CATEGORY: In the media

In the media: Week of May 20

A sampling of news media stories involving UC Health:

For hospitals and insurers, new fervor to cut costs, The New York Times

This article reports on the UCLA Health System’s efforts to reduce costs for patient care, in part by introducing innovative programs that emphasize healthy lifestyles, reduced ER visits and coordinated care for chronically ill patients. Dr. David Feinberg, president and CEO of the UCLA Health System, is quoted.

Inexpensive arthritis drug may treat dysentery, giardiasis, Los Angeles Times

An inexpensive arthritis drug called auranofin has been shown in lab and animal tests to kill the parasites that cause amoebic dysentery and giardiasis, and human trials are expected to start soon. A team headed  by Dr. James McKerrow, a pathologist at UC San Diego, and parasitologist Anjan Debnath of UC San Francisco, developed an anaerobic screening process to test potential drugs against the amoeba in the laboratory.

For medical students, dual degrees gain popularity, San Francisco Chronicle

Nationwide, dual programs in medicine and academic research, medicine and law, and medicine and business have seen their combined enrollment increase 36 percent, from 3,921 in 2002 to 5,349 in 2011, according to data released this spring by the Association of American Medical Colleges. That trend extends to the Bay Area. Over the past decade, the number of medical students at Stanford who earned dual degrees went from nine to 22 annually, out of classes of fewer than 90. UCSF has also seen a slight increase in students enrolled in joint-degree programs. UC Berkeley and UC Hastings also are mentioned.

CIRM awards $69M in stem cell research grants targeting ‘bubble boy’ syndrome, other diseases, San Francisco Business Times

Bay Area stem cell researchers looking to cure a “bubble boy” syndrome, fix damaged heart muscle and take on a host of other diseases grabbed more than $25 million in funding from California’s stem cell research funding agency. The San Francisco-based California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, or CIRM, said it awarded a total of $69.4 million to California stem cell scientists. Those projects include the first CIRM-funded collaboration in China and the first project with the Australian federal government. Twelve UC scientists received a total of $36.7 million in stem cell grants.

See additional coverage: KPCC, Sacramento Business Journal

Special: Health Care Heroes 2012, Sacramento Business Journal

The Sacramento Business Journal includes six UC Davis faculty members for its special publication Health Care Heroes 2012: Thomas Balsbaugh, Irva Hertz-picciotto, Thomas Nesbitt, Ralph deVere White, Garen Wintemute andHeather Young.

UCLA study finds cycling might affect male reproductive health, CBS Los Angeles

A new study says male cyclists may experience hormonal imbalances that could affect their reproductive health. A study from the UCLA School of Nursing found that serious male cyclists had elevated levels of estradiol, which is associated with conditions like loss of male pubic hair and enlarged breast tissue.

What you can and cannot do to ward off dementia, San Diego Union-Tribune

Every 70 seconds, someone in the United States is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, a progressive neurological affliction that, some experts suggest, will eventually swamp the health-care system if effective treatments are not found. Last week, the Obama administration announced a national plan to find solutions by 2025, among them expanded research and clinical trials. Toward that end, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine have just launched three randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials of new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and a related disorder called Mild Cognitive Impairment. A Q&A with Dilip Jeste, director of the Stein Institute for Research on Aging and a professor of psychiatry and neurosciences at UC San Diego.

Rady to offer pediatric heart transplants, San Diego Union-Tribune

Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego intends to raise its national profile by launching a heart transplant program this year after completing a nationwide search for a surgeon to oversee the effort and raising $1.5 million to cover startup costs. With the recruitment of Dr. Eric J. Devaney from the University of Michigan, Rady Children’s is poised to become the fifth California hospital and one of about 40 nationwide that perform pediatric heart transplants. Originally, Rady Children’s approached Sharp Memorial Hospital about partnering in pediatric transplantation because Sharp was handling all adult heart transplants in the county at the time. Since then, UC San Diego has resumed its smaller transplantation program, and both Sharp and UC San Diego said pediatrics doesn’t fit with their programs. The article mentions that UCLA performed the most pediatric heart transplants in California last year (17).

New growth industry: Bay Area biotech incubators, San Francisco Business Times

The number of biotech incubators in the Bay Area has doubled in the last two years. One of the most prominent — UC’s California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences, or QB3 — has four sites in San Francisco and Berkeley, fielding up to four inquiries from new companies each day.

Two booze studies serve up sobering news, LA Weekly

We’re reminded that booze and artificially sweetened mixers sometimes can be a problematic combo. The study that figured this out has been around for a while, but it’s being given fresh attention thanks to the June edition of the University of California, Berkeley Wellness Letter, which offers news and expert advice from the School of Public Health.

UC Davis professor receives grant to study gratitude, The Sacramento Bee

UC Davis psychology professor Robert Emmons has received a $5.6 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation to advance the science of gratitude.

Are PSA screenings for prostate cancer bad for your health?, The Daily Beast

A government-selected panel of experts suggested that widespread PSA screening too easily leads to aggressive and unnecessary interventions by turning up false-positive results or alerting patients to non-life-threatening tumors. Dr. Paul Knoepfler, cancer biologist at UC Davis and survivor of prostate cancer, says he understands both sides of the argument. “PSA is best used if it is evaluated relative to a man’s age,” he said.

Fevers during pregnancy linked to autism, but medication helps, Los Angeles Times

Researchers at UC Davis’ MIND Institute have found that women who reported having a fever during pregnancy were more likely to give birth to a baby who would later be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder or a development delay. But babies of women who treated their fevers with medication fared no worse than babies whose mothers reported no fevers at all.

More than half of autistic kids prescribed mood medicines, Bloomberg

The National Institute of Mental Health has just released the results of a survey that found 56 percent of autistic children age 6 to 17 were on one or more drugs normally given for disorders such as anxiety, depression, psychosis or hyperactivity. “This is very good that physicians are recognizing these additional problems that kids with autism can have,” said Randi Hagerman, medical director of UC Davis’ MIND Institute. Hagerman said these medicines can make other behavioral treatments more effective.

Can sugar make you stupid? ‘High concern’ in wake of rat study, National Geographic News

This article reports on a UCLA study showing that a steady high-fructose diet can slow the brain and hamper memory and learning in rats — and how omega-3 fatty acids can minimize the damage.

The curse of a diagnosis (video), The Wall Street Journal

Dr. John Ringman, UCLA associate professor of neurology and a member of the Mary S. Easton Center for Alzheimer’s Disease Research, is featured in this article about his use of a spinal tap to detect increases in the amyloid protein long associated with Alzheimer’s disease. The test can detect the existence of such plaques years before symptoms appear.

Strength training for your brain?, The Orange County Register

A Q&A with Dr. Gary Small, Parlow–Solomon Professor on Aging, professor of psychiatry at the Semel Institute and director of the UCLA Longevity Center, about his book “The Alzheimer’s Prevention Program.”  The book offers tips for keeping your memory sharp during the aging process.

UCLA doctor accuses university of racism, harassment, KABC

This story reports that a UCLA associate professor-in-residence of head and neck surgery has filed a lawsuit against the UC Board of Regents for alleged harassment and discrimination.

UC Merced bone health research promising, Merced Sun Star

Osteoporosis patients are among those who could benefit from the findings of a new UC Merced study on bone health. UC Merced immunology professor Jennifer Manilay and her research team have discovered a new way bone health could affect a person’s immune system.

Campus clinic to offer free dental services to students, families, Lemon Grove Patch

A 2010 Pew Center on the States report showed that one of every five children under the age of 18 in America live without dental care every year. The statistic is even higher in California, where one in four children under age 11 have never seen a dentist. But that is about to change for students in the Lemon Grove School District with a free oral health clinic operated by UCSD on the campus of the new Lemon Grove Academy for the Sciences and Humanities.

Breathing smog while pregnant may worsen asthma in offspring, HealthDay News

A study led by UC Berkeley public health postdoctoral fellow Amy Padula has found a link between prenatal exposure to air pollution and poor lung-function development in children with asthma.

Kristof: Are you safe on that sofa?, The New York Times

This column about the risks of flame retardants cites UC Berkeley visiting chemistry scholar Arlene Blum, whose research led to the removal of chlorinated Tris from children’s pajamas. The chemical is still used in couches and nursing pillows, though, and without warning labels. “For pregnant women, they [flame retardants] can alter brain development in the fetus,” she warns.


CATEGORY: In the media, NewsComments Off

In the media: Week of May 13

A sampling of news media stories involving UC Health:

UC San Diego Health System arrives with purposeful quiet, Las Vegas Review-Journal

A follow-up piece on the UC San Diego Health System’s purchase of that clinical operations and flagship building of the bankrupt Nevada Cancer Institute.

Will Obama’s plan to fight Alzheimer’s work?, San Diego Union-Tribune

President Barack Obama says he’ll include $100 million in his proposed 2013 budget that would be dedicated to finding better treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, a wasting disorder that afflicts 5.1 million people in the United States. Much of the money would be used to support two different clinical trials that are meant to identify the onset of the disease earlier, possibly making it easier to treat. U-T San Diego discussed the President’s plan with Michael Rafii, an assistant clinical professor of neurosciences at the UC San Diego School of Medicine. Rafii also is co-director of the Memory Disorders Clinic at UCSD Perlman Ambulatory Care.

