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January 17, 2006 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 2006-01-17

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NEWS

The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, January 17, 2006 - 3A

ON CAMPUS
Career Center to
hold internship
fair at Union
The Career Center is sponsoring
an internship fair today in the Mich-
igan Union Ballroom from 2 to 6
p.m. Students can meet with organi-
zations that are specifically looking
to hire interns from the University.
Registration for the event will take
place on-site today.
Some of the participating organi-
zations include American Eagle Out-
fitters, Clean Water Action, ESPN
and LaSalle Bank Corporation.
Lecture to explore
* gender, culture
and Prozac
Johnathan Metzl, director of the
Program in Culture, Health and
Medicine, will present a lecture
today titled "Gender, Culture, and
Medicalization: The Lessons of
Prozac." The lecture will take place
in room 2239 of Lane Hall from 4
to 5:30 p.m.
Toastmasters to
give feedback to
interested speakers
The Michigan Toastmasters, a
public speaking group at the Uni-
versity, will be holding a lecture
and discussion focusing on the topic
of "Finding Your Voice - The
Dreams and Visions of Rev. Dr.
Martin Luther King."
Participants will be given a
chance to speak on a variety of top-
ics and receive feedback tonight.
The event will be held at 7 p.m. in
the Michigan Union.
CRIME
NOTES
Caller leaves
unclear message
about local bar
An caller phoned the Department
of Public Safety yesterday morning
and said something about a fire haz-
ard and Good Time Charlie's. The
dispatch officer was unclear about
the complete message. DPS said the
information was turned over to the
Ann Arbor Police Department.
Slippery situation
will be solved
with absorbent
There was an oil slick on Glenn
Street Sunday from a vehicle that lost
an oil pan, DPS reported. According
to DPS, a quick dry absorbent will
be applied to the pavement.

Police respond
to reports of
skateboarding
Police responded to reports that
skateboarders and roller-bladers were
in the area near the 4200 block of Plym-
outh road, DPS reported. When police
arrived on the scene, the subjects were
gone.
THIS DAY
In Daily History
Democrats fear
redistricting will
limit their power
Jan. 17, 1982 - The Washtenaw
County Apportionment Commis-
sion was notified Friday by the
State Court of Appeals that it has
until 8 p.m. to prove its redis-
tricting plan for the county is not
unconstitutional.
Local Democrats challenged the
commission earlier this month, say-
ing its plan was created to favor the
Republican Party. The Democrats'
appeal said the new districts divided

PIRGIM remains
active despite -
funding setbacks

Members say they won't ask
for more money until MSAs
policy changes
By Katerina Georgiev
Daily Staff Reporter
Despite failing to obtain the $20,000 in fund-
ing it requested from the Michigan Student
Assembly last year, Students for Public Inter-
est Research Group in Michigan has remained
undaunted in its quest to start a pilot chapter at
the University.
It just has a new strategy.
The group now has no plans to request fund-
ing again until significant changes within the
assembly are made.
After a long and drawn-out campaign for
funding by the assembly, the resolution to give
PIRGIM funding was never voted on by MSA
because the Central Student Judiciary ruled that
the request was not in compliance with the MSA
constitution.
"I'm disappointed there was no straight up-or
-down vote, but I'm not expecting a retrial until
MSA gets its policies in order" students for PIR-
GIM chair Pam Baker said.
CSJ ruled that funding the group could threat-
en MSA's tax-exempt status because it could
engage in activities that could be considered lob-
bying.
"It's confusing, and I'm not accusing MSA;'
Baker said. "I believe they are working to create
a more clear system but it's just not there yet"
MSA President Jesse Levine agrees that
reform is necessary.
"We have been working to reform fund-
ing guidelines in accordance with federal law,"
Levine said. "There are people (in MSA) looking
into a resolution to resolve the issues regarding
lobbying."

