July 22 - 26, 2013

International Coverage:

Duchess Casts Midwife Tradition Aside for Royal Birth
Bloomberg News

…Kate, the first woman from outside royalty or the aristocracy to marry so close to the throne for 350 years, probably picked what seemed like the safest approach for the high-profile birth of her first child, said Nancy Chescheir, an obstetrician at the University of North Carolina’s School of Medicine in Chapel Hill. Yet scientific evidence suggests a hospital delivery under the care of an obstetrician isn’t necessarily best for routine births.

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National Coverage:

Searching for Meaningful Markers of Aging
The New York Times

… Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill recently implanted a firefly gene into mice, engineering animals whose cells light up as they age and become “senescent,” losing the ability to divide and renew damaged tissue. This loss is tied to aging-related ills in many species, including degenerative diseases and dwindling muscle mass. …That means “we can literally see the earliest molecular stages of cancer” unfolding in the mice, said Dr. Norman E. Sharpless, a professor of medicine and genetics at UNC who led the study, published in January in the journal Cell.

How to Cope With Hypochondria
U.S. News & World Report

…Sometimes it includes exposure therapy: directly confronting and learning to cope with your fears. "If someone won't go to cancer hospitals because they're afraid they're going to get cancer, we take them there," says Jon Abramowitz, a professor of psychology with the University of North Carolina Clinical Psychology Program. "Or they won't exercise because they think it will blow out their heart, so we make them do it."

NCAA putting nearly $400,000 toward study into long-term effects of head injuries
The Associated Press

The NCAA has awarded a $399,999 grant to fund a study into the long-term effects of head injuries in college sports. Kevin Guskiewicz of North Carolina’s Matthew Gfeller Sport-Related Traumatic Brain Injury Research Center and Michael McCrea of the Medical College of Wisconsin will conduct the research. They hope to add data to the recent scrutiny of concussions and other head injuries by examining former college athletes who have participated in previous studies.

E-Mails Raise Concerns About How Seriously NCAA Regarded Concussions
The Chronicle of Higher Education

…A month later, Mr. (David) Klossner wrote to three concussion experts, including Kevin M. Guskiewicz, chair of the department of exercise and sport science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Margot Putukian, director of athletic medicine at Princeton University. "I have yet to find legitimate data to show same day return to play is a good thing," Mr. Klossner said. "Most of the recent studies and positions/expert commentaries suggest resting is better.

State and Local Coverage:

New nutrition standards may make students healthier but hurt the bottom line
The News & Observer (Raleigh)

…Research shows that elementary-age kids who are exposed to healthier snacks actually change their eating habits, said Barry Popkin, a distinguished professor of nutrition at UNC. But, Popkin said, legislation like this isn’t enough to fight childhood obesity and diabetes. “Most of what kids eat comes from home,” he said. “This is not going to change what parents do. This is only a piece of the pie but we’re hoping we’ll change norms and we’re hoping that parents start to pay more and more attention.”

UNC study shows promise for children with autism
The News & Observer (Raleigh)

Preschoolers with autism benefit from high-quality classrooms, a new study shows, whether or not teachers employ popular treatment models used for decades. The study followed 198 children for one school year and measured changes in communication skills and autism symptoms, said researcher Bryan Boyd, a fellow at UNC’s Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute.

UNC Release:


Aiming for lasers to zero in on cancers
The Triangle Business Journal

…UNC-Chapel Hill dermatology professor and clinician Dr. Craig Burkhart has another point. If he knew melanomas were not going to be as aggressive, the excision could be smaller, he points out, leading to less scarring. Currently, mole depth is one indicator of aggression, he says, as is how fast the mole is proliferating. “For patients ... Not to have scars from all the biopsies would be wonderful,” Burkhart says.

Afghan children staying with families in Moore and Hoke counties are free to be kids
The Fayetteville Observer 

…An 8-year-old girl named Maryam had heart surgery July 9 at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill. She had a narrow place in her aorta that was discovered in Afghanistan. Doctors in Chapel Hill first thought they could fix the problem with a less invasive procedure but decided she needed surgery instead. Maryam is staying with the Lewis family in Raeford. Ashley Lewis said surgeons fixed the problem in Maryam's heart. "Everything went as planned," she said. Rita Bigham, a UNC hospital volunteer from Chapel Hill, paid for Maryam's surgery.

Nose Bleed for No Reason? Here Are Possible Causes 
Everyday Health

… As to whether you should see a doctor when you have a nose bleed, said Kevin Campbell, MD, FACC, a cardiologist at UNC North Carolina and Health Care/Rex, “Nosebleeds are rarely life-threatening. However under certain circumstances, nosebleeds can be quite concerning. Specific examples where nosebleeds maybe concerning and you should seek medical care are when you were taking blood thinners such as aspirin or warfarin.” In these cases, your healthcare provider may need to adjust the dose of blood-thinning medication.

Folt highlights faculty research funding at trustees meeting
The Herald-Sun (Durham)

UNC Chancellor Carol Folt used her first Board of Trustees meeting Friday to highlight an $11 million increase in faculty research funding. Faculty at UNC secured $777.8 million in research funding during fiscal year 2013 compared to $767.1 million the previous year, which is a 1.4 percent increase. Folt said an increase in research funding at a time when the federal government is tightening its belt is a remarkable achievement.

Old is new at Didsbury’s T3D on drug candidate
The Triangle Business Journal

…Dr. Daniel Kaufer, director of the UNC Memory Disorders Program and co-director of Carolina Alzheimer’s Network, however, says it’s a good approach, even though the odds are mounting. Research such as Didsbury’s provides a bigger picture than one of just plaques, he says. “It takes Alzheimer’s out of isolation and really brings it ... into the same playing field as other common medical disorders,” he says.

Expert: Major life changes could trigger midlife eating disorders
WRAL-TV (CBS/Raleigh)

…“What we’re seeing a lot in midlife is we’re seeing major changes, like divorce in midlife or infidelity of a spouse. Or menopause is another major trigger for eating disorders in older women,” said Dr. Cynthia Bulik, founding director of the UNC Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders. When UNC’s eating disorder unit opened in 2003, Bulik says, she thought it would mostly help adolescents. Now, more than half the patients are over age 30.

Hospital infections declining across the Triangle
Triangle Business Journal 


…Nearly across the board, hospitals in the Triangle reduced the infection rate in the most recent three-month span compared with rates from 2012. The only outlier seemed to be infections after colon surgery where rates at both UNC Health Care and Duke University Hospital increased.

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