February 17, 2009

Duke launches Murdock study

Duke University said it is seeking 50,000 volunteers to donate blood for what researchers hope will be a landmark health study in North Carolina.

The long term study in Kannapolis, N.C., funded by a $35 million donation from Dole Food billionaire David Murdock, will use RNA, DNA and other molecular data to research diseases such as osteoarthritis, hepatitis C, obesity and heart disease, The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer reported Tuesday.

Project director Ashley Aull Dunham said the study, which will go for decades, has been described by Duke researchers as the Framingham for the molecular age. Framingham is the Massachusetts town made famous by the contributions of more than 5,000 residents in helping medical researchers produce dozens of studies on heart disease, the report said.