May 31 - June 3, 2011

No fair! Hip bones really do widen with age
HealthDay News
...Even though most people stop growing in height by the time they hit age 20, researchers have found evidence that the hip bones can keep growing even as people enter their 70s. "I think it's a fairly common human experience that people find themselves to be wider at the age of 40 or 60 then they were at 20," study researcher Dr. Laurence E. Dahners, a professor in the orthopedics department at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, said in a statement.

Science Diction: The Origin Of The Word 'Syphilis'
"Talk of the Nation" National Public Radio
In a 1530 epic poem, Italian physician and poet Hieronymus Fracastorius coined 'Syphilis' as the name of his poem's protagonist, a shepherd afflicted with the dreaded disease. Medical historian Dr. Howard Markel and STD expert Dr. Peter Leone discuss the disease's history and its resurgence today. (Dr. Peter Leone is a professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.)

Welcome ... all (Editorial)
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
Sometimes, it's the small things that make a big difference. Deb Rosenstein, a therapist at the N.C. Jaycee Burn Center, had an idea in 1982, to start a weekend camp for children who were burn victims. Such kids, she discovered, were not always accepted by regular summer camps. Many suffered from disfiguring scars, which could make them uncomfortable around other children.
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Wide load theory
WNCN-TV (NBC/Raleigh)
Most people stop growing taller by the time they reach their twenties, but new research suggests your hips keep widening for decades. A new study out of UNC Chapel Hill looked at C.T. scans of over two hundred men and women aged twenty to seventy-nine. They found most reached skeletal maturity at age twenty but their pelvis continued to expand throughout their life.

Why do our bodies make icky mucus?
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
With its sticky icky grossness, you may wonder why mucus exists in the first place. But this annoyance of cold and allergy season plays a very important role in keeping our bodies healthy. Dr. Michael R. Knowles, professor of pulmonary and critical care medicine at UNC Chapel Hill, explains the many attributes of this slick substance.

No hitting in the classroom (Opinion-Editorial Column)
The Chapel Hill News
April was National Child Abuse Prevention Month. While attention usually focuses on abuse in the home, it is equally important to address abuse in the setting where children spend approximately one quarter of their day - school. (Whitney Mudd is a second-year medical student at UNC.)

Should babies be screened for untreatable diseases?
Reuters (Wire Service)
...Slightly less than two-thirds of the couples said yes, according to Debra Skinner of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and colleagues. Most of the mothers who accepted the test said they wanted to know about their child's prospects, and the earlier the better. But many also said they agreed out of a wish to support research, hinting they might have misunderstood the purpose of the poll.

Rethinking Aging: Growing Old and Living Well in an Overtreated Society
Publishers Weekly
We now know exactly where we are at a "ripe old age"--about 85, and more of us are hitting that mark than ever before, notes Hadler, a professor of medicine at UNC–Chapel Hill (Worried Sick: A Prescription for Health in an Overtreated America).

Pelvis Continues to Widen as You Age; May Result in Larger Waistline
ABC News Radio
Examining CT scans from 246 patients aged between 20 and 79, researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that those in the oldest age group had pelvises that, on average, were almost an inch wider than those belonging to the younger patients.

The 30 years war
The Economist
...On May 12th the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN), an international research collaboration, announced that its most important project was being terminated—not because it had failed, but because it had succeeded. The study, led by Myron Cohen of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, had looked at 1,763 couples, most straight, some gay, from Africa, Asia and North and South America, in which one partner but not the other was infected.

Bill sparks debate: Are tanning beds bad for teens?
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
...The Youth Skin Cancer Prevention Act, a bill sponsored by three senators who also are doctors, would require people younger than 18 to have a physician's prescription to tan indoors. ..."The law could save lives," said Dr. Craig Burkhart, a pediatric dermatologist at the University of North Carolina Medical School and the president of the N.C. Dermatology Association. "It really educates people [at a young age] that indoor tanning is not safe."

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