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March 10, 2009 - Image 1

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The Michigan Daily, 2009-03-10

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Ann Arbor, Michigan

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

michigandaily.com

EMBRYONIC STEM CELL RESEARCH
Obamalifts
stem cell
restrictions

CHRIS DZOMBAK/Daily
English Prof. Ralph Williams was beaming and teary-eyed after learning he had been awarded the first-ever Lifetime Achievement Golden Apple Award last night in Angell Hall.
A Lifetime of Achievement

University scientists
say change in policy
will boost research
and funding
By STEPHANIE STEINBERG
Daily StaffReporter
Ending an almost decade-long
battle between the scientific com-
munity and the White House, Pres-
ident Barack Obama announced
yesterday that he would lift feder-
al restrictions on embryonic stem
cell research, much to delight of
University researchers and Michi-
gan politicians alike.
The announcement reversed
a 2007 executive order and 2001
presidential statement from
then-President Bush that limited
research opportunities and fund-
ing for. scientists working with
embryonic stem cells.
At the White House yesterday,
Obama promised that the science
policy put forth by his adminis-
tration' would not be "distorted
or concealed to serve a political
agenda" and would restore "sci-
entific integrity to government
decision-making."
"Promoting science isn't just
about providing resources, it is
also about protecting free and
open inquiry," Obama said.
For Sean Morrison, the director
of the University's Center for Stem
Cell Biology, and other University
researchers, yesterday symbolized
the end of a nearly eight-year battle
to get the federal ban overturned.
"This is a great day for America,
and a great day for science, and'

a great day for the University of
Michigan," Morrison said.
He said Obama's decision to
repeal then-President Bush's
restrictions will have anenormous
impact on science and medicine.
"He made the point that in his
administration, there will be an
open and honest discussion of the
science underlining their deci-
sions, and that science policy will
be based on science and not based
on ideology," he said.
Congressman John D. Ding-
ell (D-Dearborn), whose district
includes part of Ann Arbor, wrote
in a press release that Obama's
decision can only spur positive
results, especially for the Univer-
sity community.
"Our scientists at the Univer-
sity of Michigan are on the cusp
of remarkable breakthroughs in
the area of stem cell research,"
he wrote. "Much of this research
has been done despite incredible
restrictions at both the state and
local levels hampering their work
for many years."
He said that with last Novem-
ber's passage of Proposal 2; which
loosened restrictions on embryon-
ic stem cell research in the state,
Michigan voters started a process
that took the "handcuffs off" stem
cell researchers.
"Today's executive order will
hopefully pave the way for addi-
tional federal resources to-support
the important work already being
done in Michigan," he said.
LSA senior Landon Krantz,
president of the University's chap-
ter of the Student Society for Stem
Cell Research, said he felt relieved
after the announcement yesterday
See STEM CELLS, Page 7

Prof. Ralph Williams
awarded University's
first-ever Lifetime
Golden Apple award
By VALIANT LOWITZ
For theDaily
During a routine lecture yester-
day, students witnessed history as
English Prof. Ralph Williams was
honored with the first-ever Life-
time Achievement Golden Apple
Award.
Williams' course, English 313:
On Human Bonding, was inter-
rupted last night as members of the
organization Students Honoring

Outstanding University Teaching
filed down the Angell Hall lecture
hall stairs with balloons and flow-
ers in hand.
The Golden Apple Award hon-
ors outstanding teachers, and
variations of it exist across the
country. The University's annual
tribute was created by SHOUT
in order to single out University
professors who "strive not only
to disseminate knowledge but to
inspire and engage students in its
pursuit."
Williams, who was unaware
of the award, was beaming and
teary-eyed following the sur-
prise.
"There are seldom times when
I am speechless," Williams said.
"However, this is one of those

moments."
After receiving the award, Wil-
liams spoke about the importance
of work ethic and told a story of a
childhood conversation with his
parents.
"You best be useful in life,"
Williams said he learned from
his parents. "Because you are
certainly no ornament. I looked
in the mirror and thought, 'God,
they're right.'"
In 1992, Williams received the
annual Golden Apple Award. The
award he received last night was
the first to honor an entire career of
exemplary teaching.
Williams began his career at
the University of Michigan in
1970, and quickly became a well-
known figure on campus. Dur-

ing his nearly thirty years at the
University, he has been chair of
the University English program,
director of the Honors program
in English and head of the Great
Books program.
Williams is a favorite among stu-
dents and known for making every
effort to know students on a per-
sonal level.
His theatrical lectures and pas-
sion for his course material have
been cause for packed lecture halls
for years, -with students and par-
ents of students seeking to catch a
glimpse of Williams' unique teach-
ing style.
Students turned in nominations
for professors through the Golden
Apple website.
See WILLIAMS, Page 7

