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November 02, 2000 - Image 3

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-11-02

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The Michigan Daily - Thursday. November 2, 2000-- 3A

Researchers look
to potatoes for
hepatitis vaccine
Researchers have completed pre-
iminary research on the development
of a potato that would serve as a vac-
, cine for Hepatitis B.
The team, led by Hugh Mason at
Cornell University's Boyce Thompson
Institute for Plant Research, developed
a genetically modified potato with spe-
cific proteins that stimulates the pro-
luction of antibodies in the blood.
The initial tests performed on mice
helped show the feasibility of produc-
ing a potent hepatitis B vaccine in food,
but the scientists are now focusing on
strengthening the immune response
triggered by the potato vaccine.
Hepatitis B affects more than 2 bil-
lion people worldwide and is trans-
ferred sexually. The disease can cause
complications of the liver that may
,lead to liver failure and death.
A vaccine for the disease is current-
ly available in an injection, but the
cost is too expensive for developing
countries. The cost of the potatoes are
expected to be significantly cheaper.
The study was published in the
November issue of the journal Nature
Older surgeons
have higher patient
mortality rate
A new study published in the journal
Neurology found that older surgeons,
who have been performing a common
roperation to prevent strokes for more
than 20 years, had a higher patient mor-
tality than younger, less-experienced
About one out of 100 patients died
who received the operation, known as a
carotid endarterectomy, by an older
But, the research team, led by Liam
O'Neill of Cornell University, found
.that experience should not be discount-
ed. Surgeons who did the operation
-once a year or less were three times
more likely to have their patients die.
Once the surgeon had done the oper-
ation at least three times in two years,
they did not have a larger-than-average
risk of the patient dying.
The researchers studied information
on nearly 13,000 operations performed
by 532 surgeons during a two-year peri-
od in Pennsylvania.
The team speculates that the rea-
son the older doctors carry a higher
'mortality rate is due to not keeping
up with the latest techniques and
Study asserts
snakes have body
side preferences
Researchers at Oregon State Univer-
sity have found that male snakes use the
right-side of their body more often than
the left-side and have concluded that
the snakes are right-handed.
Although snakes have no hands,
they have hemipenes that can function
as limbs.
Robert Mason and Mike LeMaster
of OSU studied more than 400 garter
snakes that they found dead from suf-

focation in Manitoba, Canada.
The scientists weighed the snakes
and measured their internal and exter-
nal organs. They found that garter
snakes tended to have larger
hemipenes, kidneys and testes on the
right side.
OSU researchers used the unex-
pected size differences in the data
they found to form the hypothesis
that garter snakes use the right
hemipenis more than the left, and
that the male is more likely to use
his right-side than his left in certain
The scientists are yet to find any
practical applications for their
research but think that it might help in
future research of human hand-prefer-
- Compiled byi Daily Staff Reportr i
Lindsey Alpertf-oln wire reports.

Students push for extended all breaks

By Robert Gold
Daily Staff Reporter
After cramming for midterms, some University
students would like to have an extended Fall break
to relax or prepare for final exams.
Students at University of Illinois at Urbana-
Champaign will get that chance this year - with a
total of nine days off during the Thanksgiving holi-
day. This change in the academic calendar will not
impact the length of the semester, University of
Illinois Senate Clerk Bob Damrau said.
University of Michigan students will have a four
day weekend later this month, their first break of
the semester.
Student and faculty representatives of the Illinois
Senate voted last year to extend the Fall break after
several years of students voicing their desire for it.
Damrau said some faculty initially resisted the idea
Passing the book(let)

because they felt it was too late in the semester. would likely occuri
The vacation this year will run from Nov. 18 McElvaine saidt
through Nov.'26. under a tri-semest
"They finally convinced faculty that (they are) squeeze in extra va
adults and they won't forget anything they've a tri-semester syste
learned in a week," Damrau said. mer terms combin
The Senate ruling stands for the next three years. and Winter terms
While students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Urbana-Champaign have campaigned for an tem, which means
extended fall break, the students at the University and their is more t
of Michigan have not, University Registrar Tom averages between 7
McElvaine said. McElvine said th
Students and faculty voiced their feelings about ages between 67 a
the academic schedulc in the late 1980's. A survey way the University
found more students favored starting the semester Fall break would 1
later than receiving a longer Fall break, McElvaine Labor Day, McElva
said. MSA memberS
"No students ham: raised the question since ernment has not ra
then," he said, adding that examining the issue her year in office.E

