Art and Science of Laboratory Medicine

Art and Science of Laboratory Medicine

Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween microbes

Strep agalactiae (Group B Strep) streaked out on Granada plates. Usually this media is used to screen for Group B in pregnant patients, the strep will grow as bright orange colonies while any other growth will be colorless

Read more:
Halloween microbes

Source: Microbeworld

Happy Halloween Scientists

A microscope pumpkin

Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Laboratory Test For The Rumors

Pregnancy can create rumors which are worth of testing.

Original image:

Source: Facebbook
Image credits: Kendra Hicks-Rushing

Multiple Myeloma Case

A 53-year-old male patient with an established diagnosis of IgG λ multiple myeloma was seen by a hematologist–oncologist in consultation from an outside hospital. He had previously received 1 cycle of chemotherapy treatment, but he was found to be intermittently noncompliant with his therapy. The patient reported occasional nosebleeds and fatigue. Except for a slightly cachectic appearance, the physical examination was unremarkable. Laboratory results are shown in the image.

Serum protein electrophoresis revealed monoclonal paraproteinemia in high abundance marked by an intense band in the γ region. Immunofixation electrophoresis was not ordered at that time, but it was previously performed at another institution and was positive for IgG monoclonal protein. The attending pathologist noted the discrepancy between the presence of a monoclonal band by serum protein electrophoresis and the patient's quantitative immunoglobulin measurements. Several additional suspicious test results were also noted.

Read more.
Unexpected Test Results in a Patient with Multiple Myeloma

Source: Clinical Chemistry

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

I Love Histology

Fetal lung in pseudoglandular developmental stage.

Read more:
can the human soul be glimpsed through a microscope

Source: I Heart Histo

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Hedgehog Scientist

Meet the cutest doctor in the world - Einspine, MD

Original image;

Source: Twitter
Image credits: Jennifer Baugh

Group B streptococcus incidence rises significantly among newborns

Group B streptococcus, a major cause of serious infectious diseases including sepsis, meningitis, and pneumonia, has increased by about 60% among infants younger than 3 months in the Netherlands over the past 25 years despite the widespread use of prevention strategies, new research published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases has found.

The findings suggest that this disturbing trend could be due the emergence of more virulent group B streptococcal strains and call for a renewed evaluation of preventive strategies to reduce neonatal disease.

Passed from mother to child during birth, group B streptococcus is the most common cause of infection in newborns. Guidelines for the prevention of disease have been widely adopted in high-income countries. But despite these efforts, the bacterium remains a leading cause of blood stream infections and meningitis worldwide, typically affecting babies younger than 7 days (early-onset) or infants up to 3 months of age (late-onset).

Read more:
The Lancet Infectious Diseases: Group B streptococcus incidence rises significantly among newborns despite widespread adoption of prevention initiatives

Source: Lancet

Monday, October 20, 2014

White Blood Cell Differential Simulator

A great resource for practicing white blood cell identification! The LabCE White Blood Cell Differential Simulator, produced in collaboration with the Louisiana State University Health Science Center, includes 25 expert-reviewed differentials, each with 100 slide images. Perform the differential yourself and then compare your cell identifications with the experts.

Try the White Blood Cell Differential Simulator for yourself! Preview a complete case, including all 100 slide images and the video summary.

Read more:
Continuing education and review for medical laboratory professionals

 Source: LabCE

Sunday, October 19, 2014

The winners of the EPBS 2014 Photo Competition

The winners of the Photo Competition are:
  • First prize: Lisa Luefentegger
  • Second prize: Lisa Steinbichle
  • Third prize; Magdalena Mock

Read more:
EPBS - European Association for Professions in Biomedical Science

Source: EPBS

Parasite in Blood

There are many kinds of parasites.

