Textile manufacturing gave Kannapolis a purpose and an identity for 100 years.

Now the mill is gone, replaced by the N.C. Research Campus, and a massive medical study offers Kannapolis a second chance to make a name for itself while making a difference for sick people across the globe.

Duke University’s MURDOCK Study began enrolling 50,000 volunteers Monday. Their blood and medical information could help researchers, armed with new genetic tools, discover better treatments for cancer, multiple sclerosis, liver disease, heart disease, diabetes and arthritis.

Kannapolis, decimated by the closing of Pillowtex in 2003, can "do something again," said Bobbie Beam, 75, a retired nurse and the first person to officially enroll in the study’s registry.

For details, see the report.