Dec. 6 - 10

UNC study looks at warm evolution
The Herald-Sun (Durham)
There has been controversy about whether life originated in a hot or cold environment, and about whether enough time has elapsed for life to have evolved to its present complexity. But new research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill investigating the effect of temperature on extremely slow chemical reactions suggests that the time required for evolution on a warm earth is shorter than critics might expect. The findings are published in the Dec. 1 online early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

State employees in shark-filled waters (Guest Column)
The Chapel Hill News
The N.C. General Assembly underwent a major change in the recent mid-term elections. For the first time in 112 years, both the State House and Senate will have a Republican majority. Good news? Perhaps, for some. ... Why would the N.C. General Assembly want to penalize state employees for a problem - spiraling health care costs - created by those in charge of our hospitals and insurance programs? Example: UNC Hospitals claimed it stood to lose $135 million in "charity care" in 2009. It didn't. The shortage was subsidized by hospital administrators overcharging their paying "customers" to make up the difference.

Concerns about kids' medicines
The Washington Post
New research is rekindling concerns about the safety of some popular over-the-counter liquid medications for children. ...In an editorial accompanying the study, Darren DeWalt of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill said the findings illustrate that more needs to be done to help parents administer medications to their children safely.

FDA Panel Backs Use Of Orexigen's Proposed Weight-Loss Drug Contrave
The Wall Street Journal
A federal advisory panel Tuesday backed the use of a proposed weight-loss drug from Orexigen Therapeutics Inc. (OREX), saying potential safety concerns could be addressed in a clinical study after approval. ...John Buse, a prominent diabetes researcher at the University of North Carolina who raised concerns about the safety of the diabetes drug Avandia several years ago, spoke on behalf of Orexigen, and said "a post approval study is appropriate and the only way to move forward."

Thorp Leaves for Malawi to Visit UNC Employees
WCHL 1360-AM (Chapel Hill)
UNC Chancellor Holden Thorp leaves for South Africa and Malawi today to visit employees of a university health care project. UNC Project-Malawi is a research, clinical health care and training facility on the campus of Kamuzu Central Hospital in Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe. Doctors and employees at the facility are conducting HIV and cancer research as well as training doctors in a National Institute of Health program for AIDS treatment. The project has been a collaborative effort between UNC and the Malawi Ministry of Health since 1990.

WakeMed accuses rival of ill will
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
UNC Health Care System's "predatory" efforts to compete in Wake County are part of a plan to orchestrate a hostile takeover of rival WakeMed, that hospital's top executive said Wednesday. ...But UNC Health's top executive, Bill Roper, said his intent isn't to "tear down" or take over a competitor. "WakeMed believes what we're doing is deeply harmful to them," Roper said after a separate visit to The N&O on Wednesday. "We don't intend to cause them harm. That's not the way we do business and it's totally counter to the way I do things personally."

Drug-resistant HIV genes isolated, giving hope for better treatment
The Vancouver Sun (Canada)
...A file photo of structures found in the HIV RNA genome as identified by University of North Carolina (UNC) researchers are shown in this handout photograph.

AIDS: The Lazarus Effect
Voice of America
Researchers call it the Lazarus effect – the dramatic beneficial changes that antiretroviral drugs – ARVs - can bring to HIV/AIDS patients and their families.  The drugs are changing lives. ...One of the key partners in the study was the AMPATH program in Eldoret. It’s a partnership between Indiana University in the U.S. and Kenya’s Moi University.  Other partners include USAID, the World Bank and the University of North Carolina.

"Hypnobirthing" May Lead to Pain-Free Child Birthing,0,1348740.story
WGHP-TV (Greensboro)
UNC Chapel Hill Professors are studying the benefits of hypnosis on a woman during labor and child birth. ...However, Nancy Chescheir, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of North Carolina, argues that women taking these classes maybe hoping for unrealistic expectations. She said women can't expect to have pain-free births just by taking these classes.

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