Although the assembly spent $20,000 on
November's Ludacris concert - an amount
that would have sufficiently funded a University
chapter of PIRGIM - Baker said she does not
believe MSA has mismanaged its budget.
"I don't like the idea of squabbling over pieces
of the pie," Baker said. "I just think there should
be a bigger pie."
Without the $20,000 from MSA, the group
has not been able to complete some of its goals.,
One of the primary goals the group wanted.
to pursue was a student housing campaign thaLt
would provide a hotline and educational materi-
als to help students navigate the Ann Arbor hous-
ing market. The group also wanted to advocate
for improved University housing policies.
Baker said she will not petition MSA for the
$20,000. to fund a PIRGIM chapter until the
political climate changes.
"If (MSA has) a more clear tax status, keep:
better track of lobbying, and if people start get-
ting excited about a PIRGIM chapter then it
could definitely happen," Baker said.
"But its just not a feasible battle to win at this
time."
In the meantime, the group is campaigning
to raise the minimum wage in Michigan and to
reverse legislation recently passed in the Senate-
and House of Representatives to cut nearly $14
billion in federal student financial aid.
The organization works to further its public
policy goals by pressuring lawmakers through
calls, letters and petitions, and by publicizing
issues and educating people.
Students for PIRGIM has also started plane
ning an environmental campaign to change the
University's sustainable energy policies.
LSA freshman Kate Mitroka, a member of th,
group, said she is excited about the organization'-
continued efforts on campus.
"The group tackles pertinent, nonpartisans
issues that affect everybody," Mitroka said.

NY Times reporter speaks about evolution

Biologist Bryan Fry has been
conducting in depth research on
various types of snake venom
By Christine Beamer
For the Daily
New York Times science journalist Carl Zimmer
sees the study of evolution as a way to learn more
about our current world.
On Saturday, Zimmer gave a lecture in honor
of the opening celebration for the "Explore Evo-
lution" exhibit in the University's Exhibit Muse-
um of Natural History. The exhibit highlights
the recent evolutionary discoveries of scientists
regarding whales that walked, Galapagos finches
and the HIV virus.
Each display features panels of text written by
Zimmer, who focuses most of his writing on evolu-
tion and also regularly contributes to National Geo-
graphic, Science and Newsweek magazines.
At the lecture, Zimmer discussed the ways evolu-
tion is applicable in the world and talked about the
newest developments in evolutionary biology.
"By asking an evolutionary question, you find out
something new," Zimmer said.
Zimmer explained that in the case of Australian
biologist Bryan Fry, an evolutionary question was the

origin of snake venom. Over generations, the enzyme mutated further,
Because many drugs manufactured by pharma- becoming more potent and resulting in the venom
ceutical companies use venom to treat stroke and to present in modern day snakes.
lower an elevated blood pressure, Zimmer said an The discovery of venom's genealogy has led to the
understanding of venom could aid the development realization that many snakes previously thought to be
of more effective medications. non-poisonous actually make venom. Garter snakes,
Through his research, Fry found that venom for example, produce potent venom, but only in min-

is composed of many diverse
molecules. Each molecule "I liked thi
acts differently on prey. induc-
ing paralysis, muscle decay or that in evo
unconsciousness. By pinpoint-
ing the genes in the venom the ideas a
molecules, Fry compared the stil
similarities between venom sill evolvi
genes in different snake species
and then constructed a geneal-
ogy of the genes.
Zimmer said Fry looked at
various versions of one venom
molecule, called chrotamine, and found that the
gene that produces the molecule is closely related
to a gene found in the snake's pancreas which pro-
duces a digestive enzyme.
"Snakes have been borrowing genes from all over
their body to put in their venom," Zimmer said. He
explained that a random genetic mutation led to the
enzyme being sent to the snake's venom gland instead
of the pancreas.