Bedside ultrasound for hospitalists: Our time has come, Wachter’s World

UCSF professor Bob Wachter writes about the increasing use of bedside ultrasound by hospitalists, including efforts by UCSF and at UC Irvine, where Elizabeth Turner is using a UC Center for Health Quality and Innovation grant to implement a bedside ultrasound educational program.

Summer camp helps kids cope with cancer (video), San Diego 6

Dealing with cancer can be extremely difficult, especially for a child. But one summer camp, run by UCSD students is making it a little easier for kids whose parents are sick. It’s called Camp Kesem.

How to better treat trauma injuries in the developing world (audio, video), PBS NewsHour

Rick Coughlin, an orthopedic surgeon at the University of California, San Francisco, is on a crusade to improve the care of those who sustain traumatic injuries in the developing world. For the last four years, Coughlin has been spearheading a unique program which brings orthopedic surgeons from low-income countries around the world to San Francisco, to one of the country’s leading trauma hospitals, San Francisco General.

Capitol Journal: Cigarette tax is a lifesaver, Los Angeles Times

This column us about Proposition 29, the California ballot measure that would raise cigarette taxes $1 per pack to finance cancer research. It mentions that the nine-member oversight commission awarding the contracts would be all-Californian and mostly tied to research institutions here. Three would be directors of major cancer centers and three would be chancellors of UC campuses that do bioscience research. Dr. Judith Gasson, director of the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, is quoted.

Sugar may make you stupid — talk about adding insult to injury, Los Angeles Times

A new UCLA study finds that a diet high in fructose slows the brain, disrupting its ability to learn. Omega-3 fatty acids, according to the study, can counteract the disruption.

Stargazing science used to see inside the human eye, Popular Mechanics

Astronomer Scot Olivier at California’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has teamed up with UC Davis vision researcher John Werner and Indiana University scientist Donald Miller to use adaptive optics to provide clearer images into the human eye.

Rod through Phineas Gage’s brain caused more damage than thought, Los Angeles Times

The tamping rod that blew through Phineas Gage’s brain 163 years ago damaged only a small portion of his brain, but it disrupted a much larger proportion of his neural connections, UCLA researchers reported Wednesday. The finding, based on imaging of Gage’s skull, may help explain the behavioral changes he endured following the accident.

Cartel attack victim living in El Monte helped by plastic surgery, Los Angeles Times

This story reports on a young man disfigured in a violent attack in Mexico who underwent reconstructive surgery at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center with Dr. Timothy Miller, professor of plastic and reconstructive surgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

Christian Head, black UCLA Medical School doctor, files lawsuit after alleged gorilla depiction, The Huffington Post

A faculty professor who filed a racial discrimination suit against UCLA, saying that the school ignored racial slights against him over his career, has taken to YouTube to air his grievances.

HealthWatch: Human behavioral change may be tied to cat parasite (video), CBS San Francisco

New research has found that tiny organisms carried by cats may be causing subtle and at times dramatic changes in human behavior if infected in the brain. “[Toxoplasma Gondi] is a very clever parasite,” said Patricia Conrad, an expert on the parasite at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.

 


CATEGORY: In the media, NewsComments Off

In the media: Week of May 6

A sampling of news media stories involving UC Health:

UC Davis CMO Dr. Allan Siefkin: Creating a culture of safety, quality, Becker’s Hospital Review

Health care reform’s emphasis on patient safety and quality has motivated many hospitals and health systems to create a culture that supports safety and quality. Embedding a patient safety and quality focus in a hospital’s culture is essential to improve in these areas because it illustrates to physicians and staff that quality and safety initiatives are not one-time events, but part of an overall, long-term commitment to quality and safety. Allan D. Siefkin, M.D., CMO of UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, explains how strong leadership and continuous improvement can help create a robust culture of patient safety and quality.

CEO Mark Laret: Strong financial, philanthropic leader at UCSF Medical Center, Becker’s Hospital Review

A feature on UCSF Medical Center CEO Mark Laret.

Study says hospital charges don’t add up, Ventura County Star

A person with acute appendicitis rushed to an emergency room in Ventura County could rack up hospital charges of anywhere from $6,782 to $84,554, according to a new study that says this gap is driven mostly by which hospital is used. In a project hospital officials say does not reflect what patients actually pay, researchers pored over charges reported by acute care hospitals throughout California for 19,368 appendicitis cases in 2009. They found charges varied dramatically from one hospital to the next. The smallest bill for one case in the state was $1,529. The biggest was $182,955. The median charge in the state was $33,611, according to the study involving UCSF researchers. Lead author Renee Hsia is quoted.

New University of Arizona Health Network board named, Arizona Daily Star

Southern Arizona’s largest nonprofit healthcare company has a brand new board of directors. The Arizona Board of Regents approved a 17-member board, which will hold its first meeting May 24. At that time, the new members will elect a chair. The members include UC Health Chief Strategy Officer Santiago Muñoz.

UCI: New device eases painful ringing in ears, The Orange County Register

The ringing can be loud, constant and debilitating, depriving sufferers of sleep and concentration, even triggering depression. It’s known to doctors as tinnitus, and a new, iPod-like device invented by UC Irvine scientists can temporarily blot it out.

UC Merced innovations all seen as a big win, Merced Sun-Star

Solar-powered farm equipment. Almond byproducts as biofuels. Reducing noise in neonatal intensive care units. New valves to improve blood flow for newborns. These were just some of the cutting-edge projects unveiled by UC Merced engineering and management students Wednesday at the Innovate to Grow competition.

Health Care Heroes: Robotic arms could help stroke patients relearn movements, Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal

The Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal has honored UC Santa Cruz medical robotics expert Jacob Rosen with the 2012 Health Care Heroes award in the research category.

Why your drug copay could change, NPR

UC Berkeley economic James Robinson is quoted in this piece about value-based insurance.

‘The Weight of the Nation’: Obesity crisis, San Francisco Chronicle

This review of the HBO documentary series “The Weight of the Nation” quotes Elissa Epel of UCSF, one of several institutions to have studied what is termed “mindful eating” – paying attention to what and when you eat, learning to make choices based on actual hunger and learning to value the quality of your food, not just how much of it you’re consuming while watching television.

Lenin’s stroke: Doctor has a theory (and a suspect), The New York Times

Research by Dr. Harry Vinters, chief of neuropathology at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and professor of pathology and neurology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, re-examining the cause of Vladimir Lenin’s death is highlighted in this article. Vinters is quoted.

In sitting still, a bench press for the brain, The New York Times

Eileen Luders, assistant professor of neurology at the UCLA Laboratory of Neuro Imaging, is featured in this article about her research showing that people who meditate have, on average, a greater amount of folds in the brain’s cerebral cortex, which improves information processing, memory formation and decision making.

Man sues UCSD, says he was given cancerous kidney (video), ABC 10

A Fallbrook man is suing UC after he says he was given a cancerous kidney in a kidney transplant at UC San Diego Medical Center. UC San Diego officials say they can’t comment on pending litigation.

Commentary: Why the campaign to stop America’s obesity crisis keeps failing, The Daily Beast/Newsweek

Gary Taubes of the UC Berkeley School of Public Health comments on the causes of America’s obesity crisis.

CATEGORY: In the media, NewsComments Off

In the media: Week of April 29

A sampling of news media stories involving UC Health:

UCSD names new health system CEO, San Diego Union-Tribune

UC San Diego announced Tuesday that it has chosen a new chief executive for its health system whose experience includes leadership positions both in medical academics and industry.Paul S. Viviano will start June 1 as CEO of UC San Diego Health System and associate vice chancellor for Health Sciences. He is leaving his job as chief executive of Alliance Healthcare Services, one of the nation’s largest providers of diagnostic imaging and radiation therapy services.

California chosen as home for computing institute, The New York Times

The Simons Foundation, which specializes in science and math research, has chosen UC Berkeley as host for an ambitious new center for computer science, the university plans to announce on Tuesday. The foundation’s $60 million grant to establish the center, to be called the Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing at UC Berkeley, underscores the growing influence of computer science on the physical and social sciences. An interdisciplinary array of scientists will explore the mathematical foundations of computer science and attack problems in fields as diverse as health care, astrophysics, genetics and economics.

See additional coverage: Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle

UCSF Chancellor Susan Desmond-Hellmann on how health care is changing, Forbes

An interview with UCSF Chancellor Susan Desmond-Hellmann on how health care is changing.

Local scientists working to rebuild body parts (video), CBS Sacramento

Jan Nolta, stem cell program director at UC Davis, is embarking on groundbreaking research into stem cell therapy and has successfully used stem cells to regrow tendons in a horse’s leg as well as help a child with cerebral palsy regain control of his limbs. Both patients and Nolta are featured in this special report.

Wireless technology prevents medical errors (video), KTLA

A left behind medical sponge is a major issue that can happen during surgery. It can cause patient complications or infections down the road. But now, new wireless technology in the O-R is preventing that. There’s a new type of medical sponge with a tiny RFID chip inside. That means doctors can keep track of where it is at all times during surgery. UC Irvine Medical Center was one of the first in the nation to adopt the new system. Now they are relying on technology that really counts. UC Irvine Chief Medical Officer William Barron is interviewed.

