Genome-editing method repairs mutations that cause beta-thalassemia | Implanted neurons derived from skin cells function normally, researchers find | Obese patients have better chances of surviving sepsis, study suggests
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August 6, 2014
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News for the transfusion medicine and cellular therapy community

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Genome-editing method repairs mutations that cause beta-thalassemia
A genome-editing technique has been used to correct mutations that cause beta-thalassemia in human cell lines. Researchers transformed skin cells from a patient into induced pluripotent stem cells and then fixed the mutations before prompting the cells to mature into hematopoietic progenitors and erythroblasts. More work is needed before cells are developed that could be used in transplants. The findings were reported in the journal Genome Research. The Scientist online (8/5)
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New Monoclonal Blood Grouping Reagents Now Available
Through our commitment and dedication to the Blood Bank industry, Immucor is pleased to announce the availability of new Monoclonal Blood Grouping Reagents: Anti-Fya, Anti-Jka, Anti-Jkb, Anti-S and Anti-s.
Learn more.
Science & Health
Implanted neurons derived from skin cells function normally, researchers find
Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine researchers have successfully grafted induced neuronal stem cells into the brains of mice, raising hopes for development of treatments for neurodegenerative conditions. Six months after implantation, synapses had formed to connect the neurons, which were reprogrammed from the mice's own skin cells, with the rest of the brain, and the implanted cells functioned normally. The study appeared in the journal Stem Cell Reports. (U.K.) (8/5)
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Obese patients have better chances of surviving sepsis, study suggests
Obesity is associated with improved mortality among sepsis patients, according to a study in the journal Critical Care Medicine. Based on data involving 1,404 Medicare patients, obese sepsis patients had lower mortality rates, and their functional outcomes were comparable with those of normal-weight patients with sepsis. Extra weight could change how the body responds to disease, and understanding how may lead to improved sepsis care, researchers suggested. (8/5)
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Perfusion: PBM Techniques in the Operating Room
In this August 14th PBM webinar presented by AABB, speakers will review current published literature supporting cardiac surgical blood management programs, discuss perfusion-related techniques for optimizing red cell mass and reducing perioperative blood loss, and describe the positive impact regional and perfusion specific clinical outcomes registries can have on local cardiac surgical blood management programs. Register Now!
Emerging Trends
New blood imaging and analysis tool detects malaria
A mobile health tool has been designed to provide quick analysis of blood samples for the diagnosis of diseases such as malaria. Athelas, the winner of a YC Hacks competition, uses a small lens attached to a smartphone camera to magnify images of blood samples. The images are analyzed using accompanying software that provides malarial cell counts. (8/5)
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App to detect anemia earns top prize at Microsoft tech challenge
A mobile health application that can be used to detect anemia in patients has nabbed the top prize at the 2014 Microsoft Imagine Cup challenge. Eyenaemia, designed by medical students Jarrel Seah and Jennifer Tang, allows users to take pictures of their eyes, have the images analyzed and find out their risk of having the condition. (8/4)
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Industry News & Practice
Defense Department supports trials of in-flight plasma
The Prehospital Air Medical Plasma, or "PAMPer," trial is evaluating the use of plasma to treat trauma patients during flights rather than after they reach a hospital. The Pentagon-supported study at six U.S. medical centers will assess the intervention's effects on survival, clotting measurements on arrival and transfusion requirements. The Plain Dealer (Cleveland) (8/4)
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Luminex's technology aids in development of Ebola tests
Luminex reports that its xMAP technology is being used by the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases to create assays for rapid Ebola virus detection. The tests, which run on Luminex's MAGPIX system, work by identifying the presence of viral antigens and antigen antibodies in serum samples. GenomeWeb Daily News (free registration) (8/4)
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The Buzz
Hematopoietic Stem Cells: Understanding Clonal Expansion
Join us on August 7th for an overview of hematopoiesis and enlightening discussion about evidence showing clonal heterogeneity pertaining to key biological properties of HSCs. This webinar will highlight state of the art methods/assays for detection, enumeration, identification and isolation of HSCs, as well as review recent advances in the understanding of regulators underlying the self-renewal capacity of HSCs.
Government & Regulatory
FDA to expedite review of Incyte drug for polycythemia vera
Incyte obtained priority-review status from the FDA for its application to market ruxolitinib as a treatment for polycythemia vera in patients who cannot take or are resistant to hydroxyurea. A decision is expected by Dec. 5. The drug was previously approved for the treatment of intermediate and high-risk myelofibrosis. OncLive (8/5)
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Federal health advisers to assess how to help children during disasters
The Department of Health and Human Services has established a 15-person advisory committee targeting the disaster-related health needs of children. The National Advisory Committee on Children and Disasters was created under the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act. (8/5)
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Association News
Tomorrow's AABB educational program to highlight clonal expansion
The Aug. 7 AABB webinar, "Hematopoietic Stem Cells -- Understanding Clonal Expansion," will provide a general overview of hematopoiesis and present evidence of clonal heterogeneity in key biological properties of hematopoietic stem cells. Topics will include state-of-the-art methods and assays to detect, enumerate, identify and isolate HSCs; recent advances in understanding regulators that underlie the self-renewal capacity of HSCs; and methods for HSC expansion ex vivo aimed toward improving clinical hematopoietic cell transplant protocols.
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Who's Hiring?
Position TitleCompany NameLocation
Department Supervisor of Lab Medicine & Path/TransfusionJWT INSIDERochester, MN
Click here to view more job listings.
You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do."
-- Henry Ford,
American industrialist
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