After the birth of a child at Emory University Hospital, patients will have the option of donating their umbilical cord blood, at no cost, to a bank that could help save a number of people’s lives. The cord blood can be used to treat blood diseases and disorders, such as leukemia. According to the Emory University News Center, about 20,000 people suffer from life-threatening blood disorders every year, and the banked cord blood could have an enormous impact on their treatment. Normally, umbilical cords are disposed of after a birth. Now at Emory University Hospital, women who are at least 34 weeks pregnant and expecting a single baby are eligible to bank cord blood. They will not be asked to pay a fee or monetary donation.
Science Market Update
The board of directors at the Georgia Peanut Commission (GPC) held a board meeting in March at which they approved $292,500 in research funding for the 2013-2014 research budget year. According to Southeast Farm Press, the projects approved have been submitted primarily from the University of Georgia and the USDA Agricultural Research Service. Peanut growers in Georgia spend $2 per ton of peanuts annually towards GPC research, promotion and education. Research makes up 22 percent of the commission’s available funding.
The U.S. News and World Report ranked the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill number one in primary care for the first time, according to The Daily Tar Heel. The prestigious distinction signals the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s commitment to quality care when it comes to North Carolina patients. Since the ranking incorporates the opinions of the school’s peers, it’s evident that a number of schools across the United States recognize UNC-Chapel Hill’s strength in medicine. The university's medical school, which enrolls 782 students, was also ranked second in family medicine, fifth in rural medicine, ninth in AIDS research and treatment and 22nd in general research.
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Biotechnology vendors and lab suppliers in Cincinnati will find a well-funded and vibrant research marketplace at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio, as recent NIH and NSF research funding statistics show. In 2012, the NIH awarded the university $73.9 million in research funding. The funding was distributed among a number of different projects in various science disciplines. Of the different departments awarded research funding at the University of Cincinnati, the money was given out as listed below:
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Dr. Thomas Jessell is a developmental neurobiologist at Columbia University Medical Center and the latest recipient of the Scolnick Prize in Neuroscience, which includes a $100,000 award. In the Jessell Lab in the Hammer Health Sciences Building, researchers study the vertebrate central nervous system to understand how neurons become encoded at the embryonic level, particularly in the spinal cord. The Scolnick Prize singles out Jessell's work for identifying signaling molecules and transcriptional code that establish a linkage between functional circuitry and motor behavior. Also a member of Columbia's Motor Neuron Center, which is dedicated to the study of motor neuron diseases like ALS, Dr. Jessell is a faculty member in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, and part of the larger Columbia Neuroscience interdisciplinary research community. He will travel to Boston in April to accept the prize and deliver a lecture (see image at right). The Scolnick Prize is given out by the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT. According to McGovern chairman Robert Desimone, from a recent CUMC press release:
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North Carolina appears to have a rich life science sales market when taking into account recent life science funding statistics. North Carolina Biotechnology Center in particular gave $2.9 million in loans and grants to life science companies and researchers during this second fiscal quarter. North Carolina Biotechnology Center has been funding life science researchers and startups since 1984, helping to make North Carolina the third largest biotechnology cluster in the United States. Ten different programs received awards based on entrepreneurship, technology and education. North Carolina now hosts over 500 life science companies and 58,000 employees who earn an average salary greater than $78,000.
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Emory University recently received research funding for the Winship Cancer Institute totaling $10 million from the Wilbur and Hilda Glenn Family Foundation. The gifts will fund the Glenn Family Breast Center at Winship and will be directed towards supporting the breast cancer program’s research goals in Georgia, such as funding clinical trials and recruitment. According to an Emory University news article, the Glenn Scholars program, which donates research money to Winship scientists whose breast cancer research has a high impact, will also benefit from the research funding.
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When it comes to identifying the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, every minute counts. Often it’s not even possible to determine whether a person is afflicted with it until it’s too late: that is, once symptoms start to show. A promising study at the University of Wisconsin, Madison suggests that there exists a way to diagnose Alzheimer’s before the onset of symptoms, not after.
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Science researchers at the University of Pennsylvania conducted a study that may help them reach a better understanding of health conditions such as arteriosclerosis, aneurysms and thrombosis. The results of the study are making the news as one of a number of compelling current science events at the University of Pennsylvania. According to science researchers, blood plasma is thicker and more elastic than water. Depending on how much pressure blood plasma is under, it flows differently under different circumstances, meaning that blood plasma influences how blood flows more concretely than scientists thought in the past.
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A goal that many are working toward in the biotechnology field is to gather the maximum biological information about people using the least invasive practices. Ultimately, we would like to be able to simply scan ourselves with a little machine and instantly get a full report on our health for personal and doctor use. Moving forward on those lines is the University of Cincinnati, where a research team has announced a unique and unlikely candidate for the job: a portable, adhesive sweat analyzer.