

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Claim- Drinking a cold glass of water after a meal can harm you. The cold water will solidify the oily stuff that you have just consumed, which will line the intestines and lead to cancer.

Verdict- False. Even if you accepted these claims as truth, a statement such as "A cardiologist says if you forward this to 10 people..." should have set off any properly working bullshit meter with a host of bells and flashing red lights. When you drink cold water, it is entering a system that self regulates to keep its core temperature within about half a degree, or around 37 c (98.6 f). ( For those that are wondering, typical oral temperature readings should be slightly cooler at 36.8c (96.2f)). From the time the water first comes into contact with your body, the heat transfer will begin to warm it up, and it will equalize within a few minutes. As an added bonus, drinking a half liter of ice cold water will actually make your body burn around 17 Calories in order to keep its temperature constant. The meal that you just consumed will not be affected in any way, as it will still end up at around the same temperature right up until you... uh "drop it off at the pool", regardless if you decided to wash it down with coffee or ice water afterwards.

5joav
Is that Bovine Waste Matter I smell?
 
Ipivu
Evil Ambitions?
 

Clogged large intestines do not cause cancer, they are a sign of cancer. Cancer is an uncontrolled division of abnormal cells in a part of the body. One way to think of it is when your cells replicate, a small error suddenly occurs in the copy process. That error gets passed down to the next copy and the next copy and the next. Before you know it, that one erroneous cell is now 2, then 4, then 16, then 256... eventually replacing all the good cells with cheap knock offs, and before long you're shopping for replacement parts because the original one(s) can no longer function the way it was meant to. (Sorry for the bad analogy. I think I have been working on cars too much lately.) Don't worry too much if you're feeling a little clogged up though because there are many other reasons for blockage, and most can be solved with a little bit of fiber in your diet.

0T7sA
A Donor Heart Waiting For The Doctor To Get Back From The Golf Course.
 

The heart attack information is reasonably accurate but a little incoherent. Jaw pain may be a symptom of a heart attack, but typically accompanying other symptoms. The American Heart Association's warning signs your ticker may be faulty include;

  • Uncomfortable Pressure, a squeezing or pain in the middle of your chest lasting for more than a few minutes
  • Mild to intense pain spreading to the shoulders, arms, or neck, or jaw.
  • Chest discomfort, feeling light headed, fainting, sweating, nausea, shortness of breath. Anxiety, nervousness, cold or sweaty skin, irregular heart rate,

Not all of these signs will necessarily occur. If you have one or more of these signs it is recommended you seek medical attention immediately, or you're going to end up having a really bad time.

Clinical laboratory workers encounter a variety of occupational hazards, including exposure to infectious agents. The routes of pathogen exposure associated with laboratory work include ingestion, inhalation, direct inoculation, and contamination of skin and mucous membranes. The accidental inoculation of infectious materials (i.e., via contaminated needles, broken glass, or other sharps) is the leading cause of laboratory-associated infections.
 
In the 1980s, the emergence of the HIV epidemic created an appreciation for biosafety and laboratory-acquired infections, ultimately leading to both practice guidelines and legislation to reduce the risk of exposure of laboratory workers to bloodborne pathogens; this was implemented by the adoption of Universal Precautions in 1987, and later, in 1996, these became a component of Standard Precautions. The actual incidence and risk of laboratory-acquired infections is very difficult to quantify in the absence of standardized reporting systems, as well as the challenge of attributing a specific exposure to acquisition of infection. The most comprehensive studies to date attempting to estimate the incidence and epidemiology of laboratory-acquired infections were completed prior to 1980, and it is difficult to generalize them to today's laboratory environment, for a variety of reasons—standards for personal protective equipment have changed, the availability of vaccines, the epidemiology of bloodborne infections has changed, and the way laboratory testing is performed has changed (with a shift away from primarily manual methods to more automated methods). That said, since 1999, only 1 confirmed case of laboratory-acquired HIV infection has been reported in the US; this case was secondary to a needle stick injury sustained in an individual working with a live HIV culture.
 
