February 20, 2014
UAB in the News
Trial combining exercise and a drug may help seniors muscle upA drug that might help older adults regrow muscle is under investigation at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. UAB is recruiting healthy adults age 65 and older for a study combining strength training exercise with the anti-diabetes drug metformin.Alzheimer’s-Linked Brain Plaques May Also Slow Blood FlowBuildup of the amyloid beta protein clumps could harm the brain in multiple ways, according to a team from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.Study identifies genetic risk for hyperinflammatory disorder from viral infectionThey suggest people with other types of infections and identical gene mutations also may be prone to the disorder, known as reactive HLH (rHLH), or hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis.Blondin Bioscience Wins Big with $749,000 SBIR from the National Institutes of HealthWhen Brad Spencer, CEO of Blondin Bioscience, a University of Alabama at Birmingham-related startup, called to let us know he was ready to apply for accounting compliance assistance through the Alabama Launchpad Phase 0 program, you could hear the excitement in his voice.State health care task force recommends Medicaid expansionCiting a study from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Health Professions, the task force found that expanding Medicaid would provide coverage for 290,000 Alabamians, including 185,000 who are currently employed.Researchers Used Cutting-Edge Aerospace Technology to Heal an Elephant's Damaged TuskA collaboration between Pillay’s lab and the animal care specialists at the Birmingham Zoo found one: a composite fiberglass and carbon fiber band and resin, which looks and acts like a permanent plaster cast.Elephant gets industry-grade carbon fiber fix for busted tuskIn the past, when elephants have cracked their tusks, steel bands encircle the fissure to keep the tooth together — which is what the zoo asked Brian Pillay, a University of Alabama at Birmingham engineer to do.UAB researcher works to develop safer football helmetsMechanical engineering professor Dean Sicking has set up shop at Barber Motorsports Park to test different kinds of impact on equipment for the first time using crash test dummies.Bulwagi the Elephant Cracked His Tusk. Carbon Fiber to the Rescue!When Bulwagi’s veterinarians asked University of Alabama at Birmingham scientist Brian Pillay to machine a ring, Pillay decided instead to tackle the problem with materials science. He designed an industrial-strength composite material to act like a brace—a lighter, stronger way to stabilize the crack.How much muscle can you gain?Start with satellite cells. These are stem cells within your muscles that provide extra nuclei, giving them a more powerful growth stimulus.How Low to Go for Blood Pressure? Lower Target Could Affect Millions of AmericansA new study finds that at least 16.8 million Americans could potentially benefit from lowering their systolic blood pressure (SBP) to 120 mmHg, much lower than current guidelines of 140 or 150 mmHg.Sickle cell disease cure in sights of UAB Stem Cell InstituteTim Townes and his researchers appear to be tantalizingly close to curing sickle cell disease and potentially many others.This Week in Tech: 'Space Archaeologist' Wins $1M TED Prize for Tracking Stolen TreasureArchaeologist Sarah Parcak uses satellite images and scanning technology to track down humanity’s oldest treasures, but she's more than a modern-day Indiana Jones. The professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham can spot topographical and chemical changes to the earth's surface, clues to where cultural heritage sites may have been disturbed and to what extent, and whether the activity could indicate looting.New RA Guidelines Highlight Treat-to-TargetThe 2015 guidelines, which have been published in Arthritis & Rheumatology and Arthritis Care & Research, were presented by lead author Jasvinder A. Singh, MD, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham in a press conference at the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology here.What's a space archaeologist?One archaeologist is swapping trowels and dust for satellites in the stars - and she's just been awarded the 2016 TED Prize, and its accompanying one million dollar investment, for her work. Sarah Parcak, Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, told Dan Damon about her discoveries, and her plans for that one million dollars.Modern-Day 'Indiana Jones' Using Satellites To Find, Protect Ancient Sites Wins $1 Million Science PrizeSarah Parcak, an anthropology professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, has been announced as the recipient of the 2016 TED Prize, a $1 million grant given each year to a person "with a creative, bold vision to spark global change."How low to go for blood pressure? Lower target could affect millions of AmericansA new study finds that at least 16.8 million Americans could potentially benefit from lowering their systolic blood pressure (SBP) to 120 mmHg, much lower than current guidelines of 140 or 150 mmHg.Pioneer in Satellite Archaeology Wins Million-Dollar PrizeSarah Parcak, winner of the 2016 TED Prize, which was announced today, has pioneered the use of satellite imaging systems to map, quantify, and protect humanity’s past.Regions pledges $2M to UAB to create new financial education instituteApproximately $1.5 million of the gift from Regions will create two endowed program support funds that will promote financial education outreach and research within UAB and the community, including partnerships with Birmingham City Schools, GEAR UP Alabama and GEAR UP Birmingham.UAB forms foundation to fund athletic departmentThe school has formed a 28-member foundation to raise money for its football program and other sports. The UAB foundation will be similar to those at the University of Alabama and Auburn University.PhishMe Appoints World-Renowned Threat Researcher and Cybercrime Expert as Chief Threat