News Briefs


UM ophthalmologist discovers new way to save patients’ vision

Dr. Philip Rosenfeld, a retina specialist at UM’s Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, recently determined that a cancer drug can be used to treat wet age-related macular degeneration, or wet AMD, a disease which results in hardening of the arteries around the retina and is the leading cause of vision loss in patients over 50 years old, according to an article in “The Miami Herald”.

Avastin, a cancer drug that prevents the formation of new blood vessels in lung and colon cancer patients, also prevents the formation of the vessels associated with wet AMD. Rosenfeld’s trials showed that patients who received the Avastin injections showed improvement in their vision within days.

Ophthalmologists around the world have begun to use Avastin and have also launched their own studies and clinical trials as a result of Rosenfeld’s findings. Long-term studies of the effects of Avastin and similar cancer drugs on the eye have not yet been conducted, but the drugs seem to be effective in reducing or preventing vision loss in many patients as well as improving the vision of a few.


University of Florida to cut costs by cutting power


(U-WIRE) GAINESVILLE, Fl. – While University of Florida students take time to relax this Thanksgiving, some of their on-campus classrooms will take a break too.

In an effort to save energy and cut costs, 14 buildings on UF’s campus will be “set back” over the Thanksgiving break. To do that, UF’s Physical Plant Division will put the buildings into an “unoccupied” mode, switching off exhaust fans, turning out lights and setting back the buildings’ temperature set points. The effort is the first of its kind at UF.

A group called the Energy and Climate Change Task Force helped coordinate the setback, which is taking shape amid a slew of other efforts to make UF’s campus more environmentally friendly.

“Oddly enough, we never did this before,” said Charles Kibert, a UF professor who is heading the task force. “We just let university buildings run.”

By conserving resources, UF is set to save about $6,000 during the Thanksgiving break, Kibert said.

His committee has even loftier goals for other university holidays. Over Winter Break, 78 on-campus buildings will be shut down in the same way to save about $100,000.

All the buildings due to be set back over Thanksgiving are used for either educational or administrative purposes. John Lawson, who heads the Physical Plant’s Energy Department, said it would be harder to shut down research buildings.

“Obviously, research is a different animal altogether, because it doesn’t stop,” he said.


UM’s annual Holiday Hope Tree fundraiser will take place from Nov. 20 through Dec. 6. Students can pick up an angel with a child’s gift request at the UC information desk. All new, unwrapped gifts should be returned to the desk by Dec. 6 at noon.