Stumped? Call the Texas Math and Science Hotline operated out of the Health Science Center. Thousands of adults and students do when they struggle with research or homework.
The hot line (1-800-566-5066) with its electronic mail cousin email@example.com has handled more than 3,000 inquiries since it started two years ago. Operating money comes from the Texas Society for Biomedical Research in Austin. The brain power comes from many places.
Operators have enlisted experts at 170 universities, government agencies, corporations and other organizations. About 150 faculty, staff members and students from the Health Science Center also have pitched in.
The questions can be tough and answers may be just down the hall on campus or at a distant place.
"It's a ton of fun," said hot-line co-founder Molly Greene, executive assistant to the vice president for academic services at the Health Science Center.
Graduate students answer the hot line weekday evenings. Callers get replies sometimes in seconds because operators have a reference library on CD-ROM.
By the way:
In a new study at the Health Science Center, women with endometriosis are inhaling Lupron, a medication that usually is injected.
"If Lupron proves to be effective in this form, it will provide an easier and less painful way of treating the problem," said Robert G. Brzyski, MD, PhD, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology. He said there has been "excellent acceptance" of the inhaler in early stages of the study.
Endometriosis is an abnormal growth of uterine tissue outside the uterus. It causes pain, infertility, bleeding and other problems. Lupron is approved for treatment of prostate cancer and precocious puberty. It also is used to treat infertility and uterine fibroids.
Favorable results from the study may encourage developmnent of inhaled forms of other injected medications, Dr. Brzyski said. Inhalation avoids the digestive tract, which destroys many medications. It also allows good drug absoprtion because the surface area of the lungs is equivalent to the surface of a tennis court.
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