Sheets of heart tissue cells developed from induced stem cells | Trial in Guinea will assess effectiveness of convalescent serum against Ebola | Physician tests positive for Ebola in New York City
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October 24, 2014
AABB SmartBrief
News for the transfusion medicine and cellular therapy community

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Sheets of heart tissue cells developed from induced stem cells
Researchers in Japan said they have converted human induced pluripotent stem cells into cardiac tissue sheets that resemble the structure of a real tissue. The breakthrough, reported in the journal Scientific Reports, could lead to new therapies for heart disease. Transplanting the cardiac sheets improved the heart conditions of mice. The Japan Times/Kyodo News (10/23)
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Agena Bioscience Workshop on Blood Group Genotyping
Hear speakers from four renowned institutions share their results and experiences with the new Hemo ID Blood Group Genotyping Panel and the MassARRAY System. The discussion will include validation vs. serotyping, high throughput donor screening, and resolution of complex RH genotypes. RSVP for the breakfast workshop on Monday, Oct. 27 at 7:00 AM
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Trial in Guinea will assess effectiveness of convalescent serum against Ebola
A research team from the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, Belgium, will begin tests in Guinea next month on whether convalescent serum from Ebola survivors helps patients recover from the virus. The trial of the blood and plasma therapy is being supported by a $3.7 million grant from the European Union. Reuters (10/23)
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Physician tests positive for Ebola in New York City
A physician who worked with Doctors Without Borders in Guinea was diagnosed with the Ebola virus on Thursday in New York City. Dr. Craig Spencer developed a fever Thursday, six days after he returned from West Africa and 11 days after he stopped caring for Ebola patients. Officials have quarantined several people he had close contact with and continue to assess risk. Reuters (10/24), The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (10/24)
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Rapid test predicts risk of developing severe sepsis
Canadian researchers have created a test that can quickly assess the risk that patients will develop severe sepsis. The assay determines within an hour whether infections have a gene signature that researchers found was associated with sepsis and organ failure, according to a study in the journal EBioMedicine. Sun News (Canada)/QMI Agency (10/23)
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Emerging Trends
Breath-based test detects hospital-acquired infections
Isomark has designed a new type of breath-based test that can spot hospital-acquired infections within two hours of onset. The device also can be used for initial disease diagnosis and post-surgical monitoring of patients at risk for sepsis and other infections. It is currently being investigated in 110 patients at the University of Wisconsin. (10/22)
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Industry News & PracticeSponsored By
Developer of blood cancer assays receives investment from Celgene
Sequenta has received an investment of an undisclosed amount from Celgene. The California-based startup will use the funding to help launch clinical studies of its ClonoSight system. The technology is designed to measure residual cancerous cells in patients with blood cancer to determine the effectiveness of certain treatments, including radiation, chemotherapy and surgery. (10/23)
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GSK expects initial doses of Ebola vaccine this year
GlaxoSmithKline anticipates that the initial supply of its Ebola vaccine will be available before the year ends. GSK CEO Andrew Witty said the firm is open to collaborating with the rest of the pharmaceutical sector to boost vaccine production. Reuters (10/22)
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AABB Annual Meeting Industry Workshop
Don't miss the Industry Workshop sponsored by Immucor at the AABB Annual Meeting on Sunday, October 26 at 7am in the Convention Center Room 107A/B. Please join us to learn about "Evolution Practices: IVD Molecular Immunohematology & Platelet Refractory Investigations". Click here for a complete list of educational opportunities sponsored by Immucor.
Government & Regulatory
National health IT official joins federal Ebola response team
National Coordinator for Health Information Technology Dr. Karen DeSalvo has stepped down to work with the Department of Health and Human Services' Ebola response team as acting assistant secretary for health. DeSalvo has a background in public health, including serving as the health commissioner for the city of New Orleans. (10/23), Forbes (10/23)
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Association News
AABB Center for Cellular Therapies is named steward for International Cord Blood Symposium
The leadership of the Cord Blood Forum has chosen the AABB Center for Cellular Therapies as the new steward for the International Cord Blood Symposium. AABB is committed to building upon the meeting's rich and successful history as the premier global event for leaders and experts in cord blood stem cell transplantation and banking, cellular therapies and regenerative medicine. Read more.
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Who's Hiring?
Position TitleCompany NameLocation
IRL / Molecular Med Tech IIISan Diego Blood BankSan Diego, CA
Facility processing DirectorTexas Stem CellHouston, TX
Manager- Lab Services (Transfusion/Blood Bank)University of Wisconsin Hospital and ClinicsWI
Deputy Director, Regulatory AffairsAABBBethesda, MD
Clinical Laboratory Scientist II/Transfusion MedicineThe Johns Hopkins HopitalBaltimore, MD
Click here to view more job listings.
Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder."
-- Henry David Thoreau,
American writer and naturalist
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