Week of Aug. 16 - 20, 2010

'Laptop-itis' Rx: A docking station
United Press International
A U.S. physician says back, neck, head or hand pain can characterize what he called laptop-itis. Dr. Kevin Carneiro of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine says use of a laptop can cause debilitating physical problems -- mostly due to poor posture because the keyboard and monitor can't be positioned independently.
Fox News
Dr. Jim Evans, genetics professor at the University of North Carolina was interviewed about home genetic testing kits and concerns that have arisen around such tests. Dr. Evans has been an integral part of a federal investigation of companies that provide home genetic testing. He discussed the scientific value of these tests and the obligation of companies who make them. 
Note: This interview was recorded from the Carolina News Studio, and is not available online at this time.

The FDA's Deadly Overcaution (Opinion-Editorial Column)
AOL News
In the past two months, there've been news accounts of two major diagnostic advances in medicine. One involves a far more efficient HIV detection test that FDA approved in late June. The other is a new prostate cancer test that may reduce the huge number of unnecessary biopsies and surgeries that are currently performed. ...That promises to prevent the spread of the disease. "Since individuals are most infectious to others shortly after infection, detecting HIV earlier is critical and life saving," said Peter Leone, M.D., of the University of North Carolina's HIV/STD Prevention and Control Branch.
Cancer and the Immune System
"The People's Pharmacy" WUNC-FM (Chapel Hill)
More than 100 years ago, a New York surgeon named William Coley developed an unusual cancer treatment that produced a high fever in his patients. Although the treatment was unconventional, it turned out to be successful surprisingly often. Should Coley's treatment be revived today? How else might we jump-start the immune system? Find out about the hope for vaccine treatments for cancer, as well as the status of Coley's fluid. This is the second in a three-part series on unconventional approaches to cancer. Guests: ...Jonathan Serody, MD, Elizabeth Thomas Professor of Medicine, Microbiology and Immunology in the Program in Stem Cell Transplantation. He is Director of the LCCC Program in Malignant Hematology and Co-leader of the LCCC Immunology Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Staph strain is expanding out of hospitals
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
...The stubborn abscesses are telltale signs of the antibiotic-resistant strain of staph that has ravaged bed-bound hospital patients for nearly two decades. But pediatricians across North Carolina now say nearly 80 percent of the skin wound cases found in healthy children are caused by this bacterial scourge, known by the acronym MRSA. ...Children are also commonly affected. They're more vulnerable simply because they're worse at basic hygiene measures. "They don't have the germ phobia that the rest of us do," said Dr. Adam Shapiro, a pediatrician at UNC Hospitals.
UNC Researchers Introduce Pain-Killing Protein
WCHL 1360-AM (Chapel Hill)
UNC researchers discovered a protein that blocks a molecule associated with chronic pain. The protein prostatic acid phosphatase, or PAP, blocks the molecule that causes pain and keeps it at bay long after it is injected.  Mark Zylka is an assistant professor in the Department of Cell and Molecular Physiology and the UNC Neuroscience Center. 

Series designed for survivors' wholeness, balance
The Chapel Hill Herald
If you are living with or have survived cancer, heart disease, AIDS, or have other ongoing physical challenges such as chronic pain, this three-part series at Carolina Pointe II, 6013 Farrington Road, Suite 101, is designed to help you attain or regain a sense of balance and wholeness. Caregivers, family members and health care professionals are also welcome to the Rediscovering Wholeness series sponsored by the UNC Comprehensive Cancer Support Program.

Beating Children Remains Common Worldwide
Voice of America
Thirty years ago, the United Nations ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child - a document that spells out the basic human rights of children, and states that children need special protection and care. But three decades on, how are children doing? Pediatricians from the University of North Carolina have taken a look at one measure of children's well being - the extent to which they are subject to corporal punishment and abuse. One of the pediatricians, Desmond Runyan, was at an international meeting about a decade ago when he proposed that countries work in parallel to measure the type and extent of child abuse occurring in each place.

Moose Offer Trail of Clues on Arthritis
The New York Times
...Many of the moose, it turns out, have arthritis. And scientists believe their condition’s origin can help explain human osteoarthritis — by far the most common type of arthritis, affecting one of every seven adults 25 and older and becoming increasingly prevalent. ...“It makes perfect sense,” said Dr. Joanne Jordan, director of the Thurston Arthritis Research Center at the University of North Carolina. “Osteoarthritis starts way before the person knows it, way before their knee hurts or their hand hurts. It’s very clear that we’re going to have to start looking back” at “things in the early life course.”

Three Distinct Routes Detailed for How HIV Arises in Male Genital Tract
Scientific American
... Upon infection, the virus in the blood and semen are often nearly identical, but over time, previous studies have shown, the different populations become varied, making it "clear that the virus in the blood does not always represent the virus at the site of the transmission," Jeffrey Anderson and Li-Hua Ping, both of the Center for AIDS Research at the University of North Carolina, noted in an e-mail to Scientific American. 

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