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March 2016 Issue of The Pathologist

In this issue our Upfront topics include the genetics of addiction, a call for research into microbiological causes of Alzheimer’s disease, and the progress of the Zika virus. Our Feature invites two founders of precision medicine institutes to share their experiences and their views on the future of personalized care. In Practice tackles cystic fibrosis screening in non-white populations, and NextGen looks at a test that can diagnose all known viral infections. In Profession, five experts discuss landmark papers of 2015, and we Sit Down With James Westgard, Emeritus Professor in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Wisconsin Medical School and President of Westgard QC, Inc.

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Articles featured in this issue

Outside the Lab Profession

Perilous Peer Review

| Fedra Pavlou

When something seems too good to be true…

Diagnostics Genetics and epigenetics

Breaking Bad Genetics

| Michael Schubert

Regulatory RNA-binding protein hnRNP H1 may play a role in the genetics of methamphetamine sensitivity and other substance addictions

Inside the Lab Oncology

Recurrence Ratio

| Michael Schubert

In patients with early-stage breast cancer, the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio may indicate future risk of recurrence

Outside the Lab Microbiology and immunology

Tracking the Zika Virus

What do we know so far?

Subspecialties Microbiology and immunology

A Collaborative Call to Arms

| Michael Schubert

Thirty-one researchers on three continents have teamed up to call for more research into a potential microbiological cause of Alzheimer’s disease

Diagnostics Precision medicine

Personalizing Stroke Prevention

| Michael Schubert

C-reactive protein levels and genetic variations are linked to increased risk of a second ischemic stroke

Subspecialties Microbiology and immunology

Reaction Rights and Wrongs

| Michael Schubert

Research into patient response to West Nile virus has uncovered some unexpected results...

Outside the Lab Analytical science

Making Scents of Alzheimer’s

| Michael Schubert

A unique odor signature in the urine of Alzheimer’s mouse models may one day lead to simple tests for the disease

Diagnostics Microscopy and imaging

Image of the Month

An Epicoccum species, ubiquitous in nature, distributed globally, and commonly found in soil.

Subspecialties Profession

Organization Overhaul

| Stacy G. Beal

Breaking down the clinical laboratory’s walls to make way for the future of lab organization

Outside the Lab Digital and computational pathology

Real-Time Vision

| Pedro Oliveira

Video microscopy sessions enable lively and enjoyable discussions of case presentations

Outside the Lab Analytical science

Critical Decision Support

| Jennifer Colby

Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry has a pivotal role in diagnosing intoxicated patients

Outside the Lab Precision medicine

A Tale of Two Cities

| Michael Schubert

How is fierce ambition translated into the reality of building two world-class personalized healthcare institutes?

Outside the Lab Precision medicine

Young But Powerful

| David Roth

Penn Medicine’s Center for Personalized Diagnostics is on a mission to improve patient care using the power of genomics

Subspecialties Precision medicine

Field of Genes


The Penn State Hershey Institute for Personalized Medicine benefits from a unique “build it as you need it” growth pattern

Outside the Lab Screening and monitoring

The Problem With Panels

| Iris Schrijver

Newborn screening programs that seek out common mutations often fail to diagnose cystic fibrosis in nonwhite populations.

Inside the Lab Histology

Getting Personal

| Anne-Lise Peille

Patient-derived xenografts are a valuable tool for the oncological drug development of the future

Inside the Lab Microbiology and immunology

Viruses Face the Ultimate Test

| William Aryitey

Shotgun sequencing is a powerful tool in microbial genomics, but viral genomes have proven tough to crack.

Outside the Lab Profession

Landmark Literature

We asked an impossible question at the end of 2015: which piece of literature stood out from the crowd and showed the greatest potential for pushing the field of laboratory medicine forward?

Outside the Lab Hematology

Variations on a Drop

| James Nichols

This manuscript describes the variability of complete blood count (CBC) results in a fingerstick capillary sample.

Inside the Lab Oncology

A Paper to Circulate

| Ian Cree

This paper is one of a number published over the last year that examine the potential for liquid biopsy in colorectal cancer.

Outside the Lab Analytical science

Hyperspectral Disease Diagnosis

| Peter Griffiths

The diagnosis of cancers at an early stage is critical for the long-term survival of patients.

Outside the Lab Digital and computational pathology

Diagnosis: Digital

| Liron Pantanowitz

Around the world, use of digital pathology is becoming increasingly common.

Diagnostics Genetics and epigenetics

Collagen and the Colon

| Miguel Reyes-Múgica

Hirschsprung disease (HSCR) is a congenital form of megacolon that occurs when the ganglion cells of the digestive tract fail to develop, impairing or eliminating function.

Outside the Lab Quality assurance and quality control

Westgard Rules!

Sitting Down With… James Westgard, Emeritus Professor in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Wisconsin Medical School and President of Westgard QC, Inc., USA.

Other issues of 2016