July 16, 2002
Carolina in the News
Current National Coverage
Here is a sampling of links and notes about Carolina
people and programs cited recently in the national media:
Prevention: Value of Colon Tests Affirmed
The New York Times
Federal health officials are strongly reaffirming their recommendation that people
over 50 undergo routine screening for colorectal cancer. In a report being published
today in The Annals of Internal Medicine, the United States Preventive Services Task
Force, a medical advisory group that helps set government policy, said doctors should
continue performing the tests... The recommendations were based on two studies,
also published in the medical journal, that examined the effectiveness of screening.
The lead author of both studies was Dr. Michael Pignone of the University of
(Note: This study was the subject of a UNC news release, coordinated with RTI and
the federal agency involved with the task force
http://www.unc.edu/news/archives/jul02/pignone5071202.htm. The New York
Times requires free registration to access articles. Other coverage to date mentioning
Pignone includes The News and Observer
http://newsobserver.com/news/triangle/story/1557974p-1587417c.html and The
Durham Herald-Sun http://www.herald-sun.com/orange/10-247436.html.)
Hand-held X-ray gun
Cheap, portable X-ray sources could soon replace the cumbersome, fragile devices
currently used for biomedical imaging. US scientists have created a hand-held prototype
in which X-rays are produced by beams of electrons emitted from tiny filaments of pure
carbon... Developed by Otto Zhou and colleagues at the University of North Carolina
at Chapel Hill, the X-ray source uses the electrons that an electric field draws out of
microscopic tubes of carbon, called carbon nanotubes.
(Note: Zhou and his research was the subject of a UNC news release
http://www.unc.edu/news/archives/jun02/zhou062702.htm. Other coverage known to
date include The New York Times
Old Age in Brave New Settings
The Washington Post
You enter Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center in Baltimore to the sound of chirping
birds. Sunlight streams through large windows and, across a courtyard, pansies and
daffodils surround a small greenhouse. A black cat stalks down a corridor, looking
as if it owned the place. Your grandmother's nursing home was nothing like this...
With 1.5 million people living in the nation's 17,000 nursing homes and an estimated
40 percent of Americans expected to spend some time there in the future, according to
University of North Carolina researcher Philip D. Sloane, the demand for
improvement is strong.
New heart guidelines target the young
Starting at age 20, every person in the United States should be regularly evaluated for
the risk of having a heart attack or stroke, according to landmark guidelines issued
today by the American Heart Association... "We've got to be much more aggressive
with our preventive activity, and to do that we have to think young," said Dr. Sidney
C. Smith Jr., chief scientific officer for the American Heart Association and professor
of medicine at the University of North Carolina. "All we have to do is think of that
young pitcher to recognize how important this is."
(Note: Other coverage includes The San Francisco Chronicle
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2002/07/16/MN92970.DTL and USA Today
A Nose For Prey
Newsday (New York)
Physicist Brandon Brown's research prey is not the quark or some other fancifully
named critter from the subatomic zoo. He is fascinated instead by sharks and their
ability to find prey by sensing minute changes in electrical fields as they roam the depths...
In addition to Brown, the other authors of the paper in Physical Review E are Mary
Hughes of the University of San Francisco, John Hutchison and Royce Murray of the
University of North Carolina and Douglas Kellogg of the University of California,
Student paper will wean itself from USF funds
St. Petersburg Times (Florida)
Tampa may not have the "college town" vibe that defines Gainesville, Athens, Ga.,
or Chapel Hill, N.C. But if students at the University of South Florida have their way,
the city will finally have a similar college newspaper... For the time being, the Oracle
plans to maintain its free office space on campus. The setup is patterned after that
of another respected college paper, the Daily Tar Heel at the University of North
Carolina, which also operates from an on-campus office.
National News Notes
The National Public Radio program, "Weekend Edition Sunday," featured a segment
about the impact of state budgets on colleges and universities primarily focusing on
UNC. This segment was reported by the university's National Public Radio affiliate,
WUNC-FM. To listen to the program via the internet, please visit
State and Local Coverage
Town clears campus growth
Town planners gave UNC-CH officials permission Monday to begin the largest growth
spurt in the university's 209-year history by issuing site development permits for two
building projects in the massive campus expansion plan. Shortly before 5 p.m.,
planning director Roger Waldon said the university could proceed with a $10.5 million
refurbishment of Alexander, Connor and Winston residence halls, three matching brick
buildings near the Old Chapel Hill Cemetery. He also approved plans for the $64 million
Rams Head Center, a new 112,333-square-foot student center and 700-car parking
deck yards south of Kenan Stadium.
Collegesí projects shape up
The stateís massive higher education construction program has been a success thus far,
capitalizing on a sluggish economy and lower-than-expected interest rates to reap
financial rewards, according to a new report... "This program is being very effectively
managed," said Charles Davidson, who co-chairs the group with Paul Fulton, the former
dean of UNC Chapel Hillís Kenan-Flagler Business School. "We as an oversight
committee are very pleased with the management to date."
Heart Failure: It's a chronic condition that kills 250,000 people every year. But a new
therapy used at UNC could help patients with heart failure live active lives again...
"Patients with heart failure have shortness of breath, limitation of physical activity,
fatigue easily." Dr. Richard Sheahan is a cardiologist at UNC's School of Medicine.
He says a relatively new therapy called cardiac resynchronization can help about a
third of heart failure patients live a more active life.
(Note: This coverage was due to a suggestion by the Medical Center public affairs staff.)
Johnston County Residents Help Shed Light On Osteoarthritis
Johnston County is home to rolling farms and a rich tobacco heritage. It is also home
to the Johnston County Osteoarthritis Project. In the clinic, nurses test patients for
strength and mobility. While the physical demands of rural living are a factor, Jordan
said her team has discovered that a lot of cases are hereditary. In 1990, UNC
researchers came to Smithfield to find out if osteoarthritis was more common in rural
areas. "And if it's true, we could try to figure out what to do about it and how to
prevent it," said Dr. Joanne Jordan.
Issues and Trends Affecting Carolina
Holding the dice (Editorial)
Lottery proponents are maneuvering to convince lawmakers that approving a
referendum is in their political interest. In one sense, those who are putting up a gallant
fight in opposition to an ill-conceived state lottery could claim a victory in the failure
of lottery proponents to build enough support for passage in the state House last week.
Any week that a lottery doesn't gain ground, they might argue, is a good week...
Thankfully, lottery opponents led by former Wake Republican Rep. Chuck Neely
appear to have mounted a stellar campaign against this foolishness -- that's about the
only way to explain why House members adjourned Thursday without acting on the
lottery referendum. Neely's group includes a host of respected religious leaders
(including the Rev. Billy Graham) and people like William Friday, president emeritus
of the University of North Carolina system
Lots of biotech jobs, but more seekers
For Tracy Rupp, recruiting biotechnology workers has never been this easy. Within
90 minutes after opening a booth Monday at the Biotech & Pharmaceutical Career
Fair in Research Triangle Park, Rupp already had 150 resumes in her hands. "We've
got Ph.Ds, chemists with 20 years of experience," said Rupp, a scientific recruiter
for Olsten Staffing Services, which has offices in RTP and Clayton. "I've never seen
a candidate pool this strong."... For the past three years, biotech companies have
complained of a talent shortage. Now there are signs of relief. A tight job market
has brought thousands of applicants, many of them highly qualified, to the doors of
fast-growing biotech companies that have large operations in the Triangle. And the
companies are hiring. Over the next 12 months, 1,000 new jobs are expected to be
created in the Triangle's biotech field, according to the N.C. Biotechnology Center,
an RTP-based nonprofit group that promotes biotech development in this state.
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