The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, October 29, 2003 - 11
Continued from Page 1
killing the good cells," said Kopelman, who predicted that in
three years he will be able to submit his treatment to the
Food and Drug Administration.
The public, some professors contend, is largely unaware
of the University's activities. The Office of the Vice Presi-
dent for Research, though it has supported faculty research,
ithas been slow to publicize, they said.
"We should do a better job of presenting (our research
activities) to the outside world and let them know the quality
work that's going on at the University," Baker said.
Last week, OVPR held a meeting with several key faculty
members involved in nanotech.
"OVPR's office is looking to initiate some activities in
nanoscience and nanoengineering. They're just starting to talk
about that," said Sharon Glotzer, a chemical engineering and
material-science engineering professor. They are looking to
"integrate many activities that are already going on."
But Glotzer added that any administrative activity is in its
formative stages. "The idea is that maybe there'll be some
initiative" she said.
At CBN, Verweij cited a number of grants the center has
received, including a $2 million, three-year grant from the
NASA for radiation research and a number of smaller grants
from the Environmental Protection Agency and Department
NASA has granted funds to the University to explore the
effects of radiation exposure on the human body. By moni-
toring white blood cells' decay, researchers can develop a
real-time monitor of radiation exposure, said Baker, a nan-
"NASA wants to go to Mars," said Nicholas Beeson, sen-
ior research associate for the University of Michigan Health
System. "(They) are thinking way far ahead, but they are
under some funding constraints."
But the center's most prominent work is with cancer. Sci-
entists build dendrimers, or polymeric molecules, which
"(Nano-devices) recognize a particular cell site. They
report where they are. They deliver a drug passively.
(Another) function is that we are able to detect whether or
Andrzej Myc of University of Michigan Health System works
on the Flowcytometer in the Biological Nanotechnology
not the cell is living or dead," Beeson said. Using this tech-
nology, researchers have had success in selectively destroy-
ing cancer cells in mice.
The College of Engineering also researches in this area.
"In the 11 departments within engineering, I would say
that three-fourths are doing research in nanotechnology,"
said James MacBain, research relations director for the col-
The implications are numerous, crossing academic disci-
plines and various sections of public policy. Researchers are
using nanotech for environmental reasons, mainly in water
Studying the properties of tiny structures could potential-
ly increase homeland security and defense, researchers said.
Glotzer, who researches "bio-mimetic" or "bio-inspired"
nano-materials, said her research could eventually create
sensors for pathogens and a form of DNA fingerprinting.
"Nanotechnology has impacts in a large number in fields.
But it will also affect the chips that go into your computer. It
could affect the materials that you wear for clothing,"
applied physics Prof. Brad Orr said.
In spite of all its potential, the technology has its skeptics.
The nonprofit Action Group on Erosion, Technology and
Concentration - ETC Group - has been an outspoken
voice calling for greater government regulation and an eval-
uation of scientific practices.
The group is concerned with health, the environment and
the industry, said Pat Mooney, the group's executive director.
Government regulation has been lax, and technicalities
allow new discoveries to enter the market without proper
testing, he said.
"We are especially concerned about sunscreens. They are
not actually being tested by the FDA because they have
been approved at the macro scale," Mooney said. "Alu-
minum oxide is used by dentists on the macro-scale. But
when you reduce it down the micro-scale, it can actually be
The federal government needs to develop specific guide-
lines toward the new technology. Often, nanomedicines are
treated as "instruments" rather than drugs, Mooney added.
The government will also need to revisit patent legisla-
tion, complicated by nanotechnologies that cross various
industries, Mooney said.
But the University remains steadfast in its commitment to
the science, hoping to explore new horizons.
"Nanoscience and nanotechnology is going to be one of
the frontiers of the future. It's going to be a new door that
will allow discoveries unimagined at this time," said
Fawwaz Ulaby, vice president for research at OVPR. "It's all
the sciences, engineering and medicine. That is its other
appeal, that it crosses many disciplines."
The NIH shares that perspective, calling nanomedicine one
of five "new pathways to discovery" for the 21st century.
Funding to the National Nanotechnology Initiative, a
multi-agency program created by President Bill Clinton in
2000, will increase 9.5 percent in fiscal year 2004 to $847
million. In May, the U.S. House of Representatives passed
the Nanotechnology Research and Development Act of
2003 appropriating $2.36 billion over three years to a num-
ber of executive agencies. The Senate is considering a simi-
Continued from Page 1
Congress that we won't stand for the loss of our repro-
ductive freedoms," Kuo said.
Congress last week passed legislation banning an abor-
tion procedure that its opponents call partial-birth abor-
tion. President Bush is expected to sign the bill.
The fair also addressed domestic violence and sexual
assault. V-day, the student organization most-known for
its production of the The Vagina Monologues, advocated
granting clemency to women who have been put in prison
for killing their abusive husbands. The Clemency Project,
a statewide effort, especially focuses on women who were
convicted before domestic-violence laws were imple-
Amnesty International focused on awareness of rape, using
live monologues to get its point across. "We've been studying
rape awareness on campus, within the state of Michigan and
internationally, and we've noticed that rape is used as a form of
ethnic cleansing and torture for war-crimes in many countries,"
said RC sophomore and Amnesty International member Ash-
wini Hardikar. "People don't normally think about rape as a
form of torture," she said.
Also present was the Sexual Assault Prevention and
Awareness Center, which features a 24-hour crisis line
that is staffed by volunteers. The organization's main
focus, according to LSA junior Lindsay Jolley, is "getting
the word out about sexual violence, how it can be pre-
vented and providing support for survivors."
The media was a point of passion for the groups in atten-
dance as well. The University Media Awareness Coalition
focused on the way women are portrayed in print media. Its
table was adorned with displays of advertisements featuring
women that the group felt were degrading to women.
"UMAC tries to dissect messages magazines are sell-
ing to women from ages 18 to 35, particularly college
women," LSA sophomore Anne Cassard said.
The organization encourages women to send in the
publications' subscription forms, free of postage, stating
how the ads in question make them feel.
The event took place in the Pendleton Room on the
second floor of the Michigan Union.
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