From the moment of receiving their diagnosis, children with cancer and their families deal with agonizingly high levels of stress. And deciding to undergo potentially lethal therapy only heightens that burden. It’s important for families and doctors to try to reduce the risk of reoccurring cancer with every possible option, said John Wagner, director of pediatric blood and marrow transplantation at the University of Minnesota Medical School.
Doctors at the University of Minnesota’s children’s hospital traded in their white coats for ones embroidered with a new name. With its $25 million donation, the Minnesota Masonic Charities became the University’s largest donor, and in honor of the gift, the campus’s pediatric hospital was renamed Tuesday as the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital. The donation will primarily go toward finding cures and treatments for childhood diseases, said Eric Neetenbeek, Minnesota Masonic Charities president and CEO.
Traditional magnetic resonance imagining, or MRI, machines have their patients drawn into a large, noisy tube. But now, the MRI process could become as simple as strapping on a helmet, thanks to a new technology partly developed by University of Minnesota scientists. The project is one of two University projects that received a total of $2.5 million through two National Institutes of Health grants late last month. It was a part of President Barack Obama’s Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Technologies Initiative, or BRAIN, project.
After being fitted with a netlike cap of electrodes and wires, the subjects were given unusual directions: “Don’t move — just imagine that you are.” When they did, those who were long-term yoga or meditation practitioners were better at moving a computer cursor with only their imaginations.
Since mid-August, an uncommon respiratory illness has sent almost 450 wheezing patients to hospitals across most of the country — including at least 11 cases at the University of Minnesota Children’s Hospital. Enterovirus D68 made its presence known in the state in mid-September when labs at the University and the Minnesota Department of Health discovered the virus in patient samples. The exact number of cases across the state is unknown, as many go unreported, said Jayne Griffith, senior epidemiologist at the Minnesota Department of Health.
Before the team of researchers could collaborate across continents, they started collecting vials of puma blood. Now those zoology, ecology, genomics and veterinary diseases experts — who hail from three universities across two countries — are analyzing those blood samples to study how illnesses spread in wild animals.
With a little more than a year until its grand opening, the site of the University of Minnesota’s upcoming ambulatory care center looks like a skeleton of its future self. Hard hats, caged lights and dangling wires dot the concrete floors and empty steel frames that will eventually be home to a training, research and health care facility.
The University of Minnesota’s Raptor Center is digging its talons into middle school science classrooms by opening a virtual window for adolescent students into the center’s work rehabilitating sick or injured birds. The center, located on the St. Paul campus, is developing a new online curriculum aimed at instilling seventh- and eighth-graders with a passion for science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Minnesota advanced in its plan for making medical marijuana available for patients next year as it opened up applications Friday for potential manufacturers of the drug. State health officials say the results of the monthlong application period will play a role in the success of the new law’s implementation. Minnesota plans to manufacture and distribute medical cannabis by next July. The state will have two manufacturing plants, and each will service an area of the state based on congressional districts.
Gov. Mark Dayton applied to the University of Minnesota Medical School when it was a top leader in medical research decades ago, and now he has set the goal of returning it to its former glory. After years of concern surrounding the school’s reported declining status, members of the Blue Ribbon Committee — which Dayton created last month — have begun forming plans to improve its reputation and further its research.