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November 02, 2009 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 2009-11-02

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Monday, November 2, 2009 - 3A


U' researchers unearth

Michigan St mulls booia lc idn
600n staff cuts bilgcld kfn ig

Michigan State University expects to
eliminate nearly 600 positions over
two years and may close two depart-
ments and as many as 30 academic
programs in budget cuts.
The university's Board of Trustees
reviewed the proposed cuts at its Fri-
day meeting.
The administration has proposed
closing the Geological Sciences and
the CommunicativeSciences andDis-
orders departments. It also may close
as many as 30 majors, specializations
and other academic programs.
Those cuts must later be approved
by the board. Students enrolled
in eliminated programs would be
allowed to complete their studies.
The university says nearly 600
positions likely will be affected by
cuts in the next two years, with 19
percent coming from layoffs.
Obama says NJgov.
iskeyto his own
In a finalcampaignswingon behalf
of the only governor seeking re-elec-
tion this fall, President Barack Obama
on Sunday pitched Democratic Gov.
Jon Corzine's bid as a key component
forthe White Houseto make good on
its political promises.
"He's one of the best partners I
have in the White House. We work
together,"Obamasaid. "Weknowour
work is far from over."
Obama drew 6,500 people at a rally
in Camden and another 11,000 later
in Newark, according to White House
estimates. He urged supporters to
work hard to give Corzine another
term in office so he can work with
Washington to help repair a brittle
economy. A Corzine loss would be
seen as a political embarrassment for
the White House.
Obama tagged Republican lead-
ership and lax regulations for the
economic crisis and dismissed GOP
candidate Chris Christie's criticism of
Corzine. Their race is seen as a tossup,
and a Monmouth University/Gan-
nett New Jersey Poll released Sunday
found Christie backed by 43 percent
oflikely voters and Corzine by 42 per-
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico
'Guantanamo Bay
prisoners to receive
American civilians
Terrorism suspects held at the
Guantanamo Bay naval base will soon
pget swine flu vaccines, despite tom-
plaints that American civilians should
have priority, a military spokesman
said yesterday.
Army Maj. James Crabtree, a
spokesman for the U.S. jail facility in
southeast Cuba, said the doses should
start arriving this month, with guards
and then inmates scheduled for inoc-
He acknowledged there may be
an "emotional response" from critics
who argue that terror suspects should
not be allocated swine-flu medica-
tions while members of the U.S. pub-
lic are still waiting due to a vaccine
But he said U.S. military officials

are "responsible for the health and
care of the detainee population."
SYDNEY, Australia
Boat sinks off
Australian coast,
17 survivors saved
An urgent search and rescue mis-
sion was under way Monday for about
;two dozen people missing after their
'bat sank in open seas far off Austra-
Merchant vessels that responded
to a distress call managed to pluck 17
srvivors from the Indian Ocean late
fISmday and were searching for oth-
4s, Australia's Home Affairs Minis-
r Brendan O'Connor said.
*About 40 people were believed to
9 aboard the boat when it went down
igar the Cocos Islands, sparsely pop-
elated atolls about 1,500 miles (2,400
'ilometers) northwest of the Austra-
lian coast and about 800 miles (1,300
* Vlometers) south of Indonesia.
O'Connor said it was too early to
day whether those on board were asy-
m seekers trying to reach Australia,
gh aspects of the emergency -
ch as an unseaworthy boat carrying
many people in waters sometimes
ed by humantraffickers - signaled
Smnay be the case.
-Compiled from
Daily wire reports

Finding could have "We took a lot of the data about
what the signal was, and parts of
serious implications in the signal and tried to put it all
together to find what the daily
dealing'with circadian code for timekeeping was," Forg-
rhythm disorders er said. "(Our findings) were not
only counterintuitive but hardly
By BETHANY BIRON According to Forger, the previ-
Daily StaffReporter ously accepted model for circa-
dian rhythms held that neurons
A team of University research- communicated with each other
ers, in collaboration with British by sending short electrical puls-
scientists, recently unearthed es from the SNC and that these
a new finding about the human pulses were sent at a higher rate
biological clock that could have during the day and a slower rate
serious repercussions for how at night.
people combat jet lag, insomnia After studying the neurons,
and other circadian rhythm dis- however, Forger and Diekman
orders. found something different.
The biological clock is respon- "We found that these pulses
sible for regulating circadian were only being sent out at dawn
rhythms, or "24-hour oscillations and at dusk," Forger said. "At the
of all kinds of biological process- middle of the day the cell would
es," said Casey Diekman, a gradu- go to this very excited state
ate student at the University and so that it wouldn't give off the
collaborator on the study. impulses."
"These rhythms are present Forger and Diekman, however,
in all kinds of organisms, plants, soon came across an opportunity
animals and of course humans. for collaboration that would lead
The most obvious one is the to a better understanding of their
sleep/wake cycle and this rhythm discoveries about the biological
is controlled by a clock within the clock.
body." After attending a conference
The human biological clock is for the Society for Research on
located in a region in the central Biological Rhythms in May 2008,
brain - called the suprachiasmat- Diekman attended a post-con-
ic nuclei, or SCN - and up until ference party where he met Dr.
now researchers had thought the Hugh Piggins, a British scientist
rate at which SCN cells emit elec- also studying biological clock
trical pulses is what controls the processes.
time-keeping mechanism in the When Diekman discussed his
body. findings with the British scien-
But the team of researchers tist, Piggins said he had a way to
found that that model is, quite test these theories and an inter-
simply, wrong. national research collaboration
The University research team was born.
was led by Daniel Forger, associ- According to Forger, Piggins
ate professor of mathematics and claimed he "could identify the
research assistant professor of cells in this region that did have a
the University's Center for Com- clock in them and that those cells
putational Medicine and Bioin- did seem to behave very differ-
formatics. ently."
Together, Forger and Diekman "Almost immediately I decided
used mathematical models to dis- one of us had to go to England to
cover properties of the signals sent visit these guys," Forger said. "I
from the brain to the body to regu- handed the keys of my (Toyota)
late time and circadian rhythms. Prius to Casey to take across the

