Posts written by Lauren Silverman

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Zika Is No Ebola, But Both Viruses Reveal Need For More Disease Research


By now many people in North Texas have heard of the Zika virus, but few have firsthand experience. Dr. David Vanderpool does. Vanderpool was raised and educated in Dallas and has seen the toll the disease is taking south of the border, in the poorest country of the Americas – Haiti. He says whether or not the Zika virus spreads to the U.S., we need to be paying close attention.

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A Doctor’s Role In Stopping Human Trafficking In Texas


Texas is an epicenter for human trafficking. Recently, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton established a new unit of attorneys and investigators focused on combating human trafficking. Each year, thousands of adults and children are trafficked through the state and many end up living in cities like Dallas and Houston. It turns out some victims are walking into hospitals, and some doctors believe these visits are a window of opportunity to help them escape.

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Ben Dupree, 23, and his mom Debbie at their home in Dallas.

Gene Editing For Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Shows Promise


There is no treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. It’s a rare and fatal genetic condition that progressively weakens all muscles, including the heart. But scientists from UT Southwestern Medical Center have successfully used a gene editing tool to halt the disease in young mice.

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Getting To The Heart Of Extreme Exercise, With A Swim Across The Pacific


Any day now, Texas swimmer Ben Lecomte will plunge into the Pacific Ocean off a Tokyo beach towards San Francisco. He wants to become the first person to swim across the Pacific. He’s already the first person to free swim across the Atlantic Ocean.

No one knows what the physical feat of swimming 5,500 miles will have on Lecomte’s heart, but cardiologists are anxious to find out. His swim offers a rare opportunity to study whether extreme athletic performance has a harmful effect on the heart.

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Forest Park Medical Center Southlake

The Downfall Of A North Texas Doctor-Owned Hospital


The Forest Park Medical Center campuses were supposed to be more like spas than hospitals.  And they were —  from the hand cut stone and sculptures to the lavish trees and fancy menu.

Despite the extravagant decorations, the basic business model just didn’t work. The Dallas campus has closed, and the others have either filed for bankruptcy or defaulted on loans.

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Patriot PAWS trainer Karen Reese with an eight-week old puppy.

Can Service Dogs Help Veterans With PTSD?


It’s common to train service dogs to help veterans with physical disabilities. But how about helping them with post traumatic stress disorder? The Veterans Administration is launching a major study to find out what effect specially-trained service dogs can have on a veterans ability to cope with life after service. Veterans who already rely on service dogs say the research should have been done years ago.

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Corralling Patent Trolls In East Texas


It can be tricky to pin down a patent troll.

That hasn’t stopped companies, Congress and the Supreme Court from trying. In part one of our story, we reported on why the so-called patent trolls go to the Eastern District of Texas. In part two, we focus on the struggle to change the system.

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The William M Steger Federal Building & US Courthouse in Tyler, Texas

Patent Trolls, Poachers And The Wild District of Eastern Texas


East Texas is known for its Piney Woods, Caddo Lake, maybe for sweet potatoes. It’s also the patent lawsuit capitol of the country. More patent infringement cases are brought to Eastern District courts than anywhere else. There’s pressure to root out the so-called “patent trolls”.

In part two of this story, we report on what’s being done to reign in patent trolls in Texas. We’ll talk with Michelle Lee, the head of the US Patent and Trademark Office at its new outpost in Dallas.

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