Jan. 30 - Feb. 3, 2012

Testicular zap 'may stop sperm'
BBC News
A dose of ultrasound to the testicles can stop the production of sperm, according to researchers investigating a new form of contraception. ...The concept was first proposed in the 1970s, but is now being pursued by researchers at the University of North Carolina who won a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

A new contraceptive for men on the horizon? Just a couple of zaps of ultrasound kills sperm, say scientists
The Daily Mail (United Kingdom)
...Study leader Dr James Tsuruta, from the University of North Carolina, said: 'Unlike humans, rats remain fertile even with extremely low sperm counts. 'However, our non-invasive ultrasound treatment reduced sperm reserves in rats far below levels normally seen in fertile men. 'Further studies are required to determine how long the contraceptive effect lasts and if it is safe to use multiple times.'

Diabetes leg, foot amputations see dramatic drop
CBS News
People with diabetes were once very likely to face foot or leg amputations. These days, that fate is not as common. A new report from the CDC revealed a dramatic drop in diabetes-related amputations in the U.S. ..."What jumped out to me was the scale of the improvement," Dr. John Buse, a University of North Carolina diabetes expert, told the Associated Press.

Cancer treatment method allows for more targeted approach
WRAL-TV (CBS/Raleigh)
Treating cancer is always tricky, but some cancers occur in parts of the body where radiation treatments may have harmful side-effects on surrounding organs or healthy structures.  It makes the treatment approach more difficult, but not impossible. Thanks to a new technology called tomotherapy, treating hard-to-get-to types of cancer has become a bit less complex. ...Rex and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Medical Center are two of the three hospitals in the state that have tomotherapy units.

TomoTherapy offers safer radiation
News & Observer
"It has more degrees of freedom, so you have more customization," said Dr. Larry Marks, who heads the radiation oncology department at the UNC School of Medicine. "It enables you to do unusual stuff."

Ultrasound could give men birth control option, study finds
The Star (Toronto, Canada)
A few blasts of ultrasound to the testes could soon provide men with an effective, inexpensive and pain-free birth control option, new research suggests. Scientists at the University of North Carolina have found that zapping rats’ testes with ultrasound treatment drastically reduced sperm levels.

Ultrasound Zap May Be New Form of Birth Control
"World News with Diane Sawyer" ABC
Do not try this at home. A new animal study, published in the journal Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology, revealed that a couple zaps to the testicles might be the future of contraception. Researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that zapping the testicles of rats with a therapeutic ultrasound machine, the type normally used by physical therapists to treat muscle injuries, abolished the germ cells that produce sperm.

Scientists zap sperm counts with ultrasound: Next male birth control?
CBS News
For the study, researchers at the University of North Carolina zapped male rats' testes with high frequency ultrasound, and found that by zapping the rats for 15-minute sessions spaced two days apart, the researchers got the rats' sperm count index to zero.

‘Sonicated’ Sperm: Could Ultrasound Be the Next Male Contraceptive?
...James Tsuruta, an assistant professor of pediatrics at University of North Carolina School of Medicine, and his colleagues report in the journal Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology that commonly used doses of ultrasound can lower rats’ sperm concentrations to 3 million per milliliter of semen; experts define low sperm counts in men as anything less than 20 million sperm per milliliter of semen.

A doctor's eye view of health care consolidation: Part 1
The Triangle Business Journal
...The move to a large physician network did not happen quickly for Dr. Beth Rosenberg and Chapel Hill Internal Medicine, but the group needed to make the jump just to stay alive financially. ...Declining reimbursements and increasing overhead did not make for a sustainable business model, so the group joined the Triangle Physicians Network, which is affiliated with UNC Health Care.

Talking about hospitals (Editorial)
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
...Next point: Rex Hospital of Raleigh has offered fine care over many generations, is a valuable asset to the community and because it is owned by UNC Health Care has connections of value to patients. Both institutions are financially sound. Both are well run, with chief executives Bill Atkinson of WakeMed and Bill Roper of UNC knowledgeable about the overall state of health care and well aware of the needs of people in this area.

Study Questions Proton Therapy For Prostate Cancer
The Associated Press
A warning to men considering a pricey new treatment for prostate cancer called proton therapy: Research suggests it might have more side effects than traditional radiation does. ..."There's no clear evidence that proton therapy is better" for prostate cancer, and the new results suggest it may cause more complications, said Dr. Ronald Chen, a radiation specialist at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

NC sees increase in norovirus outbreaks
WRAL-TV (CBS/Raleigh)
..."It's explosive," said Dr. David Weber, an infectious disease specialist at the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "It takes only about one to two days, at most three days, after being exposed before you would develop diarrhea. So that, by the time you start seeing cases, and it's highly contagious, you could have an outbreak."

Stomach virus outbreak in Charlotte
The Charlotte Observer
...Dr. David Weber, an infections disease specialist at UNC-Chapel Hill, told WRAL in Raleigh that the virus can be contracted by touching a contaminated surface or eating food prepared by someone who's sick. Dozens of people came who ate Jan. 13 at a Catawba County restaurant later contracted norovirus, state health officials say.

One step closer to a Pill for men?
The Globe and Mail (Canada)
...The treatment – which has been performed on rats and is a long way from being tested on humans – involved warming the testes briefly over two sessions. It “pretty much wiped out” sperm, said James Tsuruta, lead author of the report published in the journal Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology. “Just two weeks after we did these treatments, the rats’ sperm counts were down far below levels that we would normally see in fertile men,” said Dr. Tsuruta, assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

New Clinic to Treat Rare Disorder
WUNC-FM (Chapel Hill)
UNC Chapel Hill this afternoon will officially mark the opening of its new Comprehensive Angelman Syndrome Clinic at the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities. Anne Wheeler is a psychologist at CIDD; she's also co-coordinator for the new clinic. She says Angelman Syndrome is a rare congenital disorder that occurs in about 1 in 15-thousand births.

The NC Jaycee Burn Center: Healing and Helping the citizens of North Carolina
Southern Neighbor
Dr. Bruce Cairns is the steady hand at the helm of one of the best comprehensive burn centers in the world. Trained as a trauma surgeon, he has spent the last five years as director of the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center at UNC Hospitals.

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