When illness makes a spouse a stranger (video), The New York Times

Recently, researchers have been making important discoveries about the biochemical and genetic defects that cause some forms of frontotemporal dementia. And for the first time, they have identified drugs that may be able to treat one of those defects, the buildup of abnormal proteins in the brain. Tests in people, the first ever such drug trials in this disease, could begin as soon as early next year at the University of California, San Francisco. UCSF professor of neurology and psychiatry Bruce Miller is quoted.

Virtual reality sheds light on learning with autism (audio), Capital Public Radio

UC Davis is using virtual reality to learn how autistic adolescents manage to think, talk, and interact at the same time. They hope the study will help the estimated 740,000 autistic kids in public schools get more out of their classroom experience. Dr. Peter Mundy, director of educational research at UC Davis’ MIND Institute, says there is not a large body of knowledge about how to teach children with autism.

Cancer genome data center raises hope for cures, San Jose Mercury News

Researchers on Tuesday unveiled a major weapon in the war against cancer: the nation’s first catalog of cancer genomes, which hold the clues to the disease’s deadly secrets. The $10.5 million project, managed by UC Santa Cruz, shifts the battlefield from the microscope into cyberspace — accelerating the search for genes gone bad.

Darfur Stove nonprofit Potential Energy gets $1.5 million grant, San Francisco Business Times

The U.S. Agency for International Development has awarded $1.5 million for a project to distribute cleaner, safer cooking stoves in the Darfur region of Sudan. The Darfur Stove project was the brainchild of Berkeley Lab scientist and UC Berkeley civil and environmental engineering professor Ashok Gadgil, who started a nonprofit called Potential Energy to further promote the stove.

Was Junior Seau’s apparent suicide brain-injury related?, MSNBC.com

David Hovda, professor of neurosurgery and director of the UCLA Brain Injury Research Center, is interviewed in this story about the death of former NFL star Junior Seau, which is fueling debate over whether football’s big hits leave some players with lingering brain damage that can lead to depression and possibly even suicide.

Roger Daltrey (video), Jimmy Kimmel Live

Roger Daltrey is interviewed about the Daltrey/Townshend Teen & Young Adult Cancer Program at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, the first such program launched in the U.S. by Daltrey and Pete Townshend of the Who.

Reagan’s daughter: ‘Not a fiber of my being that doesn’t believe he understood us’, NBC Los Angeles

This segment features an interview with President Ronald Reagan’s daughter Patti Davis on her personal story involving her father’s battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Davis has started an Alzheimer’s support group as part of UCLA’s Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care Program.

Why it’s vital for spine surgeons and specialists to unite: Q&A with Dr. Nick Shamie of UCLA Comprehensive Spine Center, Becker’s Spine Review

A Q & A with Dr. Nick Shamie, orthopaedic spine surgeon at UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica and associate professor of orthopaedic surgery, about why spine surgeons should collaborate with other specialists.

Bottom line: Black surgeon’s claim details racism among UCLA doctors, Los Angeles Wave

A highly regarded African-American surgeon and UCLA associate professor recently filed a lawsuit against the University of California Board of Regents and the administrators of the UCLA Medical Center for implementing a decade-long campaign of discriminatory acts against him.

Mixed reviews at basic health program briefing, California Healthline

The state Legislature is considering a bill to create a Basic Health Program in California. If adopted, SB 703 by Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina) would create low-cost health care insurance for as many as one million low-income Californians. The article quotes Gerald Kominski, director of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.

CATEGORY: In the media, NewsComments Off

In the media: Week of April 22

A sampling of news media stories involving UC Health:

UCSF launches $100M fundraising campaign to offset cuts (audio), KCBS

The University of California, San Francisco is launching a first-of-its-kind campaign to ask private donors to make up money lost to state budget cuts. UCSF Chancellor Susan Desmond-Hellmann used her commencement address at the School of Nursing graduation on Tuesday to begin the $100 million capital campaign.

Mark G. Yudof: A UC education is affordable, attainable, Redding Record Searchlight

In this commentary, UC President Mark Yudof notes that every corner of California benefits from the University of California, such as in Shasta County at the Mercy and Shasta regional medical centers, where UC-trained doctors and nurses make the rounds.

Mad cow scare rattles industry, but price rebounds, San Francisco Chronicle

Despite a shaky 24 hours, cattle futures experienced a comeback Wednesday and the U.S. beef export market remained solid after California reported its first-ever case of mad cow disease. UC Davis did the initial tests on the dead cow’s tissue samples and have since sent the samples on to the USDA for further examination. The article quotes Michael Payne, a veterinarian and outreach coordinator for the Western Institute for Food Safety and Security at UC Davis, and Jim Cullor, a UC Davis veterinary professor and director of the university’s Veterinary Medical Teaching and Research Center in Tulare.

Heart transplants for older patients, The New York Times

This blog post about older patients receiving heart transplants cited a program at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in which patients over 72 receive hearts from older donors.  Dr. Abbas Ardehali, professor of cardiothoracic surgery and surgical director of UCLA’s heart and lung transplantation program, is quoted.

UC Merced freshman rallies others in fight against cancer, Merced Sun-Star

Darrel Justo wants to become a pediatric oncologist. That ambition was born after he overcame a battle against cancer eight years ago. “That’s why I want to follow the footsteps of the doctors who saved me,” the 18-year-old said. The UC Merced freshman and recipient of the American Cancer Society California Young Cancer Survivor Scholarship, worth $7,500, will be one of the speakers at the 14th annual Merced Relay For Life.

Progress with HIV undercut by unmet needs, San Francisco Chronicle

Scientists have been hailing recent triumphs in the treatment and prevention of HIV, but a UCSF study released this week shows that for a large group of impoverished HIV patients, a simple lack of food and shelter is making them sicker than the infection itself.

Bill expanding abortion access stalls in Capitol, San Francisco Chronicle

A bill to allow non-physicians to perform abortions stalled in a Senate committee at the Capitol Thursday, as key lawmakers questioned the scientific findings of UCSF researchers who conducted a study that led to the proposal.

Cancer wars: An outcast researcher’s new theory, Pacific Standard

UC Berkeley biochemistry and molecular biology professor Peter Duesberg, the controversial researcher who disagreed with the medical establishment’s theory that HIV causes AIDS, has a new theory about what does and does not cause cancer, also bound to upset established theory.

Richard Brown, UCLA professor, health care advocate, SM Airport commissioner, dies (audio), KPCC

A powerful advocate for health care reform has died. UCLA professor E. Richard Brown advised two presidents and helped pave the way for the Affordable Care Act. Colleagues called Rick Brown a passionate teacher and a gifted scientist.



CATEGORY: In the media, NewsComments Off

In the media: Week of April 15

A sampling of news media stories involving UC Health:

New facility will let UCSD, biotech scientists team up, San Diego Union-Tribune

The already tight relations between UC San Diego and the biotechnology industry will soon get even closer. The UC Board of Regents is expected to vote next month to approve the Center for Innovative Therapeutics, or CIT, a $110 million research complex that would house UCSD scientists and researchers from biotech companies. Regents are hoping to get companies to more quickly develop products and treatments invented by university scientists, a branch of research known as “bench-to-bedside.” The U-T discussed the proposed building with Thomas Kipps, who has been serving as interim director of UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center in La Jolla.

The 100 most influential people in the world, Time

UCSF professor of medicine Robert Grant makes Time magazine’s list of the top 100 most influential people in the world. Through one landmark study in November 2010, Dr. Grant, 52, changed the way AIDS researchers think about preventing HIV transmission. He and his team showed that gay, HIV-negative men could radically lower their risk of contracting HIV from their sexual partners by taking a combination antiretroviral drug already used to treat people living with the virus.

California to test HIV-prevention pill, Los Angeles Times

California will test an HIV-prevention pill in an attempt to slow the spread of the disease in the state, researchers announced Tuesday. The pill, which is already used to treat HIV patients, will be prescribed to 700 gay and bisexual men and transgender women in Los Angeles, San Diego and Long Beach who are high-risk but not infected. “With this new prevention pill, we have another intervention to put in the arsenal to try and impact this epidemic,” said George Lemp, director of the California HIV/AIDS Research Program with the UC president’s office. The program awarded $11.8 million in state grants for the prevention pill studies and efforts to get about 3,000 HIV-infected people in Southern California into treatment and keep them there. The grants will go to a group of UC schools, local governments and AIDS organizations.

See additional coverage: San Diego Union-Tribune, KPBS (audio), San Francisco Business Times

Working toward a new social contract for health care, The Wall Street Journal

UCSF Chancellor Susan Desmond-Hellmann discusses her vision of a “new social contract” for patients participating in the health care system. The intent of this contract would be to advance the goals of precision medicine — treatment based on an understanding of the molecular and environmental factors contributing to disease.  Desmond-Hellmann published an editorial on her call-to-arms to patient advocates last week in Science Translational Medicine.

Medical students face grueling, expensive road to practice, The Sacramento Bee

UC Davis Medical School received a record high of about 5,000 applications last year, and only 105 were accepted, according to Dr. Fred Meyers, executive associate dean of the UC Davis Health System. However, the number of residency spots has not kept pace with the growing number of medical students, making it difficult for students to find immediate employment and settle debts.

