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Subspecialties Oncology, Microbiology and immunology, Screening and monitoring

Quick Hits

Credit: Photo by CDC from Unsplash.com

Battling Resistant Bacteria
 

A new study has developed a novel and precise method for detecting drug-resistant bacteria (1). Researchers applied a neural network for patch classification against transmission electron microscopy (TEM) patches, allowing researchers to identify bacterial strains based on classification results and highlight genes strongly associated with resistant cells. With an accuracy rate of 0.94, the approach identified enoxacin-resistant Escherichia coli cells in images without antibiotics.

Annotation Automation
 

Manual annotations for gigapixel whole-slide images (WSIs) are labor intensive – but automated alternatives, such as deep convolutional neural networks, usually require trained supervision. To remedy this, scientists developed a histopathology image workflow capable of tissue classification without annotation (2). Results showed similar accuracy to that of standard supervised methods and higher accuracy than previous unsupervised baselines.

TKI Tok
 

Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) are valuable in treating chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), but the drugs’ high cost and side effects reduce patients’ quality of life. A new study investigates the proportion of patients who experience molecular recurrence (>0.1 percent BCR-ABLIS) after discontinuing TKI therapy (3). The Life After Stopping TKIs (LAST) study will run for three years and regularly monitor patients using RQ-PCR and digital PCR. The goal? To evaluate the safety of TKI discontinuation and identify an optimal follow-up schedule.

Find out more about this study from the lead author

Experimental Electrode
 

Urinalysis underpins the diagnosis and monitoring of numerous conditions, including diabetes and some cancers. Co-detection of multiple substances is often needed, but sometimes tricky - for instance, when the presence of ascorbic acid prevents co-detection of uric acid and dopamine. A novel, graphene-based, ternary composite may overcome this limitation (4), detecting tiny amounts of uric acid (5 mM) and dopamine (1 mM) even in the presence of high levels of ascorbic acid.

Nerves on a Chip
 

Rare neuromuscular disorders, such as chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy or multifocal motor neuropathy, are often overlooked and may have limited treatment options. A new endeavor has led to the creation of a “tissue chip” model of these diseases – and to a potential treatment, with the tissue chip offering key preclinical evidence that C1s inhibitor TNT005 could alleviate the conditions’ deleterious effect on motor neuron signaling (5).

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  1. M Hayashi-Nishino et al., Front Microbiol, 13, 839718 (2022). PMID: 35369486.
  2. J Yan et al., Comput Med Imaging Graph, 97, 102053 (2022). PMID: 35306442.
  3. E Atallah et al., BMC Cancer, 18, 359 (2018). PMID: 29609532.
  4. J Pan et al., Journal of Pharmaceutical Analysis, 11, 699 (2021). PMID: 35028174.
  5. National Institutes of Health (2022). Available at: https://bit.ly/3LgxUMB.
About the Author
George Francis Lee

Associate Editor, The Pathologist

Like most people, I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do after university. But one thing was certain – writing would play a central role. Not one to walk the path most traveled, I decided to spend my next few years freelancing to hone my skills as a writer and further cement my love for language. Reaching people through writing is important to me and I look forward to connecting with thousands of people through Texere’s passionate audience.

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