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  1. Lopez JB
    Clin Biochem Rev, 2005 Aug;26(3):65-79.
    PMID: 16450014
    Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) ranks fifth in frequency of cancers worldwide. The main aetiological factor is hepatitis B virus (HBV) although the importance of hepatitis C virus (HCV) is growing. The most important tumour marker for HCC is alpha-fetoprotein (AFP). The common method of screening high risk patients by AFP and ultrasonography has been shown to result in earlier detection and consequently more easily treatable tumours and longer survival. Proposed screening interval varies from once every 3 months to annually to "as indicated' but, most commonly, is once every 6 months. AFP is a fairly specific but insensitive marker for HCC. Sensitivity of HCC detection by blood markers is improved by combining various other markers with AFP. Of the other markers, the newer high sensitivity des-gamma-carboxy-prothrombin (DCP) has been found to be useful. In addition the AFP fractions L3, P4/5 and the +II band are highly specific for HCC. Among routinely assayed tumour markers in the laboratory, CA 125 is more sensitive for HCC than AFP but far less specific. Various other enzymes, isoenzymes, growth factors, adhesion molecules, other proteins such as interleukin-2 receptor (IL-2R), human cervical cancer oncogene protein (HCCR) and glypican-3 (GPC3), p15 and p16 hypermethylation and nitrite/nitrate ratio have been tested; some of these show promise but none is presently in routine use. The value of other newer markers such as the HBx protein that is produced by HBV, and what are thought to be specific proteins and signatures identified by proteomics remain to be determined.
  2. Lopez JB, Peng CL
    Clin. Chem. Lab. Med., 2003 Oct;41(10):1369-72.
    PMID: 14580168
    The concentration of homocysteine (Hcy) rises rapidly after the collection of blood. This feature requires blood to be collected into the anticoagulants EDTA or heparin and the plasma to then be immediately separated; alternatively, the blood may be kept on ice and centrifuged within 1 hour. The use of chemical preservatives has been proposed as a means of stabilising Hcy levels in whole blood after collection. The objective of this study was to determine whether the commonly available fluoride-oxalate (Fl-Ox) and sodium citrate (Na-Cit) containers could stabilise Hcy levels in blood. Our results showed that when blood was collected into potassium EDTA (K-EDTA) tubes, Hcy levels rose from initial levels, on standing at room temperature (approximately 25 degrees C), by an average of 21% after 3 hours and 32% after 5 hours. The initial Hcy levels of blood collected into Fl-Ox and Na-Cit containers, however, were lower, at averages of 89% and 91%, respectively, compared to that of the same samples when collected into K-EDTA tubes. Hcy in these samples subsequently rose on standing, and after 5 hours was, on the average, 10 and 13% higher, respectively, compared with the initial levels in K-EDTA tubes. We conclude that Fl-Ox and Na-Cit do not stabilise Hcy in blood after collection and should not be used as preservatives.
  3. Mahmud MR, Khan AM, Nadol JB
    Ann. Otol. Rhinol. Laryngol., 2003 Nov;112(11):979-86.
    PMID: 14653368
    Although hearing loss is the most common presenting symptom in patients with acoustic neuroma, the pathophysiology of hearing loss associated with acoustic neuroma is unknown. Although primary dysfunction of the auditory nerve is intuitively logical, available histopathologic and clinical data suggest that although neural degeneration is common, it alone does not adequately account for hearing loss in many cases. The purpose of this study was to evaluate 11 cases of unoperated unilateral acoustic neuromas. Temporal bones were identified by means of a search mechanism provided by the National Temporal Bone, Hearing, and Balance Pathology Resource Registry and were prepared for light microscopy by standard techniques. Quantification of spiral ganglion cells, hair cells, stria vascularis, and spiral ligament was accomplished for each specimen. In addition, the maximum diameter and volume of each tumor were calculated from histopathologic sections. Increasing tumor size did predict a reduced spiral ganglion count. However, although there was a tendency for decreasing spiral ganglion cell count and for increasing tumor size to predict a higher pure tone average and lower speech discrimination score, these correlations did not reach statistical significance. In tumor ears in which the speech discrimination score was 50% or less, there was always significant degeneration of other structures of the inner ear in addition to neurons, including hair cells, the stria vascularis, and the spiral ligament. Endolymphatic hydrops and eosinophilic precipitate in the perilymphatic spaces were found in 2 of 3 such cases. It is concluded that acoustic neuromas appear to cause hearing loss, not only by causing degeneration of the auditory nerve, but also by inducing degenerative changes in the inner ear. It is hypothesized that the proteinaceous material seen histologically may represent the products of up-regulated genes in acoustic neuroma, some of which may interfere with normal cochlear function.
  4. Lopez JB, Jackson D, Gammie A, Badrick T
    Clin Biochem Rev, 2017 Feb;38(1):3-11.
    PMID: 28798502
    Healthcare is a significant contributor to environmental impact but this has received little attention. The typical laboratory uses far more energy and water per unit area than the typical office building. There is a need to sensitise laboratories to the importance of adopting good environmental practices. Since this comes at an initial cost, it is vital to obtain senior management support. Convincing management of the various tangible and intangible benefits that can accrue in the long run should help achieve this support. Many good environmental practices do not have a cost but will require a change in the culture and mind-set of the organisation. Continuing education and training are important keys to successful implementation of good practices. There is a need to undertake a rigorous cost-benefit analysis of every change that is introduced in going green. The adoption of good practices can eventually lead to ISO certification if this is desired. This paper provides suggestions that will allow a laboratory to start going green. It will allow the industry to enhance its corporate citizenship whilst improving its competitive advantage for long-term.
  5. Shiesh SC, Wiedmeyer HM, Kao JT, Vasikaran SD, Lopez JB, Laboratory Management Committee for the Asian-Pacific Federation of Clinical Biochemistry
    Clin. Chem., 2009 Oct;55(10):1876-80.
    PMID: 19617287 DOI: 10.1373/clinchem.2009.129726
    BACKGROUND: The correlation between hemoglobin A(1c) (Hb A(1c)) and risk for complications in diabetic patients heightens the need to measure Hb A(1c) with accuracy. We evaluated the current performance for measuring Hb A(1c) in the Asian and Pacific region by examining data submitted by laboratories participating in the Taiwan proficiency-testing program.

