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UMN mourns loss of Lee Wattenberg, M.D., recognized as the “father of chemoprevention”

The faculty and staff of the University of Minnesota and the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota are mourning the loss of cancer pioneer Lee Wattenberg, M.D. Wattenberg died December 9 at the age of 92, and will be remembered for his immense contribution to the field of chemoprevention.

Wattenberg is credited with the creation of an entire field of research in the wake of his landmark 1966 paper in Cancer Research examining the effects of certain compounds on cancer development.  This led to a new emphasis on understanding cancer prevention, including the use of foods such as cabbage and broccoli to try to prevent cancer.

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The link between human rights and public health

Photo: Jacksoncam, CC, https://flic.kr/p/9biVkj

Medical professionals work under a shared ethical principle: to heal. It’s a part of the Hippocratic Oath, the ethical code of conduct binding physicians and health care professionals to putting patient care first.

Clinical medicine is not just about the ethics of bedside doctoring; the practice of medicine must engage human rights to improve health, says Steven Miles, M.D., Ph.D., Maas Family Endowed Chair in Bioethics in the University of Minnesota Medical School’s Center for Bioethics.

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Health Talk recommends: Sleepless in America

In previous posts, Health Talk has detailed the importance of sleep and its many health benefits. A new television series on the National Geographic Channel called “Sleepless in America” along with The Public Good Projects and National Institutes of Health highlights the need for sleep along with some of the “shocking life-threatening consequences of its absence.”

Watch this trailer for more.

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news-and-notes

Mindful eating during the holidays

Photo: Tim Sackton, https://flic.kr/p/dwhrVt, CC2.0

Thanksgiving: A time to be thankful, and oftentimes a time to overeat. No one wants to skip one of the biggest meals of the year, but keeping a mindful approach to eating can be tricky.

“The key is finding balance and making conscious choices,” said Mary Jo Kreitzer, Ph.D., R.N., founder and director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Spirituality & Healing.

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Origin of HeLa cells continues to impact research ethics

Photo: Pablo Ramdohr, Some changes made, https://flic.kr/p/9fYG9F

The modern medical world owes a lot to HeLa cells: the polio vaccine, cancer treatments and in vitro fertilization, to name a few. It was the first immortal cell line, or group of tissue samples that could survive in a lab – and reproduce indefinitely. This characteristic made the cells ideal for research environments. HeLa cells became a catalyst for medical progress, from studying gene mapping to cancerous activity, and the cells remain in high demand today, even 60 years after the initial sample was collected.

Yet the source of those cells, Henrietta Lacks, never gave consent for her tissue samples to be used in research. And her family didn’t either.

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New ACA money goes to reaching new patients, expanded student training

Photo: Patrick O'Leary

Recently, the U of M’s Community-University Health Care Center began receiving three new federal grants to fund additional clinic services. Totaling $744,000 over two years, the grants from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will allow the Community-University Health Care Center at the University of Minnesota to begin providing combined substance abuse and mental health screenings for approximately 80 percent of patients over age 12 …

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