S
J
i

iscule amounts.
s idea Most importantly, Fry's
research revealed that lizards
lution, - close ancestral relatives of
snakes - possess some of the
ire same venom molecules as their
legless counterparts.
ng. Fry hypothesizes that snake

Zimmer explained that scientists have recently
taken a closer look at chromosome inversions, which.,
are mutations that cause part of a chromosome to be
flipped when replicated.
Scientists have long known that inversions.
are a source of mutation, which promotes evolu-
tion. But they have only recently been examirl-_
ing flipped chromosome chunks to try and piece.
together how the chromosomes of closely related
species - such as chimpanzees and humans -
are altered, Zimmer said.
"It's as if evolution has been flipping chromosomes,
like flipping pancakes," Zimmer added.
Zimmer said scientists have found that certain
sections of the chromosomes are particularly vul-
nerable to inversion and so mutations tend to occur
in the same spots.
This understanding of chromosomal inver-
sion becomes important in the fight against cancer,
because in cancer cells, the chromosomes flip in cer-
tain places repeatedly.
"If you want to understand cancer, you're going
to have to deal with this evolutionary heritage of
ours," he said.
LSA junior Sarah Romito said she enjoyed Zim-
mer's approach to evolution that separated theol-
ogy and science.
"I liked his idea that in evolution, the ideas are still
evolving," Romito added.

- Sarah Romito
LSA junior

venom evolved tens of millions
of years before snakes existed,
which is why lizards such as
Komodo dragons and igua-
nas possess some of the same

venom molecules.
Although the finds are interesting from an aca-
demic standpoint, Zimmer said a greater under-
standing of the origins of venom has led to a new
biotechnology front, which looks at the medicinal
potential of lizard venom.
And while the origins of snake venom have
unlocked doors for medicine, studying the evolution
of mankind is aiming to do the same against cancer.

New program to deter
gangs records early success

$100 Off
All June LSAT
Courses
when you sign up by Jan 27
The
Prneton
Review

During the first year of the program the
gun-related homicides in Detroit's former
third police precinct dropped 35 percent
DETROIT (AP) - There are reports of success in a
state-initiated criminal justice program that uses reward
and punishment to disrupt gangs and control paroled fel-
ons in the city.
The Joshua Project was started by Attorney General Mike
Cox in 2004 after a jump in Detroit gun violence. It targets
members of gangs and groups of suspects and pressures all
of them if one is suspected of a crime. It also helps people on
probation or parole develop skills and find jobs.
In 2005, the first full year of the program, the rate of
gun-related homicides in the city's former third police pre-
cinct dropped 35 percent, compared with a 6 percent drop
in gun crime in all of Detroit, The Detroit News said yes-
terday. At the same time, nonfatal shootings in the precinct

dropped 29 percent.
"This decrease" represents "the largest reductions of any
precinct in the city of Detroit in 2005,' Assistant Attorney
General Tom Cameron said.
Authorities say some other precincts had nearly as dra-
matic decreases in shootings because of efforts with simi-
lar tactics.
The Joshua Project is named for the biblical hero who broke
down the walls of Jericho as the Israelites entered the land
of Canaan. It is a joint effort of Cox's office, Detroit police,
the state Corrections Department and the Detroit Hispanic
Development Corp.
Cox's aides prosecute the cases, Detroit police supply
information on gangs and groups, Corrections officers follow
people on parole and probation who live in the area, and the
Hispanic group gives job opportunities to former offenders.
The team presses felons for information on crimes while
warning of the severity of penalties that they face if they com-
mit crimes or are involved with those responsible.

Fieger says he will be indicted on
charges of illegal contributions

Former employee of attorney's firm said
he gave $2,000 to a political campaign
and was reimbursed by the firm

bonuses to civic-minded employees," he said.
Fieger refused to elaborate on the bonuses he gave.
Joseph Bird, a lawyer formerly employed by Fieg-
er's firm has said he and his wife each gave $2,000
to Edwards' 2004 campaign at the request of one of

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