The Michigan Daily - Thursday, March 28, 2002 - 3A
'u' plans center
for Genomics and
The newly established University
Center for Genomics and Public
Health, one of three programs of its
kind funded by the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention, aims to bridge
the gap between the findings of the
Human Genome Project and its appli-
cation to public health practice.
Genomics is the study of the human
genome and their functions in relation
to health and disease.
The center will also help state public
health organizations better understand
ethical, legal and social issues associated
with the application of genetic advances.
"Society's misuse of genetic infor-
mation in the past has led to concerns
about possible stigmatization and dis-
crimination resulting from the knowl-
edge of a person's genetic profile,"
Center Director Toby Citrin said.
"This center will work toward pre-
venting these harms through educa-
tion, identification of ethical and
social issues and development of poli-
cause tooth, gum
harm and infection
Dental researchers have found that
extended wear of barbell-type tongue
jewelry can increase the incidence of
gum recession and tooth chipping.
Research conducted at Ohio State
and Loma Linda universities showed
that out of 52 young adults with
pierced tongues, 35 percent devel-
oped gum recession after four or
The study also found that 47 percent
of study participants who had worn a
barbell for four or more years had
chipped teeth from the habitual biting
of their tongue jewelry.
In addition to an increased chance of
bacterial infection, tongue piercings
may cause other complications such as
tongue swelling, difficulties with
chewing, swallowing and speech,
increase of saliva flow, localized tissue
overgrowth and metal hypersensitivity.
Vaccine for feline
The first-ever vaccine for feline
immunodeficiency virus, the virus
that causes a form of AIDS in cats,
was recently approved by the federal
government for commercial and vet-
According to the U.S. Department of
Agriculture, as much as 25 percent of
the global domestic cat population is
infected with FINM
"It is generally believed that trans-
mission of FIV takes place through
bite wounds inflicted during fighting,
and no cat-to-human transmission has
ever been reported," Yamamoto said.
"However, we are looking into this
Niels Pedersen, director of the Cen-
ter for Companion Animal Health, said
the success of the feline vaccine brings
hope to an eventual breakthrough in
finding a cure for AIDS in humans.
levels to increase
in next 50 years
Rising carbon dioxide levels associ-
ated with global warming could lead to
an increase in the occurrence of aller-
gies to ragweed and other plants by
mid-century, according to Harvard
The study itself involved exposing
ragweed to an atmosphere with dou-
ble the present carbon dioxide levels.
The resulting plants produced 61 per-
cent more pollen than normal.
In addition to producing more aller-
gens, the trend of increasing carbon
dioxide could alter competitive rela-
tionships among different plants,
encouraging the growth of weedy
It is predicted that the present level
of atmospheric carbon dioxide will
double between 2050 and 2100.
- Compiled by Daily Staff Reporter
Bad habits, schedules
determine student diets
By Samantha Woll
For the Daily
Imagine that you are standing in front of a
huge avalanche of ice-cream. Now imagine
that you are standing in front of a mountain
made from spinach pie. Which sounds more
In an exploration of the eating habits of col-
lege students, both professional nutritionists as
well as students believe that bad habits and
myths fuel students' unhealthy eating style.
Even though most students are aware of their
poor nutrition, they do little to change their eat-
Ruth Blackburn, nutrition specialist at Residen-
tial Dining Services, said she believes students may
find themselves adopting unhealthy eating practices
for many different reasons.
"They may have irregular or different schedules
that make eating regular meals difficult. There are
often time constraints that make eating a well-bal-
anced meal seem impossible. Lack of sleep and
stress can fuel the desire for high sugar and /or high
fat foods," Blackburn said.
Kristin Fusco, founder and director of Healing
Through Whole Foods, said she thinks what drives
the eating habits of college students is their
"What foods were they allowed or not allowed to
have? How were the eating habits of the family?"
Fusco added that with college comes the
"freedom around choices and decisions" that
fuels the problem. She explained that the
"freshman 15" begins way before freshman
year. "If the student did not have good eating
habits or good boundaries around food before
they are off on their own, then the patterns are
not going to change."
Residence hall dining staff work hard to combat
this problem, Blackburn said.