ScientistPhishMe® Inc., the leading provider of phishing threat management solutions, today announced the appointment of Gary Warner as Chief Threat Scientist where he will work closely with PhishMe CTO, Aaron Higbee, and his team to provide strategic direction on PhishMe products and technology.UA Board of Trustees to support new UAB football facilitiesThe University of Alabama System Board of Trustees on Friday voted in favor of a resolution to sell bonds to fund a new football operations facility for UAB.Life multiplied: Two women become first adults to share donor liver in AlabamaSplit-liver transplants between adults have been performed about 100 times across the country, said Dr. Devin Eckhoff, director of the division of transplantation at UAB.TED Prize Goes to Archaeologist Who Combats Looting With Satellite TechnologyAnd now, in a powerful endorsement of work that may bolster efforts to cripple looting across the Middle East and the rest of the world, TED, the nonprofit forum with the motto “ideas worth spreading,” is scheduled on Monday to announce that Dr. Parcak, 36, has won its most prestigious award — a $1 million prize to develop a project of her choice.Female Fertility Issues in Cystic Fibrosis Highlighted in New StudyThe main focus of the research study will be to assess female patients’ understanding of fertility, cystic fibrosis’ (CF) effect on women’s fertility and how new generation drugs such as Orkambi™ influence fertility rates among cystic fibrosis female patients.Special Habitat House will make life easier for family with wheelchair-bound sonIn celebration of the 25th Anniversary of ADA, UAB employees and students built a handicapped accessible home for the Dixon family.Acute kidney injury common among patients with ALD hospitalized for ACLFIn a liver plenary session at ACG 2015, Sujan Ravi, MD, MPH, clinical associate professor, University of Alabama at Birmingham, presented clinical data that found acute kidney injury to be common among patients with alcoholic liver disease hospitalized for acute-on-chronic liver failure.These Satellite Views of Ancient Earthworks Are Stirring Debate“These features certainly look human-made,” says Sarah Parcak, an archaeologist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, who uses remote sensing for much of her research. “But we are waiting to see if peer review gives this the thumbs up.”Female sex hormone may save injured soldiers on the battlefieldThe hormone shows the promise of prolonged survival despite massive loss of blood and could be carried in a small autoinjector for use.Study finds EEG biomarker to predict seizure onset in tuberous sclerosis patientsA multicenter study led by the University of Alabama at Birmingham has found a biomarker identified via electroencephalography, or EEG, that is 100 percent predictive for seizures in infants with tuberous sclerosis complex. TSC is a genetic disorder that causes nonmalignant tumors to form in many different organs, primarily in the brain, eyes, heart, kidney, skin and lungs.UAB study aims to provide improved care related to reproductive health of women with CFIt was that personal connection with both her family and the CF community that led Ladores to her current project, a study of women's basic knowledge of fertility, the effects of CF on fertility among women of childbearing age who have the disease and the potential impact a recently approved drug, Orkambi™, may have on fertility rates among those women.UAB adds another game-changing accomplishment in a long line of heart surgery innovationsThis noninvasive procedure is used for high-risk patients who have had previous tissue valve replacements. This surgical procedure repairs the valve without removing the old, damaged valve. Instead, it wedges a replacement valve into the aortic valve’s place.UA, UAB to participate in national $5M big data projectThe National Science Foundation awarded $5 million in funding for universities to establish big data hubs in the North, South, East and West. UA and UAB, along with Georgia Tech and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, are working in the South region.End of daylight saving time 2015: 6 eye-opening factsA 2012 study by the University of Alabama at Birmingham found that springing forward by an hour was associated with a 10 per cent increase in the risk of heart attack over the following 48 hours.Could the female sex hormone save soldiers on the battlefield? Army funds human trials of estrogen pills that could stem blood lossDr Irshad Chaudry from the University of Alabama at Birmingham made the discovery of EE-3-SO4's power following a study with female mice.How the Alabama Innovation Fund set UAB up for future successAnd those AIF funds have been critical for the research enterprises of UAB. They have directly led to additional investments and grants to upgrade workflow, recruit new researchers, and push further into development.Female Sex Hormone May Save Injured Soldiers On The BattlefieldIn a landmark step – after 19 years of research by Irshad Chaudry, Ph.D. – UAB has received a $10 million U.S. Department of Defense contract funded by the Combat Casualty Care Research Program, U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, Fort Detrick, MD, to begin testing its potentially life-saving synthetic estrogen for safety in humans.UAB researchers making shrimp not so shrimpyUsing sea urchins and shrimp as models, UAB scientists discovered that one species could feed another from its waste, without needing to use traditional food at all.Users fail to identify phishing attacks, study saysComputer users are good at detecting malware, but not phishing, research has found. So scientists want to completely revolutionize how phishing is detected. They have a unique idea.Study: Racial gap in breast cancer diagnoses has closedThe researchers looked at other data and saw seven states where black women had higher rates of newly diagnosed breast cancer than white women. Nearly all were in the South, where obesity rates are particularly high.