LabBook February 22, 2013


Welcome to LabBook, our weekly roundup of University of Chicago Medicine & Biological Sciences research news from around campus and the internet. Each Friday, LabBook will recap the week on the blog, link to news stories about our faculty and studies, and briefly summarize a handful of recent publications by our researchers.


After five years of planning and construction, we’re finally moving patients into the Center for Care and Discovery. On Saturday, Feb. 23, we’ll be moving approximately 200 patients from hematology/oncology, the intensive care unit, and multispecialty care from Mitchell Hospital to our new hospital.

Read more about our final preparations for the big day, and get more information on parking restrictions and street closures here.


On Monday we brought you the story of Carol Lasaro, a grandmother of four with Lou Gehrig’s disease who was our first patient to have a device called a diaphragm pacing system implanted to help her breathe. The device first gained fame when it was used with actor Christopher Reeve, and it helps patients with ALS by stimulating nerves in the diaphragm.

On Tuesday we wrote about a new genome-wide analysis study by Molly Przeworski that found genetic variations common to both humans and chimpanzees. This suggests that certain adaptations crucial to survival, such as those to fight off pathogens, evolved before the two species split.

On Wednesday we showed you how our supply chain logistics team is taking a cue from the automotive industry to equip the supply rooms at the Center for Care and Discovery with an RFID-enabled inventory system that makes sure everything you need is always in stock.

Smartphones and tablets have proven to be useful tools for physicians as they capture patient information and look up electronic records. Yesterday we wrote about how Elsevier, the scholarly publisher, has added to the mobile toolkit with an app that helps doctors treating Muslim patients learn how to accommodate Islamic beliefs and cultural practices in their care.

And finally, earlier today we wrote about a report by health economics researcher Rena Conti that established a benchmark for the rate at which common chemotherapy treatments are used outside the uses approved by the FDA. She and her colleagues found that the 10 most common intravenous chemotherapy drugs are used “off label” like this up to 30 percent of the time.

About Matt Wood (531 Articles)
Matt Wood is a senior science writer and manager of communications at the University of Chicago Medicine & Biological Sciences Division.
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