if students raised concern.
because the University operates
er system there is little time to
acation days. The University has
m because the Spring and Sum-
ed are equal in length to the Fall
. The University of Illinois at
n operates under a semester sys-
the summer terms are shorter
ime between terms. Illinois has
72 and 74 days per term.
he University of Michigan aver-
td 69 academic days. The only
of Michigan could extend any
be starting the semester before
aine said.
Sara Pray said the student gov-
aised the issue of Fall breaks in
But at a Big Ten student govern-

ment conference in Indiana last week, Pray said she
spoke with other school representatives who voiced
their desire for a longer break.
Pray said she thinks the issue will likely be
addressed to MSA sometime this year.
The registrar's office develops a rough draft of the
academic calendar and then distributes it to all uni-
versity colleges and departments for suggestions.
Engineering senior Vaughn Washington said
he would rather have a longer Fall break than
starting the semester later.
"It's kind of like a second wind; Washington
said, adding that it gives time for students to refo-
cus on school.
But LSA junior Dave Werny said the benefits
of starting the term later outweigh a break.
"It gives you ahother week to earn some cash,"
Werny said. "I think Thanksgiving is enough of a

travel to protest

genetically altered cereals

Former University student and Ann Arbor resident Sarah Rassoul passes out
booklets in the West Hall Arch yesterday afternoon.
Sidest ca duing
forumon lawsuit

By Kristen Beaumont
Daily Staff Reporter
SNRE senior Elizabeth Hamilton X
said she worries because no one can f
guarantee that certain food supplies c
have not been genetically engineered.
"Obviously the food industry is notT
regulated enough to make sure that ourc
food remains safe," said Hamilton, a 1
member of Basic Food Group which s
fights harmful practices in agriculture.
Genetic engineering allows the t
manipulation and transfer of genetic t
material from one organism to another.
Soybeans and corn are common geneti-
cally engineered, or genetically modi-
fied foods. Potential health risks whenf
using genetically engineered foods c
include a trait development that reducesc
the effectiveness of antibiotics to treatc
human disease.t
Hamilton and other University stu-t
dents traveled Tuesday to Battle Creek
to protest use of genetically modified
corn and other grains in Kellogg Co.'s
cereals, sold in the United States.c
If you are interested in
advertising or sales experience,
don't wait until this summer
for an internship!
The Michigan Daily has
Display Account Executive
positions open starting this
Winter term
Pick up an application today:
Student Publications Building
420 Maynard Street
2nd Floor or call 764-0662
for more information
Deadline is
Monday, November 6th
so don't hesitate

The group, Michigan Resistance
Against Genetic Engineering, orga-
nized the protest to express disap-
proval of using genetically modified
food in the United States. Kellogg dis-
continued their use in Europe.
The students involved in the
protest handed out literature and
organically-grown cereal packets to
people passing by Festival Park, the
site of the protest.
Hamilton said the protesters wanted
to create awareness to show Kellogg
that consumers are concerned.
The protest follows the mid-October
shutdown of a Kellogg manufacturing
plant in Memphis, Tenn. Parts of the
plant closed due to the possible pres-
ence in its shipment of the modified
corn called StarLink, which is not fed-
erally approved for human consump-
tion. Starlink is used as animal feed
but may cause allergies in humans.
Production resumed at the plant last
week after they didn't find StarLink.
Joseph Stewart, senior vice presi-
dent. of corporate affairs and chief

ethics officer for Kellogg, said there
has been intense scientific research
into modified crops, and no evidence
indicates that they ar.e unsafo for
human consumption.
During the protest, Joe Groenk the
Michigan Resistance Against Getic
Engineeing spokesman and a Uniesi-
ty alum, delivered a letter intende for
Kellogg CEO Carlos Gutierrez ad ss-
ing the group's feelings about KelP 's
use of genetically engineered food
"They have made us doubt a he
promises you have made to us ast il-
dren and adults about the qualitygnd
nutrition of your cereals. In fact- ur
failure to remove them from our: od
supply has made us stop buying *em
entirely," the letter said.
Hamilton said the group haso-
posed a resolution to the Ann Xor
City Council calling for stricter env n-
mental testing and accurate labeig.
The council plans to vote on this -
lution Nov. 9.
- The Associated Press contribu to
this r t.

