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January 29, 2009 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2009-01-29

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

From Page 1A
election, he didn't talk much about
the Michigan's faltering economy,
which has been overseen by a Dem-
ocratic governor since 2003.
"You can blame George Bush,"
Weiser said. "But why is Michigan
worse than the other states? Per-
haps it's because we haven't had the
right leadership, the right ideas, the
right directions and the right strat-
egies to turn the state around."
For that very reason, Weiser
said he expects the Republicans to
mount a successful bid to reclaim
the governorship in 2010.
"This is about Michigan," he
said. "Elections coming up in 2010
are not about what's going on in
Washington, it's about what's
goingon in Lansing."
Weiser's candidacy for chair of
the Michigan GOP follows a life of
ventures in both public service and
the private sector.
In 1968 he founded Ann Arbor-
based McKinley Inc. - areal estate
investment company that now
manages more than $2.2 billion in
properties and other assets.
Under his leadership, the com-
pany grew to more than 700
employees nationwide. Weiser
then retired as CEO and Chairman
in 2001 to become the U.S. Ambas-
sador to Slovakia for three and a
half years.
As an ambassador, Weiser was
involved with Slovakia's transition
From Page lA
stitutional amendment to loosen
restrictions on embryonic stem
cell research, University research-
ers will be able to use method's like
Reubinoff's to conduct stem cell
Reubinoff said with more than
16 million people suffering from
neurological diseases, researchers
need to create new stem cell lines
for further testing.
"Most of the current lines are
not suitable for current applica-
tions because they are used from
animals," he said.
The lines extracted from ani-
mals are contaminated with patho-
gens that can cause damage if they
are inserted into humans.
To solve this problem, Reubinoff
developed a laser system to create
new lines using "human feeders,"
which allows researchers to avoid
* having to employ animal products.
Reubinoff talked about apply-
ing stem cell therapy to cure mul-
tiple sclerosis - the leading cause
of neurological disability in young
adults - and age-related macular
degeneration - the leading cause
of blindness in the Western world.
"The idea is to use human
embryonic stem cells as a renew-
able source of pigmented cells
to replenish the malfunctioning
and dying pigmented cells," Reu-
binoff said about curing macular
From Page 1A
these crummy classrooms with bet-
ter classrooms."

E-mail graca@
for more info.

from an authoritarian government
into a democratic country, and the
experience, he said, would aid him
greatly as GOP chair.
"I do know how to manage
change," he said, referring to Slo-
vakia's transfo'rmation under his
watch. "And that's one of the things
that I think is going to be impor-
tant for our party and the state."
Weiser has been a big donor of
both money and energy to Republi-
can causes at the state and national
levels. He got started in politics
working for former Republican Gov.
John Engler in his first bid for the
governorship. In the 2008 presiden-
tial campaign, he served as anation-
al co-chairman for GOP presidential
candidate John McCain.
Weiser and his wife, Eileen,
who is also a University graduate,
have been major donors to their
alma mater. Last year, a $10 mil-
lion gift to the University's Inter-
national Institute established the
Ronald and Eileen Weiser Center
for Europe and Eurasia, which
encourages students to learn about
and engage with countries in the
Brady Smith, chair of the Uni-
versity's chapter of College Repub-
licans, said he's excited for Weiser
to take over the state party.
"I'm expecting something new
from him - a new direction for the
party," he said. "I think he brings a
lot of energy, aslot of skills and a lot
of qualifications to the table."
Smith said that to get the party
winning elections again, Weiser
Before becoming a top stem cell
researcher, Reubinoff served as
a lieutenant in the Israel Defense
Forces. He graduated from Hebrew
University with a master's degree
in 1989. Interested in developmen-
tal biology, he took a one-year sab-
batical at Monash University in
Australia. There, he discovered
his passion for stem cell research,
and his one-year sabbatical soon
turned into a Ph.D.
Today, Reubinoff is director of
the Human Embryonic Research
Center at the Hadassah Univer-
sity Medical Center in Jerusa-
lem. He has received numerous
awards for his work on human
embryonic stem cells and fertil-
ity research.
In his own research, Reubinoff
said he has found a way to expand
the number of pigmented cells -
which protect a person's retina
from damage by light and excess
oxidation - in a culture.
"This is very important if we
think we will need to develop a
large number of cells for cell ther-
apy," he said.
So far, Reubinoff has only tested
his research on laboratory rats.
One concerned audience member
questioned whether it's safe to
compare test results in rats with
possible results in humans.
"I agree that these animal mod-
els have limitations, and they are
not really an authentic model, but
they are the best models and most