It’s called play, Southwest Airlines Spirit Magazine

This feature on the importance of play highlights the work of UCLA professor Toni Yancey, who found that 10-minute bursts of physical activity boosted workers’ performance, “psychosocial factors,” and health. Yancey came up with an “Instant Recess” program that encourages several short play breaks each day. After writing a book with the same title, she teamed with Keen to bring recess to the workaday world. Among the early adopters: the health care companies Kaiser Permanente and the Henry Ford Health System. Check out the Instant Recess toolkit.

Two local hospitals named among Top 100, San Diego Union-Tribune

Scripps Green Hospital and UC San Diego Medical Center have been named among the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals by Thomson Reuters.

UCR recognized for environmental efforts, The Riverside Press-Enterprise

Just in time for Earthy Day on Sunday, UC Riverside has received two awards for its environmental efforts. The new School of Medicine Research Building has received LEED Gold Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. One of the primary energy-saving features of the three-story, 58,000-square-foot building are automatic solar shades that measure the amount of light coming into a room and deploy for shade as necessary.

Local hospitals win millions in Medicare reimbursement, Sacramento Business Journal

Health systems that do business in the Sacramento area will get nearly $119 million from a settlement that ended a long-running dispute over Medicare payments. The UC Davis Medical Center, along with other University of California hospitals, is still negotiating with Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services but expects a settlement soon in the 13-year dispute.

Report: State prison health care needs independent oversight, California Healthline

California should create an independent board to monitor prison health care after federal oversight ends, according to a report released Thursday by the Legislative Analyst’s Office. The University of California is mentioned in the report.

UC San Diego to stimulate huge earthquakes, San Diego Union-Tribune

One of the biggest efforts ever made to understand how earthquakes affect buildings begins Tuesday at UC San Diego, where engineers will violently shake a five-story structure fitted with 500 sensors and 70 cameras. The test is the first in a series meant to help scientists improve building codes and prevent fires, a common aftereffect of quakes. Scientists have shaken the skeleton of buildings before, but this is a complete mid-rise with state-of-the art ceilings, electrical systems, furniture and a working elevator. The top two floors have been designed as a mock hospital, complete with a surgical suite and an intensive care unit. It is the most elaborately detailed quake test building ever created.

See additional coverage: The Associated Press

Crowd-sourcing expands power of brain research, The New York Times

In the largest collaborative study of the brain to date, scientists using imaging technology at more than 100 centers worldwide have for the first time zeroed in on genes that they agree play a role in intelligence and memory. Scientists working to understand the biology of brain function — and especially those using brain imaging, a blunt tool — have been badly stalled. But the new work, involving more than 200 scientists, lays out a strategy for breaking the logjam. The findings appear in a series of papers published online Sunday in the journal Nature Genetics. The article quotes Paul Thompson, a professor of neurology at UCLA and senior author of one of the papers.

UCSF researchers decipher ‘selective hearing’, San Francisco Chronicle

Anyone who’s ever tried to hear someone speaking in a roomful of jabbering voices and clinking glasses knows the “cocktail party effect” – the ability to tune out all the noise and tune in only to the one whose conversation is important in the moment. A neurosurgeon and an electrical engineer, both at UCSF, say they now understand how the cocktail party effect works, a finding that resolves a mystery that has plagued psychologists for more than a century.

Everyday activities might lower Alzheimer’s risk, HealthDay News

UC Berkeley neuroscience professor William Jagust, of the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, comments on a new study linking physical activity and reduced risk of Alzheimer’s,  saying confirmation would require a study assigning some people to be more active and others to be less active, then following them for a long time. The article also quotes Gary Small, a brain researcher and director of the Longevity Center at UCLA.

Why women suffer more migraines than men (audio), NPR Morning Edition

Andrew Charles, professor of neurology and director of the UCLA Headache Research and Treatment Program, is featured in this segment about why women suffer more migraines than men, and his ongoing efforts to find a cure.

Epilepsy study: Surgery more effective than medications (video), KABC 7

This story reports on a study by Jerome Engel, professor of neurology, neurobiology and psychiatry and director of the UCLA Seizure Disorder Center, finding that early surgical intervention can help prevent seizures and improve quality of life in people with drug-resistant epilepsy. Engel is interviewed.

J&J funds promising QB3 research, San Francisco Business Times

The UC-affiliated California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences, or QB3, project developing an artificial pancreas that would spare diabetes patients their daily injections has received funding of up to $250,000 over two years from Johnson & Johnson.

UCLA doctor sues regents, alleging racial bias, Los Angeles Times

UCLA Dr. Christian Head says the university failed to prevent harassment. He says he was humiliated by a graduation night faculty roast and has suffered retaliation for filing complaints.

The doctor will see you — if you’re quick, Newsweek

As primary physicians continue to take on more patients while spending less time with each one, most of the blame goes to the system that encourages quantity over quality. Richard Kravitz, primary care physician and co-vice chair of research in internal medicine at UC Davis, says even small gestures like calling a patient at home can make a difference in how they feel. The article also quotes UC San Francisco professor Thomas Bodenheimer and UC Davis professor Michael Wilkes.

101-year-old S.F. doctor gets a house call from Itzhak Perlman, Jewish News Weekly

This article describes a visit between violinst Itzhak Perlman and UCSF Dr. Ephraim Engleman, who, at 101 years and 2 weeks old, has been working in the field of arthritis research for longer than some of the other doctors there had been alive.

Warren Buffett says he has early prostate cancer, The Associated Press

Warren Buffett, the 81-year-old chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., has announced that he has been diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer. Dr. Ralph deVere White, director of the Comprehensive Cancer Center at UC Davis, said Buffett has a “great prognosis” and only a 2 or 3 percent chance of death due to the cancer in the next 10 years.

Hospitals try voice recognition for health records, USA Today

UC Irvine Medical Center is testing M-Modal’s software that allows doctors to use voice to locate and dictate information to files in its electronic record system. The hospital will use a desktop version when it launches in October, but plans to deploy it on iPads in the next generation, says Jim Murry, the hospital’s CIO.

From a Berkeley garage, a solar initiative that saves lives, Berkeleyside

The week before last, the city of Berkeley took time to honor two of its citizens. Laura Stachel and her husband Hal Aronson were issued with a proclamation and words of praise from Mayor Tom Bates and Councilmember Linda Maio, among others, at the April 3 meeting of the City Council. Stachel and Aronson’s brainchild was to create a portable “solar suitcase” which is able to provide light to hospitals that face chronic power shortages — a situation many healthcare clinics in developing countries face on a daily basis. Having the lights go off during surgery can mean the difference between life and death. The situation can also be critical if you have to wait for daylight to break in order to begin an urgent operation. Stachel, who practiced as an obstetrician before a back injury led her to change course and pursue a doctorate of public health at UC Berkeley, saw this first-hand when she traveled to Nigeria in 2008.

The guide to beating a heart attack, The Wall Street Journal

While heart disease and its consequences are largely preventable, nearly one million Americans will suffer a heart attack this year. Amparo Villablanca, cardiologist at UC Davis, advises consumers to take charge of their health by shopping around the perimeter aisles of the grocery store, where fresh produce and other unprocessed foods are typically found.

The have and have-nots of health on display in east Sacramento, Oak Park, The Sacramento Bee

This article about health disparities quotes Jonathan London, director of the Center for Regional Change at UC Davis, and Paula Braveman, director of the Center on Social Disparities in Health at UC San Francisco.

You must remember this, Sacramento Magazine

“Nobody really escapes the age-related changes that occur with the mind,” said Michael McCloud, geriatrician and healthy-aging expert at UC Davis. He has outlined six things to keep in mind for those worried about age-related cognitive changes.

Editorial: Region’s hospitals need to collaborate to advance cancer screening, treatment, The Sacramento Bee

We are privileged in the Greater Sacramento region, a health care hub for much of Northern California, to have one of the nation’s 44 comprehensive cancer centers. With that prestigious designation comes great opportunity – and great responsibility. The entire medical community in our region should capitalize on the status of the newly renamed UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, now in the top tier of cancer centers nationwide – as the Boston area did in the late 1990s.

Commentary: UC housing developers should consider Fair Oaks’ interests, Fair Oaks Patch

UC Davis wants to build a housing development in the center of one of Fair Oaks’ oldest properties. The hope is the development will provide financial resources to fund scholarships for the university’s school of medicine. However, this doesn’t necessarily make it the right decision, writes Fair Oaks Patch editor Joshua Staab.

CATEGORY: In the media, NewsComments Off

In the media: Week of April 8

A sampling of news media stories involving UC Health:

UCSD goal: world-class health care, San Diego Union-Tribune

UC San Diego officials brought out the champagne and ceremonial shovels Monday for a groundbreaking on the $664 million Jacobs Medical Center, but they really were celebrating something far bigger than the start of construction on a 10-story building. University officials said they’re taking the next step on the way to their goal of being a world-class academic medical institution combining research, a school of medicine and advanced clinical care.

Riverside County to give $10 million to University of California, Riverside medical school, The Palm Springs Desert Sun

Riverside County will invest an additional $10 million in the University of California, Riverside’s medical school, the Board of Supervisors decided Tuesday.School leaders hope the extra funding, which doubles the county’s investment, will give the school enough of a financial boost to be able to open in fall 2013. Read a related editorial.

