Week of June 28 - July 2, 2010

UNC cancer center scores Hatchell gift
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
 A cancer scare a decade ago and a player's diagnosis of Hodgkin's Lymphoma are two of the reasons UNC's women's basketball head coach Sylvia Hatchell announced a $50,000 donation Friday to the N.C. Cancer Hospital Pediatric Oncology Endowment Fund. Hatchell's recent gift tops her purchase 10 years ago of a 204-acre swath of land in eastern Buncombe County that includes a cabin and a patch of blueberry bushes, which are open to the public for picking at the request of a $5 mail-in donation per gallon to the UNC Linberger Comprehensive Cancer Center in Chapel Hill.
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UNC group gets grant to fight HIV
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
A team from the UNC Institute for Global Health & Infectious Diseases has received a $1.7 million federal grant to help curb the spread of HIV in North Carolina. The four-year study will assess a new test to diagnose acute HIV infection. AHI is the period between infection and detection of HIV antibodies and lasts up to 12 weeks. During this brief window of time, the virus replicates rapidly, and the probability of transmission is very high. "Identifying individuals with AHI could have a significant positive impact on the spread of the virus," Dr. Peter Leone, co-principal investigator, said in a news release.

Schools make no headway in fight against fat
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
Middle school students targeted with an intensive effort to reduce obesity did no better at losing weight than their peers in schools without special programs, researchers at UNC-Chapel Hill and elsewhere report. The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, involved a three-year campaign at 42 schools around the country, including six in North Carolina. It was aimed primarily at cutting the proportion of middle school children who are overweight or obese.

How bad are your past sins really?
Let's be honest: Many of us -- OK, most of us -- weren't exactly paragons of health in our youth. And we can't help wondering: Will those margaritas, junk-food binges, forgotten condoms, or even that one bong hit eventually come back to haunt us? ...The more you do it, the greater the risk," says Dr. Fulton Crews, Ph.D., director of the Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine. Plus, because the liver is responsible for breaking down alcohol and clearing it from the body, heavy drinking -- more than a few drinks a day for over 10 years -- can cause hepatitis, cirrhosis, and liver cancer.

Whooping cough becoming a bigger health concern
WRAL-TV (CBS/Raleigh)
Whooping cough is becoming a big health concern, particularly in California where they've seen more than 900 cases this year, up from 200 last year. Now, other states concerned about the spread. ...“And what they do is they cough, cough, cough, cough and then they ‘whoooooop,’” said UNC Epidemiologist Dr. David Weber. “It's when they've been aspiring, after they've been coughing so much, they get that like ‘whooping’ sound.” Weber, an infectious disease expert, says the cough becomes suspicious after it lasts more than three weeks.

Matthews leads UNC division

The Herald-Sun (Durham)
Catherine Matthews has been named chief of the Division of Urogynecology and Reconstructive Pelvic Surgery in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the UNC School of Medicine, effective July 1. ...She is actively involved in research regarding incontinence and prolapse. One of her first objectives at UNC is to create a "Pelvic Floor Center of Excellence."

UNC gets $1.7M to study HIV testing
The Chapel Hill Herald
A team of researchers from the UNC Institute for Global Health & Infectious Diseases has received a $1.7 million grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to study novel HIV testing methods to detect acute HIV infection and target sexual networks to curb the spread of HIV in North Carolina. The four-year study will assess the performance and cost-effectiveness of a new, fourth-generation test to diagnose acute HIV infection.

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