has to focus on getting younger
Republicans involved in the cause.
"We need to re-energize the
youth and make the message, once
again, appealing to the youth," he
Jesse Bernstein, the president
of the Ann Arbor Area Chamber
of Commerce, said that in order
to restart the Michigan economy,
Weiser must not make the state's
struggles a partisan issue.
"What we need in this state is a
modernization of government and
a putting away of ideologies and
unnecessary fighting," Bernstein
said. "We need solutions."
Bernstein, who said he doesn't
personally know Weiser very
well but has worked closely with
McKinley Inc. over the years, said
that while he understands that
Weiser must represent and build
the party, what the state really
needs is "rational thinking, from
both political parties."
Weiser said that as he takes over
the reigns of the GOP, he is ready to
turn around a party in flux, trying
to rediscover its identity and win
elections at the same time.
But he also warns Democrats
who are ready to rest on their
recent victories of a resurgent
Republican constituency when
Michigan residents pick their 48th
governor next year.
"That's why I'm doing this," he
said, when asked about the party's
chances of conquering the state's
governorship in 2010. "I absolutely
believe that can happen."
used ones," Reubinoff said. "We
can't know if therapeutic effects
obtained in these models will hap-
pen in humans as well."
Reubinoff added there is a heavy
load of experimental work that
needs to be done withlarger animals
before making any conclusions.
Coleman - a strong supporter
of Michigan's recently passed
constitutional amendment to
loosen restrictions on embryonic
stem cell testing in Michigan -
engaged in the discussion and
asked Reubinoff about his future
"Our aim is to approach the
(U.S. Food and Drug Administra-
tion) here and obtain approval, and
to approach the bodies in Israel
under the Ministry of Health," he
Reubinoff said health adminis-
trations in Israel tend to rely on the
decisions made by the FDA to deter-
mine what clinical trials to approve.
After the lecture, Alfred Taub-
man, founder and chair of the A.
Alfred Taubman Medical Research
Institute, presented Reubinoff
with a plaque to commemorate his
Taubman joked with the audi-
ence about coming from Israel
despite the treacherous snow and
thanked Reubinoff for traveling
halfway across the world to come
speak at the University.
"It makes it abundantly clear
how critical stem cell research is
for science," he said.

From Page 1A
The decision to drop the lawsuits
comes on the heels of the RIAA's
announcement in December,
which said that the body is employ-
ing a new strategy to deter illegal
file-sharing. Instead of suing indi-
viduals, the RIAA said they would
partner with Internet service pro-
From Page 1A
with Services for Students with
Disabilities will be able to check
them out from the library, which
means that even though the
books are digital, they will only
be available to one person at a
"Once the book is checked out
to their account, they get an auto-
mated e-mail with a URL to a spe-
cial interface with the text only,"
said Suzanne Chapman, an inter-
face and user testing specialist for
Hathi Trust Digital Library. "Once
they return the book, they lose
The text-onlyversionofthe book
can be read out loud to a student by
screen reader software installed on
the student's computer or a digital
Braille device, typically a bar on a
computer that uses small pins to
scroll Braille text under the stu-
dent's fingertips.
The Americans with Disabilities
Act of 1990 requires the University
Library to digitize specific books
requested by students, necessitat-
ing a level of advanced planning
and a lead time that John Wilkin,
director of the Hathi Trust Digi-

viders to slow or stop the Internet
access of individuals who infringe
on copyright laws through illegal
LSA sophomore Erin Breisa-
cher said she stopped download-
ing music illegally after hearing
about the possibility of receiving
a lawsuit, but now that the RIAA
has stopped pursuing lawsuits she
"might start downloading again."
"I think it is going to be a big,
tal Library, described as a "deter-
"When somebody's doing
research, the problems, the chal-
lenges of getting this stuff into a
format they can use it in are so sig-
nificant that they have to be very
careful and selective about what
things they want to have in that
form," Wilkin said. "There is no.
sense of exploration through the
entire library."
Bernard said the University is
committed to going further than
what is required by law, and he
described the new technology as
being "game-changing for people
who require works in digital for-
Chapman said that because the
technology is relatively new, it is
taking some time to become widely
accepted, though people are start-
ing to take advantage of it.
"I think we're still trying to
get the word out that this service
exists because the users need to
sign up for it," she said.
The current print digitization
software doesn't have an accom-
modation for describing photo-
graphs or other pictures in a text,
but Bernard said that's an improve-
ment that may come in the future.
"Over time those things will be

Thursday, January 29, 2009 - 5A
deal," LSA junior Amber Clark
said. "A lot of people are going to
download more, especially college
LSA senior Chad Nihranz,
said he thinks more peer-to-peer
downloading sites will come out as
a result of the dropped lawsuits.
"I figure, if there aren't as many
lawsuits they will come out with
more software to allow students to
download more," he said.
added," Bernard said. "We actu-
ally expect that with the birth
of this mass digitization project,
other people won't have to digi-
tize, so they can put their efforts
into making those things that are
not currently accessible, acces-
sible. We're expecting to see lots of
programs develop and grow along
these lines."
Even before its partnership
with the Google Book Project,
increased accessibility has long
been a goal of the University
Library. And the fact that it is
currently being implemented is
something that Bernard describes
as "very exciting."
Right now, the new technol-
ogy is being made available, to
University students and other
universities that are members of
the Committee on Institutional
Cooperation, a group made up of
all Big Ten schools and the Univer-
sity of Chicago that supports each
school's research opportunities
and advances.
Wilkin said other aims of this
project are to keep libraries con-
nected and protect the items in the
library's collection.
"We remain committed to the
long-term preservation of this con-
tent," Wilkin said.

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