Canadian border to Toronto to
get a flight and go to Manchester,
England, and thus began the col-
Diekmansaid that the research
revealed some of the most impor-
tant mechanisms of the internal
"Now we know that during the
day, certain cells that are actually
responsible for the clock mecha-
nism are in a silent state, where
as previously we thought they
were firing really fast," Diekman
"And so this is going to change
how people are going to need
to design experiments and how
people are going to have to think
about treating circadian rhythm
disorders," he said.
Piggins' colleague, Dr. Mino
Belle, who was also part of the
team, recorded information from
400 cells at all times of the day
during the research process.
Belle said the study holds
major significance in the study of
sleep cycles.
"It gives us an angle to under-
stand how the body clock - the
master clock - works," he said.
Belle also said that with this
new information, researchers
will be able to better tackle prob-
lems associated with sleep disor-
ders in the future.
"The molecules that keep time
now give us sort of a window
into ways of understanding the
clock better," he said, "and in
the future to be able to manipu-
late these cells in real organisms
including ourselves, to combat all
the disease-related aspects of the
Ultimately, their discoveries
could lead to vast improvements
in the medical world in fighting
disorders directly related to the
biological clock which includes
anything from such as jetlag and
obesity to depression and mood
"I think it's goingto change the
way a lot of people think about
how the clock sends signals to the
rest of the body," Diekman said.

Mourners tather for the funeral at imminLsman Ameen Abdullah at the Muslim
Centet Masque it Dettoit Satutday.
lea'der's funeral
draws hundreds

FBI: Abdullah fatally
shot after firing at
agents, resisting arrest
DETROIT (AP) - Hundreds
of people offered hushed prayers
Saturday at the funeral for a slain
Detroit mosque leader while
authorities across the border
in Canada made the final two
arrests in a criminal case that is
stirring some anger in the Mus-
lim community.
Luqman Ameen Abdullah was
remembered as a caring man who
followed the tenets of his Islam
faith as an imam, or prayer leader,
of a small mosque north of down-
town. Fellow imams said.he was
generous and a good brother, and
no one mentioned the FBI's claim
that he had a violent, anti-govern-
ment ideology.
The FBI says Abdullah, 53, was
fatally shot inside a suburban
warehouse Wednesday after fir-
ing at agents and resisting arrest.
Agents wanted him on charges of
weapons violations and conspiracy
to sell stolen goods, one of 11 people

named in a criminal complaint.
"We ask Allah to reward him
with the promised reward of those
who are martyred," Imam Talib
Abdur-Rashid of New York told
mourners at the Muslim Center in
As is custom, men sat on the
floor, shoulder to shoulder, during
the service, with women watch-
ing and listening in the rear of the
large room. Prayers were given
in Arabic and English during the
30-minute service.
Some speakers demanded an
independent investigation of
Abdullah's death, saying the fatal
shooting seemed excessive.
Imam Abdullah El-Amin asked
people to decline to speak to
reporters and avoid news cameras
No terrorism charges have
been filed against Abdullah,
formerly known as Christopher
Thomas, or the 10 others accused
in the complaint. According to
the FBI, Abdullah was a leader
of a national radical Sunni group
that wants to create an Islamic
state within the U.S. Most mem-
bers are black.

Send an e-mail to
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Maurice ande hilda sFriedman Professor of Law
Columbia University School of Law
Monday, November 9, 2009
40 p
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An inter isciplinary rna r a the
Still undecided about a major? Starting to think about what
to take in the winter term? You are invited to attend:
Introduction to Informatics
Wednesday, November 4
6:00-7:00 PM
Undergraduate Science Building (USB), Room 1250
Learn about Informatics and the four tracks of study:
Computational Informatics
Data Mining & Information Analysis
Life Science Informatics
Social Computing
RSVPs to informatics@umich.edu helpful but not required.

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