Dec. 17 - 21, 2012

Asperger's, Autism Not Linked to Violence: Experts
HealthDay News
Despite media reports alleging that the gunman involved in the Connecticut school shootings had Asperger's syndrome, experts were quick to assert Sunday that there is no link between the condition -- a mild form of autism -- and violence. "There really is no evidence that links autism or Asperger's to violence," said Geraldine Dawson, chief science officer at the nonprofit advocacy group Autism Speaks and a professor of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Support for those fighting cancer (Letter to the Editor)
The Chapel Hill Herald
Thank you, Chapel Hill and Carrboro, for turning pink in support of all cancers during the month of October. The $65,000 raised will be used by the UNC Comprehensive Cancer Support Program to help patients and families as they navigate their cancer experience. This UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center Program serves the people and state of North Carolina. (Shelley Earp, MD, Director, UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and Dianne G. Shaw, Deputy Director of Communications, UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, Chapel Hill)

Home Testing for HIV -- Reading the Lines in Do-It-Yourself Test
"Good Morning America" ABC
..."It's hard not to be fully enthusiastic about the test," said Dr. Myron Cohen, director of the Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "Everything we do to increase testing has to have some degree of benefit. By identifying and treating people early, we preserve normal life span and excellent health and reduce contagion."

The Taming of the Stomach
The New York Times
... These days, children are often pacified with their 67th viewing of “Toy Story 3.” But the jury is out as to whether movie watching en route will only make them more squeamish. Dr. Anne Mounsey, an associate professor of family medicine at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, tells parents any screen activity requires “trial and error.” Children, or passengers of any age, who are only mildly sickened en route might do fine watching a fixed screen like a DVD player in a minivan. But a tablet that must be held steady? Not a great idea. Similarly, a hand-held game console provides too much visual stimulation at close range. 

Year of the Fetus
...Genetics postdoc and expecting mother Erin Osborne Nishimura is one of the many patients trying out the new tests. “We decided to do [a sequencing-based] test the day we talked to the genetic counselor,” said Osborne Nishimura, who works in Jason Lieb’s lab at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC). “Being in an ’omics lab, it’s really exciting to get in on that action early on.”

Pain of uncertainty (Editorial)
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
...Basically, UNC Health Care and the Alliance managed care organization will partner with Wake County in providing services to people with a broad range of problems, from sexual abuse to drug care to chronic illness that previously would have put them in Dorothea Dix hospital, now closed. First, though, the county has to help UNC and Alliance figure out what services were being provided and how they might continue.

NC's Smithies, Thorp, Atala earn National Academy of Inventors honors
Nobel Prize winning scientist Oliver Smithies and UNC-CH Chancellor Holden Thorp will soon become "charter fellows" in the National Academy of Inventors. So, too, will Dr. Anthony Atala of Wake Forest University, a pioneer in regenerative health. Smithies is Weatherspoon Eminent Distinguished Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at UNC. He received the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2007 for his groundbreaking work in RNA and DNA.

The Ups and Downs of Living Longer
"The Health Report" Voice of America
Mike Cohen is the head of global health research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was not involved in the research, but says it shows a change taking place worldwide. "As infectious diseases have been better controlled and people live longer, and as their diets change and lifestyles change, the inevitable consequence in health is, you have to deal much more broadly with hypertension, heart disease, diabetes."

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