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1.  Real Time Assays for Quantifying Cytotoxicity with Single Cell Resolution 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(6):e66739.
A new live cell-based assay platform has been developed for the determination of complement dependent cytotoxicity (CDC), antibody dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC), and overall cytotoxicity in human whole blood. In these assays, the targeted tumor cell populations are first labeled with fluorescent Cell Tracker dyes and immobilized using a DNA-based adhesion technique. This allows the facile generation of live cell arrays that are arranged arbitrarily or in ordered rectilinear patterns. Following the addition of antibodies in combination with serum, PBMCs, or whole blood, cell death within the targeted population can be assessed by the addition of propidium iodide (PI) as a viability probe. The array is then analyzed with an automated microscopic imager. The extent of cytotoxicity can be quantified accurately by comparing the number of surviving target cells to the number of dead cells labeled with both Cell Tracker and PI. Excellent batch-to-batch reproducibility has been achieved using this method. In addition to allowing cytotoxicity analysis to be conducted in real time on a single cell basis, this new assay overcomes the need for hazardous radiochemicals. Fluorescently-labeled antibodies can be used to identify individual cells that bear the targeted receptors, but yet resist the CDC and ADCC mechanisms. This new approach also allows the use of whole blood in cytotoxicity assays, providing an assessment of antibody efficacy in a highly relevant biological mixture. Given the rapid development of new antibody-based therapeutic agents, this convenient assay platform is well-poised to streamline the drug discovery process significantly.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0066739
PMCID: PMC3691166  PMID: 23826123
2.  Remunerating private psychiatrists for participating in case conferences 
Background
On 1 November 2000, a series of new item numbers was added to the Medicare Benefits Schedule, which allowed for case conferences between physicians (including psychiatrists) and other multidisciplinary providers. On 1 November 2002, an additional set of numbers was added, designed especially for use by psychiatrists. This paper reports the findings of an evaluation of these item numbers.
Results
The uptake of the item numbers in the three years post their introduction was low to moderate at best. Eighty nine psychiatrists rendered 479 case conferences at a cost to the Health Insurance Commission of $70,584. Psychiatrists who have used the item numbers are generally positive about them, as are consumers. Psychiatrists who have not used them have generally not done so because of a lack of knowledge, rather than direct opposition. The use of the item numbers is increasing over time, perhaps as psychiatrists become more aware of their existence and of their utility in maximising quality of care.
Conclusion
The case conferencing item numbers have potential, but as yet this potential is not being realised. Some small changes to the conditions associated with the use of the item numbers could assist their uptake.
doi:10.1186/1743-8462-2-33
PMCID: PMC1343565  PMID: 16359557

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