Source: Facebook
Image credits: Lenny L Bi-am

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Method Validation Guide - Free eBook

This guide was first issued in 1998, and has over the years been one of the most popular of the Eurachem guides. Since the release of the first edition, however, there have been many changes in   terminology, working practices, reference documents and requirements. second edition, produced by the Eurachem Method Validation Working Group, forms a thorough revision of the 1998 edition. This second edition accommodates the main changes in international standards and practice. The new edition also includes notes on some

aspects of validation that are specific to qualitative test methods.Download Method Validation Guide (2014) here

Read more:
The Fitness for Purpose of Analytical Method 

Source: Eurachem

A pretty little Escherichia coli

Friday I got out early and felt the urge for some crafting, and this week at work I have mainly been all about the enteric bacteria, so that was the inspiration for this little pretty!

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A pretty little Escherichia coli

Source: Baking, Making, and Crafting

BioArt - A Petri Dish Instead of A Palette

BioArt has not yet been defined in a way that is accepted by artists. Some artists, for example, make DNA models and call that BioArt. To me, BioArt has to be art that contains and creates a living thing and an active process. To put it another way, the organism used has to sustain its life and development in/on the work. As Eduardo Kac puts it, “Works that illustrate biological subject-matter, in other words, DNA models, chromosome diagrams, human body models, videos, and photographs of cells, do not fall under bio-art.” I am of the same opinion, and I try to make that clear in my art works.

Read more:
The Marriage Of Art And Microorganisma

Source: Skylife

Lymphoproliferative disorder with Auer rod–like inclusions

The patient is a 92-year-old woman who presented to the hematology clinic 3 years earlier for evaluation of persistent lymphocytosis. At that time, her white blood cell count was 15 200/µL, hemoglobin was 12.8 g/dL, and platelets were 245 000/µL. Her absolute lymphocyte count was 7870/µL. She did not have lymphadenopathy or hepatosplenomegaly on physical examination.

This case highlights a rare example where the presence of Auer rod–like inclusions does not automatically denote myeloid differentiation. To the best of our knowledge, the presence of Auer rod–like lymphocyte inclusions has been previously reported only in a single case of a peripheralizing marginal zone lymphoma from Japan.

Read more:
Lymphoproliferative disorder with Auer rod–like inclusions

Source: Blood Journal

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Diagnosing Hemoglobinopathies

Despite being two distinct diseases, thalassemias and hemoglobinopthies are usually grouped together. The major difference between the two is a decrease versus a disruption. Thalassemaias are the result of a deficiency in one of the globin chains within the hemoglobin, which causes a problems in terms of production. With hemoglobinopathies, on the other hand, the problem the hemoglobin is interrupted by the removal or substitution of an amino acid. Each type of disease is characterized by anemia or another blood disorder that presents in such a way that it can sometimes mimic other diseases.

There are a number of confirmatory tests available for both hemoglobinopathies and thalassemias. Common disorders like sickle cell disease are caused by hemoglobin S, which is tested for with relative ease, but there are also hemoglobin variants that are unknown to the laboratory professionals. In these cases, confirmatory testing is required and the specimen is sent out for a definitive analysis. For thalassemias, including beta-thalassemia, the laboratory must test to measure hemoglobin A2 accurately, but alpha-thalassemias require more complex approaches like molecular diagnostic techniques.

Read more:
Diagnosing Hemoglobinopathies


Sunday, October 12, 2014

The incubation period of a viral infection

The time before the symptoms of a viral infection appear is called the incubation period. During this time, viral genomes are replicating and the host is responding, producing cytokines such as interferon that can have global effects, leading to the classical symptoms of an acute infection (e.g., fever, malaise, aches, pains, and nausea). These symptoms are called the prodrome, to distinguish them from those characteristic of infection (e.g. paralysis for poliovirus, hemorrhagic fever for Ebolaviruses, rash for measles virus).

