Jan. 4, 2007

Carolina in the News

Here is a sampling of links and notes about Carolina people and programs cited recently in the media:

International Coverage

Parkinson's drugs can cause heart damage--studies
Reuters (International)

Two Parkinson's disease drugs cause the same kind of heart damage that led to the withdrawal of the diet drug combination "fen-phen," according to two studies published on Wednesday. ..."We recommend that physicians not prescribe drugs that have this biochemical property," said Bryan Roth, a researcher at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, who was not involved in the trials, but viewed the data and commented on it in The New England Journal of Medicine, where both studies appeared.
Related link: http://www.themoneytimes.com/articles/20070104/anti_parkinson

Parkinson's Drugs May Have More Risks
The Associated Press (National)

The risk of heart valve damage with two drugs for Parkinson's disease may be far greater than was known, new research suggests. ..."This is an extraordinarily high risk," said Dr. Bryan Roth, a pharmacology professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

National Coverage

Studies Find Harm in 2 Parkinson’s Drugs
The New York Times

Two drugs used to treat Parkinson’s disease and other disorders can seriously damage heart valves, researchers are reporting. ...“I would just recommend not prescribing these drugs,” said that researcher, Dr. Bryan L. Roth, who wrote an analysis of the research that accompanied the articles in The Journal. Dr. Roth is a professor of pharmacology and medicinal chemistry at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and director of the psychoactive drug screening program at the National Institute of Mental Health.
Related link: http://www.forbes.com/forbeslife/health/feeds/hscout/2007/01/03/hscout600564.html

2 Parkinson's drugs tied to heart woes
The Los Angeles Times

Two drugs once commonly used to treat Parkinson's disease, pergolide and cabergoline, produce heart valve defects in as many as a quarter of the patients who use them, Italian and German researchers reported today. ..."This is not a rare side effect," said Dr. Bryan L. Roth of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who wrote an editorial accompanying the report. "That's an extraordinarily high incidence.
Related link: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB116786524665766413.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

Parkinson's Medication Linked to Heart Problems
"All Things Considered," National Public Radio

Dr. Brian Roth of the University of North Carolina, was featured on yesterday's (Jan. 3) edition of "All Things Considered." Two drugs long prescribed to treat Parkinson's disease have been linked to heart-valve problems. Two studies in this week's New England Journal of Medicine present strong evidence that the drugs cause scarring of heart valves in nearly 30 percent of Parkinson's patients.

University of Louisville to offer tuition assistance program
The Associated Press (National)
The university based its program on the "Carolina Covenant" program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. While about 20 schools around the country employ similar assistance programs, the University of Louisville is the only Kentucky college to use the plan.

U of L announces effort to fight rising tuition
The Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)
Starting this fall, the University of Louisville plan to offer a program aimed at making college attainable for students around the state who otherwise might not be able to go...The program, the first of its kind in Kentucky, is modeled after the University of North Carolina’s Carolina Covenant program, which began in 2003, U of L officials said.
Related links: http://louisville.bizjournals.com/louisville/stories/2007/01/01/daily20.html

Honoring Vets and Feeding Children
ABC News

Marine Captain Rye Barcott, University of North Carolina alumni, was named Person of the Year by ABC News. As a Marine serving in Iraq, Capt. Rye Barcott was fighting on two fronts. He split his time between fighting with U.S. troops and running a charity in a notorious slum in Nairobi, Kenya, to fight poverty and diffuse ethnic tensions. He got involved in the project during a college semester abroad.

HD Past & Future

Chris Roush, an assistant journalism professor at the University of North Carolina, was featured yesterday (Jan. 3) on CNBC discussing the future of Home Depot. Home Depot is up on the day after CEO Bob Nardelli's resignation, but that doesn't mean the future is all rosy.

Duke Reinstates Accused Lacrosse Players
"Morning Edition," National Public Radio

University of North Carolina law professor Joe Kennedy was featured on yesterday's (Jan. 4) "Morning Edition" commenting on the conduct of conduct of Durham DA Nifong. Duke University has agreed to reinstate two former students who are accused of sexually assaulting a woman at a lacrosse team party last year. The decision comes after the prosecutor dropped rape charges against the two men, as well as against a third former lacrosse player who has since graduated.

New Job Title for Druggists: Diabetes Coach
The New York Times

In an office behind the Hershey’s candy rack at a Kerr Drug here, Stuart Rohrbaugh shifts in his chair as his pharmacist stares at a dangerously high blood sugar reading from last month. ...While diabetics have often shown significant improvements in controlling their blood sugar soon after taking diabetes education classes, they typically relapse within three months, according to a study released in March 2003 by the Journal of the American Pharmaceutical Association. The report was co-written by Carole W. Cranor, a pharmacoeconomist who was then at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

The oddest science stories of 2006

The Amazon River apparently changed its mind a few times in history. South America’s majestic waterway currently flows east into the Atlantic Ocean. But scientists found this year that millions of years ago, the great river flowed east to west and at one time went in both directions at once.
Note: This story was generated by a study conducted by Russell Mapes, a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill geology graduate student Dr. Drew Coleman, a professor of geology in UNC's College of Arts and Sciences and Mapes' advisor.
UNC News Release: http://www.unc.edu/news/archives/oct06/mapesamazon101906.htm

Updates on Billion-Dollar Campaigns at 28 Universities
The Chronicle of Higher Education

The 28 American universities that are seeking to raise at least $1-billion collected a total of $433.5-million in gifts and pledges during the last month for which they had data available. ...The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, $1.93-billion as of November 30 (increase of $30-million in the last month); the goal is $2-billion by 2007.

State and Local Coverage

Grant will pay for lessons on Europe
The Chapel Hill Herald

Chapel Hill teacher is going global with a grant intended to bring a flavor of Europe into her Smith Middle School classroom. ...McMahon got the idea to apply for the grant after she met with advisers at World View, a UNC-Chapel Hill international program for educators, and the UNC Center for European Studies. She did all of the research and wrote the grant with support from Smith staff and district administrators.

A swing in the politics of medical education? (Opinion column)
The Charlotte Observer

Charlotte is fond of pointing out two things. ...That forecast led University of North Carolina officials to approach officials at Carolinas Medical Center last month with this idea: Partner with UNC Chapel Hill to start a Charlotte-based medical school. Fifty students would complete their first two years at UNC Chapel Hill's medical school, some two hours away. They would complete their training at CMC.

Research puts new spin on pulsars
The News & Observer (Raleigh)

...WHO CARES? Amateur and professional astronomers for sure. Pulsars are far from Earth. Scientists study them remotely, with telescopes and computer models. Any insight into their basic workings gives a more accurate view of the universe, said UNC-Chapel Hill astrophysicist Chris Clemens.

Produced by News Services, Carolina in the News is an e-mail sampling of current news media coverage about Carolina people and programs, as well as issues and trends that affect the university. Stories usually will be online and available free for a limited time - often one to two weeks. Expiration dates before stories move to archives vary by media outlet. Some outlets require free user registration or a subscription.

Carolina in the News is also posted daily to the News Services Web page, http://www.unc.edu/news/clips/index.shtml.

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