"We label the food items with nutrition informa-
tion to help students make smart choices,' Black-
There is also a special program, M-Smart, which
specifically caters to the problem of nutrition and
college students by identifying the food items that
are the healthiest in terms of good amounts of pro-
tein, not too much fat and significant amounts of
vitamins and minerals.
But there is evidence that much of their efforts
are in vain.
Marilyn Makomoto, a University Health Ser-
vices nutritionist, acknowledged that the residence
halls plan balanced meals, but explained that the
problem can be found in the choices students make.
"The healthy meals are there, but students make
their own choices," she said.
LSA sophomore Any Mutyala agreed with
Makomoto and articulated the feelings of many stu-
dents. "Even if there is healthy food, you go for
whatever you want."
In addition to the poor choices students make
with regard to their nutrition, there are certain
myths surrounding cultural dietary habits which
also influence their eating style.
"The most persistent myth is the one that says
you need to eat more protein to build muscles,"
Blackburn said. Another myth that fuels bad eating
habits can be found in students' strong avoidance of
"fatty" foods in favor of an overabundance of car-
Sara Kwiecien, a Business senior and cafeteria
worker, notices women especially don't understand
what foods cause weight gain, she said.
"It is obvious when a student is attempting to
avoid fatty foods in the lunch line because they run
every time they see any kind of fat content on the
menu labels." Kwiecien said. This bad habit leads
When busy students need food quickly, they often choose fast food like hamburgers and french fries
lacking in nutritional value over healthier, home-cooked fare.
to excess in carbohydrates, which in turn leads to
Kwiecien also noticed odd eating habits among
her peers that are aggravated or caused by drinking.
"I notice skipped dinners if they are going to be
drinking and consuming alcohol. Or, mass amounts
of junk food late at night because they have been
Kwiecien, who recently made a film with some
classmates on this issue, observed that students
rush to the gym for intense workouts in order to
compensate for their eating habits.
Fortunately, there is hope for students with poor
nutritional habits. Changing one's eating style does
not have to be difficult.
"In the nutrition world, there are no perfect or
bad foods," Makomoto said. "The key is eating all
of these things in moderation."
Makamoto said students should get pleasure
from their food.
"We should sit down and be somewhat excited"
when eating, she added.
Fusco said the first step toward improving stu-
dents' eating habits is to recognize that they
have a bad habit. The next step is to "stop eat-
ing so blindly." Fusco recommended students
keep a journal to record not only the foods they
consume, but also the moods they experience
when they eat each food.
"This journal is the key to improving eating
habits," Fusco emphasized.
"If I could sum everything up for you, I would
use Ruth's favorite word - balance! Fast food and
the like are not bad to eat, people just need to
understand how to moderate certain intakes,"
Colleges disagree on value of National Merit Scholars
By Maria Sprow
Daily Staff Reporter
Although only 8,000 of the 1.2 million students who take the
Pre-Standard Achievement Test receive the National Merit Scholar-
ship Award, colleges across the country differ on their opinions of
how prestigious the honor really is.
To get the scholarship, students must take the exam before their
senior year of high school. Their scores on the exam are compared
to others, and the pool of test-takers is narrowed down to 34,000
commended students. The scores of 16,000 others go on to become
semifinalists and finalists, at which point in time other factors -
like the person's accomplishments - are taken into consideration.
"It's something that indicates that the student has a significant
potential for contributing both academically and socially on cam-
pus," said Keith White, associate director of undergraduate admis-
sions at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.
For many schools, the title of Merit Scholar Designee gives stu-
dents a lift up from the rest of the competition. Several schools, such
as the University of Kansas and the University of Arkansas, heavily
recruit the scholars, giving them personal tours of campus or free
tuition and room and board.
But officials here said the University of Michigan is not as
impressed with National Merit Scholars as other schools might be.
Associate Provost for Academic Affairs Lester Monts said the
expectations set for merit scholars are lower than the standards the
University expects its incoming class to set.
"What we look for at the University of Michigan in students
exceeds the cutoff for national merit scholars," Monts said.
Monts said the factors taken into consideration when the National
Merit Scholarship is being awarded are too limited for the Universi-
ty and that the University's model freshmen class is a diverse one.
And though a merit scholarship does not directly earn a student
extra credit when applying, the University does look at criterion
such as accomplishments and SAT scores, both of which can be
improved by doing well on the PSAT.