Read more:
The incubation period of a viral infection

Source: Virology Blog

Giant leap against diabetes

With human embryonic stem cells as a starting point, the scientists were for the first time able to produce, in the kind of massive quantities needed for cell transplantation and pharmaceutical purposes, human insulin-producing beta cells equivalent in most every way to normally functioning beta cells.

Elaine Fuchs, the Rebecca C. Lancefield Professor at Rockefeller University, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator who is not involved in the work, hailed it as “one of the most important advances to date in the stem cell field, and I join the many people throughout the world in applauding my colleague for this remarkable achievement.

“For decades, researchers have tried to generate human pancreatic beta cells that could be cultured and passaged long-term under conditions where they produce insulin. Melton and his colleagues have now overcome this hurdle and opened the door for drug discovery and transplantation therapy in diabetes,” Fuchs said.

Read more:
Giant leap against diabetes

Source: Harward Gazette

Monday, October 6, 2014

This New Ebola Test Is As Easy As a Pregnancy Test, So Why Aren’t We Using It?

New test consists of a small white lancet, which requires just a small drop of blood. In 15 minutes or less, a positive or negative line will appear on the test, indicating Ebola positive or negative.

Dr. Bob Garry and his team are prepped and ready to have hundreds of thousands, “even millions,” of the rapid tests ready to send to West Africa. But without 100 percent proof that it works, they’re at a standstill.

Read more:
This New Ebola Test Is As Easy As a Pregnancy Test, So Why Aren’t We Using It?

Source: The Daily Beast

Sunday, October 5, 2014

High-Sensitivity Troponin Assays

Clinical Applications of Cardiac Bio-Markers
  • Implementing High-Sensitivity Cardiac Troponin Assays in Practice - pocket format
  • Using High Sensitivity Cardiac Troponin Assays in Practice - a Summary Document - pocket format
  • Calculating Serial Change Values (Delta) for High-Sensitivity Cardiac Troponin Assays
  • Using High Sensitivity Cardiac Troponin Assays in Practice
Read more and download the documents here::
Clinical Application of Cardiac Bio-Markers Resources and Downloads

Source: IFCC

Chromosome Pillows for You and Me

Karyotype of human chromosome screen printed by hand in black ink on decorator weight fabric. Female version has two pink felt XX chromosomes and male version has two blue felt XY chromosomes both glued in place. 

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Karyotype Pillow

Source: Etsy

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Improved Qualitative Pregnancy Devices

Recently, we were made aware of two manufacturers that had apparently modified their qualitative pregnancy devices: The Cen-Med Elite Plus One-Step Pregnancy Test (a hospital POC device) and the First Response Early Result OTC device (an over-the-counter device). In order to evaluate these modifications a study group compared the old and new devices using the screening test we have developed previously. Our results demonstrated that indeed, the new version of each device perform better than the previous version. Both original devices demonstrated significantly diminished signal when 500 pmol/L hCG was tested in the presence of 500,000 pmol/L hCGbcf. However the modified devices gave faint or clear positive signals in the presence of the same hCG concentrations.

Read more:
Improved Qualitative Pregnancy Devices

Source: The Pregnancy Lab

Howell-Jolly bodies and Heinz bodies

Howell-Jolly bodies are little fragments of the red cell nucleus. You see them most commonly in patients with splenectomies (normally, the spleen just bites them out). You can see them without a special stain – they look like dark, round dots.

Heinz bodies are seen in G6PD deficiency. They represent denatured globin chains. When there’s not enough G6PD around, the bonds between heme and globin are attacked.

Read more:
What’s the difference between Howell-Jolly bodies and Heinz bodies?

Source: Pathology student

Friday, October 3, 2014

The Value of POCT

On a day-to-day basis, laboratory professionals work with an unprecedented number of samples. Both to improve efficiency and protect patient anonymity, these samples are carefully labeled, numbered and processed - ensuring that each sample is examined in a scientific manner. But what happens when things become personal for the laboratorians?

Read more:
The Value of Rapid Tests

Source: Advance

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