Feb. 21 - 25, 2011

Interventions to reduce African American HIV risk should target factors outside health system
Physicians working to reduce the risk of HIV in rural, African American communities should target factors that operate outside the health care system. That’s the conclusion of a new study led by Crystal Wiley Cené, MD, MPH, an assistant professor in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine. The study was published online Feb. 10 by the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

UNC Nano Researchers Work on 'Flexible' Synthetic Blood Cells
UNC researchers used technology known as PRINT (Particle Replication in Non-wetting Templates) to produce very soft hydrogel particles that mimic the size, shape and flexibility of red blood cells. This allowed the particles to circulate in the body for extended periods of time.

UNC Health Care picks IBM for health information exchange
Triangle Business Journal
UNC Health Care has launched a new health information exchange using IBM technology that improves the flow of health information for affiliated hospitals and physician practices throughout North Carolina.

Heart transplant survivor grateful for each day
Mitchell Edwards, a longtime Garner resident and the 10th patient to receive a heart transplant at UNC Hospitals, reflects on his experience with heart disease all the time, not just in February.

Call to fund regular cancer screens
The Courier Mail (Australia)
Australia's existing program offers screening for people when they turn 50, 55 and 65 but the Federal Government is refusing to say whether it will continue to be funded in this year's Budget. Researchers writing in the latest  Medical Journal of Australia say the program should be extended to offer screening with a faecal occult blood test every two years once people turn 50. ...Study author Michael Pignone of the University of North Carolina, who researched the issue during a six-month Australian-American Health Policy Fellowship, said it would save between 300 and 500 lives a year compared with no screening.

Knuckle Replacement: An Option For Achy Hands
The Huffington Post
...Nortin Hadler, M.D., a rheumatologist and professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, says he doesn't recommend the procedure to as many patients as he once did. "Now rheumatologists are more aggressive at treating the diseases -- because we can be," he says. "The medications are better and the disease is milder -- partly because of earlier diagnosis -- and we are less enthusiastic about the surgery."

USA Today to host Harvard webcast on genome project
USA Today
..."It's now been 10 years since humans deciphered the digital code that defines us as a species," says a review of genomic medicine titled Deflating the Genomic Bubble, led by James Evans of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, in the current Science. "If we fail to evaluate the considerable promise of genomics through a realistic lens, exaggerated expectations will undermine its legitimacy," says the review, which notes a number of roadblocks to realizing the promise of genomics:

Cleveland Clinic geneticist takes part in testing of Abraham Lincoln's DNA (Blog)
Abraham Lincoln has been dead for nearly 146 years. But today, President's Day, a National Geographic Channel television special revisits a medical mystery that has long surrounded our 16th president. For more than a year the channel filmed Dr. John Sotos, a professor at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, as he worked with Dr. Charis Eng of the Cleveland Clinic to answer whether or not Lincoln may have had a rare form of cancer that would have killed him had he not been assassinated in 1865 at age 56.

Wheelchair with blue lights, siren patrols hospital
ABC 11 News
The newest members of the Highway Patrol are patrolling the hallways at the children's hospital in Chapel Hill.
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When seconds count
The News-Leader (Springfield, Mo.)
..."One of the marks of how good a hospital is is how fast they can give it to you when you walk through the door," said Dr. William Powers, chairman of the Department of Neurology at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. "To get all those things done in less than 60 minutes means you have a system that's really functioning well."

Bacteria's role in colon cancer, cystic fibrosis; burning paper to measure carbon
The Washington Post
...Researchers are learning how the balance of these bugs affects our health, but reaping the benefits of bacteria is not quite as simple as eating probiotic yogurt. That's the gist of "The Good, the Bad, and the Unknown" in Endeavors, a magazine published by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The article is broken into five vignettes about what UNC researchers are finding about bacteria's role in ailments such as Crohn's disease, colon cancer and cystic fibrosis.

Surgeon's arrest leaves a patient hanging (Opinion Column)
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
...Scrivani also complained to UNC, where Cook was an assistant professor in the School of Medicine. Karen McCall, vice president of public affairs and marketing for UNC Hospitals, said, "We had spoken with Mrs. Scrivani in February 2010. She was unhappy with her care from Dr. Cook, so we had her come over and [be] seen at a consultation at no charge. We couldn't find problems with her care from Dr. Cook."

UNC Health Care Launches New Exchange
The North Carolina News Network
IBM today announced that UNC Health Care has launched a new health information exchange (HIE) to improve the flow of reliable health information among their affiliated hospitals and physician practices throughout North Carolina. As a result, health care providers will be able to quickly access electronic medical records, lab results and radiology reports while medical information follows patients throughout the hospital system and outlying clinics.
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Conference on mental health
The Chapel Hill News
...Guest speaker is Dr. Gary Duncan, a research professor in the Department of Psychiatry at UNC-Chapel Hill. He conducts basic research on effects of anti psychotic drugs in animal models with the goal of finding better treatments for people with schizophrenia.

Community delivers Dinners on Tuesday (Letter to the Editor)
The Chapel Hill Herald
Every Tuesday evening, smiles appear on the faces of patients and their live-in caregivers on the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit of N.C. Cancer Hospital, the clinical home of UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. ...It's wonderful to have such committed businesses in our community to support not only this program, but all programs for patients and families undergoing treatment at UNC. (Linda Karp and Loretta Muss, Chapel Hill. Karp is volunteer coordinator of N.C. Cancer Hospital's BMT Buddy Program, and Muss is coordinator of N.C. Cancer Hospital's Patient and Family Advisory Board.)

Device Recalls Blamed on Lax FDA Approval Path
medpage TODAY
"The system is set up so that safety and innovation are opposed to each other. It doesn't have to be that way," said Cam Patterson, MD, of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "The requirements for premarket testing have gotten so over the top that it is almost considered the kiss of death for a company if the FDA requires their product to reach approval through this pathway."

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