See additional coverage: The Riverside Press-Enterprise, KPCC (audio)

Family doctors try to recruit Sacramento teens to profession, The Sacramento Bee

It’s hard to say which of the things transpiring in a Sacramento Charter High School classroom last week was more unusual: teenagers taking a sonogram of Dr. Charlene Hauser’s unborn child or family medicine doctors getting a chance to be the stars of the medical profession. The session was part of Future Faces of Family Medicine, a program started last school year by family medicine residents at UC Davis and Sutter Health, along with the California Academy of Family Physicians, to recruit more youths – especially those from low-income and ethnic minority backgrounds – into their often-unsung profession.

Mom’s weight may be risk factor for autism (video), CNN

A mother’s weight and diabetic condition may increase the risk of her unborn child developing a neurodevelopmental disorder, such as autism, according to a new study published in this week’s journal Pediatrics. Researchers with the UC Davis MIND Institute in California found that mothers-to-be who were obese were 67% more likely to have a child with autism as opposed to normal-weight mothers without diabetes or hypertension.

See additional coverage: The Sacramento Bee

Telehealth Network gets $700K donation from UnitedHealthcare, Sacramento Business Journal

UnitedHealthcare has donated $700,000 to the Sacramento-based California Telehealth Network to expand telemedicine training and provide technical support for rural and underserved hospitals and clinics in California.

See additional coverage: California Healthline

UC Berkeley tests text message placebo effect, and it works!, San Francisco Business Times

A social welfare researcher at UC Berkeley found that getting a text message, even an automated one, can help a patient who feels stressed or lonely.

What studies have shown about sugar, Los Angeles Times

In 2011, researchers at UC Davis found that subjects who received 25 percent of their calories from either fructose or high-fructose corn syrup saw a jump in their cholesterol levels. The experiment is one of many providing evidence of sugar’s correlation with risks for heart disease.

As tuition rose, so did university holiday parties, San Diego Union-Tribune

As San Diego’s public universities scaled back enrollment, cut classes and hiked tuition in recent years, the institutions increased spending on end-of-year and holiday parties for staff, public records show. The University of California San Diego spent $247,996 on such celebrations in 2011, up from $179,552 in 2010, according to reimbursement records. Much of it was for the medical center staff, which receives little in taxpayer funds but remains a public facility.

Dr. Lester Breslow dies at 97; UCLA dean was ‘Mr. Public Health’, Los Angeles Times

Dr. Lester Breslow, the UCLA researcher who became known at “Mr. Public Health” because of his research emphasizing the beneficial effects of avoiding certain behaviors, such as smoking, overeating and failing to exercise regularly, has died. He was 97.

 



CATEGORY: In the media, NewsComments Off

In the media: Week of April 1

A sampling of news media stories involving UC Health:

Riverside County looks to get medical school running by 2013, The Palm Springs Desert Sun

An extra $10 million in funding from Riverside County supervisors could help the University of California, Riverside’s proposed medical school gain the accreditation it needs to start classes for its first 50 students in fall 2013.The Board of Supervisors is set to vote Tuesday on the increased funding, which along with a previous commitment of $10 million would give the school $1.5 million a year in county funds for the next nine years.

Inside UCSF’s Mission Bay hospital, San Francisco Business Times

UC San Francisco Medical Center is making rapid progress on its new 289-bed, $1.52 billion women’s, children’s and cancer specialty hospital at Mission Bay, which will include the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital.

Is sugar toxic? (video), CBS 60 Minutes

If you are what you eat, then what does it mean that the average American consumes 130 pounds of sugar a year? Sanjay Gupta reports on new research showing that beyond weight gain, sugar can take a serious toll on your health, worsening conditions ranging from heart disease to cancer. Some physicians go so far as to call sugar a toxin. Those interviewed include UCSF’s Robert Lustig and UC Davis’ Kimber Stanhope.

Health Care 911 (video), San Diego Union-Tribune

This five-part series examines the problem of frequent users of emergency services. The frequent 911 users in this series are the most chronic users of the emergency room and can defy institutional, government-based, solutions. They will remain a challenge no matter what becomes of the health reform law currently under U.S. Supreme Court review. UC San Diego is highlighted in this series.

DIEP flap surgical alternative to breast implants, San Francisco Chronicle

When Lori MacKenzie was diagnosed with breast cancer in the fall of 2010, her immediate impulse was to schedule a double mastectomy with implants because that offered her the quickest resolution. But after doing some research, she realized she had other options. She needed a mastectomy because of the type and location of her cancer. That was done at UCSF last year. But for her reconstruction, the mother of three from Napa chose a relatively new type of breast surgery. The highly specialized technique uses fat tissue and tiny blood vessels taken from the patient’s abdomen to form a new breast, while preserving the abdominal muscle. MacKenzie waited a year until UCSF could bring in a microsurgeon to perform the surgery – called a free DIEP flap, for deep inferior epigastric perforator flap. The surgeon, Dr. Hani Sbitany, was recruited from the University of Pennsylvania in August to head up UCSF’s Breast Cancer Center’s reconstruction program.

Infectious disease: Blowing in the wind, Nature

A feature on Kawasaki disease and how it may be impacted by climate highlights UC San Diego research.

Son’s leukemia sends mom on search for donor, San Francisco Chronicle

It started with a nosebleed that lasted too long. After three hours, Heather Banaszek decided to take her 11-year-old son, C.J., to the emergency room at Petaluma Valley Hospital. C.J., who loves basketball, soccer and baseball, had been pale and dragging for several days. In the early hours of Feb. 21, the fifth-grader was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia. The Banaszeks, who spent two weeks after diagnosis in the hospital at UCSF, are back home and focused on finding a bone marrow match for their son. A bone marrow transplant is the only thing that will cure C.J., Heather Banaszek said. At the same time, they are on a mission to raise awareness about the importance of and relative ease of donating bone marrow.

UCSF chancellor honored by Commonwealth Club (video), ABC 7

A woman who helped revolutionize cancer treatment is being honored this month for her new role: leading the massive UCSF medical school and research centers. Dr. Susan Desmond-Hellmann is one of four people chosen by San Francisco’s Commonwealth Club as leaders who are moving the Bay Area forward.

‘Solar Suitcase’ sheds light on darkened delivery rooms (video), PBS NewsHour

After witnessing the consequences of power outages in Nigeria’s health facilities, obstetrician Dr. Laura Stachel came up with a solution: a suitcase containing elements to produce and store solar energy. Spencer Michels reports on the life-saving device that aims to reduce maternal mortality rates in the developing world. Stachel is associate director of West African Emergency Obstetric Research for UC Berkeley’s Bixby Center. She has an M.D. from UC San Francisco and an M.P.H. from UC Berkeley.

Harbor-UCLA Medical Center makes changes after series of failed inspections, patient death, The Torrance Daily Breeze/CHCF Center for Health Reporting

This article investigates patient care issues at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. Harbor-UCLA is a cornerstone of emergency care in the South Bay and Long Beach area and the only Level I trauma center south of the Santa Monica Freeway. It is also a key safety-net hospital for low-income and uninsured residents and a major teaching facility for the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. Read a follow-up article: Official defends County Harbor-UCLA Medical Center after incidents.

UC-owned Fair Oaks property plan calls for development, broad tree removal, The Sacramento Bee

The University of California is planning on removing 400 trees and a historic ranch in order to build a housing development in Fair Oaks. Allan Meacham, university assistant director of real estate services, says the 7-acre property on Fair Oaks Boulevard was donated to the university with the intention of funding scholarships at UC Davis School of Medicine.

Aetna mistakenly tells 8,000 customers their doctors were dropped from coverage, The Sacramento Bee

Thousands of Aetna customers across the state, including many in the Sacramento region, were mistakenly sent letters this week telling them that their health care provider is no longer covered in the network and that they need to find new doctors. More than 8,000 Aetna customers were sent the form letters from the Hartford, Conn.-based health insurance company and have been receiving them in the mail over the past few days. Since then, patients have been calling their doctors and the insurance company to find out if they are still covered. “Patients were concerned about not being able to see their UC Davis physician. Patients with appointments in the near future were especially worried,” said Karen Finney, UC Davis health system spokesperson. “We told them they should continue to see their physicians as planned.”

Counterfeit drugs show need for tracking, San Francisco Chronicle

The discovery of a second batch of a phony cancer drug in the United States this week has frustrated regulators in California, where the nation’s most stringent law to track and trace pharmaceuticals was passed in 2004 but has yet to be implemented. At UCSF, pharmacists use sophisticated scanning methods to help ensure that the product is legitimate. Bret Brodowy, UCSF’s director of pharmacy, is quoted.

Humans a major source of indoor bacteria, UC researchers find, California Watch

You are a big bag of germs. And just by walking into a room, you add 37 million bacteria to the air for every hour you remain there. At least, that’s what researchers at UC Berkeley and Yale University have discovered about the presence of a person in a room.

The 2012 Time 100 Poll: Karen Pierce, Time

Karen Pierce, assistant director of the UC San Diego Autism Center of Excellence, has been nominated by Time magazine writers and editors to be included in the 2012 Time 100 List for her work to help identify children at risk of autism at an early age. Cast your vote for Pierce, assistant professor in the UC San Diego department of neurosciences, to be included among the leaders, artists, innovators, icons and heroes that you think are the most influential people in the world. Official voting ends Friday. The poll winner will be included in the Time 100 issue and revealed on Time.com April 17.

