Jan. 17 - 21

When violence explodes in the workplace
The Globe and Mail
The attack by a deranged gunman on U.S. congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in a Tucson crowd occurred in a public setting, but it was also a workplace disaster. ...One study, by Eric Elbogen and Sally Johnson at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, followed 35,000 people for five years and found that people with a history of mental illness were no more prone to violence than the average person – unless they also had a problem with alcohol or drugs.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs will take medical leave
USA Today
Apple, the technology innovator and standard-setter for stylish cellphones, personal computers and transformative gadgets from iPods to iPads, is losing its iconic leader once again. It's unclear when — or even whether —Apple CEO Steve Jobs will return. ...His latest announcement could be a sign that his pancreatic cancer has returned, says Richard Goldberg, a professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill's Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. Goldberg has no knowledge of Jobs' case but says the most likely reason for a setback is that the tumor has spread into the transplanted liver. It's also possible Jobs' body is rejecting the transplant, although that is more likely soon after a transplant, he says.

Apple's Steve Jobs likely stricken with one of two conditions, experts say
The San Jose Mercury News
Medical experts say there are two likely reasons why patients such as Apple CEO Steve Jobs, with pancreatic cancer and a new liver, need time off: complications from the transplant or recurrence of the tumor. ...According to a report by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill abdominal transplant surgeon David Gerber, liver metastases are the main cause of death for patients with this type of cancer -- so a transplant can significantly prolong survival.

UNC team continues breast cancer research
The Herald-Sun (Durham)
In 2006, a team from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill schools of Public Health and Medicine and UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center found that breast cancer in younger African American women is more likely to be the more aggressive basal-like (or triple-negative) subtype -- one factor thought to be behind known racial disparity differences in breast cancer patient outcomes.

Healthy turnabout for tobacco
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
...Although manufacturing flu vaccine with tobacco plants could have many benefits, completed vaccine should be introduced to the public on a small scale, said David Weber, a professor in the infectious diseases division at UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine. "It may well turn out that using tobacco plants allows us to generate large amounts of flu vaccine and that purifying the vaccines is easier this way," he said.

UNC, Duke scientists named AAAS Fellows
The Herald-Sun (Durham)
Eight Duke University Medical Center scientists and six scientists from UNC Chapel Hill have been awarded the distinction of AAAS Fellow this year by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. ...The UNC-CH researchers include:  Biologist Kerry Bloom, anthropologist Paul Leslie, chemist Wenbin Lin, computer scientist Dinesh Manocha, geneticist and psychiatrist Patrick Sullivan and physicist John Wilkerson.

UNC Health, BCBS plan facility
The Chapel Hill Herald
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.

Take mental illness out of the Arizona debate
The Globe and Mail (Canada)
The shootings in Tucson once again have stirred debate over whether mental illness is linked to violence.  ...“People with serious mental illness, without other big risk factors, are no more violent than most other people,” lead author of the U.S. study, Dr. Eric Elbogen of the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, says. “Mental illness is not a strong predictor of violence by itself.”

Metal Tongue Piercings Linked to Raised Infection Risks
HealthDay News
If you're considering tongue piercing as a form of self-expression, know that new research suggests that whether the stud used is metal or plastic makes a difference when it comes to chances of infection. ...Yet, this accumulation of bacteria may not be the biggest worry, said Dr. Valerie Murrah, of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "As an oral pathologist, I'm concerned with infections of the tongue," she said, noting the importance of sterile piercing techniques.

One in 12 Fans Leaves Major Sports Events Drunk: Study
HealthDay News
..."The study reminds us that heavy drinking at sporting events occurs and that this likely contributes to DWI accidents and injuries or even deaths," said Dr. James C. Garbutt, medical director of the Alcohol and Substance Abuse Program at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. "Efforts to reduce this serious problem -- such as education, traffic stops around a stadium and not serving alcohol in the final portion of a game -- are of value."

Researchers Closer To Creating Synthetic Blood
WCHL 1360-AM (Chapel Hill)
A group of UNC researchers is closer to realizing the capabilities of synthetic blood due to the findings of a recent study. UNC Professor of Chemistry Joe DeSimone says researchers have unlocked one of the secrets to creating a synthetic blend that could one day replace natural blood in certain situations.

Two NC flu deaths surprise experts
WRAL-TV (CBS/Raleigh)
The flu is widespread in North Carolina and has caused two deaths this season, experts say. ..."Type A and B can cause serious disease. It's said in most years that B is milder, but this year, it doesn't appear to be so," said Dr. David Weber, an infectious disease expert with the University of North Carolina School of Public Health.

UNC Health, Aetna can't agree on new contract
WRAL-TV (CBS/Raleigh)
About 10,000 Triangle-area residents could be forced to seek new doctors of pay more for medical care next month because of a dispute between UNC Health Care and Aetna. ..."We take our responsibility to the people of North Carolina very seriously and very much regret that we have not been able to reach mutually acceptable terms with Aetna," the statement said. "We stand ready to help our patients however we can and will make every effort to enable care continuity with Aetna's patients."

Haitian burn victim reflects on year of survival
Louis arrived at the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill two weeks after the earthquake. He underwent six major surgeries, including four skin grafts.

Going Under The Needle: Cancer Pain
The University of North Carolina medical school’s doctor Jongbae J. Park, K.M.D, Ph.D., stepped-in to help. His solution was acupuncture. Janet would rather have needles than painkillers. Doctor Park inserts thin needles into specific acupuncture points on the skin, 365 in all. The goal is to stimulate the nervous system and release natural painkillers like adenosine.

UNC surgeons complete breakthrough aneurysm treatment
The Daily Tar Heel
Almost two years ago, a pair of UNC surgeons had a revolutionary idea for the treatment of brain aneurysms. They wanted to go through the nose. Merging their interests in medical technology and less invasive surgical methods, Dr. Anand Germanwala and Dr. Adam Zanation decided to remove a female patient’s aneurysm through her nose instead of the traditional open-brain surgery.

Conflict leaves patients in lurch
The Daily Tar Heel
A dispute concerning rising health care costs might lead to the termination of a contract between UNC Hospitals and an insurance provider early next month, leaving thousands of patients in the lurch. UNC has raised the costs of service far beyond what Aetna’s patients might be able to pay, said Walt Cherniak, spokesman for the Connecticut-based insurance agency.

Share This: