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February 22, 2001 - Image 3

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-02-22

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The han Daily - Thursday, February 22, 2001- 3A

U' astronomer
links black holes
with galaxies
University astronomer Douglas
Richstone has found that galaxies and
blaek holes are almost always found
Over the past decade, Richstone
and his team of researchers have
found black holes in all but one of the
30 spiral galaxies they have surveyed.
The holes are found in the center of
galaxies, where their gravitational pull
will cause abrupt changes in the
velocity of nearby stars.
It is these changes that alerted
Richstone of the frequency of black
Human response
to drugs linked
to genetics
Genetics may be the cause for
peoples' bodies responding differ-
ently to the same drug, University
prof. Wendell Weber said last
Small genetic mutations, called
polymorphisms, can make a drug
harmful to one person that may be
helpful to someone else. The muta-
tions have been linked to defects in
the production of drug-metaboliz-
ing enzymes and the prevention of
drugs from passing through cell
With the recent completion of
*he human genome project, phar-
macogeneticists are hoping that
future drugs can be prescribed
b'ssed upon a person's genetic
create self-fixing
synthetic material
Researchers at the University of
Illinois have developed a synthetic
material that can repair itself when
cracked or broken.
The material, which contains
microencapsulated healing agents and
catalysts, could be used in areas such
as. microelectronics and aerospace
'The idea for a self-repairing materi-
al was spawned by the biological
rocess in which darage to tissue and
otn er parts of the body results in an
automatic healing response from the
In the most recent test, the self-
healing material was able to recover
a9 much as 75 percent of its original
strength. This ability of the material to
heal cracks in its structure will enable
it to last longer and require less out-
de maintenance.
MIT tests socially
interactive robot
Kismit, the first robot that can inter-
act with humans using human-like
habits, is currently being tested at the
Massachusetts Institute for Technolo-
By mimicking humans over time,
Kismit can apply what it sees and
earns to be able to interact socially
ith humans. The robot uses a wide
spectrum of facial expressions, head
.ppsitions and tones of voice.
Researchers at MIT are continually

etolving Kismit with new sensors and
siftware to help it learn more. Even-
tually, the researchers want Kismit to
be the first robot to learn and develop
from its surroundings. In the future,
esearchers expect the robot will
ecome more capable and indepen-
2Genetic defect
*-inked to chronic
lung disease
Researchers at Johns Hopkins
Children's Center and Children's
Flospital Medical Center in Cincin-
ati have discovered a gene that
an be linked to lung disease in
infants and adults.
Research teams led by Johns
Hopkins neonatologist Lawrence
M. Nogee and Jeffrey A. Whitsett
identified a mutation in the surfac-
tant protein C gene linked to a
group of chronic lung disorders.
- Compiled by Daily Staff Reporter
Susan Luth.

American teens tops in illegal drug use

By Ted Borden
Daily Staff Reporter

A study conductediiin part by the University
released this week revuled that European teen-
agers drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes more
than their American counterparts, yet American
teens abuse illicit drugs nuore.
The data was compiled from a comparison of
two studies taken in 1999: the European School
Survey Project on Alhohol and Drugs, which
polled 95,000 European Mth-grade students in 30
countries, and Monitoring the Future, a University
study conducted among 14,000 American 10th-
grade students in 140 scwols.
A comparison of the two studies found:
61 percent of European teens drank alcohol
in the past 30 days, compared to 26 percent of
American teens.
* 37 percent of Europeans smoked at least one
cigarette in the past month, -compared to 26 per-

"When I went Europe to last summer, I felt like every
other teenager I saw had a cigarette in their hand."
- Sherry Wong
LSA junior

cent of Americans.
41 percent of American students used mari-
juana, while 17 percent of Europeans did.
* 23 percent of Americans used other illicit
drugs such as ecstasy and cocaine, compared to 6
percent of Europeans.
Among the 31 total countries surveyed, the
United States had the third lowest percentage of
smoking and the second lowest percentage of
"I was surprised by the extent, rather than the
direction, of the findings and I was not prepared
for the magnitude of the differences," said Lloyd

Johnston, the University social psychologist who
leads the project.
Students in Germany and the Netherlands did
not fully engage in the study. Johnson said the data
from those countries may have decreased the dif-
ferences in illicit drug use between Europe and the
United States.
Johnson added that future study collaborations
with European organizations are likely. Though he
would like to find partnerships in Asia and Latin
America, he said the lack of funding in those areas
does not make those connections seem feasible.
Many University students said they were not

surprised by the survey's findings.
"Those numbers don't amaze me," said LSA
junior Sherry Wong. "When I went to Europe last
summer, I felt like every other teenager I saw had
a cigarette in their hand."
LSA freshman Lindsey Simon shared similar
"That makes sense because Europe has such
lower drinking and smoking ages than the U.S.,"
she said.
Johnson said he does not think that is the whole
story. He credits the differences to the fact that the
origin of the drug epidemic in the United States
during the 1960s and lesser developed anti-drink-
ing and anti-smoking efforts in European countries.
Monitoring the Future is conducted at the Sur-
vey Research Center at the University's Institute
for Social Research. The study, originated in 1975,
receives research grants from the National Institu-
tion on Drug Abuse, part of the National Institutes
of Health.