Researchers hunt for causes of autism, USA Today

Recently, scientists have discovered a number of risk factors for autism. These include genes, as evidenced in a study by David Amaral, research director at the UC Davis MIND Institute who found that 15 percent to 20 percent of autistic children have a genetic mutation. And if parents have one child with autism, the risk of having a second child is nearly 20 percent, according to Sally Ozonoff, vice chair for research at the UC Davis MIND Institute.

See additional coverage: San Diego Union-Tribune

Scientists identify genetic changes that may increase risk of PTSD, Time

This story highlights research by Dr. Armen Goenjian, a UCLA research professor of psychiatry at the Semel Institute, and Julia Bailey, adjunct assistant professor of epidemiology at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, linking two genes involved in serotonin production to a higher risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder.

Robot bladder cancer surgery, fewer deaths, UPI

Robotic surgery resulted in fewer deaths and in-patient complications than open surgery for bladder cancer, but it was costlier, U.S. researchers say. Dr. Jim Hu of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA said previous research involving robotic-assisted surgery has come from single medical centers and did not include direct comparisons with traditional surgery.

Partnering with disease: 9 doctors studying an illness close to home, The Atlantic

UCLA Dr. Stanley Nelson, vice chair of human genetics at the David Geffen School of Medicine and a professor of psychiatry at the Semel Institute, and his wife, Carrie Miceli, a UCLA professor of microbiology and molecular genetics, are featured in this story profiling scientists who study diseases that affect them personally. Nelson and Miceli aim to unravel a genetic disorder that affects their young son.

Public invited to hear health care panel, San Diego Union-Tribune

The UC San Diego alumni organization has scheduled a forum on the future of health care in this country. The event, “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Healthiness,” is set for 5 p.m. Tuesday in the newly opened Telemedicine Building at the university’s School of Medicine. It is free and open to the public, but space is limited and registration is required.

Outbreak, the game, ScienceNow

You’re sitting at lunch when your friend hands you a note with some bad news: You’ve been infected with Muizenberg Mathematical Fever (MMF). Are you going to get sick? Will you die? To find out, you visit a website that reveals the severity of your infection and how many people you’ll infect. As the outbreak spreads among your colleagues, some report to the health clinic. Others go untreated. Fortunately for you, this is all a simulation. It’s part of a new game designed to teach students the complexity of data generated by outbreaks. MMF is the brainchild of Steve Bellan, an ecologist at the University of California, Berkeley, who specializes in the epidemiology of wildlife diseases like anthrax, and Juliet Pulliam of the University of Florida, Gainesville.

Op-ed: Supreme Court needn’t fear healthcare law’s individual mandate provision, Los Angeles Times

Vikram Amar, professor and associate dean at the UC Davis School of Law, and Alan Brownstein, constitutional law professor at UC Davis, wrote this op-ed discussing the Affordable Care Act that was debated in the Supreme Court last week.

Op-ed: NFL penalty for bounties didn’t go far enough, San Francisco Chronicle

The long suspensions handed down by the National Football League to the coaches who orchestrated the New Orleans Saints’ injury bounty program may cause some to wonder whether the NFL went too far. I wonder if the NFL went far enough, writes Geoffrey T. Manley, M.D., Ph.D., is the chief of neurosurgery at San Francisco General Hospital and professor and vice chairman of neurosurgery at UCSF.

Commentary: Stay the course toward better health care quality, NAPH Safety Net Matters

The politics, business and delivery of health care underwent a permanent, seismic shift in 2010. Whether or not you are a supporter of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), there is little debate that it was a game changer, writes Aaron Byzak, UC San Diego Health System’s director of government and community affairs, in a blog post.

CATEGORY: In the media, NewsComments Off

In the media: Week of March 25

A sampling of news media stories involving UC Health:

UCR medical school gets funding boost, The Riverside Press-Enterprise

University of California officials say they have secured enough funding to try again to seek accreditation for UC Riverside’s School of Medicine in time to open in fall 2013. UCR Chancellor Timothy P. White said Wednesday that the UC state financing office has established a $30 million line of credit for the medical school, and the UC Office of the President has committed $2 million annually for the next 10 years.

See additional coverage: The San Bernardino Sun

U.S. Supreme Court health care law review to start, San Francisco Chronicle

The Supreme Court today (March 26) embarks on a three-day examination of the Affordable Care Act – “Obamacare” to Republicans – with supporters arguing it is a constitutional way to insure the uninsured while opponents counter that if Congress can require Americans to buy health insurance, it can make them eat broccoli. The article quotes Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of UC Irvine’s School of Law.

See additional coverage: KQED Forum (audio)

Weight loss secret: Chocolate!, San Diego Union-Tribune

Chocolate: melts in your mouth and melts off your waistline. Science fiction? Science fact, insists Dr. Beatrice Golomb, an associate professor of medicine at UC San Diego. “The surprise is,” Golomb said, “eating chocolate frequently is linked to lower weight.”

See additional coverage: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Time, NPR All Things Considered (audio)

CEO David Feinberg: Prescription for Excellence, Becker’s Hospital Review

A profile of Dr. David Feinberg, president of the UCLA Health System, CEO of the UCLA Hospital System and associate vice chancellor for health sciences, highlighting his organizational strategies and unique patient-centered approach. Feinberg is quoted.

Telemedicine brings pediatric specialists to rural California, HealthyCal.org

A feature on UC Davis’ pediatric telemedicine program.

Autism: UCSF zeroes in on rare chromosome defect, San Francisco Chronicle

When her son was diagnosed with a rare chromosome defect three years ago, it was something of a relief for Theresa Mahar. Finally, she had an explanation. Christopher, now 14, had obvious developmental delays and intellectual disabilities. He had behavior problems and struggled in school. He’d been assigned so many diagnoses over the years – almost all of them related to autism – that it was sometimes hard to keep up. Then a genetic test revealed the defect to chromosome 16 – one of the 23 chromosomes that make up every person’s DNA – and it explained, perhaps, the cause of Christopher’s autism. “It’s something to hold on to,” Theresa Mahar said. “It’s something to blame.” Mahar and her family came to San Francisco from Hillsboro, Ore., this week to participate in an unusual study at UCSF – to map in great detail the brains of people who have a defect to chromosome 16.

UC Berkeley, lab get $35M to study Big Data, San Francisco Business Times

On Thursday, the Obama administration announced that UC Berkeley and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Washington, D.C., will receive a total of $35 million in federal funding to participate in a national initiative to harness large amounts of information — including health care data — for research purposes. The funding is part of $200 million that six federal agencies have committed to the “Big Data Research and Development Initiative.”

See additional coverage: The New York Times

UC Berkeley releases ACO readiness survey, Modern Healthcare

The University of California at Berkeley has released an accountable care organization readiness survey for safety net providers.

Neuroscientists battle furiously over Jennifer Aniston, NPR

This story highlights research by Dr. Itzhak Fried, professor-in-residence of neurosurgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, showing that the same single brain cell in the hippocampus fires when an individual views images of, hears about or reads about a particular famous person.

Agoura Hills woman forms online group of expectant mothers confined to bed rest, Ventura County Star

Jeanne Fisher, 30, pregnant with twins, was diagnosed with incompetent cervix, a condition that can cause the cervix to open before the baby is ready to be born. She is more than three months into more than 120 days of ordered bed rest at The BirthPlace at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center and Orthopaedic Hospital.

This is your 8-year-old brain on violin and karate, Voice of San Diego

Does learning music or karate boost your language skills or help you pay closer attention? What actually physically happens to the brain’s structure over the first few years you learn to play an instrument? This story mentions UC San Diego research on this subject.

Pioneer in epilepsy treatment dies at 89, The Associated Press

Dr. Paul Crandall, a co-founder of UCLA’s neurosurgery department who pioneered widely used surgical treatments for epilepsy, has died. He was 89.


 

 


CATEGORY: In the media, NewsComments Off

In the media: Week of March 18

A sampling of news media stories involving UC Health:

Blue Shield, UCLA break impasse over pay, Los Angeles Times

After months of impasse, Blue Shield of California and UCLA finally have a proposal on the table to settle a contract dispute that’s caused worry and confusion for thousands of patients seeking treatment at one of the state’s premier medical facilities. But don’t expect a breakthrough any time soon. The two sides remain far apart over how much Blue Shield should pay for members’ visits to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Westwood and the nearby Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center and Orthopaedic Hospital.

U. of California agrees to formally promote ‘global access’ to its inventions, The Chronicle of Higher Education

The University of California system has adopted new guidelines that could help ensure that new medicines and other inventions based on university research are more accessible and affordable in the developing world. Officials said the change, which would be carried out through university licensing, was partly a response to a years-long campaign by student activists, who have been urging universities to adopt such “global access” licensing policies.

UC Davis to offer new alternative to open-chest surgery, The Sacramento Bee

For many heart patients, doctors at UC Davis Medical Center have begun treating patients with a new, minimally invasive procedure. Transcatheter aortic valve replacement aims to help patients suffering from aortic valve stenosis, replacing open-chest surgery.

