Art and Science of Laboratory Medicine

Art and Science of Laboratory Medicine

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



Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Don´t step on my blood smear

Bigfootocyte?


Source: Facebook via Lab Humor

New finding: Biobank storage time affects blood test results

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

Source: Uppsala University, Sweden

Monday, September 5, 2016

Scientists have finally figured out how cancer spreads through the bloodstream

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.

Read more:
Scientists have finally figured out how cancer spreads through the bloodstream

Source: ScienceAlert
Image: K. Hodivala-Dilke, M. Stone/Wellcome Images

Free sBook - Atlas of Clinical Hematology

This 6th edition of the atlas has integrated the 2001 WHO classification and made use of figures and descriptions to document recently described types of leukemia and lymphoma. The latter include leukemias of dendritic cells, rare lymphomas and persistent polyclonal B lymphocytosis, which takes a special place in the classification.

eBook is available by Alaa M. Khudair
Teacher Assistant – Medical Technology Department – IUG

Open book here (pdf)
Atlas of Clinical Hematology

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Interpreting Plates - Colony Morphology

Bacteria grow tremendously fast when supplied with an abundance of nutrients. Different types of bacteria will produce different-looking colonies, some colonies may be colored, some colonies are circular in shape, and others are irregular. The characteristics of a colony (shape, size, pigmentation, etc.) are termed the colony morphology. Colony morphology is a way scientists can identify bacteria. In fact there is a book called Bergey's Manual of Determinative Bacteriology (commonly termed Bergey's Manual) that describes the majority of bacterial species identified by scientists so far.

Although bacterial and fungi colonies have many characteristics and some can be rare, there are a few basic elements that you can identify for all colonies:
  • Form - What is the basic shape of the colony? For example, circular, filamentous, etc.
  • Elevation - What is the cross sectional shape of the colony? Turn the Petri dish on end.
  • Margin - What is the magnified shape of the edge of the colony?
  • Surface - How does the surface of the colony appear? For example, smooth, glistening, rough, dull (opposite of glistening), rugose (wrinkled), etc.
  • Opacity - For example, transparent (clear), opaque, translucent (almost clear, but distorted vision, like looking through frosted glass), iridescent (changing colors in reflected light), etc.
  • Chromogenesis (pigmentation) - For example, white, buff, red, purple, etc.
Read more:
Interpreting Plates

Source: Science Buddies

Neutrophil disorders and their management

Neutrophil disorders are an uncommon yet important cause of morbidity and mortality in infants and children. This article is an overview of these conditions, with emphasis on clinical recognition, rational investigation, and treatment.

Neutrophil disorders
  • Disorders of neutrophil number (neutropenia)
  • Disorders of neutrophil function
Neutrophil disorders are an uncommon, yet important, cause of morbidity and mortality in infants and children and should be considered when investigating children for immunodeficiency. They are especially likely when the clinical presentation includes features such as oral ulcers and gingivitis, delayed separation of the umbilical cord, uncommon infections such as hepatic or brain abscesses, uncommon organisms such as S marcescens or Pseudomonas spp, or when the individual has features of syndromic conditions associated with neutropenia or neutrophil dysfunction. All patients with recurrent oral infections, skin abscesses, perianal and perirectal abscesses, poor wound healing, sinopulmonary infections, or deep visceral abscesses should be evaluated for defects in phagocyte function. Appropriate investigations can lead to specific diagnoses, and general and specific management measures can reduce both mortality and morbidity and permit genetic counselling and antenatal diagnosis in some cases.

Read more:
Neutrophil disorders and their management

Source: Lakshman and Finn 54 (1): 7 -- Journal of Clinical Pathology

Follow "Art and Science of Laboratory Medicine " on:


https://www.facebook.com/LaboratoryEQAS
https://twitter.com/LaboratoryEQAS
https://plus.google.com/100408138227362094524/posts
http://www.pinterest.com/labmed/medical-laboratory-and-biomedical-science/
http://www.linkedin.com/in/jwahlstedt
http://clinical-laboratory.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default