July 5 - 8, 2011

Area Scientists Ready For Last Shuttle Flight
WUNC-FM (Chapel Hill)
...Ted Bateman first worked on space experiments as an undergraduate student 20 years ago. Now, he’s an associate professor in rehabilitation engineering in the joint department of biomedical engineering at UNC-Chapel Hill and NC State. This will be his fourth time sending mice into space.

A quieter kind of health care
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
...A year and a half ago, UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill started using "quiet" measures: dimming the lights, closing doors and encouraging naps during certain hours of the afternoon. The hospital also bought a handful of "Yacker Trackers," devices that resemble small stoplights and flash red if noise levels spike. They're usually kept near the nurses' desks - the loudest areas in the hospital, said Priscilla Merryman, the director for Medicine Service at UNC.

UNC Scientists: NLR Protein Plays Crucial Role In Immune Response
WCHL 1360-AM (Chapel Hill)
UNC scientists have discovered more about how proteins work with the immune system as it reacts to a virus. UNC research associate Coy Allen has done lab work on the NLR family of proteins which help start the immune system’s response to bacteria or viruses like the flu. "As humans, when we're exposed to the flu virus it's critical that we have a very rapid and strong immune response to fight off the virus," he says. "Some of these NLR proteins are critical for initiating this response."

UNC Researcher: Spanking Can Lead To Negative Behavioral Consequences
WCHL 1360-AM (Chapel Hill)
The UNC School of Medicine has found through a new study that a high rate of spanking leads to significant behavioral consequences in children. "Spanking at all ages has been shown to lead to a variety of negative consequences," says Adam Zolotor, an assistant professor in the Department of Family Medicine at UNC and the lead author of the study. 

Cancer Genome Atlas completes detailed ovarian cancer analysis
The Herald-Sun (Durham)
As part of The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) project, UNC Lineberger researchers have contributed to the most comprehensive and integrated view of cancer genes for any cancer type produced to date. The UNC team, which includes Charles Perou, professor of pathology and laboratory medicine and genetics, Neil Hayes, associate professor of hematology/oncology, and Katie Hoadley, research associate, completed the microRNA and mRNA microarray analysis that contributed to the findings.

UNC cancer docs prevail

The Herald-Sun (Durham)
..."In an ENT practice parotid tumors are not terribly rare, and about 80 percent of them are benign," said Mark C. Weissler, distinguished professor of otolaryngology/head and neck surgery at the UNC School of Medicine. He diagnosed Rogers' tumor as malignant, removed it and dead nerve, and conducted a nerve graft. Weissler is also a member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Laser throws light on addiction
The Suncoast News (Tampa, Fla.)
Using an emerging technique in which light stimulates or inhibits nerve cells that have been altered at the genetic level, researchers at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hills have been able to alter the reward-seeking behavior in lab mice. ...Garret D. Stuber, assistant professor in the departments of cell and molecular physiology, psychiatry and the Neuroscience Center in UNC School of Medicine, and his collaborators have been using the technique known as optogenetics to study how the transfer of nerve impulse between regions of the brain can affect behavior such as reward seeking.

Combating Obesity in the Womb: U.K. Study Treats Pregnant Women With Diabetes Drug
"Good Morning America" ABC News
How far will we go to prevent childhood obesity? U.K. researchers are bringing the battle against obesity to babies still in the womb. ...Natural fetal programming "is a complex process that's evolved over millions of years to help a fetus adapt to the world it will ... encounter after birth," says Dr. Alison Stuebe, an assistant professor of maternal fetal medicine at UNC-Chapel Hill. "It is the way the mother 'tells' her baby what the world outside will be like."

Stem Cell Injections into the Heart Could Stave Off Chest Pain
WTMA 1250 (Charleston, S.C.)
...If the positive results seen in this study hold up in the next phase of the study, which is set to begin enrollment in the fall, this type of cardiac stem cell injection could be added to the arsenal of weapons against angina. The upcoming phase three trial has already been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. ..."The jury is still out for stem cell therapies to treat heart disease," says Dr. Cam Paterson, a cardiologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Children's Hospital can cradle more babies
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
The N.C. Children's Hospital now has more room to care for some of the state's sickest babies. The hospital opened a wing of its Newborn Critical Care Center on Thursday. The 10 new beds bring the number of beds in the center to 58, just over one-third of the Children's Hospital's total 150 beds. The Critical Care Center treats babies who are born prematurely, or born with complications such as a heart defect. The center admits 800 patients a year from throughout the state.
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Experiments from UNC-CH and NCSU aboard final shuttle mission
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
The official countdown clock at the Kennedy Space Center is ticking down to the end of an era. Weather permitting, today's liftoff of the space shuttle Atlantis, scheduled for 11:26 a.m., will be the last space shuttle launch in history. Two North Carolina research teams - from UNC-Chapel Hill and N.C. State University - will be on hand to watch. Each has experiments aboard Atlantis.

Programming a Fetus for a Healthier Life
The Wall Street Journal
Early intervention is among the most effective ways to reduce the risk of chronic diseases like obesity and diabetes, scientists believe.
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Stem Cell Shots Into the Heart Could Stave Off Chest Pain
ABC News
"The jury is still out for stem cell therapies to treat heart disease," says Dr. Cam Paterson, a cardiologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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Residents at Hospitals Told: ‘Take a Break’
Triangle Business Journal
The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, or ACGME, accredits post-M.D. training programs, including those at Duke University Health System and University of North Carolina Hospitals. New guidelines, which went into effect July 1, set caps on how many hours residents may work and could dramatically shift how faculty at those hospitals teach up-and-coming physicians.

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