Page 8 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, December 2, 1988
Nitric oxide may
help body fight ills
BY NOELLE SHADWICK
Nitric oxide, a chemical commonly associated with
air pollution, may serve as one of the carriers for signals
that activate the immune system, University Pharmacy
Prof. Michael Marleeta and his co-workers have
Nitric oxide, which is released by automobiles and
industrial plants, is known to play a part in the relaxation
of muscles, but until this study no other functions for the
chemical had been suggested.
"We think nitric oxide takes [the immune system]
from a resting state to an activated state," Marleeta,
principal investigator of the study, said.
The immune system is usually in a resting stage,
Marleeta said. But when an invading organism such as a
virus or a bacteria enters the body, the system is acti-
Very little is known about the biochemical process
that takes place during the transformation, Marleeta said.
If the researchers can prove their hypothesis, it could
lead to the development of drugs that could regulate the
activation of the immune system.
"The immune 'system is not perfect," Marleeta said.
"Many times we want to activate [or suppress] the im-
mune system," he added. For instance, suppressing the
immune system while transplanting tissues could reduce
the rejection and inflammation of the tissues, he said.
The study also found that small amounts of cancer-
causing nitrosamines were byproducts of the'immune
system. ; .4
The relationship between cancer and inflammation
could be related to the production of these nitrosamines.
But Marleeta warned that while the production of ni-
trosamines is a concern, the benefits of a working im-
mune system outweighed the risks.
"If the process is part of activating the immune sys-
tem, we simply can't do without it," he said.
He added that though the production of nitrosamines
had been seen in the experiment when macrophages had
been isolated on culture plates, the existence of the
chemicals in the human body had not yet been proven.:
"While we have shown that nitrosamines form in a
culture plate we haven't shown that they form in a hu-
man. We can't say that these nitrosamines cause
cancer," Marleeta warned.
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Su di e s
BY MICAH SCHMIT
In the next few years, students
interested in Judaic Studies will have
more courses to choose from, more
aspects of the field available, and
more resources to call upon.
The current Program for Judaic
Studies will become the Jean. and
Samuel Frankel Center for Judaic
Studies, under a proposal approved
by the University's Board of
Regents at its November meeting.
The center will serve students
much like the Center for Russian and
East European Studies or the Center
for Japanese Studies.guide those
interested in studying East European
culture or Japanese history.
In effect, expansion from a
'program' to a 'center,' will fill in
areas of study that we don't have
right now, said history Prof. Todd
Endelman. "Currently we are strong
in modern and ancient aspects [of
Judaic studies] and we're trying to
fill in those gaps."
Endelman, who is currently the
director of the program for .Judaic
Studies, will be appointed as the first
director of the new Frankel center,
according to LSA Dean Peter
The Center is an interdisciplinary
and interdepartmental unit that will
bring together a broader range of
experts in Judaic Studies, including
Hebrew language professors,
modern Jewish history professors,
and Yiddish professors, said
"The endowment allows for hir-
ing new faculty, student aid (such as
research grants), and expanding li-
brary resources," Endelman said.
Over the next few years, Endel-
man expects to hire three or four.
new faculty members for the center.
University alumni and Jewish or-
ganizations donated $2 million to
establish the center, named after
alumni Jean and Samuel Frankel of
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Architecture student Jerry Bourdage hangs multi-colored flags as part
of a class project to beautify the School of Art.
calls for reforms.
BY KRISTIN HOFFMAN
Carlos Dupre, a leader in the
Christian Democratic party of Chile,
opened his speech last night by apol-
ogizing for his difficulty with En-
glish. "In Chile it's not necessary," he
said. "Pinochet does not speak En-
glish, or Spanish - he speaks with
force and arms."
Dupre spoke on the "David and
Goliath" electoral victory of the
Chilean people over the authoritarian
government of General Augu'sto
The next challenge, he said, is to
reform Chile's constitution, which is
set up to maintain the "authoritarian
democracy" that Pinochet envisions.
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A strong national security council can
veto congressional legislation, Dupre
Dupre entertained questions from
the audience, on possible human.
rights prosecutions of the military as:
well as Christian Democratic in-
volvement with pre-1973 CIA activi-
ties in Chile.
Dupre said his party wants justice:
without letting another coup develop.
The CIA question is debated in Chil,
he answered, as Chile must be unified(
now, not divided. He also said that hisA
party did not receive money from the*
CIA, according to investigations car-
ried out by the U.S. Congress.
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