The fear associated with the recent Ebola virus (EV) epidemic triggered a renewed interest in occupationally acquired infections in healthcare workers in the US, including the safety of laboratory workers in handling samples from persons under investigation (PUIs) for EV disease (EVD). Individuals at risk for EVD are also at risk for several other infectious diseases with overlapping symptom profiles (such as malaria, influenza, and bacteremia) thus obligating a number of diagnostic laboratory tests. In addition, the clinical management of patients with EVD requires ongoing laboratory testing to optimize care (such as complete blood count, coagulation testing, electrolyte analysis, etc.). Laboratory testing for suspect or confirmed EVD patients is unfamiliar to most healthcare workers in the US, and thus determining the safest approach to this testing generated anxiety and controversy.
 
The CDC recommended that laboratories perform a risk assessment to minimize the risk to laboratory staff, and determine what equipment would be available or needs to be acquired for providing critically important testing. The infectious dose for EV is estimated to be 10 viral particles, and patients with EVD may have EV viral loads of ≥108 plaque-forming units/mL. Thus, in the absence of data regarding the potential risk of laboratory testing using automated analyzers, many laboratories have opted to utilize point-of-care testing devices or conduct testing for PIUs in a separate lab, outside of the routine laboratory workflow. Even among designated US Ebola Treatment Centers, the approach to laboratory testing is highly variable, with some centers performing testing in a Biosafety Level-3 laboratory, some within a patient isolation unit, and some within the clinical laboratory of the hospital.
 
In this issue of Clinical Chemistry, to gather data on the frequency of contamination of laboratory equipment with blood-borne pathogens, Bryan et al. conducted an important evaluation of total laboratory automation (TLA) used in the routine clinical laboratory. Quantitative PCR assays were used to evaluate the extent of TLA contamination after blood samples were processed through routine workflow. Because it was not practical to test EV directly, contamination with hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) were used as surrogates to measure contamination events. To establish a baseline level of instrument contamination, the authors evaluated numerous components of the TLA at multiple time points. Out of 79 baseline swab samples, 10 (12.6%) and 8 (10.1%) were positive for HBV and HCV, respectively. The contaminated sites were associated with visible flecks of dried blood, and generally located near the decapper portion of the instrument. The authors then tested TLA surfaces and clean glass slides placed throughout the TLA after sample processing of high titer HCV samples (mean of 5.8 × 107 IU/mL). The purpose of the clean glass slides was to directly assess contamination events specifically attributed to the high titer HCV samples, thereby eliminating detection of baseline contamination events. The authors detected HCV contamination on 1 glass slide out of the 54 that were tested. Of note, although HBV and HCV were detected in this study, it is unknown if the viral particles were still viable/infectious. No contamination events were identified when sites away from the TLA were sampled, indicating that cross-contamination from the TLA to other sites did not occur in the sites examined. Although the authors examined only HBV and HCV, we would anticipate similar contamination patterns with other bloodborne pathogens, such as EV.
 
The results from this important study reveal that background contamination of TLA with HBV and HCV occurs during routine clinical use. This is an important finding, especially considering HBV viability in dried blood has been demonstrated for up to 7 days at room temperature and HBV can be present in very high concentrations in clinical samples (up to 109 IU/mL). Although HBV was the most commonly reported laboratory-acquired infection, the incidence of such infections has decreased drastically in the era of standard precautions and HBV vaccination. Additionally, although HCV seropositivity is slightly higher in healthcare workers compared to the general public, laboratory-acquired HCV infection appears to be rare, with only single case reports.
 
The evolving guidance from the CDC on the testing of PUIs for EVD stresses the importance of performing a risk assessment to identify potential exposure sources and to mitigate those events. It should be emphasized that infection with EV, similar to HIV, HBV, and HCV, requires direct exposure to EV-contaminated blood or bodily fluids, so proper personal protective equipment is essential when handling clinical samples. Additionally, the CDC recommendations state that laboratories should minimize processes that would generate aerosols that would expose laboratory staff to EV, by the use of engineering controls and safety equipment when available. There are several reports of hospitalized patients in the Netherlands, the US, and South Africa with initially undiagnosed EV or the related Marburg virus infections that had extensive contact with healthcare workers, including laboratory staff working with clinical samples from these patients. In these reports, none of the healthcare workers contracted EV or Marburg virus from these patients, which could be attributed to adherence to proper use of personal protective equipment and standard precautions.
 
