Nov. 28 - Dec. 2, 2011

13-Pound Baby Named ‘Jihad’ Born in Germany (Blog)
ABC News
...“A mother’s weight prior to pregnancy, the amount she gains, and the level of her blood sugar all affect how big a baby will be,” said Dr. Alison Stuebe, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. “When a mother has gestational diabetes, her fetus is exposed to very high levels of glucose, and to compensate, the fetus releases lots of insulin. Insulin stimulates the baby to store the glucose as fat, increasing the baby’s birth weight.”

Surgery goes well for Baby Adam
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
Baby Adam, a 2-1/2-month-old boy from India with severe birth defects, was doing well Tuesday night after undergoing the first set of several reconstructive surgeries at UNC Hospitals, his mother reported. ...It was while they were trying to find help for Adam that a friend introduced them to UNC pediatric plastic surgeon John van Aalst and they arranged to come to Chapel Hill.

‘Treatment as prevention’: real-world evidence must be the guide
The Financial Times (United Kingdom)
A recent study showing HIV-positive people who consistently took antiretroviral medications (ARVs) did not infect their regular partners has generated growing excitement about the prospects of “treatment as prevention”, and some mathematical modeling has suggested that this approach could virtually eliminate HIV in Africa’s hardest-hit epidemics. (Daniel Halperin is a researcher at the University of North Carolina.)

Obama to nominate UNC dean to chair cancer panel
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
President Barack Obama has announced his intent to nominate Barbara Rimer, dean of UNC-Chapel Hill's Gillings School of Global Public Health, to chair the President's Cancer Panel. ..."The President's Cancer Panel has the potential to be one of the most influential bodies shaping national policy regarding cancer," said Dr. H. Shelton Earp, director of UNC's Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. "With the appointment of Barbara Rimer, President Obama and National Cancer Institute Director Harold Varmus have sent a message: they want the best."

Researchers Cite Progress Toward HIV Treatment, Cure
Voice of America
...2011 saw some important scientific advances. One study, for example, found early treatment of HIV-positive people with anti-retroviral drugs can greatly reduce transmission of the virus to an uninfected sexual partner. Infectious disease specialist Myron Cohen, from the University of North Carolina, designed the two-year trial: HIV Prevention Trials Network 052.

Here's to a smokeless New Year
News & Observer
As we approach the New Year and think about resolutions to improve our health, perhaps as a state we should resolve to address the major cause of cancer in North Carolina. (Op-Ed piece written by Adam O. Goldstein, M.D., is a professor of medicine at UNC-Chapel Hill and director of the UNC Tobacco Intervention Programs. Anna McCullough is manager of N.C. Cancer Hospital's Nicotine Dependence Program.)

New Hope of a Cure for H.I.V.
New York Times
Medical researchers are again in pursuit of a goal they had all but abandoned: curing AIDS. ...Dr. David Margolis, of the University of North Carolina, said, “Some sort of gene therapy like that, that suppresses viral load to some extent for some period of time, is not a lot different from taking one pill once a day.” Dr. Siliciano and Dr. Margolis are trying to eradicate the virus from the body.

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