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FINDINGS

Saturday, November 6, 2004; Page A11

In Kentucky, Man With Artificial Heart Dies

A Kentucky man who lived 166 days with an implanted replacement heart died yesterday of multiple organ failure at Jewish Hospital in Louisville, the heart's manufacturer said yesterday.

The patient, 73-year-old William Wiley of Glasgow, received the AbioCor artificial heart in a May 24 surgery at the hospital.

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The pump worked well and had no malfunctions, according to Abiomed Inc., the Danvers, Mass., company that makes the device.

Wiley was the 14th recipient of the softball-size pump, which is made of plastic and titanium and powered by batteries. At the time of his surgery, Wiley probably had less than two weeks to live without the device, Abiomed spokeswoman Andrea tenBroek said.

He was the only AbioCor patient still living with the device. It has no wires or tubes sticking through the skin, unlike earlier mechanical hearts that were attached to machinery outside the body.

The 13th AbioCor recipient died in September, also at Jewish Hospital, of a malfunction in the device. It was the first death attributed to an unexpected malfunction.

Cornell Scientist Brings Mars Rover Work Home

Because his job involves driving around on Mars all day, Cornell University astronomer Steven Squyres is glad he no longer has to make a cross-country commute to get home.

Over the past two months, planning for science activities on the Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity has gradually shifted from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., to the Ivy League school in upstate New York. JPL remains in charge of controlling and operating the rovers.

The shift is a sign of the mission's success, said Squyres, the project's principal scientific investigator, who spent the past year flying back and forth between New York and California as he guided the effort.

NASA has twice extended the $280 million mission. It was planned for 90 days, but the six-wheel rovers have surprised scientists with their durability.

"It's still not really a normal life, but there's more of a semblance of it than before. I get to see my family at the end of the day," Squyres said.

Manufacturers Told to Clarify Calorie Counts

How much did that afternoon snack cut into your daily allowance of calories?

The government wants food companies to make the answer clear on product labels.

A Food and Drug Administration proposal, expected to be released next month, would tell food manufacturers for the first time to list on packages the percentage of daily recommended calories the product contains, acting FDA Commissioner Lester M. Crawford said yesterday.

The purpose is to "shock you and tell you [that] you have consumed 50 percent of your daily calories," Crawford said at a meeting of the FDA Science Board. The percentage will be based on a daily diet of 2,000 calories.

The FDA wants food labels revamped to help consumers get more useful information about fat, calorie and carbohydrate content, and to encourage healthy choices to help fight the U.S. obesity epidemic.

Nearly two-thirds of the U.S. adult population is overweight or obese, according to the National Institutes of Health.

-- From News Services


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