UNC al AIDS Conference:
A group of scientists from UNC, including 15 faculty members affiliated with the Center for AIDS Research, reported their latest findings at the 13th International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa, in mid-July. UNC faculty made presentations at the conference on topics ranging from a vaccine against the HIV infection to the need for better training and counseling for people who convey bad news to HIV/AIDS patients. Some of the presenters from UNC were Drs. Robert Johnston, Nancy Davis, Ron Swanstrom and Jeffrey Frelinger, who reported that clinical tests for the HIV vaccine in South Africa and the United States would begin next year.
Teens NOI Ealing as Well:
A considerable shift occurred in the diets of U.S. teenagers between 1965 and 1996 that could compromise the future health of the nation's people, a major new study at UNC shows. Researchers say that more strokes, heart disease, high blood pressure and cases of the bone- weakening condition known as osteoporosis are imminent. Total milk consumption dropped nearly 50 percent among adolescents over the three decades studied, they found. That decrease was accompanied by a heavy increase in consumption of sugar-laden soft drinks and fruit-flavored beverages. Teens also began eating more of their vegetables in the form of fatty fried potatoes than their parents did. The researchers analyze
ietary survey information from a subset of 12,498 teens from an original group of 90,000 participants in four U.S. Department of Agriculture surveys that began in 1965.
Which Came FirSI:
By painstakingly studying a fossil unearthed in central Asia and first reported in 1970, a team of U.S. and Russian researchers, including one from UNC, has discovered what they believe are by far the oldest feathers ever found. The discovery casts serious doubt on the view that birds descended from dinosaurs, as many paleontologists maintain. Ornithologists, who study birds, say that feathers and the creatures that grew them predated dinosaurs and that both birds and dinosaurs undoubtedly evolved from earlier reptilian ancestors known as archosaurs. Dr.Alan Feduccia, chair of biology at UNC, was one of the authors of the report for the journal
Endomelriosis and Infenilil Y:
Missing proteins from cells lining the wombs of women with endometriosis may be linked to infertility, according to a recent study led by a UNC scientist. In endometriosis, fragments of the uterine lining implant in other parts of the pelvis, such as the vagina, bladder and rectum. The condition is present in up to 40 percent of women with infertility, but as many as half of the women still become pregnant without treatment. The new study, headed by Dr. Bruce A. Lessey, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology, suggests that a reduction of certain cellular proteins that play an important role in the embryo's attach- ment to the uterine lining, or endometrium, contribute to a woman's infertility but likely is reversible with treatment.
HIV In Gene Therapv:
HI¥, the virus that causes AIDS, may be adapted for use in gene therapy to treat genetic diseases and immune system disorders including AIDS itself, according t
ne UNC scientist. New findings reported in the journal
provide the first evidence that a genetically stripped-down amalgam of HIV components not only can
safely deliver genes to target cells in the body but can be
fashioned with a molecular switch system that turns off these
genes in response to a common antibiotic. This was achieved
without toxic affects in laboratory rats. It suggests that doctors
someday may be able to control gene expression in people
who are treated with gene therapy vectors based on HIY.
With such control, genes can be switched off when no longer
needed, and if adverse effects develop, gene expression can
be curtailed. The new study was led by Dr. Tal Kafri, assistant
professor of microbiology and immunology. Kafri conducted
the study while he was a postdoctoral scientist with Dr. Inder
M.Verma at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, Calif.
- Worth Civils
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