Jan. 14 - 18, 2013

Relieving Peanut Allergies…With Peanuts
...“While promising, the treatment is not ready yet to try in physicians’ offices, or to do at home,” says Wesley Burks, professor and department chair of pediatrics at the University of North Carolina, and one of the primary researchers on the new study. “But we do have promise that it’s safe, that it works,” he says. Burks, one of the leading researchers testing such a tolerance strategy for treating food allergies, says that a much larger study, with many more participants, is needed before doctors can be comfortable prescribing the treatment to everyday allergy sufferers.

Cardiac Deaths May Lead to Shortage of Donor Livers
HealthDay News
..."Our findings show nonuse of livers for transplantation is steadily rising, and is primarily due to donation after cardiac death," Dr. Eric Orman, of the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, in Chapel Hill, said in a journal news release. "If these trends continue, a significant decline in liver transplant availability would be inevitable."

Study: Tweet your way to weight loss
The State (Columbia, S.C.)
The simple formula for losing weight: Eat less, exercise more and ... tweet away? People participating in a study by researchers at the University of South Carolina’s Arnold School of Medicine lost more weight if they used the popular social media Twitter frequently to communicate with other participants. ...The USC study was funded by the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center Population Sciences Award and the UNC Interdisciplinary Obesity Center.

Students support smoke-free policies
News 14 Carolina
A new study reveals more and more North Carolina teens support smoke-free policies. UNC Family Medicine's Tobacco Prevention and Evaluation Program released the survey, which suggests teenagers would like smoking eliminated in all indoor and outdoor places. "What surprises me is kids are so passionate, youth are so passionate, not only the non-smokers but even the smokers, so for instance those who are smokers felt that stronger policy would probably even help them quit," said Adam Goldstein, director of UNC Tobacco Intervention Programs.

N.C. Eye Bank donates $1M to UNC med school
The Business Journal of the Greater Triad Area

The University of North Carolina School of Medicine has received a $1 million gift from the Winston-Salem-based North Carolina Eye Bank. The money will help establish a multidisciplinary surgical skills laboratory, which provides surgical training opportunities to medical students, residents, fellows and physicians across the state.

CowParade figures to be replicated for fundraiser
The Herald-Sun (Durham)
Dozens of people piled into Morgan Imports on Gregson Street on Saturday to see which six of the 80 hand-painted cows featured as part of CowParade NC would be chosen for replication in miniature and sold as part of the ongoing fundraising effort for the North Carolina Children’s Hospital. ...Sponsored by UNC Health Care and Rex Hospital, artist Molly Brown said in her description of the cow that she hoped children would see it and want to touch the cow, which stood at JC Penney in North Hills Mall during the parade’s four-month display period.

Researchers look for ways to cure peanut allergy
WRAL-TV (CBS/Raleigh)
Even a slight taste of peanuts could trigger a potentially life threatening allergic reaction. Researchers have been working on ways to cure this common food allergy, and recent studies show great progress. ...“I think as physician researchers in this field, that what we all hope we can do is give them something and make it go away,” said Dr. Wesley Burks, a UNC physician who co-authored the study.

Anonymity In Genetic Research Can Be Fleeting
"All Things Considered" National Public Radio
...Medical geneticist Jim Evans, of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, says right now, the risk of privacy violations is relatively low. But he says it's only going to get worse. "We can't put the genie back in the bottle," says Evans. "Privacy has been continually eroded in the digital universe in which we live." Evans says there needs to be a balance between making genetic data available to researchers and protecting people's privacy. For him, that means limiting who can access genetic information.

Med school receives $1M gift from North Carolina Eye Bank
The Herald-Sun (Durham)
The University of North Carolina School of Medicine received a $1 million gift from The North Carolina Eye Bank (NCEB) to establish a unique and innovative multidisciplinary surgical skills lab. The North Carolina Eye Bank is committed to educating the public and medical communities about the need for eye and tissue donors; ensuring that the wishes of donors and donor families are carried out to the greatest extent possible; maintaining procedures to maximize quality of tissue distributed; and working cooperatively with ophthalmologists and other professional clients to ensure optimal results for recipients.
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Hospitals prepare for second flu wave
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
To stop the flu, you need to stop germs. To stop germs, you need to wash your hands. ...On Friday, WakeMed stepped up its defenses and announced a mandatory flu vaccination program for all 9,300 employees and volunteers. That policy was previously adopted by UNC Health Care and Rex Healthcare, whose 5,600 employees and volunteers received shots by Dec. 1.

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