By Lisa Koivu
Wily StafftReponer
During a discussion that could have
been filled with anger and tension but
remained relatively peaceful, vocal
representatives from both sides of the
affirmative action issue spoke to the
University community last night in a
forum focusing on the University's
admission policies.
While few of the Vice President for
Student Affairs' round table discussion
group members were in attendance at
the forum in Michigan Student
Assembly chambers, members of the
the Coalition to Defend Affirmative
Action By Any Means Necessary were
present as Shanta Driver, an intervenor
in the lawsuit and philosophy Prof.
Carl Cohen gathered to air their
opposing views on affirmative action.
"The affirmative action programs
were created in 1965. They were creat-
ed with the recognition there was vast
social inequality in the country," Dri-
ver said. "To address these inequali-
ties, this society developed the
affirmative action programs."
While Cohen said he agreed that
affirmative action has taken positive
steps to eliminate discrimination, the
key issue is whether any person should
be discriminated against on the basis of
race. "The University uses a system
that is racially preferential, there is no
doubt about that," Cohen said.
Cohen said no matter the outcome,
with any of the trials, the suits will be
appealed by whichever side loses.
Cohen said while there is a very good
chance the case could be appealed to
the U.S. Supreme Court, there is a slim
chance the court will accept the case.
LSA-Student Government President
B.J. Orandi asked Driver whether it
would be effective to use socio-eco-
nomic affirmative action, instead of

race based.
Driver said progress hws been made
using the current system, and also that
income is independent of tace. "There is
overlap, certainly, but thbre is also the
individual factor of racisn" she said.
The group watched a egment about
the University that aired on the televi-
sion program "60 Minutes" earlier this
week. LSA sophomore Erika Dowdell
then questioned Cohen about his say-
ing that white students aplying to the
University's Law School had a low
admittance rate, while African Ameri-
can students had a higlher rate of
acceptance. "Doesn't it seem like
you're punishihg people for being a
minority'?" Dowdell asked.
Cohen said lie was using an exam-
ple to call attention to the disparities
that exist between peoie of different
races applying for the same positions.
"It's hard to get into our Law
School. If you're a very good student,
not great, but good, then your chances
of getting in are about one in 50,"
Cohen said. "But if you're a black stu-
dent, your chances of being accepted
are 10 in 10. If that's not racial dis-
crimination, I don't know what is."
LSA senior Erin Gibert, who orga-
nized the forum, said she wanted to
bring different perspectives together to
discuss the issue. "Affirmative Action
is important for the University of
Michigan at this point. Part of the pur-
pose of this forum is to bring together
all of the different perspectives sur-
rounding the issue and to discuss the
importance it will have on the larger
student population," Albert said.
Interim Vice President for Student
Affairs E. Royster Harper said the
roundtable discussion would allow for
clarification. "Our goal is to ask ques-
tions to understand the issue so we can
then do the problem solving set of
work," Hat-per said.

What's happening in Ann Arbor today

The U-Club Poetry Slam, featuring
Josie Kearns, 8:30 p.m., Michi-
an Union University Club, 763-
0 Circle K Meeting, Sponsored by

and Programs, Organized by
Dance Marathon and Phi Beta
Sigma, 7:00 p.m., Michigan
Union Pendleton Room, 615-
Thomas Lynch Poetry Reading, Spon-
sored by the Department of Eng-
ii-s rani the Officen of the Prnvnst

Sponsored by the Jewish
Women's Foruim and Ahava,
8:00 p.m., Hillel, 769-0500
Summers, Delaney and Sharp, in-
store jazz performance, 7:00
p.m., Liberty Bo'rders



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