"The national merit scholar is not the testbed by which we use
for admission of students," Monts said.
The number of freshman designated as National Merit
Scholars enrolled at the University increased from 45 in 2000
to 64 this year, a "marginal" number according to the Nation-
al Merit Scholarship Corporation.
But Monts said he could not give a specific reason why the num-
ber of scholars attending the University has increased when the Uni-
versity does not do anything to recruit the scholars.
"A lot of schools do, but we don't, simply because the
benchmark for National Merit Scholars is not as high as the
ones we employ," he added.
Other schools have seen marginal increases as well, even though
the number of scholarships given out has remained relatively consis-
tent. Princeton University saw the highest increase over the last cou-
ple years, up 50 from 2000 for a total of 156 freshman scholars.
Princeton Dean of Admissions Fred Hargadon also said he
was not aware of the increase of scholars who were accepted
to the school.
"It's not something we track," he said. "We don't make any spe-
cial recruitment efforts aimed at National Merit Scholars, we don't
know who will actually be National Merit Scholars when we make
our admission decisions, we don't make any special offers to
National Merit Semi-Finalists or Finalists, and we don't give
National Merit status any special points in our admission process."
White said the University of Wisconsin also does not try to
recruit merit scholars, though they do sponsor five awardees
Out of the 371 colleges enrolling national merit recipients, New
York University sponsored the most awardees in 2001. The school -
handed out scholarships to 132 of the 151 scholars who chose to
attend classes there. Neither the University of Michigan nor Prince-
ton sponsor any recipients.
The school with the largest number of merit scholars is Harvard
University at 360. But that number was a decrease from 2000, when
the school enrolled 382 scholars.
Northwest to recall
workers laid off for
post-Sept. 11 scare
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Northwest
Airlines said yesterday that it will recall
about 500 ground workers who were
laid off when the airline reduced its
schedule by 20 percent following the
Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
The majority of the employees
being recalled to permanent jobs are
customer service agents and equip-
ment service employees, said
spokesman Kurt Ebenhoch.
Some of the employees being
called back earlier were called back
to work temporary jobs such as deic-
ing airplanes, he said. The callbacks
will be throughout the United States,
but most of the jobs will be in
Detroit and Minneapolis.
The recall marks the second time
since the terrorist attacks that Northwest
has called back employees to permanent
jobs, Ebenhoch said. Earlier, the Eagan-
based carrier recalled 312 part-time
reservation agents to permanent jobs.
After Northwest cut its schedule by
20 percent in the wake of the attacks,
the carrier laid off about 9,000 workers.
As passengers return to flying, North-
west has been rebuilding its schedule.
"As business conditions permit, it is
our hope to be able to recall our
employees," Ebenhoch said.
This spring's schedule is now only
about 11.5 percent smaller than last
spring, partly due to restoration of the
evening schedule out of Memphis,
Meanwhile, Chief Executive
Richard Anderson said Northwest
now has the highest load factor in the
industry - 74.4 percent in February
- but said the Eagan-based carrier
has had more flights delays during
March because of record amounts of
freezing rain, ice and snow.
"We thought we were going to get
through winter untouched. It's been
very mild. In fact we've had some great
favorability in our glycol (deicing)
expenses. But March isn't going to let
us get by without a little taste of harsh
winter," Anderson said.
Although Northwest is completing
97.7 percent of its flights, only 69 per-
cent have been on time in March,
against a goal of 80 percent, he said.
It was incorrectly reported in yesterday's Daily that the Ann Arbor Tenants Union fee proposal that was voted on last
week in the Michigan Student Assembly elections passed. The initiatve required a 60 percent voter approval, but only
received 58 percent.
What's happening in Ann Arbor today
EVENTS p.m., Michigan League ness School SERVICES
"Japanese Immigrant 0 Heidi Kumao Lecture; Campus Information
"That's Why I'm Work- History and Japan's Centers, 764-INFO,
Ing"; Sponsored by the Expansionist Ortho- Sponsored by the School firstname.lastname@example.org/ or
Edward Ginsberg Center doxy"; Sponsored by the of Art and Design, 5 p.m., S.A.F.E. Walk, 763-WALK,