Thu, 03/30/2017 - 12:37pm

Health

What a Pain!

UNC School of Medicine researchers have found a new treatment for chronic pain, which is pain that lasts for months and affects 116 million people. Scientists discovered an enzyme that blocks the reception of pain signals by sensors in the skin. It could lead to safer and more effective pain medications.

Oh Shuck!

Raw oysters, delicious with hot sauce, can carry a bacteria that makes people very sick. Researchers are working to better understand Vibrio bacteria and create a warning system for oystermen, which would alert them to the best and worst times to harvest oysters.

The 99% Solution

Approximately 99% of the population take medicines without a problem. But some people experience dangerous reactions, which can force the FDA to pull drugs from the shelf, denying patients needed help and costing drug companies billions. Researchers with The Hamner–UNC Institute for Drug Safety Science are trying to understand why.

New Fields For Food

Mary-Dell Chilton's DNA discoveries launched the field of genetically modifying plants to ward off pests, use less water, and improve yields. Supporters say it could help feed the world. Opponents say it's not safe, threatening the environment and people in ways that may not be known yet. By discovering the mechanism of DNA transfer, Chilton bestowed that power to humans.

Rapid Water Test

The greatest danger for beachgoers may be millions of microbes also swimming in the water. While many are there naturally, stormwater runoff and sewage system failures can overwhelm coastal waters. One percent of NC's beaches were closed for short times in 2012 because of microbial contaminants. A marine biologist has now developed a rapid water test to keep the public safe.

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