Feb. 25 - March 1, 2013

National Coverage

Faroes’ 50,000 Residents Leap Into DNA Testing Quagmire
Bloomberg News
The Faroe Islands, a tiny, windswept land halfway between Scotland and Iceland, is so barren its 50,000 inhabitants import almost everything except fish and sheep. Now it wants to leap to the frontier of genetic medicine. ...“We’re feeling our way right now to figure out if this new technology can really benefit individual patients and populations,” said James Evans, a geneticist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “It’s really important that they do it right.”

Panel on Health Care Work Force, Lacking a Budget, Is Left Waiting
The New York Times
One of the biggest threats to the success of President Obama’s health care law comes from shortages of doctors, nurses and other health care professionals. But a 15-member commission created to investigate the problem has never met in two and a half years because it has no money from Congress or the administration. ...Another panel member, Prof. Thomas C. Ricketts of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said the Government Accountability Office, an investigative arm of Congress, had advised the panel that “we were not to work or be seen to be working.”

Acupuncture may be antidote for allergies
Acupuncture already helps to relieve pain in some patients, and the latest study hints that it might relieve sneezing and itchy eyes as well. ...That view is supported by Dr. Remy Coeytaux of the Duke Clinical Research Institute and Dr. Jongbae of the Regional Center for Neurosensory Disorders and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who wrote an editorial accompanying the study.

Food Allergies Tied to Impaired Growth in Kids
HealthDay News
..."A greater number of food allergies translates into a greater number of dietary restrictions," study author Dr. Brian Vickery, of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said in an American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) news release. He and his colleagues also found that children with a milk allergy were smaller than those with other types of food allergies.

The Right Time to Take Aspirin
Men's Journal
..."We don't know how long you take it before the prevention starts, and how long the prevention lasts after you stop taking it," says cancer-study specialist Dr. John Baron of the School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina. "It can take years of taking aspirin for the cancer benefits to begin – but that could be 10 years of bleeding without benefits, and that's a problem."

Men With Eating Disorders Have Tougher Time Getting Help
"Good Morning America" ABC
...One of the big problems for men with anorexia is that they don't always have the skeletal look associated with anorexia in women, so it takes longer for loved ones to realize there's a problem and get help, said psychiatrist Cynthia Bulik, who directs the University of North Carolina Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders. "Our diagnosis was built around female cases, with the menstruation question being the best example," said Bulik, who recently wrote a book about eating disorders in middle age.

Angelo Mojica: A Matter of Teamwork
Food Service Director
When reviewing Angelo Mojica’s seven-year career at the University of North Carolina Hospitals, there are a few things you could single out as his most impressive accomplishment. You could consider his ability to turn around a patient foodservice program that once had Press-Ganey scores in the 11th percentile into one that now has realistic expectations of reaching the 90th percentile.

3 Facts Families Should Know About Eating Disorders
ABC News
...While anorexia and bulimia are the most well-known eating disorders, tweeters pointed out that binge eating disorder and eating disorder not otherwise specified, or EDNOS, are actually more common. Patients with EDNOS have symptoms similar to those with anorexia and bulimia, such as distorted thoughts about their bodies and unhealthy eating behaviors, but do not fully meet the strict definitions of either. “The exceptions are often more common than the rules,” tweeted Cynthia Bulik, an eating disorder specialist at the University of North Carolina.

Regional Coverage

Penn scientists use protein fragments to 'fool' the immune system and deliver cancer drugs
The Philadelphia Inquirer (Pennsylvania)
...One nano-medicine researcher not involved with the Penn study, Andrew Z. Wang of the University of North Carolina, cautioned that the human immune system is more sophisticated than that of mice, so the synthetic "minimal self" passports will not necessarily work as well in people. Still, the goal is not to have nanoparticles circulate in the body forever. The idea is just to buy more time, said Wang, an assistant professor at UNC's School of Medicine.

Alaska Senate panel rebuts abortion experts' testimony
The Anchorage Daily News
An effort by an anti-abortion state senator to restrict state-funded abortions using state law, not a doctor's opinion, to define what is "medically necessary" was sharply challenged Wednesday during a legislative hearing. ...The third expert, John Thorp, is an obstetrician-gynecologist at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill who worked with Coghill's staff to come up with the list of serious health conditions that could justify an abortion.

State and Local Coverage

UNC Health Care Begins Construction On Facility In Former Border's Building
UNC Health Care is preparing for several new endeavors over the course of the coming year---and they've just begun construction on the new Comprehensive Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Center in Chapel Hill’s former Border’s building on Fordham Boulevard.

UNC Study: Alzheimer's Vulnerability May Begin At Infancy
WCHL-FM (Chapel Hill)
A team of UNC researchers recently conducted a study that could be instrumental in finding a cure for Alzheimer’s Disease—and even though the illness is typically associated with older adults, her work involved studying the human brain during a much younger age. UNC assistant professor of psychiatry and study co-author Rebecca Knickmeyer says brain changes that are detectable during infancy could significantly increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s later in life—specifically, babies with smaller medial temporal lobe sections might be more vulnerable.

Protesters rally against healthcare bill
The Herald-Sun (Durham)
... Charles van Der Host, a physician who is associate chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the UNC School of Medicine, minced no words in describing the legislation. “I’m trying to understand it, but I don’t,” van Der Host said. “I think what the state is doing is just so dumb and mean-spirited. There are 500,000 North Carolinians, working North Carolinians, who deserve to have insurance. This is empty-headed thinking.”

UNC professor outlines simple strategies for managing weight
The Salisbury Post
An associate professor for nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill mapped out ways to manage weight during the sixth annual Appetite for Life Academy lecture series held at the North Carolina Research Campus. “In order to manage your weight today it takes active thought and preparation,” said Dr. Deborah Tate, associate professor of nutrition and health behavior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.”

Mall-walking program marks 10th anniversary
Durham Herald Sun
No one needs to convince 81-year-old Josephine Agusta how important walking is.

She’s been part of the UNC Health Care mall-walking program for its entire 10-year history, and has improved blood pressure numbers to prove it.

“I had very high blood pressure, and it went down,” the Durham resident said. “It’s extended my life.”

Agusta said her insurance company assumed she’d be dead by now, but she fooled them all.

…Paula Miller, a clinical associate professor of medicine at UNC, said everyone should know “their numbers” – including blood pressure, heart rate and cholesterol, and get counseling on disease prevention.

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