It is incumbent on healthcare facilities to provide the tools and training to be able to properly evaluate PUIs for EVD, as well as other infections that could mimic EVD (i.e., meningitis, malaria). These other infections are potent and can be deadly if they are not treated promptly and properly. To this point, a recent report describes 3 instances between 2014–2015, in which malaria testing was significantly delayed in PUIs for EVD. One patient was initially empirically treated for malaria without having had malaria testing (which is counter to CDC recommendations), and in another patient the level of parasitemia was not evaluated, which is an important factor in determining which antimalarial treatment should be administered.
 
Importantly, the investigation by Bryan et al. illustrates that contamination events do occur with pathogens (i.e., HBV and HCV) that are frequently encountered, likely on a daily basis. Although contamination of laboratory equipment with bloodborne pathogens may be common, laboratory-acquired infection with these agents is not. This underscores the importance of adherence to standard precautions when handling all patient samples, and treating every clinical sample as though it may contain an infectious agent.
 
Important questions for clinical laboratories that are not addressed by this investigation include what methods are needed to adequately decontaminate laboratory equipment, the frequency with which these methods could or should be deployed, and the risk that these methods may pose to laboratory workers. Laboratories should work closely with device manufacturers to understand best practices for instrument decontamination.
 
EV and other emerging pathogens will continue to be encountered in the clinical laboratory. It is the joint responsibility of laboratorians and laboratory leadership to create a culture of safety and adherence to safety protocols, which are essential to reduce the risk of laboratory-acquired infections.
 
TOCKHOLM — When the young Australian cervical cancer patient learned she had to lose her womb in order to survive, she proposed something audacious to the doctor who was treating her: She asked if she could have a womb transplant, so she could one day carry her own baby.
 
This was nearly two decades ago, when the Swedish doctor Mats Brannstrom was training to be a physician abroad.
 
“I thought she was a bit crazy,'' Brannstrom said.
 
But Brannstrom didn't dismiss her idea. Instead, after he returned to Sweden he began a series of painstaking research projects to learn whether it might be possible to transplant a womb, despite criticism that the unheard-of procedure was dangerous, medically unnecessary, and impossible.
 
Brannstrom went on to become the first doctor to deliver babies — five so far — from women with donated wombs. No other doctor in the world has succeeded, despite attempts in the U.S., Saudi Arabia and Turkey, and ongoing efforts in China, Britain, France, the Czech Republic and elsewhere.
 
The first of Brannstrom's patients' babies was born in 2014 and the fifth arrived in January; another is due in early 2017.
 
Brannstrom is working with doctors at Harvard Medical School and the Mayo Clinic to help women beyond Sweden get access to the procedure. Doctors at Baylor University in Texas, including two former members of Brannstrom's team, announced this week they performed four womb transplants. One was successful, but not yet ready to attempt a pregnancy.
 
Saturday, 08 October 2016 10:59

10 Steps to Learn ECG Interpretation

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Learning the art of ECG interpretation requires intellect, commitment, effort and perhaps most importantly...an organized approach. I personally have spent thousands of hours (yes thousands) looking at 12-lead ECG tracings, studying ECGs for the cardiology boards, interpreting ECGs for direct patient care and developing the ECG tutorials and quizzes of LearnTheHeart.com.

I assume that most of you reading this blog do not have that much time...so let me share with you what I have discovered in my years teaching ECGs to make the process more simple and perhaps even enjoyable.

Read more: 10 Steps to Learn ECG Interpretation

Friday, 07 October 2016 19:14

What to Know Before Buying Pipettes

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Why is it important to know the viscosity of the samples that will be aspirated / dispensed?
 
The viscosity of the sample will have a direct influence on which pipette is required. For aqueous samples which are low viscosity, an air displacement pipette is ideal. These pipettes are driven by a piston in an airtight sleeve which generates a vacuum. For more viscous or heavy liquids, a positive displacement pipette should be used. These pipettes are driven by a disposable piston which comes into direct contact with the sample.

How will samples required for PCR, ELISA, or other immunoassay applications affect which pipette should be used?
 
PCR, ELISA, and many other immunoassay methods utilize microwell plates. Microplates come in many configurations: 6, 24, 96, 384, and 1536 well plates arranged in a 2x3 matrix are typically used. In order to accommodate faster throughput with such methods, many pipette manufacturers offer multichannel pipettes. These allow for faster pipetting of multiple samples: instead of having to fill 96 wells individually, an 8 channel pipette can be used, reducing the number of aspirations and dispenses to 12.
 