    METHODS: Five fresh-pooled blood samples were sent to participating laboratories twice each year. The results were evaluated against target values assigned by the National Glycohemoglobin Standardization Program network laboratories; a passing criterion of +/-7% of the target value was used. Measurement uncertainty at Hb A(1c) concentrations of 7.0% and 8.0% were determined.

    RESULTS: A total of 276 laboratories from 11 countries took part in the Hb A(1c) survey. At the Hb A(1c) concentrations tested method-specific interlaboratory imprecision (CVs) were 1.1%-13.9% in 2005, 1.3%-10.1% in 2006, 1.2%-8.2% in 2007, and 1.1%-6.1% in 2008. Differences between target values and median values from the commonly used methods ranged from -0.24% to 0.22% Hb A(1c) in 2008. In 2005 83% of laboratories passed the survey, and in 2008 93% passed. At 7.0% Hb A(1c), measurement uncertainty was on average 0.49% Hb A(1c).

    CONCLUSIONS: The use of accuracy-based proficiency testing with stringent quality criteria has improved the performance of Hb A(1c) testing in the Asian and Pacific laboratories during the 4 years of assessment.

  6. Joseph B, Sithambaresan M, Kurup MR, Ng SW
    Acta Crystallogr Sect E Struct Rep Online, 2014 Jun 1;70(Pt 6):m211-2.
    PMID: 24940200 DOI: 10.1107/S1600536814010150
    The molecule of the title complex, [Ni2(C21H15N3O5)2(H2O)4]·4C3H7NO, is located on an inversion centre. This results in a dimeric Ni(II) complex, with the two Ni(II) atoms bridged by phenolate O atoms. The tridentate ligand is chelated to each Ni(II) atom via one N and two O atoms of the imino-late form of the hydrazide moiety, which has the same conformation as the free ligand. The coordination geometry around each Ni(II) ion is slightly distorted octa-hedral. A supra-molecular three-dimensional architecture is created by dominant inter-molecular O-H⋯N, O-H⋯O and C-H⋯O hydrogen-bonding inter-actions. These are augmented by two C-H⋯π inter-actions and a π-π inter-action with a centroid-centroid distance of 3.681 (2) Å.
  7. Adiana G, Juahir H, Joseph B, Shazili NAM
    Mar. Pollut. Bull., 2017 Oct 15;123(1-2):232-240.
    PMID: 28865793 DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2017.08.055
    The present study aims to define the possible sources that contribute to the level of Pb into the Brunei Bay, Borneo. The cluster analysis has classified the bay into the northern part with heavy and agriculture-related industries; the southern area with a moderate rural human settlement as well as the southwestern area with a more pristine environment and a low level of human settlement. The score plot of spatial discriminant analysis verified a significant influence of the river system toward the estuary, whereas the temporal discriminant analysis has discriminated the seasonal changes. In comparison to elsewhere, the stable Pb isotopic ratios in Brunei Bay showed a fingerprint similar to coal-related sources and of aerosol input. Briefly, even though Pb in the Brunei Bay ecosystem proved to be at a low level, the stable Pb isotopic ratios showed that human and industrial activities are slowly contributing Pb into the bay ecosystem.
  8. Maynard AJ, Ambrose L, Cooper RD, Chow WK, Davis JB, Muzari MO, et al.
    PLoS Negl Trop Dis, 2017 04;11(4):e0005546.
    PMID: 28410388 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0005546
    BACKGROUND: Within the last century, increases in human movement and globalization of trade have facilitated the establishment of several highly invasive mosquito species in new geographic locations with concurrent major environmental, economic and health consequences. The Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus, is an extremely invasive and aggressive daytime-biting mosquito that is a major public health threat throughout its expanding range.

    METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We used 13 nuclear microsatellite loci (on 911 individuals) and mitochondrial COI sequences to gain a better understanding of the historical and contemporary movements of Ae. albopictus in the Indo-Pacific region and to characterize its population structure. Approximate Bayesian computation (ABC) was employed to test competing historical routes of invasion of Ae. albopictus within the Southeast (SE) Asian/Australasian region. Our ABC results show that Ae. albopictus was most likely introduced to New Guinea via mainland Southeast Asia, before colonizing the Solomon Islands via either Papua New Guinea or SE Asia. The analysis also supported that the recent incursion into northern Australia's Torres Strait Islands was seeded chiefly from Indonesia. For the first time documented in this invasive species, we provide evidence of a recently colonized population (the Torres Strait Islands) that has undergone rapid temporal changes in its genetic makeup, which could be the result of genetic drift or represent a secondary invasion from an unknown source.

    CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: There appears to be high spatial genetic structure and high gene flow between some geographically distant populations. The species' genetic structure in the region tends to favour a dispersal pattern driven mostly by human movements. Importantly, this study provides a more widespread sampling distribution of the species' native range, revealing more spatial population structure than previously shown. Additionally, we present the most probable invasion history of this species in the Australasian region using ABC analysis.

  9. Klionsky DJ, Abdelmohsen K, Abe A, Abedin MJ, Abeliovich H, Acevedo Arozena A, et al.
    Autophagy, 2016;12(1):1-222.
    PMID: 26799652 DOI: 10.1080/15548627.2015.1100356
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