UT Southwestern in the News — March 2009

March 2009

UPI — Scientists identify gene tied to lupus (March 31, 2009)
U.S. scientists participating in an international study say they’ve identified a gene linked to lupus that may explain gender differences in disease risk. UT Southwestern researchers said the identification of the gene, IRAK1, and its location on the X chromosome might help explain why females are 10 times more susceptible to the disease than are males. The findings might also have therapeutic implications, said Dr. Chandra Mohan. Read More

Medical News Today — Fat storage linked to lower liver disease rate in African-Americans (March 29, 2009)
Where different ethnic groups store fat in their bodies may account for differences in the likelihood they’ll develop insulin resistance and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, researchers at UT Southwestern have found. “If we can identify the factors that protect African-Americans from this liver disease, we may be able to develop targeted therapies to help populations prone to NAFLD,” said Dr. Jeffrey Browning. Read More

The Dallas Morning — News Scientist gets $1.5 million grant for cholesterol research (March 25, 2009)
A Dallas scientist is one of 50 in the country selected as an up-and-coming researcher by the prestigious Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Russell DeBose-Boyd, 37, a biochemist at UT Southwestern, will receive a six-year, $1.5 million grant to study how the body manages cholesterol levels. DeBose-Boyd studies an enzyme that helps produce cholesterol in the body. The popular cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins work by preventing that enzyme from working.

HealthDay — Gulf War syndrome may stem from chemical (March 25, 2009)
Exposure to certain chemicals during the 1991 Gulf War appears to have triggered abnormal responses in the brains of some U.S. veterans, researchers have found. They say the discovery could lead to new diagnostic tests and treatments for veterans with so-called Gulf War syndrome. The study, from UT Southwestern, pinpointed brain function problems in veterans exposed to certain toxic chemicals, such as sarin gas, during the war. Dr. Robert Haley, chief of epidemiology and lead exposure author of the study, comments. Read More

The Dallas Morning News — Daniel Foster: Bible teaches not to mix faith with science (March 25, 2009)
This week the Texas State Board of Education will vote, for the third time, on wording in science textbooks. Once again, science, particularly evolution, is under attack. There are multiple proposed amendments to texts suggesting that experimental and confirmed scientific facts be treated as if they are no more valid than religious beliefs. Op-Ed is by Daniel W. Foster, professor of internal medicine at UT Southwestern.

NBC Philadelphia — Fiber's dark side (March 25, 2009)
Putting more fiber rich foods in your diet may have a dark side. Doctors know that fiber foods improve cholesterol levels, digestion and help type-two diabetics to control their glucose level. But high fiber diets also can rob the body of calcium, according to researchers at UT Southwestern. Dr. Abhimanyu Garg, who discovered the connection, comments. Read More

Fort Worth Star-Telegram — 2 years after bleeding in brainstem, student still struggling (March 22, 2009)
Savannah Hollis, a pre-med major, was at her computer doing homework when her right foot went numb. By the time Hollis got to an ER in Lafayette, La., her left eye was darting wildly in all directions. An MRI revealed a cranial cavernous malformation in her brainstem. But finding a neurosurgeon to remove it was difficult. “The first doctor said that since it was on her brainstem, there was no way he’d touch it and we’d be hard-pressed to find someone who would,” said Gwen Perkins, Ms. Hollis’ mother. Dr. Duke Samson, chairman of neurosurgery at UT Southwestern, agreed to take Ms. Hollis’ case. There is no effective treatment other than surgery, he said.

THE 33 TV — Why head injuries demand immediate response (March 20, 2009)
Head injuries demand quick response. Time is your enemy. 24 year old Joss Badger suffered a head injury when he was 16. He didn’t think about heading to the emergency room. Actress Natasha Richardson also initially turned down medical treatment. She suffered an epidural hematoma. UT Southwestern neurosurgeon Dr. Tony Whitworth describes that as, “a blood clot that forms between the skull and the covering of the brain.

