• BloodCenter of Wisconsin's Diagnostic Laboratories (Milwaukee) said that it is the first laboratory in the U.S. to develop and offer a genetic test, known as "CEBPA Mutation Analysis," for inherited acute myeloid leukemia (AML). AML is the second most common form of leukemia. The link between inherited variants in the CEBPA gene and the familial form of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) was first described in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2004. This relationship has subsequently been confirmed in several published reports. Almost all patients found to have inherited CEBPA mutations have had leukemia. Therefore, germline CEBPA mutations appear to predict the development of leukemia in individuals who lack manifestations of the disease. BloodCenter offers a modified version of CEBPA Mutation Analysis for non-inherited (sporadic) AML. This test is performed on DNA from the leukemia cells, rather than normal blood cells as in the test for inherited leukemia. In 15 – 18% of cases of a type of sporadic AML called "AML with normal cytogenetics" (CN-AML), CEBPA mutations serve as a biomarker that is associated with relatively favorable outcomes. CN-AML accounts for about 50% of all AML. BloodCenter is also believed to be the first laboratory in the United States to offer CEBPA testing for CN-AML.

• Clear Innova (Los Angeles) reported the launch of a radiology information system (RIS) that it says will serve as an efficient, cost-effective practice management solution for imaging centers and hospital radiology departments. The Origin RIS integrates a number of key features and capabilities that typically require the piecing together of separate products. The system's unified platform handles patient scheduling, maintains electronic medical records including documents, forms, dictation, and images and provides a comprehensive billing module with a "Code Suggester" for faster and more efficient billing and payments.

• Fluidigm (South San Francisco, California) said that its Topaz system is the tool that has helped researchers solve the structures of proteins from the Ebola Virus and Avian Flu Influenza. Now, the company is introducing its new 1.96 Diffraction Capable (DC) integrated fluidic circuit which it says will allow researchers something they have long sought – direct screen-to-beam capabilities without the need to physically harvest a crystal from the device. The Topaz system samples crystallization space while using little protein sample. These microscopic crystals can hold the key to understanding and possibly preventing diseases of catastrophic proportions, such as influenza epidemics. The 1.96 DC chip provides the ability to obtain high quality in situ, diffraction data, thus allowing true "hands off" diffraction-based screening. "

• Hologic (Bedford, Massachusetts) received FDA clearance for its R2 DigitalNow HD software application. The software is intended to process digitized screen-film mammograms for comparison purposes. The software adapts each digitized film image to a selected contrast and tissue intensity that models a digital mammography system. It also embeds a series of look-up tables in the image that allow Integrated Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) mammography conformant workstations to draw out less evident regions of density within digitized films. Hologic makes diagnostics and imaging systems for women's healthcare.

A new study reveals that 900 hypertensive patients using Ideal Life (Toronto) remote health management devices to monitor their blood pressure effectively reduced their systolic blood pressure (SYS) by an average of 10 mmHg. For many patients, this decrease brought them below 140 mmHg, the level traditionally defined as the threshold for "high" blood pressure. "Basically, the patients in this study went from being hypertensive to having blood pressures considered within a normal range," said William Courtright, MD. "Monitoring their blood pressure with the IDEAL LIFE system allowed for timely adjustments and better disease management."

• Luminex (Austin, Texas) reported the release of its Flexmap 3D system, a multiplexing instrument that allows scientists to simultaneously perform up to 500 tests on a single sample. Based on Luminex's xMAP Technology, Flexmap 3D provides scientists with up to 500 analytes per well, improved analytical performance, 96- or 384-well plate format, enhanced dual pipetting, automation and LIS compatibility, streamlined calibration and performance verification routines. Luminex claims that the Flexmap 3D can perform multiplexed genomic, transcriptomic, and proteomic biomarker analysis on a single platform. It is ideal for applications such as SNP genotyping and gene expression analysis, which are vital in areas such as high throughput pharmaceutical research.

• Quest Diagnostics (Madison, New Jersey) reported the availability of a new laboratory developed test designed to help physicians determine whether a patient with a history of HIV drug resistance will respond to the latest class of HIV antiretroviral therapies. The HIV-1 Coreceptor Tropism Test provides physicians with timely information so they may more quickly determine or change therapy based on how the HIV virus infects cells in the individual patient. HIV coreceptor tropism refers to the preference of strains of HIV to bind to, activate and infect cells, promoting disease progression, based on the type of co-receptor on the cell's surface. The newest class of antiretroviral drugs, called entry inhibitors, targets the tropism process involving one or both coreceptors, CCR5 or CXCR4, of CD4 cells, which help the immune system fight infection. HIV-1 viral particles that use the CCR5 co-receptor to infect the cell are called R5-tropic, those using CXCR4 are called X4-tropic, and those using both are called dual-tropic.