Jan. 13 - 17, 2014

International Coverage

Nanoparticles catch cancer in pincer movement
The Engineer
Researchers have developed a technique for creating nanoparticles that carry two different cancer-killing drugs into the body and deliver them to separate parts of the cancer cell. The technique was developed by researchers at North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

National Coverage

Laxative warning prompts advice on constipation relief
USA Today
Constipation is a common and often distressing problem, but the first line of attack should not be a laxative and especially not the type of laxative that prompted warnings from the Food and Drug Administration this week, experts say...Drinking plenty of water and exercising also are recommended, though the evidence they work is not as good, says Spencer Dorn, a gastroenterologist at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

Solving a 40-year old mystery, UNC researchers find new route for better brain disorder treatments
Health Canal
Scientists at the UNC School of Medicine and The Scripps Research Institute have discovered how salt acts as a key regulator for drugs used to treat a variety of brain diseases including chronic pain, Parkinson’s disease, and depression.
Related Link: http://www.sciencecodex.com/scientists_solve_40year_mystery_of_how_sodium_controls_opioid_brain_signaling-126008

Screen pregnant women for gestational diabetes: panel
Chicago Tribune
Reinforcing an already common practice, a government-backed panel says women should be screened for gestational diabetes after 24 weeks of pregnancy even if they don't have symptoms...Nicholson is an immediate former member of the USPSTF and an associate professor in the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine.
Related Links: http://www.medpagetoday.com/Endocrinology/Diabetes/43787

Chemical Signaling Stimulates Exercise in Cartilage Cells
Science Newsline
Cartilage is notoriously difficult to repair or grow, but researchers at Duke Medicine have taken a step toward understanding how to regenerate the connective tissue..."Our next step is to see if this synthetic 'exercising' technology works on human cells that could be used to regrow new human cartilage," said O'Conor, who is completing his MD/PhD degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is performing his dissertation work with Guilak in the Duke Orthopaedic Bioengineering Laboratories.

State fights creating 2 Obamacares
Researchers have spent 40 years trying to find out how the chemical element sodium controls the signaling of opioid receptors in the brain - a class of receptors that play an important role in pain disorders and addictions. Now, scientists from The Scripps Research Institute and the University of North Carolina say they have finally uncovered the mechanism.

State & Local Coverage

Ken Jacobson: Getting more bang from research bucks
News & Observer
The sequester, which has fortunately been somewhat ameliorated by the passage of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013, has self-inflicted another wound to the U.S. research engine and, by extension, the public good since the benefits to public health and the economy are diminished...Ken Jacobson, Ph.D., is Kenan Distinguished Professor of Cell Biology and Physiology at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Mental health talks pick up in N.C.
Daily Tar Heel
An ongoing conversation about the treatment of mental health patients in the state has started to gain a foothold in recent years.
…Dr. David Rubinow, chairman of the UNC psychiatry department, said the state needs to do more than talk about the system’s problems. Rubinow said the state paid a consultant to evaluate the mental health system a little more than a decade ago.

UNC scientists target autism research
Triangle Business Journal
Researchers at UNC-Chapel Hill will aim to improve services for young children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their families with the help of a $900,000 grant.

Children’s Hospital verified as a top pediatric trauma center
The Herald Sun
UNC Hospitals’ North Carolina Children’s Hospital has been verified by the American College of Surgeons as a Level I pediatric trauma center, the highest verification offered by the ACS Committee on Trauma. The N.C. Children’s Hospital is the first Triangle hospital, and one of only two in the state, to receive ACS recognition for having the highest level of expertise in treating critically injured children, according to a UNC Medical Center announcement.

System Affiliate News

After loss of key doctors, WakeMed seeks to stabilize
News & Observer
Just a year ago, three Raleigh neurosurgeons made the jump to Rex Hospital as full-time employees, a hiring move that all but guaranteed Rex millions of dollars a year in hospital billings. A big chunk of those surgery bills had previously been reaped by WakeMed Health & Hospitals’ flagship hospital in Raleigh.

The surgeons’ move to Rex cleared the way for the UNC-owned hospital to launch a lucrative new business virtually overnight: Rex Neurosurgery and Spine Specialists. The threesome had been independent for years and often used the operating rooms at Rex’s crosstown rival, WakeMed.

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