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WHITE COAT NOTES

Grants for innovations

Excerpts from the Globe's blog on the Boston-area medical community.

Proposals to build new devices to help premature infants, to inject medicine without breaking the skin, and to guide surgeons operating on the brain were among projects to share $5 million in grants from the Center for Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology, the consortium announced today.

CIMIT, composed of area teaching hospitals and engineering schools, made 38 grants from $40,000 to $100,000. Twenty-two have military applications. "Our goal . . . is to bring life-changing technology to patients as quickly as possible," Dr. John Parrish, CIMIT founder and director and Vietnam War battlefield surgeon, said in a statement. "We are especially aware of the needs of soldiers wounded on the battlefield."

ELIZABETH COONEY

Laureate's funding plea in D.C.

Nobel laureate Craig C. Mello of University of Massachusetts Medical School addressed a Senate committee last week on the need for more science funding, along with four other Americans who swept the 2006 science Nobel prizes.

"This isn't science for the sake of science, but science for the sake of medical advances and lives to be saved," a transcript of Mello's prepared testimony said. Mello shared the 2006 prize in medicine or physiology for the discovery of gene silencing known as RNA interference.

ELIZABETH COONEY

Report on norovirus in Boston

The wave of gastrointestinal illness that swept Boston in recent months spawned 18 outbreaks in colleges, day-care centers, and healthcare facilities, ranging from eight cases to 438, according to a report released last week by the Boston Public Health Commission ( www.bphc.org/cdcinfo/ noro2007-04-27).

Boston's sophisticated disease tracking system found that the number of patients showing up at emergency rooms complaining of gastrointestinal ailments was significantly higher from December 2006 through April 2007 than the comparable period a year earlier.

STEPHEN SMITH

National Academy names 11

Eleven researchers from the Boston area are among 72 new members named last week to the prestigious National Academy of Sciences, a private organization established by Congress in 1863 to advise the federal government. Five are from MIT, four from Harvard and two from Brandeis.

ELIZABETH COONEY

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