Aug. 20 - 24

National News

Republican Medicare plan would be a gamble
http://www.latimes.com/health/la-na-medicare-20120819,0,7076443.story
The Los Angeles Times
While Mitt Romney and Paul D. Ryan are campaigning on a promise to "preserve and protect" Medicare, their proposal to revamp the popular government health insurance program would be the plan's biggest gamble since it was created nearly half a century ago. ..."Doubling down on private insurers is a risky proposition," said University of North Carolina health policy professor Jonathan Oberlander, a leading Medicare historian. "Medicare has lost money on private plans for a long time."

E. Coli Strain Linked to Cancer in Mice
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=e-coli-strain-linked-cancer-in-mice
Scientific American
The trillions of microbes in the human gut contribute to obesity and to the risk of diseases such as diabetes. ...“They're not exactly your flagship disease-causing bacteria,” says Christian Jobin, a microbiologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who led the study. “They wear a different mask. They wear the bad-guy mask now.”

Health Experts Dismiss Assertions on Rape
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/21/us/politics/rape-assertions-are-dismissed-by-health-experts.html?_r=1
The New York Times
Representative Todd Akin’s assertion that women who are victims of “legitimate rape” rarely get pregnant provoked outrage across the political spectrum, but the views he articulated are far from new in anti-abortion circles. ...Dr. David Grimes, a clinical professor in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of North Carolina, said, that “to suggest that there’s some biological reason why women couldn’t get pregnant during a rape is absurd.” 

Argument about rape, pregnancy dates back decades
http://seattletimes.com/html/nationworld/2018958635_rape21.html
The Post-Dispatch (St. Louis, Mo.)
...Dr. David Grimes, a clinical professor in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of North Carolina, said that "to suggest that there's some biological reason why women couldn't get pregnant during a rape is absurd." As for the contention that a rape victim's fallopian tubes tighten, Grimes said, "That's nonsense. Everything is working. The tube is very small anyway and sperm are very tiny — they're excellent swimmers."

Middle Ages Man (Opinion-Editorial Column)
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444358404577605412811750848.html
The Wall Street Journal
Where did he come up with such a nutty idea? Leave it to this column to answer the rhetorical question everyone is asking. ..."Leading experts on reproductive health . . . dismissed this logic," the Times reports. David Grimes, an OB/GYN prof at the University of North Carolina, tells the paper: "To suggest that there's some biological reason why women couldn't get pregnant during a rape is absurd."

Where Do Politicians Get Medical Misinformation?
http://news.discovery.com/human/where-do-politicians-get-their-medical-misinformation-120823.html
Discovery News
Earlier this week Congressman Todd Akin stated that a woman's body has ways of preventing impregnation following a "legitimate rape." ...Dr. David Grimes, a clinical professor in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of North Carolina, said, that 'to suggest that there's some biological reason why women couldn’t get pregnant during a rape is absurd.'"

Is 'Forcible' Better than 'Legitimate'?
http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/news/2012/aug/22/forcible-better-legitimate/
The Jackson Free Press (Mississippi)
Unless you've been hiding from everything electronic this week, you've heard about Rep. Todd Akin, a six-term Republican from Missouri, making comments about rape last weekend. ..."To suggest that there's some biological reason why women couldn't get pregnant during a rape is absurd," Dr. David Grimes, a clinical professor in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of North Carolina told the Times.

'Brush' offers clues to fighting lung disease
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-19357090
BBC
A team from the University of North Carolina found that the brush-like layer pushes out sticky mucus and the foreign bodies it contains. Writing in Science, it says that could help identify what goes wrong in cystic fibrosis, asthma and similar diseases.

Human Airways' 'Brush' Mechanism Gives Clues to Lung Diseases
http://health.usnews.com/health-news/news/articles/2012/08/23/human-airways-brush-mechanism-gives-clues-to-lung-diseases
HealthDay News
A new study that helps explain how human airways rid the lungs of mucus could give insights into asthma, cystic fibrosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), researchers say. ... In this study, published in the Aug. 24 issue of the journal Science, Rubinstein and colleagues at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill suggest a "gel-on-brush" form of mucus clearance, in which mucus moves atop a brush-like layer rather than a watery layer.

State and Local News

UNC researchers developing "spray-on skin" to help heal wounds
http://www.wral.com/lifestyles/healthteam/story/11440721/
WRAL-TV (CBS/Raleigh)
One to 2 million Americans have a vein disease where leg wounds don't heal well. They're at risk of infections and even amputation. But researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found a treatment that speeds up healing  some call it "sprayed-on skin."

Data shows even best hospitals have room for improvement
http://www.wral.com/5onyourside/story/11448650/
WRAL-TV (CBS/Raleigh)
...Locally, Raleigh's Rex Health Care scored 53. UNC Health Care in Chapel Hill scored 45. The ratings show even the best hospitals have room for improvement. "No hospital got a top score for preventing patients from being re-admitted, or for communicating with patients about discharge instructions and new medications," Santa said.

Obama, Etheridge slam Ryan's plan for seniors (Blog)
http://projects.newsobserver.com/node/25488
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
Barack Obama's campaign is making a national push to cast a budget proposal by Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney's promise to repeal Obamacare as bad news for seniors. ...Rep. Bob Etheridge, D-N.C., and Jonathan Oberlander, a health policy professor University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, touted effects of the Affordable Care Act and said the Ryan plan would slash benefits for Medicare and Medicaid and up the amount seniors are expected to contribute.

Breaking brain’s barrier a tough challenge for scientists
http://www.bizjournals.com/triangle/print-edition/2012/08/24/breaking-brains-barrier-a-tough.html
Triangle Business Journal
One of the biggest foes in finding a cure for Alzheimer’s – a disease that attacks the brain – is the brain itself. Daniel Kaufer, who is conducting studies on the brain at UNC-Chapel Hill as part of his research into finding a treatment for Alzheimer’s, says any medicine to treat Alzheimer’s must cross what is called the “blood brain barrier.”

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