Category Archives: Clinical pathology

Includes news relating to lab diagnosis of medical conditions.
Discipline groups are Microbiology, Immunology, Anatomical Pathology including cytopathology (cancers etc), Chemical pathology, Haematology and Laboratory management.
EXCLUDES imaging technologies.

Oakey water contamination: Defence Minister tells residents compensation will have to wait until after election

The Courier Mail RHIAN DEUTROM June 24, 2016

DEFENCE Minister Marise Payne’s rushed visit to the regional town of Oakey yesterday has left residents dazed and confused after they were told compensation would only be considered after the results of the federal election.
A group of 10 locals – hand-picked by the Minister’s office to attend a closed meeting on the Oakey Army Aviation Base – emerged from the gates just after 6pm yesterday visibly drained by the two-hour meeting.

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Blood test developed to predict premature birth

The Sydney Morning Herald Bridie Smith June 23, 2016

A blood test to predict the risk of premature birth as early as 18 weeks into pregnancy can detect signs even before symptoms present, according to international researchers.
The test picks up six different genes expressed in the mother’s blood. The genes are related to the communication between white blood cells, which are associated with early labour.

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Link to PLOS One article:

Genetic link behind sudden death of young people revealed in world-first study

ABC News Raveen Hunjan 23 June 2016

A family is calling for more testing to prevent the sudden death of young people, with new research uncovering a genetic mutation is present in one in four unexplained deaths.
It took Kathy Curtis more than a year to learn she had unknowingly passed a genetic fault on to her son Ben, who died suddenly in his sleep aged 30.
“Seeing I was the one that gave it to him, I found it quite confronting and questioned my ability as his mother,” she said.

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Brisbane Times:

Link to article in NEJM:

ABC The World Today:

UMMS scientists use CRISPR to discover Zika and dengue weaknesses

EurekaAlert Jim Fessenden 22 June 2016

WORCESTER, MA – Scientists at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) have performed the first CRISPR/Cas9 screen to discover human proteins that Zika virus needs for replication. This work, led by Abraham Brass, MD, PhD, assistant professor in microbiology & physiological systems, reveals new leads that may be useful for halting Zika, dengue and other emerging viral infections. The study appears online in the journal Cell Reports.

“These genetic screens give us our first look at what these viruses need to survive,” said Dr. Brass. “Our lab and others in our field have worked hard to develop the systems and infrastructure needed to investigate the genetics underlying how viral pathogens use our own cell’s machinery to replicate. This has allowed the scientific community to respond quickly when the Zika virus threat emerged. In our lab, we adapted the technology and tools we’d established over the last four years working with other viruses to begin investigating the biology of Zika virus.”

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NIH launches large study of pregnant women in areas affected by Zika virus

EurekaAlert Kathy Stover 22 June 2016

The National Institutes of Health and Fundacao Oswaldo Cruz-Fiocruz (Fiocruz), a national scientific research organization linked to the Brazilian Ministry of Health, have begun a multi-country study to evaluate the magnitude of health risks that Zika virus infection poses to pregnant women and their developing fetuses and infants. The study is opening in Puerto Rico and will expand to several locations in Brazil, Colombia and other areas that are experiencing active local transmission of the virus.

The Zika in Infants and Pregnancy (ZIP) study aims to enroll as many as 10,000 pregnant women ages 15 years and older at up to 15 sites. The participants will be in their first trimester of pregnancy and will be followed throughout their pregnancies to determine if they become infected with Zika virus and if so, what outcomes result for both mother and child. The participants’ infants will be carefully followed for at least one year after birth.

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Does oral cannabidiol convert to THC, a psychoactive form of cannabinoid, in the stomach?

EurekaAlert Mary Ann Liebert 22 June 2016

New Rochelle, NY, June 21, 2016– A new study demonstrating the conversion of oral cannabidiol (CBD) to the psychoactive component tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in the presence of gastric fluids could explain why children given CBD to treat epilepsy had an unexpectedly high rate of adverse effects such as sleepiness and fatigue. The study, “Identification of Psychoactive Degradants of Cannabidiol in Simulated Gastric and Physiologic Fluid”, is published in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, a new peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Open Access Journal website.

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Got a food allergy? Try eat more

The Australian John Ross 22 June 2016

The antidote to food intolerances may turn out to be more food, after Australian researchers ­unravelled the molecular mechanisms behind rising allergy rates in the Western world.

A Melbourne-led study has found that mice with allergies to peanuts can beat the condition when they are fed high-fibre diets. The results suggest a healthy dose of fruit and vegetables, possibly combined with bacterial supplements, could prevent and even ­reverse food allergies. The findings, outlined in the journal Cell Reports, add to a growing body of evidence that changes in diet — rather than ­excessive hygiene, rising caesarean rates or even oil-based moisturisers — are behind a spike in food allergies that has seen hospitalisations double in the past decade.

The researchers believe ­deficiency of dietary fibre has dealt the body a double blow, robbing it of vitamins essential to the immune system and reshaping the “microbiota” of bacteria in the gut. The study built on recent ­research suggesting changes to gut bacteria may be responsible for the rise in food allergies, and that fibre may be the answer.

The new research explains why. Bacteria in the gut break down dietary fibre into short-chain fatty acids that boost levels of crucial immune agents known as dendritic cells. “They are the immune sensors of the body,” said lead author Jian Tan, a PhD student with Monash University’s Biomedicine Discovery Institute.

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