ANN ARBOR CITY COUNCIL
City Council builds
local support for

U' researchers
find pancreatic

Iraq Water Project cancer gene

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Sept. 11
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of the
much-n

anization sends ibility to the project.
"To be able to say the city of
ter purification Ann Arbor's government is behind
the project can get it attentionthat
stems to Iraqis it wouldn't have otherwise," Rus-
sello said.
By LARA ZADE Councilmember Tony Derezin-
Daily StaffReporter ski (D-Ward 2), the cosponsor of
-- . the resolution, said he wasn't sur-
port for the Iraq Water prised that all of his fellow council
, a national effort to save members supported the endorse-
Iraq by improving drink- ment.
ter, has made its way to Ann "I just think we unanimously
saw the value of it," he said. "The
is spearheaded locally by project sells itself and it meets a
an Peaceworks, a nonprofit human need."
nation that protests the way And as a Vietnam War veteran
orge W. Bush administra- and a member of numerous war
ndled the aftermath of the veteran organizations himself,
1, 2001 terrorist attacks. Derezinski said the IWP stood out
Ann Arbor City Council to him among other projects that
unanimously to endorse City Council has supported in the
ject at last week's meeting, past because it is a collaboration
officially provides the city's between a veteran program and
t for the project. an organization for peace.
-a 'Russello, the executive "I'm so glad that now people
r of Michigan Peaceworks, respect the returning war veter-
e believes the endorsement ans and that they can work with
IWP by City Council adds them on projects of mutual con-
needed credibility and vis- See CITY COUNCIL, Page 7

Discovery could lead
to future treatments
for a cancer that will
kill 34,000 this year
By TREVOR CALERO
Daily News Editor
Over 90 percent of people diag-
nosed with pancreatic cancer die
from it, according to the American

0--, C-niot-

cancer society. nut top research
scientists at the University's Com-
prehensive Cancer Center have just
identified a gene overexpressed in
90 percent of pancreatic cancers,
and the discovery will enable them
to develop more effective therapies
to treat the disease.
When comparing pancreatic can-
cer cellsto those in a healthy pancre-
as, expression of a gene called ATDC
is on average 20 times higher in the
cancerous cells. The gene is also
believed to make pancreatic cancer

KRISTA BOYD/Daily
Diane Simeone, director of the Multidisciplinary Pancreatic Cancer Clinic, was one of
the researchers involved in discovering a gene that is linked to pancreatic cancer.
cells resistant to current therapies. and be more aggressive, but it also
"We found that ATDC not only makes the cancer cells particular-
causes cancer cells to grow faster See CANCER, Page 7

COMMUNITY SERVICE
Former University athlete creates program for kids

By ANNIE THOMAS
For the Daily
As a former Michigan baseball
player, Jeff Diamond knows the
value of good sportsmanship. That's
why he created Good Sports, an
organization designed to get inner-
city kids involved in athletics.
The aim of the group is to bring
kids from inner-city Detroit to the

University to watch varsity sports;
and participate in after-school
sports activities.Diamond is hoping
to have University students donate
one dollar each to participate in
intramural sports and would use
the money to fund the activities.
A sophomore in the School of
Kinesiology, Diamond said he
wanted to create something that
he could get excited about and that

other students would be interested
in as well.
"I really wanted to get into com-
munity service," Diamond said. "I
hadn't really done anything fresh-
man year and I wanted to create
something that I could relate to,
since I played sports my whole
life."
Diamond said he decided to try
something new after leaving the

Michigan baseball team earlier this
school year. After walking on to the
team as a freshman, Diamond left
the team at the end of his first sea-
son in order to focus more time on
being a student.
He was inspired to play a more
active role in the community by his
brother Mike Diamond. While a
student, Diamond's brother helped
See PROGRAM, Page 7

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INDEX NEVWS.. .............................. 2 ARTS.................S.................. 5
Vol. CXX,No.105 SUDOKU...............................3 CLASSIFIEDS......................6
©2@009TheMichiganDaily OPINION ...........................4 SPORTS................................8
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