March 5 - 9, 2012

International News

Beyoncé breastfeeds in public
The Globe and Mail
Would you feel better about breastfeeding in public, knowing that Beyoncé does it too? ... Alison Stuebe, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of North Carolina Health Care System: “By bringing breastfeeding into the mainstream, Beyoncé can help break down barriers so that mothers and babies can breastfeed in peace.”

AIDS Cure Quest Advances as Merck Cancer Drug Attacks Hidden HIV
Bloomberg News
The 30-year quest for an AIDS cure advanced as scientists succeeded for the first time in attacking HIV in its hardest-to-reach hideouts with a cancer drug made by Merck & Co. (MRK) In a trial involving six men with HIV, researchers led by David Margolis at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill used a dose of Merck’s Zolinza to rouse the virus from inside certain immune-system cells, where it evades regular AIDS drugs. That’s a crucial step toward eliminating the virus from the body. The findings were presented at a conference in Seattle yesterday.

National News

Drug brings HIV out of hiding
“This study provides the first proof-of-concept demonstration of disruption of latency, which is a significant step towards eradication” of HIV from the body, says Margolis.

Setback on AIDS Drug Is Re-evaluated
The New York Times
...In a different study, researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill showed that they had used a cancer drug, vorinostat, to purge the virus hiding in the CD4 cells of six men who were already doing well on triple-therapy cocktails. Although the cocktails can make the virus vanish from the blood, it hides in different types of cells, ready to roar back if the patient stops taking the cocktails. Rooting some out with vorinostat “may not be the magic bullet,” said Dr. David Margolis, the study’s lead researcher, “but it suggests we can build a path that may lead to a cure.”

State and Local News

Cancer evidence (Letter to the Editor)
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
... Interesting that she failed to mention that one of the hallmark studies supporting the abortion-breast cancer link is a huge meta-analysis conducted by Dr. John Thorp from the School of Public Health and School of Medicine at UNC-Chapel Hill, published in cooperation with two esteemed colleagues. Their study also found other possible health concerns, including a link between abortion and preterm births in subsequent pregnancies.

UNC researchers find cancer drug that may help fight HIV
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
Researchers at UNC-Chapel Hill have discovered what could be a vital step toward a cure for HIV. By giving patients a drug normally used for treating some kinds of lymphoma, they have managed to make dormant, hidden HIV viruses reveal their presence. That's crucial if scientists want to find a way to target the viruses and completely eliminate them from the body, said Dr. David Margolis, a professor of medicine, microbiology and immunology, and epidemiology who lead the study.

Medical schools brace for change
The Triangle Business Journal
Major changes in the way medical schools gain accreditation might revolutionize how doctors are trained but also could inflict more costs on an already stretched medical education system. ...Currently, medical schools such as those Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill base standards on how many procedures its residents perform, with the assumption that they achieved competency through practice, says Dr. Thomas Nasca, ACGME chief executive.

UNC Health Care Volunteers Mark 60 Years
Chapel Hill Magazine
“We are the envy of a lot of hospitals because we don’t actually recruit,” says Linda Bowles, the director of volunteer services. “We have a very committed community – and we have volunteers coming from as far as Holly Springs and up toward the Virginia border. They come from all over. A lot of them find that this is a good way to get connected to the community.

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