How does the volume of samples being worked with influence which pipette is the best fit?
 
Pipettes come in a variety of different sizes to suit whichever volume needs are required. If you know you will always be pipetting the same volume of liquid, then a fixed volume pipette will be best. If the amount to be pipetted is changing from sample to sample, then a variable pipette will be ideal.
 
Counterfeit and substandard medications are a serious problem in the developing world, potentially harming patients who desperately need medical treatment.

Some of these drugs, including the antibiotics ciprofloxacin and ceftriaxone, have been deemed essential by the World Health Organization for the treatment of infections. However, chemists in developing countries often do not have expensive instruments to determine whether a pill is genuine.

Now, a simple paper-based test may be the answer.

Instead of a $30,000 machine, a $1 paper card can test a drug in three minutes to determine whether the medication is inactive or of substandard quality. The tests come in 20-card packets.

Read more: Paper-based Test Identifies Bogus and Poor Quality Drugs
In what could be a major step forward in our understanding of how cancer moves around the body, researchers have observed the spread of cancer cells from the initial tumour to the bloodstream.

The findings suggest that secondary growths called metastases 'punch' their way through the walls of small blood vessels by targeting a molecule known as Death Receptor 6 (no, really, that's what it's called). This then sets off a self-destruct process in the blood vessels, allowing the cancer to spread.

According to the team from Goethe University Frankfurt and the Max Planck Institute in Germany, disabling Death Receptor 6 (DR6) may effectively block the spread of cancerous cells - so long as there aren't alternative ways for the cancer to access the bloodstream.
 
"This mechanism could be a promising starting point for treatments to prevent the formation of metastases," said lead researcher Stefan Offermanns.
 
Catching these secondary growths is incredibly important, because most cancer deaths are caused not by the original tumour, but by the cancer spreading.
 
To break through the walls of blood vessels, cancer cells target the body's endothelial cells, which line the interior surface of blood and lymphatic vessels. They do this via a process known as necroptosis - or 'programmed cell death' - which is prompted by cellular damage.
 
According to the researchers, this programmed death is triggered by the DR6 receptor molecule. Once the molecule is targeted, cancer cells can either travel through the gap in the vascular wall, or take advantage of weakening cells in the surrounding area.
Friday, 30 September 2016 21:07

Blood Test for Colorectal Cancer - Epigenomics AG

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Despite recommendations, many people in the target age group are not getting screened for colorectal cancer. However, a new blood-based screening test may help boost those rates because of its simplicity and convenience for the patient. The downside is that the new test is not as sensitive or accurate as a colonoscopy or the other recommended screening approaches.

Approved in April 2016, the Epi proColon (Epigenomics AG) is the first blood-based colorectal screening test to get a thumbs-up from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

This molecular test detects methylated Septin 9 DNA in plasma, which is increased in colorectal cancer and can be found in tumor DNA that has been shed into the bloodstream from both colon and rectal sites. This makes it a differential biomarker for the early detection of colorectal cancer, according to the manufacturer.

Available in Europe since 2012, it is also being marketed in other countries, including China.

Read more: Blood Test for Colorectal Cancer: The Last Resort?
Wednesday, 28 September 2016 14:43

New finding: Biobank storage time affects blood test results

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The amount of time a blood sample has been stored at a biobank may affect the test results as much as the blood sample provider’s age. These are the findings of a new study from Uppsala University, which was published in the scientific journal EBioMedicine. Until now, medical research has taken into account age, sex and health factors of the person providing the sample, but it turns out that storage time is just as important.

They analysed 380 different samples from 106 women between the ages of 29 and 73. To study the impact of storage time, only samples from 50-year-old women were used in order to isolate the time effect. 108 different proteins were analysed. In addition to how long a sample had been frozen, the researchers also looked at what year the sample was taken and the age of the patient when the sample was taken.

‘We suspected that we’d find an influence from storage time, but we thought it would be much less’, says Professor Ulf Gyllensten. ‘It has now been demonstrated that storage time can be a factor at least as important as the age of the individual at sampling.’

Blood from biobanks has been used in research aimed at producing new drugs and testing new treatment methods. The results of this study are important for future drug research, but it is not possible or necessary, to repeat all previous biobank analyses.


Read more: New finding: Biobank storage time affects blood test results
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