Legal mischief

Bill would forbi cities from
raising local nmum wage

By Louie Meizlish
Daily Staff Reporter
As the Ann Arbor City Council considers a resolution
that would set a minimum wage for those employed by
city contractors, the state Legislature is looking into a
proposal to forbid cities from imposing minimum
wages higher than the state minimum wage.
This legislation would affect all businesses, not just
those that do work for the municipality.
State Sen. David Jaye (R-Washington Twp.) intro-
duced legislation this month that would amend the Min-
imum Wage Law of 1964 to say "a local unit of
government shall not impose a minimum wage require-
ment that is greater than the applicable rate prescribed
in this act."
The state minimum wage is currently $5.15 per hour,
although there is proposed legislation to raise this
Jaye said "artificially high" minimum wages set by
local municipalities cause a loss of jobs among poorly
trained workers.
He also said his proposal was designed "to make sure
opportunities exist for young people and people with
very little training to have jobs."
"Michigan taxpayers are very generous. ... Only a
small fraction of workers that get minimum wage jobs
have families. A large chunk are teen-agers or seniors,"
he said.
But Ann Arbor Mayor John Hieftje said Jaye's pro-
posal is a bad idea.
"The party in control talks about giving local control
to municipalities when they have been moving very

aggressively to take control away from those communi-
ties," he said.
Hieftje's comments were echoed by Councilwoman
Heidi Cowing Herrell (D-Ward IV).
"I certainly think that it impedes on a community's
self determination. The state should not make a lot of
laws that inhibit local control," Herrell said.
"A lot of people in homeless shelters do have jobs but
they do not have enough to live on," she added.
Councilman Joseph Upton (R-Ward II) said he also
found problems with Jaye's proposal. "As much as I
have been an opponent of the living wage ordinance in
Ann Arbor, I think it is a local issue," he said.
But Upton said there were certain circumstances in
which state intervention was justified.
"If our ordinance were to cover every organization
within the city whether you do business with the city or
not then the state may step in because how does that
impact business within the state that have many loca-
tions. ... That is kind of tricky," he said.
.Jaye's bill was sent to the Senate Human Resources
and Labor Committee, chaired by Sen. Glenn Steil (R-
Grand Rapids).
"You can't have municipalities all over the state hav-
ing different minimum wages," Steil said.
lie added that municipalities setting higher than aver-
age minimum wages would force businesses operating
within those areas to relocate to other municipalities.
Steil said that because a bill similar to Jaye's has
already been introduced in the House of Representa-
tives, it is unlikely any action would be taken in com-
"We are waiting to see what the House does," he said.

A window etching in Hutchins Hall depicts "mischievous" students removing
a street sign from outside the Law Quad.
Cleaves murder
surrenders in Fint

FLINT (AP) - A second suspect
in the shooting death of Herbert
Cleaves, brother of Detroit Pistons.
guard Mateen Cleaves, surrendered
to authorities yesterday.
Dontrell Y. Smith, 23, of Flint,
walked into police headquarters
with his attorney, said Genesee
County Prosecutor Arthur Busch.
District Judge Ramona M.
Roberts arraigned Smith on charges
of open murder, conspiracy to com-
mit murder, assault with intent to
commit murder and a felony firearm
He was being held without bond

in the Genesee County Jail, along
with Jaroy L. Davis, 19, of Flint,
who surrendered Tuesday and faces
the same charges.
If convicted, each man faces up to
life in prison without parole.
Busch saidthere are other sus-
pects in the drive-by shooting,
which happened early Sunday in
Flint. Herbert Cleaves, 27, died after
being shot in the abdomen.
"We've been very fortunate to
have both of these suspects just walk
into the police department. That's
very unusual," Busch said. "We're
getting some good breaks."

leave beh d ore
VOTE for the
VOTE online today at Senior Central, the U-Ms official Web
site for seniors. www.umich.edu/umalumni/seniors

Volunteers to replace
goose eggs with fakes

PONTIAC (AP) - Volunteers for a
fourth year will be out replacing real
Canada goose eggs with fake ones in an
effort to stem the goose population in
southeast Michigan.
"We're gearing up and expecting
even more people to take part," said
Linda Reider of the Humane Society of
the United States' Great Lakes Region-
al Office in Bowling Green, Ohio.
The best time to remove and replace
eggs is in April, she said.

Canada geese are protected as migra-
tory game birds. Property owners who
want to participate in the program must
obtain a permit from the state Depart-
ment of Natural Resources.
Volunteers and permit holders have
:removed nearly 8,000 eggs from nests
since the program began in 1998. Last
year, they removed 3,830 eggs from
731 nests in an experimental 100
square mile area in Wayne, Oakland
Aid Macomb counties.

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