The discovery of dual-purpose condons, called ‘duons’ opens the door to creation of more precise diagnostic and medical laboratory tests, as well as better treatment choices
New insights into the human genome have led to the discovery of a second “code” or “language” within human DNA. Pathologists performing genetic testing will be particularly interested in the implications of this discovery, which the researchers have dubbed “duons.”
It was a research team at the University of Washington (UW) that discovered evidence of a second type of DNA code overlying the protein code that controls transcription factors (TFs). TFs regulate flow of genetic information from DNA to messenger RNA, which manages the synthesis of proteins described by the DNA. (more…)
Medicare to do National Demonstration Project Involving Medical Homes
Medical home pilot projects are being closely watched by pathologists and clinical laboratory managers. This is a new model of patient-centered care which has important advocates among primary care practitioners. If the medical home concept catches on, it may require clinical laboratories to provide laboratory testing services in a different way.
In southeastern Pennsylvania, a medical-home pilot project is taking a “do-it-yourself” approach to managing chronic illnesses. This project is viewed by some as a precursor to a national model. The innovative program, which combines the Wagner Chronic Care Model with the patient-centered medical home concept, provides physicians with resources to improve patient–doctor communications. The pilot project is also designed to educate willing patients on how to self-manage their chronic illnesses.
Use of synthetic antibodies and a finger prick sample of blood could give clinical laboratories new tool to screen for breast cancer
A simple clinical pathology laboratory blood test for early detection of breast cancer may be just around the corner. At the University of Arkansas (UA), researchers are building a library of synthetic antibodies called affitoids that can be used to detect breast cancer in its earliest stage.
Researchers believe they are closing in on the creation of an assay that can rapidly validate proteins secreted by microscopic breast cancer cells. “We want to implement a rapid screen that is sensitive, highly accurate, non-invasive and inexpensive,” said Shannon Servoss, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering at UA. “Such a test would be easy to use and applicable to women of all ages, races and ethnicities,” she said. “Hopefully we will be able to make the test sensitive enough so that only a finger prick [specimen] is needed.”
Public health lab training professionals expanding educational offerings for lab industry
It was inspired timing last week that brought together the nation’s public health laboratory training professionals in Orlando, Florida, just as the World Health Organization (WHO) announced its decision on Thursday to declare influenza A/H1N1 as the first influenza pandemic in 41 years.
This conference was organized by the National Laboratory Training Network (NLTN), in association with the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) and the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC). Approximately 100 public laboratory professionals from across the United States were in attendance.
The first keynote speaker was May C. Chu, Ph.D., who works in the Directors Office of the World Health Organization and is involved in laboratory testing activities that include epidemic and pandemic alert and response. Chu discussed the Global Outbreak and Response Network that WHO established on a voluntary basis in 2000. It has 120 participating institutions. She described how improved collaboration among health authorities around the world is helping to accelerate the identification of outbreaks like SARS (in 2003) and influenza A/H1N1 (in 2009).
Officials in Mexico were criticized as being slow to respond to the spread of A/H1N1 swine flu on Tuesday, April 28. Mexico was reported to have failed to deliver medicine to the families of the dead, two weeks after the first confirmed death from the flu, the Associated Press reported. Also, the government had not determined where the outbreak began or how it spread, the AP said. In Mexico, 159 people may have died of swine flu, but only seven of these deaths have been verified as A/H1N1 by laboratory tests, the New York Times reported today (April 29).