Tobacco plants turning into living vaccine factories, Innovation News Daily/MSNBC.com

Lucas Arzola, a Ph.D. candidate in chemical engineering at UC Davis, has started a new company that has transformed tobacco plants into living factories for making new vaccines and medical treatments. Arzola originally founded Inserogen alongside fellow Ph.D. candidates Oscar Ortega-Rivera and Michelle Lozada-Contreras, as well as Karen McDonald, a professor at UC Davis.

UCSD finds genes possibly linked to autism, San Diego Union-Tribune

UC San Diego has inched closer to the root causes of autism, identifying genes that appear to go haywire before a child is born, preventing the brain from developing normally. Neuroscientist Eric Courchesne says he and his collaborators found evidence that many genes basically misfire, producing an overabundance of brain cells in the pre-frontal cortex that affect a child’s social, language and communications skills.

Medical innovations can come at a cost (audio), NPR All Things Considered

This story about the use and cost of medical technology features UCSF urologist Kristen Greene.

Watchdog Response: UC says construction story showed lack of understanding, San Diego Union-Tribune

UC Office of the President Media Relations Director Steve Montiel writes in response to a California Watch story, which he says betrayed a lack of understanding about budget fundamentals at the University of California, and about the nature of debt financing.

2 California researchers win prestigious Tyler Prize, Los Angeles Times

Two California researchers whose groundbreaking work has documented the dangers of air pollution have been awarded the 2012 Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement. John H. Seinfeld, a professor of chemical engineering at Caltech, was recognized for research leading to a greater understanding of the origin, chemistry and evolution of particles in the atmosphere. Kirk R. Smith, a professor of global environmental health at UC Berkeley, was recognized for research demonstrating the debilitating risk of air pollution in developing nations.

Berkeley doctors, practices help offer free medical clinics, Berkeleyside

Several Berkeley medical practices, including UC Berkeley Optometry, are taking part in a phenomenal initiative this week called RAM (Remote Area Medical) that provides free medical, dental and optometry to underserved communities. Thousands of patients are expected to turn up to the Oakland Coliseum today through Sunday for full screenings and exams, as well as treatments such as facial surgery. When the program was in Oakland last year, some 3,000 pairs of glasses were produced on the spot and dispensed over four 12-hour days, says UC Berkeley’s Edward Revelli.

Rugby player doesn’t let paralysis slow her down, San Francisco Chronicle

A feature on rugby wheelchair player Angelica Galang, who has been in a wheelchair since June 15, 2009, when UCSF surgeons removed a 5-inch tumor from the top of her spinal cord. Galang attended UCLA as an undergraduate and will start law school at UC Berkeley in the fall.

Studies see link between HIV and abuse among women, San Francisco Chronicle

Diagnosed with HIV in the late 1980s, Cassandra Steptoe didn’t tell anyone for years, and she didn’t get any treatment. She was depressed and hopeless after a lifetime of physical and sexual abuse. She assumed the infection would kill her. But, somehow, she survived – not just the HIV infection, but far more. During the past decade, she’s received help overcoming the trauma from the years of abuse, and in turn, she’s finally faced her HIV diagnosis. And she is far healthier for it, she says. “I’m a stronger person, a better person, than I was before,” said Steptoe, who started treatment in 2003 at the Women’s HIV Program at UCSF. “Now when I look at my pills, it’s like another day of life.”

Today in research: Yoga’s benefits, The Atlantic

This item highlights research by Eileen Luders, assistant professor of neurology and member of the UCLA Laboratory of Neuro Imaging, suggesting that long-term meditation improves information processing, memory formation and decision making.

Zen therapy helps patients battle cancer (video), CBS Los Angeles

A story on fashion designer Donna Karan’s Urban Zen Integrative Therapy program, which uses Eastern healing techniques to enhance the care of hospital patients at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. Suzanne Travis, a nurse at UCLA Medical Center–Santa Monica, and Ellen Wilson, director of therapy services at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, are interviewed.

Teen builds apps to help pediatric patients (audio), The California Report

This story is on a 13-year-old boy who is donating the sales proceeds from two iPhone applications he designed to support the research of Dr. Noah Federman, assistant professor of pediatric hematology-oncology and director of the pediatric bone and soft-tissue sarcoma program at Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA.  Federman is interviewed.

Ancient creature focus of UC Merced cancer research, Merced Sun-Star

A 550-million-year-old species may help in the race to cure cancer. UC Merced researchers made a discovery that could lead to a strategy to help prevent the growth of cancer cells, university officials said Tuesday. Part of that strategy involves using flatworms, which have lived in shallow water worldwide for eons and are able to regenerate their cells.

Editorial: No easy solution in pay fight, The Stockton Record

It’s unrealistic to ask some state workers to take drastic pay cuts, according to this editorial, which is critical of a bill by state Sen. Joel Anderson to cap state salaries at the governor’s pay, $173,987 a year. “Does Anderson really think the state can find someone to run, say, the UC San Francisco medical school for less than $173,000 a year? Does he believe we’ll get a Nobel Prize winner for chump change?” states the editorial.

The brain on love, The New York Times

This column about neurobiology and social relationships quotes UCLA Dr. Daniel Siegel, associate clinical professor of psychiatry at the Semel Institute, and cites research by UCLA Dr. Allan Schore, associate clinical professor of psychatry, and Naomi Eisenberger, UCLA assistant professor of psychology.

CATEGORY: In the media, NewsComments Off

In the media: Week of March 11

A sampling of news media stories involving UC Health:

UCR medical school closing on funding milestone, The Riverside Press-Enterprise

UC Riverside officials say the university is close to achieving a funding goal they believe might allow them to open a medical school in 2013. Last July, accreditation for the school was denied, largely due to the loss of direct state funding from the state of California. Since then, officials have been working to raise the money through other means.

UC Davis Cancer Center gains elite ‘comprehensive’ status in Sacramento, The Sacramento Bee

Cancer care has reached a new level in the Sacramento region. Today UC Davis Cancer Center officials, surrounded by long-term survivors and elected leaders, will announce the Sacramento facility has joined an elite group of cancer centers across the country, becoming the first in the region designated “comprehensive” by the federal National Cancer Institute.

David Vlahov is new UCSF nursing school dean, San Francisco Chronicle

A profile of UCSF School of Nursing Dean David Vlahov.

Match Day celebration for UCI med students, The Orange County Register

One by one, students dropped a dollar bill into a 61-year-old physician’s bag and stepped up to the podium, fumbling with the letters that will dictate their next several years – and possibly their lives. One-hundred-and-two students in UC Irvine’s School of Medicine class of 2012 discovered which residency program they will attend in July, along with medical students across the country Friday. Read more about Match Day.

Robotic pharmacy delivers right meds to patients at UCSF (video), ABC 7

A combination of high-technology and robotics is now making sure patients at UCSF get the medicines they need. The new system tracks thousands of doses of medications even as nurses are administering them.

NQF, Joint Commission honor safety efforts, Modern Healthcare

A New York hospital and a Detroit hospital system were among the healthcare providers recognized recently for their patient-safety efforts by the National Quality Forum and the Joint Commission. New York-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City and Henry Ford Health System in Detroit were named this week as 2011 recipients of the annual John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Awards for improving patient safety and quality at the local level. Other awardees included Dr. Kenneth Shine, executive vice chancellor for health affairs at the University of Texas System, Austin; the Society of Hospital Medicine in Philadelphia; and Jerod Loeb, executive vice president of the division of healthcare quality evaluation at the Joint Commission. UC San Diego clinical professor of medicine Gregory Maynard, senior vice president of the Society of Hospital Medicine, and others throughout the UC system played a major role in the society’s award-winning work.

Is California ready for millions of newly insured?, California Healthline

Three million to four million Californians will become eligible for health insurance in 2014 thanks to the Affordable Care Act, but will the state’s health care workforce be able to handle the new demand? “Because persons who have health insurance tend to use more primary care than persons who are uninsured, there is concern that the current supply of primary care providers (physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants) may not be adequate to meet demand,” said Janet Coffman at UC-San Francisco’s Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies. UC’s PRIME medical education program also is mentioned.

40 years of change at VA Medical Center, San Diego Union-Tribune

When San Diego’s VA hospital opened March 15, 1972, it revolutionized how local veterans received care. “We have some of the best people providing care here, primarily because it’s a university-affiliated place,” said Dr. Joshua Fierer, referring to the hospital’s relationship with UC San Diego. “You have people here at this VA who are world experts in their field.” The groundbreaking for the 400,000-square-foot hospital was held May 30, 1969, on 17 acres deeded by UC San Diego to the federal government.

Million-dollar hospital bills rise sharply in Northern California, The Sacramento Bee

A million dollars can buy a mansion in one of Sacramento’s nicest neighborhoods, near its best schools and parks. Or it can buy an ever-dwindling number of weeks in the intensive care unit of a local hospital. This article highlights examples from UC Davis Medical Center and quotes Robert Pretzlaff, chief of pediatric critical care medicine, and hospital spokeswoman Carole Gan. It also quotes Adams Dudley, UCSF professor of medicine and health policy.

Program helps advance hearing testing; experts in Sacramento check ears in Redding, Redding Record Searchlight

Gracie Lee recently slept through most of what Mercy Medical Center officials consider one of the newest methods to treat hearing problems. While 5-week-old Gracie rested on her mother’s lap in the Redding hospital last week, the audiologist testing the infant was at the UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento.

