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Weill Cornell science briefs June/July 2008
Date:7/17/2008

e skin is very painful, but imperative for a successful recovery.

The Burn Center is also employing a special add-on to the Nintendo Wii system, Guitar Hero III. The controller for the game resembles a miniature guitar. Patients strum a bar on the guitar's body and press color-coded buttons that resemble notes. Therapists hope that Guitar Hero will help patients with burns on their hands, arms and shoulders to regain fine-motor control.


Avoiding Spleen Removal for Cooley's Anemia Sufferers
Weill Cornell Researchers May Have Identified Key Gene Responsible for Mutated Red Blood Cells

Researchers from Weill Cornell Medical College may have discovered the precise role of a gene in one of the world's most common blood disorders, beta-thalassemia, commonly known as Cooley's anemia. Along with sickle-cell anemia, Cooley's anemia is the most commonly inherited disease in the world, affecting many people of Mediterranean descent, and 20 out of every 100,000 African-Americans. The World Health Organization estimates that between 50,000-100,000 children are born with the disease each year.

The research is published in a recent issue of the journal Blood, the official publication of the American Society of Hematology (ASH).

In Cooley's anemia, hemoglobin -- the oxygen-carrying molecule on red blood cells -- is mutated and non-functioning, resulting in a low red-blood-cell count. Common symptoms of the disease include fatigue, shortness of breath and an enlarged spleen, called splenomegaly, caused by a buildup of malformed red blood cells within the body. The spleen works to filter out these unhealthy cells in order to protect the body from harm, such as in a stroke, but eventually the spleen becomes over-stuffed and is commonly surgically removed (splenectomy) in order to prevent a potentially fatal burst. Unfortunately, after the spleen is removed, patients are at a much greater risk for stroke and infect
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Contact: Andrew Klein
ank2017@med.cornell.edu
212-821-0560
New York- Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center/Weill Cornell Medical College
Source:Eurekalert

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