Jan. 10 - 14

Photographer prepared for long recovery after explosion
Allen, 47, is now in the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill. He has burns on 20 percent of his body, and his left forearm had to be amputated.Dr. Bruce Cairns of the Jaycee Burn Center said Allen has a tremendous will and is very resilient. "Frankly, he's doing most of the work himself," Cairns said. "Having that resilience and experience and all these wonderful reasons to carry on and get your life back, all of those motivate people to get better."
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Artificial blood cells breakthrough
United Kingdom Press Association
Jelly-like synthetic particles which mimic tiny cells in size and shape may be the first step towards developing truly artificial blood, scientists believe. ... Professor Joseph DeSimone, one of the study investigators from the University of North Carolina, said: "Creating particles for extended circulation in the blood stream has been a significant challenge in the development of drug delivery systems from the beginning.

Flexibility is power in red blood cells

The Los Angeles Times
One of red blood cells' remarkable characteristics, among many, is their ability to deform and squish their way through blood vessels -- even blood vessels tinier than they are -- to deliver oxygen throughout the body.  Scientists believe this flexibility contributes to red blood cells' ability to circulate for an average of 120 days. ... Now researchers at the University of North Carolina have synthesized red blood cell-sized and -shaped nanoparticles that mimic this flexibility and longevity. The discovery may lead to the development of better methods for delivering drugs, they reported Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science.

UNC Health, BCBS plan joint facility
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
Two of the state's largest health care companies are joining forces to open a new type of medical practice in the Triangle, the latest evidence that the federal overhaul law is spurring major shifts in the industry. Blue Cross and Blue Shield will collaborate with the UNC Health Care System to build a primary care facility that will coordinate care exclusively for about 5,000 Blue Cross members. The company is the state's largest health insurer. Blue Cross and UNC Health will announce the project this morning, but are still working out details. Officials want to open the practice in Durham or Orange County and expect it to be ready by later this year.

Bendable New Particles Can Squeeze Through Tiny Blood Vessels (Blog)

Discover Magazine
Research teams around the world are attempting to develop new tiny synthetic particles that will enter your bloodstream to act as red blood cells, to play the part of platelets and stop the bleeding, to latch onto damaged areas and deliver drugs there, and more. And to make these lab-created particles as effective as possible, they need to stay in one’s system and not get stuck. In this week’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Joseph DiSimone and colleagues say they have figured out a way to mimic the twistable, turnable, bendable, foldable nature of red bloods cells to make long-lasting synthetic particles, and that they’ve tested those particles on a living system, a first. (Joseph DiSimone is the Chancellor’s Eminent Professor of Chemistry in UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences, a member of UNC’s Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering at N.C. State University.)

UNC team uses tiny particles to mimic blood
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
The quest to develop synthetic blood is advancing through the work of UNC-Chapel Hill researchers using tiny particles that are not only the same shape, but same flexibility as vital red blood cells. The team, led by chemistry professor Joseph DeSimone, who invented a technology to mass produce uniquely shaped nanoparticles, builds on the observation that red blood cells are more pliant when they're in the youth of their 120-day life cycle.

UNC doctor: Hope and despair both thrive in post-quake Haiti
WRAL-TV (CBS/Raleigh)
...Adam Goldstein, a professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said he couldn't sit idly by and see images of Haiti's devastation without feeling compelled to help. He traveled there during Haiti's presidential election and a cholera outbreak outside the quake zone that has killed more than 3,600 people.
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UNC researches estrogen and disease

WTVD-TV (ABC/Raleigh)
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill announced in a news release Wednesday that its researchers have launched a new clinical trial to see if estrogen replacement therapy could help prevent depression and cardiovascular illness in women between the ages of 45 and 55. Another study published in 2004 found a link between estrogen therapy and an increased risk of stroke and blood clots, but UNC says that study focused on older women.

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