Everyone wants to live healthier, if only to avoid the distress and danger of having serious problems like diabetes and blocked arteries. Unfortunately that's not always enough to get Americans to eat better, even when they know what's at stake. Last month a much publicized study in the New England Journal of Medicine confirmed that a "Mediterranean diet" is a clear winner for heart health, but try wrestling a steak away from a Texan with the lure of olive oil, nuts, and fruit instead. That's why University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio (UTHSCSA) research scientist Reto Asmis is studying the biochemical basis of the Mediterranean diet with the aim of producing a food supplement that does what the healthy diet does without a wholesale change in our eating behavior.
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The southernmost tip of the great state of Texas is known as the Rio Grande Valley (see map below), and University of Texas Chancellor Francisco G. Cigarroa is campaigning hard for the establishment of a South Texas School of Medicine, to be part of a new regional University of Texas research campus. UT already has two smaller campuses in the Rio Grande Valley, in Edinburg and Brownsville; mid-way between those two border cities is Harlingen, which is currently home to a Regional Academic Health Center that, under the Cigarroa plan, would become a full-fledged medical school. The new UT university campus would incorporate both the Brownsville and Edinburg college campuses, but with greater resources available to strengthen its research capacity. UT System Board of Regents voted to approve both plans last month. The next step is to convince the state legislature to give its support.
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