CDC: Zika virus tied to potential risk of epilepsy in infants | Tissue brings new life to recipient | University grows corneal cells in lab
April 19, 2017
AATB SmartBrief
News for the Tissue Banking Community
Top Story
CDC: Zika virus tied to potential risk of epilepsy in infants
CDC researchers found that 50% of 48 Brazilian babies with possible congenital Zika virus infection experienced seizures, according to a study in JAMA Neurology. The agency said that "better recognition, diagnosis, and reporting of seizures and epilepsy in infants and young children will help guide interventions to make sure families receive the right support and treatment."
HealthDay News (4/17) 
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Tissue Banking in the News
Tissue brings new life to recipient
Anna Eggink lived for years with chronically dislocated knees until the gift of donated tissue brought her physical benefits and transformed her life, writes Levi Anderson, general manager of LifeNet Health. During National Donate Life Month, "we encourage people to share the importance of tissue donation on social media, in conversation, and among their networks," Anderson writes.
The Marysville Globe (Wash.) (4/15) 
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Other News
Government & Regulatory
CDC finds gaps in following evidence-based guidelines for Zika
Many infants born to mothers with the Zika virus do not receive recommended tests for the virus or brain scans, according to the CDC. That discrepancy highlights the need for clinicians and hospitals to more quickly adopt evidence-based recommendations, writes Dr. Amesh Adalja of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.
STAT (tiered subscription model) (4/14) 
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Frieden: CDC needs more flexibility to respond to health threats
The CDC lacks the ability to direct funding to meet emerging threats to public health such as the Zika virus, antibiotic resistance and the opioid crisis, former director Thomas Frieden says in this interview. "It's a big problem that when there is an emerging threat, we are not able to surge or work as rapidly as we should, as a result of a lack of additional funding and legislative authority," Frieden says.
Scientific American magazine (4/2017) 
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Zika virus tied to eye problems in infants
Of 43 infants with Zika-related microcephaly in Colombia and Venezuela, 88% and 12% developed macular or optic nerve abnormalities and congenital glaucoma, respectively, according to a study in JAMA Ophthalmology. The results should prompt evaluations for ophthalmic findings for all babies with Zika-linked microcephaly, researchers said.
Physician's Briefing/HealthDay News (4/18) 
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Study finds Asian tiger mosquito may play role in Zika virus transmission
Researchers from the Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory at the University of Florida found that a common backyard mosquito that lives in 40 US states, known as the Asian tiger mosquito or Aedes albopictus, is a carrier of the Zika virus, according to a study published in the Journal of Medical Entomology. Genetic tests done on Asian tiger mosquitoes retrieved from Brazil exhibited particles of Zika RNA, and study authors suggest that this type of mosquito's role in the spread of Zika should be assessed and considered a public health concern.
HealthDay News (4/14),  NBC News (4/14) 
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$1.1M Innovate UK grant to fund blood substitute study
Stem cell therapy developer Plasticell will receive a $1.1 million grant from Innovate UK to develop a substitute for red blood cells for use in transfusions. Plasticell will collaborate with stem cell scientists from the University of Edinburgh for the research.
PharmaPhorum (U.K.) (4/13) 
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Grants from Breakout Labs to advance studies of 4 new biotech firms
Breakout Labs, a grant-giving body owned by investment guru Peter Thiel, has bestowed four new grants to advance development of therapies in the fields of antibiotic-resistant diseases and tissue regeneration. One of the recipients is SciBac, which is working on DiffiKil, a treatment created to prevent and treat Clostridium difficile infections.
FierceBiotech (4/13) 
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BARDA awards $8.9M for Siemens Healthineers' Zika test
The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority has awarded Siemens Healthineers $8.9 million in funding to accelerate development of an assay for the detection of Zika virus-specific IgM antibodies. The test will be developed for use on the company's ADVIA Centaur XPT, ADVIA Centaur XP, ADVIA Centaur CP and Atellica Solution systems.
360Dx (tiered subscription model) (4/12) 
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Digital reconstruction gives Stone Age woman a face
Scientists have digitally re-created the face of a woman who lived over 13,000 years ago, based on skull bones and teeth found in Thailand in 2002. Estimates of skull-soft tissue relationships were used to determine the Stone Age woman's facial features, according to a study published in Antiquity. (4/17) 
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Only 3 weeks until the 2017 Quality and Donor Suitability Workshop!
AATB's 2017 Quality and Donor Suitability Workshop will be held May 8-10 at the JW Marriott in Indianapolis. This workshop will be educational and interactive, providing the attendee with a better understanding of not only significant steps involved with donor screening, but also how to effectively implement a quality program. Register and book your hotel room today!
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Register now for AATB's April webinar!
  • Topic: Cross-Cultural Views About Death and Funerals.
  • Speaker: Jenni Brennan, Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker.
  • Date/time: April 27; 2-3 p.m. Eastern Time.
Read more and register.
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If you've got an idea, start today. There's no better time than now to get going. That doesn't mean quit your job and jump into your idea 100% from day one, but there's always small progress that can be made to start the movement.
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