San Diego gets telemedicine for its tiniest patients, San Diego Business Journal

Oceanside-based Tri-City Medical Center is teaming with UC San Diego Medical Center to offer telemedicine services for premature babies in greater San Diego.

Buildings go up as universities’ budgets go down, California Watch/San Francisco Chronicle

California has slashed public university budgets, yet construction is booming at campuses statewide. The UC system has $8.9 billion in building projects under way at its 10 campuses and five medical centers, including about $2 billion at UCSF, which is near the top of the spending list. With less money to operate the new buildings once they’re finished, universities are straining maintenance and energy budgets. At least one new UC campus building is sitting empty because the university can’t afford to operate it. The most glaring example of what happens when universities put up buildings they can’t afford to operate is at UC Riverside, which finished a $36 million building last year for a planned medical school. But it had to push back the medical school’s opening to next year at the earliest because it doesn’t have the money to run it.

Steep climb for vets with brain injuries, The Sacramento Bee

Researchers at the Martinez campus of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs have been collaborating with colleagues at UC campuses in Berkeley, Davis and San Francisco to determine how to best diagnose and treat brain injuries. David Woods, adjunct neurology professor at UC Davis, is focusing on the diagnostic area and studying a more accurate method of spotting traumatic brain injury abnormalities in brain tissue.

Pfizer agrees to new deal with QB3, San Francisco Business Times

Pfizer is reupping a three-year, $9.5 million research collaboration with the University of California’s QB3 institute, but this time it is bringing money for startup life sciences companies to the table.

Shaved heads at Sacramento pub add up for children’s cancer research, The Sacramento Bee

Henry, Simon, and Mark de Vere White are the sons of Ralph de Vere White, director of the UC Davis Cancer Center. The brothers own de Vere’s Irish Pub in downtown Sacramento, where about 250 people shaved their heads as part of the St. Baldrick’s Day fundraising event for pediatric cancer research. Also on hand was Robyn Raphael, founder of the Keaton Raphael Memorial that raises money for cancer research at UC Davis.

College students’ No. 1 routine health concern? Contraception, The Sacramento Bee

At UC Davis, student health officials regularly haul out “The Love Lab,” a roving cart filled with contraceptives. Twice a week, they place this array of free condoms, lubricants and other safe-sex products in high traffic areas around campus. After two hours, everything is usually gone. “It is one of the most popular student services on campus,” said Jason Spitzer, health educator for University of California, Davis, Student Health and Counseling Services. UC Davis has “The Love Lab.” Sacramento State has condom bowls. And Sacramento City College has Planned Parenthood on campus once a week to provide birth control prescriptions, condoms and information about reproduction, among other services. Contraception, a topic that has embroiled Congress and talk radio in heated debate the past few weeks, routinely intersects campus life here for college students.

Stress shown to have modest effect on pregnant women, San Diego Union-Tribune

The effect of stress upon a pregnant woman and her unborn child is neither well nor fully understood. When a 7.9-magnitude earthquake hit Chile in 2005, researchers saw a novel opportunity to investigate the question. A Q&A with Dr. Yvette Lacoursiere, an assistant adjunct professor of reproductive medicine in the UC San Diego School of Medicine, who talks further about stress and pregnancy.

Debate grows over colorectal cancer screenings, San Francisco Chronicle

A colonoscopy, a dreaded medical procedure for people 50 and older, is the best, one-shot way to screen and detect colon cancer for now, most health professionals agree. But an increasing number of experts are beginning to voice support for alternative methods, which they say could be used more widely to prevent colorectal cancer, which occurs in the colon or rectum. The article quotes James Allison, professor emeritus of medicine at UCSF and an adjunct investigator at the Kaiser Division of Research.

Ninad Athale: Deciding to be a family doctor, Napa Valley Register

A feature on Ninad Athale, a UC San Diego School of Medicine graduate who volunteers at one or more of the UC Davis School of Medicine’s seven student-run clinics in Sacramento. Athale, 31, joined Napa County-based Clinic Ole’s full-time staff in September, shortly after wrapping up his residency in Sacramento with the Sutter Health Family Residency Program.

New UCSD website is all about the brain (audio, video), KPBS

The myth that classical music makes you smarter is not true, according to Nick Spitzer, co-director of UC San Diego’s Kavli Institute for Brain and Mind. Also false: drinking alcohol kills brain cells, he said. While chronic drinking does damage the brain, a glass of wine with dinner actually has “salutary effects,” Spitzer said. Spitzer is editor in chief of a new website launching in May, brainfacts.org. The site will debunk myths like these and provide layers of information for anyone interested in the brain.

Honoring San Diego’s health heroes, San Diego Union-Tribune

Heroes come in many forms. Twenty-two of them were honored Thursday at the Combined Health Agencies’ 2012 Health Hero Awards breakfast in Balboa Park. Recipients included UC San Diego’s Rohit Loomba, William Mobley, Howard Taras and David Barba.


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In the media: Week of March 4

A sampling of news media stories involving UC Health:

Innovator tracks everything his body does (video), San Diego Union-Tribune

Larry Smarr stops a visitor and says, “Before you go, let me show you my stool sample.” The UC San Diego physicist-futurist reaches into his kitchen refrigerator, past the milk, and pulls out a small white box. He marvels over its contents. Feeling squeamish? Smarr can have that effect on people. Virtually nothing is out-of-bounds these days when he promotes the “Quantified Self,” an emerging movement in which people use biosensors and other gadgets to closely monitor their bodies in the name of wellness. At 63, Smarr thinks he’s found the future of personal health care. Time will tell. But colleagues note that he’s one of the most original thinkers in the country, with an almost eerie gift for sensing and shaping where society and technology are going.

Editorial: Med-school Rx?, The Riverside Press-Enterprise

UC Riverside’s plans for a new medical school need to rest on a more reliable foundation than the uncertain promise of state funding. The university should look at other options to fund this crucial project, instead of counting on a recurring state contribution. Waiting for money from a cash-strapped state risks indefinite postponement of the new school.

California mandates 48 specific areas of coverage, California Healthline

An analysis released yesterday by the California Health Benefits Review Program shows that a large cross-section of Californians  – about 32 million people –  will be covered by health care mandates passed by the Legislature. There are now 48 of those mandates that either require coverage or require an offer of coverage, and another five mandates that deal with more general terms and conditions of coverage. That is not the final word on the number of mandates. CHBRP was asked to evaluate three more legislative bills recently that deal with mandated coverage of tobacco cessation, prescription drugs and children’s immunizations. In addition, some of the 16 bills the agency analyzed last year are up for approval this year. They include mandates ranging from mental health coverage to oral chemotherapy treatment.

Hospitalists on the move, The Hospitalist

This item notes that Wendy Anderson, assistant professor of medicine and clinician-investigator with the UCSF Division of Hospital Medicine and Palliative Care Program, has been selected for a fellowship to improve health quality by the UC Center for Health Quality and Innovation. The center awarded 13 fellowships.

Sen. Sharon Runner goes home early after lung transplant, Los Angeles Times

State Sen. Sharon Runner (R-Lancaster) left Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center on Tuesday, 10 days after receiving a double lung transplant. Runner was diagnosed in 2008 with limited scleroderma, an autoimmune condition that damages healthy tissue, and several lung infections had kept her from attending legislative sessions since January while she waited for a transplant. Her physicians said Runner should be able to return to work in the Legislature in late spring.

To stay fiscally healthy, state’s hospitals want fewer patients, Los Angeles Times

Health care reforms will mandate more treatment in doctors’ offices and clinics. The changes take effect in 2014, but some California institutions are trying to get an early start. The article quotes Richard Scheffler, a UC Berkeley health economics professor.

Study linking abortion and mental health problems is called false, The New York Times

The Journal of Psychiatric Research, which in 2009 published a research article purporting to show a a link between abortions and long-term mental health problems, this month offered a critique of the research, saying that the authors’ analysis “does not support their assertions that abortions led to psychopathology.” In adetailed re-analysis of the (publicly available) data used in the study, Julia Steinberg of the University of California at San Francisco and Lawrence Finer of the Guttmacher Institute found what they called, in a letter to the journal’s editors, “untrue statements about the nature of the dependent variables and associated false claims about the nature of the findings.”

Study: Plateau seen in state childhood obesity rate, San Jose Mercury News

The first comprehensive assessment of a statewide campaign found that between 2003 and 2008, the rate of obesity among children in grades five, seven and nine grew by 0.33 percent. UC Davis researchers reviewed the results of Fitnessgrams and found that despite the weight gain, more students achieved perfect fitness scores.

UC Davis professor on panel to assess physician pay, Sacramento Business Journal

A UC Davis professor of internal medicine has been named to a newly formed independent commission that will assess how physicians are paid, university officials announced Tuesday.

Hydrogels heal themselves — and maybe your ulcers and stomach perforations, Scientific American/The Huffington Post

They’re called hydogels: Jell-O-like materials made of networks of long-chain molecules in water. And they’re as flexible as living tissue. But hydrogels could not recover from a cut—until now. Bioengineers at UC San Diego have made hydrogels that are self-healing in acidic conditions.

 

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