Art and Science of Laboratory Medicine

Art and Science of Laboratory Medicine

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Iron-Deficiency Anemia in Ulcerative Colitis

Many patients with ulcerative colitis don't receive recommended testing and treatment for the common problem of iron deficiency anemia, reports a study in the October issue of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, official journal of the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA). The journal is published by Wolters Kluwer.

The study used nationwide data on 836 patients newly diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in the Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system from 2001 to 2011. Over a median eight years' follow-up, 70 percent of patients developed anemia: low levels of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen in the blood.

The study focused on how many of these patients were tested and treated for iron deficiency anemia—a common complication of ulcerative colitis, caused by intestinal bleeding and malnutrition. Iron deficiency anemia has profound effects on health, including declines in physical and cognitive abilities.

The results showed "inadequate monitoring and treatment of anemia and iron deficiency" among patients with ulcerative colitis. Of the patients who developed anemia, 31 percent did not undergo recommended tests for iron deficiency. Sixty-three percent of patients tested were diagnosed with iron deficiency anemia.

Read more:
Iron-Deficiency Anemia in Ulcerative Colitis—Many Patients Don't Get Testing and Treatment

Source: Wolters Kluwer

Monday, October 24, 2016

Zika Virus Infection Alters Human and Viral RNA

Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine have discovered that Zika virus infection leads to modifications of both viral and human genetic material. These modifications — chemical tags known as methyl groups — influence viral replication and the human immune response. The study is published October 20 by Cell Host & Microbe.

In human cells, RNA is the genetic material that carries instructions from the DNA in a cell’s nucleus out to the cytoplasm, where molecular machinery uses those instructions to build proteins. Cells can chemically modify RNA to influence protein production. One of these modifications is the addition of methyl groups to adenosine, one of the building blocks that make up RNA. Known as N6-methyladenosine (m6A), this modification is common in humans and other organisms.

In contrast to humans, the entire genomes of some viruses, including Zika and HIV, are made up of RNA instead of DNA. These viruses hijack the host’s cellular machinery to translate its RNA to proteins. Rana and his team previously discovered that m6A plays an important role in HIV infection.

Next, Rana and team will investigate the role of RNA modifications in the viral life cycle, and how the human immune response is altered by various Zika virus strains. They are also developing small molecules to target specific RNA structures as a means to treat Zika virus infections. 

Read more:
Zika Virus Infection Alters Human and Viral RNA

Source: UCsan Diago Health

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Abnormal MCH effects to HbA1c level

Mean corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH) and mean corpuscular volume (MCV) correlated negatively with Hb A1c. Fasting glucose, MCH, and age emerged as predictors of Hb A1c in a stepwise regression that discarded sex, hemoglobin, MCV, mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC), serum creatinine, and liver disease. Mean Hb A1c in MCH interdecile intervals fell from 6.8% (51 mmol/mol) in the lowest (≤27.5 pg) to 6.0% (43 mmol/mol) in the highest (>32.5 pg), with similar results for MCV. After adjustment for fasting glucose and other correlates of Hb A1c, a 1 pg increase in MCH reduced the odds of Hb A1c–defined dysglycemia, diabetes and poor glycemia control by 10%–14%.

For at least 25% of patients, low or high MCH or MCV levels are associated with increased risk of an erroneous Hb A1c–based identification of glycemia status. Although causality has not been demonstrated, these parameters should be taken into account in interpreting Hb A1c levels in clinical practice.

Read more:
Impact of Mean Cell Hemoglobin on Hb A1c–Defined Glycemia Status 

Source: Clinical Chemistry

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Lab Cam

iPhones take great pictures. This adapter makes it super easy to take images and make videos with your iPhone through your microscope. You can even use your iPhone to live project/stream your view. The iDu adapter fits iPhone6/6s. It's fitted with a 10x magnifying lens and comes with two adapters to fit a 30 mm or 23 mm eyepiece slot (it should fit all Nikon, Olympus, Zeiss, Leica and other common brand microscopes).

Read more
iDu Optics LabCam Microscope Adapter for iPhone 

Source: Youtube

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Blood Drop

Often called a “Digital Age Leonardo da Vinci”, Alexander Tsiaras is a digital innovator, technologist and artist. You might know him from his work that showcases beautiful digital images of the human body, made using cutting edge imaging software along with artsy tweaks. Guided by a passion for the human form and insides, Tsiaras founded the TheVisualMD, an extensive online library that documents human anatomy and illness, as well as Anatomical Travelogue, a company specialized in creating digital works of art that faithfully show the workings of the human body. He also authored a number of well received books like From Conception to Birth: A Life Unfolds, The Architecture and Design of Man and Woman: The Marvel of the Human Body, Revealed, The InVision Guide to a Healthy Heart and The InVision Guide to Sexual Health.

Read more:
Breathtaking digital images probe human anatomy like never before

Source: ZME Science

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Sabotaging flagella of bacteria to halt infections

Some bacteria have the ability to ‘swim’ in a controlled fashion through the use of appendages called flagella. Researchers think that disabling these flagella is a key step towards infection control.

Motile bacteria move through the function of flagella. These appendages rotate, which propels an organism forwards. This is a little like the propellers on a boat. Some bacteria have one flagellum, others have many, and some possess none at all. Some of the bacteria regarded as human pathogens have flagella. An example of a flagellate bacterium is the ulcer-causing Helicobacter pylori, which uses multiple flagella to propel itself through the mucus lining to reach the stomach epithelium. Some flagella also serve a function in environmental detection, sensing different conditions and signalling to a bacterium to move to or away from a given niche.

Read more:
Sabotaging bacteria to halt infections

Source: Digital media by Tim Sandle

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