HealthDay — Stress may encourage e. coli illness (March 20, 2009)
Researchers say they have found a possible link between stress-induced sickness and a diarrhea-causing strain of the E. coli bacterium. Researchers at UT Southwestern say the newly discovered QseE receptor, found on the enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) strain, picks up signals when stress hormones are released in the body. This process changes the makeup of other cells and robs the body of nutrients. "The bacteria get what they want — nourishment — and the person ends up getting diarrhea," said study senior author Vanessa Sperandio, UT Southwestern associate professor of microbiology. Read More

NBC5 — Implantable lens clears up blurry screens (March 17, 2009)
Due to the increasing use of iPods, GPS devices and cellphones, many people experience trouble with their mid-range vision. A new implantable lens called RESTOR can correct the problem and dramatically reduce recovery time. Dr. Wayne Bowman of UT Southwestern comments. Watch Video

Fort Worth Business Press — Texas near saturation point on residency programs (March 18, 2009)
Match Day may be the biggest day in a medical students career, and its at least on-par with graduation day as the confirmation that the student is close to becoming a practicing physician. At UT Southwestern, students will all go into the mail room at one time to open their boxes and find out where they were matched, said Dr. Angela Mihalic, associate dean for student affairs. Read More

The Dallas Morning News — Family unable to free Dallas teen from 'cheese' heroin's grip (March 15, 2009)
Sergio Aviles kneels to pour dirt onto a wooden box holding the ashes of his daughter Sarah. Sarah's mother, Maria, weeps for the 17-year-old. Sergio and Maria Aviles live in flashbacks now, trying to understand Sarah's addiction to "cheese." It's a friendly name for a drug that's deadly to children: heroin cut with Tylenol. Authorities have linked cheese to the deaths of at least 32 young people in the Dallas area since 2005. Users don't realize how quickly they can get addicted, says Dr. Bryon Adinoff, a drug-abuse specialist at UT Southwestern. 

Fox News — Hitting the sack: How the body catches up on missed sleep (March 13, 2009)
Dr. Marc Siegel joins Jamie Colby live via satellite to discuss the issue and says the quality of the sleep means as much as the amount of sleep you get. UT Southwestern performed the study with rats. Many people today are dependent on Ambien to help them sleep. Dr. Siegel says sleeping pills and sedatives can interfere with the slow wave sleep you need. Watch Video

Chronicle of Higher Education — Professor whose article was retracted resigns from Harvard Medical School (March 15, 2009)
A Harvard Medical School professor who was accused of plagiarizing a substantial portion of a published article has resigned, The Harvard Crimson reported. The professor, Lee S. Simon, was only peripherally involved with the university, though he maintained his title at the medical school and one of its affiliated hospitals. UT Southwestern researchers who developed the text-searching tool, called eTBLAST, have twice called attention to findings of similarities that suggested plagiarism or double publishing. Read More

UPI — Estrogen aids preterm-birth lung function (March 13, 2009)
A U.S. study of primates suggests estrogen might become a new postnatal therapy to improve lung function and other outcomes in preterm infants. UT Southwestern professor Philip Shaul, the study’s senior author, said the research was conducted at the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research Primate Center in San Antonio. Read More

Nature — Of owls, larks and alarm clocks (March 11, 2009)
By some estimates, more than half of the population in industrialized societies may have circadian rhythms that are out of phase with the daily schedule they keep. If larks and owls are forced to follow normal schedules, they run into all kinds of problems with disabling insomnia and sleepiness. But disrupted rhythms could have graver consequences than that. Colleen McClung of UT Southwestern comments. Read More

Reuters — How catching up on sleep helps the brain: study (March 12, 2009)

Lack of sleep can make us feel distracted, foggy and forgetful, and a new study helps explain why. Working with mice, Dr. Robert W. Greene of UT Southwestern and colleagues identified a key molecular mechanism that regulates the brain's ability to mentally compensate for sleep deprivation. Read More

MSNBC — Control your DNA destiny (March 12, 2009)
Some genetic traits are easier to defy than others, like your mom’s mousy hair and petite stature. Others, such as cancer or diabetes, are not so simple to escape. Researchers at UT Southwestern have discovered nearly 350 genes related to fertility, which may hold the key to causes of early infertility. “We hope to narrow down the genes with the greatest impact on fertility and test women to find out who carries defective versions; those who do can consider having children earlier,” says study author Diego Castrillon, M.D. Read More

33 KDAF-TV (Dallas) — Looking for breakthrough in fight against type 1 diabetes (March 11, 2009)
A million people in America suffer from type 1 diabetes, including Jonathan Filsaine. Jonathan was told by his doctor about a clinical study at UT Southwestern and decided to take part. Dr. Philip Raskin, lead researcher of the trial, says he hopes the stem cells will reduce inflammation and themselves regenerate into insulin producing cells.

