NC Research Campus Update
Find Out What’s the Latest with this World Renowned Biotech Development
NC Research Campus Studies Blueberries and Their Effects on Mild Memory Loss
Psychologists at the North Carolina Research Campus think the fruit can slow the effects of mild memory loss.
"Blueberries have an active ingredient in them called anthocyanins," said lead researcher and UNC professor Carol Cheatham.
Anthocyanins are what gives the berries their color, and it could be key to increasing the connections between neurons in our brains.
"The more connections your neurons have, the more memories they can store," Cheatham said.
The researchers have dozens of boxes of pulverized blueberry powder, a total of 1,700 pounds. All of the berries originated from the same crop.
"This way we can ensure the properties of the blueberries are all consistent," Cheatham said.
Each participant drinks two packets of powder with water each day, the equivalent of eating two cups of berries. They go through regular cognitive tests at the research campus. The games allow researchers to measure how quickly a participant can retrieve a memory.
"I can remember pretty well," said 79-year-old participant Bill Ashley.
"In the end, we will show that they actually are good for you," Cheatham said.
The study is still recruiting participants. The researchers plan to start analyzing their data in a year.
Scientists at NC Research Campus Want to Make Organic Food Safer
Scientists at the North Carolina Research Campus are developing new ways to make organic food safer.
A team of NC State and University of Tennessee researchers received a $2 million grant from the USDA to develop a natural product that will kill germs like salmonella, listeria and E. coli.
"We're looking at these essential-oil based sanitizers or disinfectants that can be used on produce," said NC State professor Dr. Penelope Perkins-Veazie.
Those essential oils, such as cinnamon, clove and thyme, are the same ones used by ancient Egyptians. They have antimicrobial properties, but have become less popular since antibiotics were invented.
The researchers chose essential oils because they are natural and fall within the strict guidelines of fertilizers and pesticides for organic produce. But researchers say the oils would work just as well on conventionally grown produce.
In addition to increasing safety, researchers say the product could add new flavors to vegetables and boost their antioxidant power.
The researchers will begin testing the essential oils this summer and expect their project to take five years.
Please stay tuned to the Centralina Workforce Development Board’s monthly E-Newsletter for more developments on these exciting stories. For more information on what is going on at the NC Research Campus, please visit the Centralina Workforce Development Board’s website at www.centralinaworks.com.
Background on the NC Research Campus
The State’s Next Biotechnology Region EmergesThe North Carolina Research Campus (NCRC) has created excitement and interest from the entire Charlotte Region about future careers in biotechnology. The NCRC is a joint venture between Dole Foods, the University of North Carolina System, Duke University and the North Carolina Community College System that will be built over the next five to seven years on the former Pillowtex Plant 1 site in downtown Kannapolis. Projected to cost $1 billion and covering over 350 acres, the project is being funded partially by an investment from David H. Murdock, owner of Dole Foods and Castle & Cooke, Inc.
The NCRC will include the UNC at Chapel Hill’s Nutrition Institute, a Dole-NC State University Institute for Advanced Fruit and Vegetable Science, a Rowan-Cabarrus Community College (RCCC) facility, and a science and mathematics school for girls supported by UNC-Charlotte. The development plans also include residential, office, and retail components. Within the NCRC complex will be an $80 million, 311,000 square-foot Core Laboratory with a state-of-the-art contract manufacturing biogenic facility. This facility will be available for use by companies to be physically located on the NCRC. Mr. Murdock has established a venture capital fund of $100 million to help attract biotech start-up firms to the NCRC.
The Centralina Workforce Development Board has been and will continue to be an active partner with local workforce and economic development agencies in the growth of the NC Research Campus. The Board has already worked with Rowan-Cabarrus Community College and the Cabarrus County and Rowan County JobLink Career Centers in establishing the R3 Center (Refocus, Retrain, Re-employ) for intensive career counseling for individuals interested in the growing employment options in the region. Additionally, the Centralina Workforce Development Board has assist in marketing and coordinating the involvement of workforce partners with the R3 Center, with the college’s Biotech 101 General Information Sessions for the general public, and with the college’s BioWorks course.
The North Carolina Research Campus Mission
The purpose of the North Carolina Research Campus is to create knowledge, jobs, and progress. These are the goals outlined in the campus’ success:
Supporters of the NC Research Campus “This Research Campus and its scientific developments will help our citizens live better, healthier lives” - Elizabeth Dole, US Senator (R-NC)
- Improve human health through research in nutrition and agriculture
- Create jobs through development of the campus
- Bring therapies and products to the public more quickly to improve health and nutrition, and create more jobs
"It has to fill you with great excitement and great hope for the future” - Erskine Bowles, President of the 16-campus University of North Carolina system.
“We’re going to open the most sophisticated biotechnology core lab in the world” - John Cox, President of the Cabarrus Regional Chamber of Commerce.
“This is a tremendous opportunity to put North Carolinians to work in 21st century jobs and to keep our state at the forefront of a vibrant industry” - Dr. Martin Lancaster, President of the NC Community College System.
“The entire community has viewed the research campus as a bright spot” - Bob Misenheimer, Mayor of Kannapolis.
“The most exciting part of this project is to be able to create sustainable, better-paying jobs for the people of Kannapolis and the region. And the creation of this scientific community centered on biotechnology will allow a transformation of this economy from a manufacturing-based one to one centered on scientific knowledge and research” - David Murdock, Owner of Castle and Cooke, Inc.
North Carolina Research Campus
Phone: (704) 273-1234
Castle & Cooke North Carolina
210 Oak Ave.
Kannapolis, NC 28081
City of Kannapolis
246 Oak Ave.
Kannapolis, NC 28081
Kannapolis' Cannon Village Visitors Center
200 West Ave.
Kannapolis, NC 28081
Cabarrus Regional Economic Development
3003 Dale Earnhardt Blvd.
Kannapolis, NC, USA 28083
Phone: (704) 782-4000
Fax: (704) 782-4050