USA TODAY — Scientists explain why they plagiarize (March 9, 2009)
Scientists don't often turn the microscope on themselves, and when they do, the results sometimes prove disappointing. "It's just too easy to cut and paste these days," says Harold Garner of UT Southwestern, an expert of scientific plagiarism. In a report in the current journal Science, his team lists excuses offered by "potential" plagiarists, authors of studies in which the text was, on average, 86.2% similar to previously-published work. Read More

THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION — Plagiarism in science research is often ignored, studies find (March 6, 2009)
Shock. Denial. Disbelief. Sadness. Regret. Embarrassment. Those, according to a commentary published in Science magazine, are some of the reactions from both scientists and science journals when they are found to be involved in cases of potential plagiarism. The commentary was offered by researchers at UT Southwestern, who used a computer-based text-searching tool to analyze millions of randomly selected research abstracts. Read More

The Scientist — You’ve been plagiarized (March 6, 2009)

Some experts claim that plagiarism is rampant in the scientific literature. Others say that it’s a serious but relatively rare occurrence. The trouble is it’s hard to put one’s finger on exactly how prevalent plagiarism, duplication, improper citation, and other less tractable taboos have become in scientific publishing. It’s even harder to unearth the reactions of the interested parties — original and secondary authors and journal editors. A new survey by Harold Garner of
UT Southwestern, appearing in this week’s issue of Science, does just that.

Science News — Study finds lots of apparent plagiarism (March 6, 2009)
If copying is the sincerest form of flattery, then journals are publishing a lot of amazingly flattering science papers. Of course to most of us, the authors of such reports would best be labeled plagiarists — and warrant censure, not praise. Harold R. Garner and his colleagues at
UT Southwestern are posting a large and growing bunch of research papers — pairs of them — onto the Internet and highlighting patches in each that are identical. Read More

Nature — Putting plagiarists on the back foot (March 6, 2009)
Journals should be routinely checking papers they publish for signs of plagiarism, a team of American researchers is demanding. In a commentary paper published in Science the team headed by Harold Garner of UT Southwestern report their checking of similar citations in the Medline database. They found 212 pairs of articles with signs of potential plagiarism using a computer programme called eTBLAST. Read More

CNN — 10 ‘secrets’ you shouldn’t keep from your doctor (March 5, 2009)
From finances to sex, bathroom habits to spousal relationships, herbs to illicit drugs, here are 10 things about which you should always be open with your doctor. For example, if your doctor recommends a procedure you can’t afford, just say so. “Patients can offer to set up payment plans for expensive procedures and pay over time rather than a lump sum,” says Dr. Lisa Forbess, assistant professor of cardiology at UT Southwestern. Read More

Scientific American Mind — Building a portrait of a lie in the brain (March 5, 2009)
A young man steals across the hallway, slips through a door and scans the room. He opens a drawer, snatches a wristwatch inside and puts it in his pocket. Then he hurries out the door. Sixty more people perform the same drill, half of them filching a watch and the others, a ring. Psychiatrist F. Andrew Kozel, now at UT Southwestern, and his co-workers were the first to use fMRI to detect deception in individuals, using patterns they identified to correctly determine whether each of the subjects had taken a watch or a ring 90 percent of the time. Read More

The Dallas Morning News — Dallas hospital cuts premature births by half (March 1, 2009)
Premature births are a worsening problem as more women defer childbearing until later in life. But Parkland Memorial Hospital — the public facility in Dallas that takes care of a large number of low-income and minority patients — cut its number of premature deliveries from 10.4 percent in 1988 to 4.9 percent in 2006, researchers at UT Southwestern announced. Dr. Kenneth Leveno comments.

Ivanhoe Broadcast News — Global warming causes kidney stones (March 2, 2009)
Kidney stones are one of the most painful urological disorders. They're also one of the most common. New research says where you live may put you at higher risk for developing them. Did you know that where you live may also contribute to kidney stones? "We are predicting there will be an increase in the prevalence of stone disease with global warming," Margaret Pearle, M.D., said. A new study from urologists at UT Southwestern shows that global warming is creating a kidney-stone belt. Watch Video

Ivanhoe Broadcast News — Diagnosis: Brain injury (March 2, 2009)
Two million people will suffer from a brain injury this year and many may not even realize it. "The white matter is the wires that connect one part of the brain to another and also connect the brain to the spinal cord," Ramon Diaz-Arrastia, M.D., a neurologist at UT Southwestern, explained. Dr. Diaz-Arrastia is using an MRI technique called diffusion tensor imaging to reveal white matter damage. Watch Video