The Michigan Daily-Friday, August 14, 1981-Page 3
ready to aid
By JENNIFER MILLER
Daily staff writer
Where's the housing office? How do I get football
tickets? What movies are playing tonight? Where can
you find answers to questions like these?
The Campus Information Center in the Michigan
Union opened recently to provide answers to
questions about life at the University.
IF THE CIC staff can't answer a question them-
selves, they will direct you to the right place on cam-
pus. According to manager Art Lerner, this is the
basic function of the CIC-to serve as a central
"We try to fill in the gaps of getting people to the
right place," Lerner said. Although there are plenty
of information services within the University, the CIC
does not overlap these services, he said, because
students usually don't know where to go to find the in-
formation they need.
QUESTIONS RANGE from the trivial to the
strange, Lerner said. The CIC gets queries like,
"Where's Detroit Street?" or "Itw do I get an LSA
Bulletin?" It even receives crank calls.
The CIC is still in the process of getting organized
and ready for the fall. Based on logs kept of questions
asked, "we're still trying to assess what we should be
knowing," Lerner said.
A 24-hour tape system is planned for use this fall, to
provide schedules of films, performances, and sports
events, Lerner said.
IN ADDITION, "we're using a micro-computer
right now," he said; adding that he hoped funds would
allow the CIC to obtain a larger computer in the
future to store information.
Lerner also said that racks near the CIC desk to
hold publications, film schedules, and flyers are
CIC Director Don Perigo said the center will use
students as much as possible to staff the desk. Lerner
said 13 students are currently on the staff and
probably from 15 toa20 students will be working in the
The CIC desk on the first floor of the Union (where
the Union store used to be) is open from 10 a.m. to 7
p.m. The phone number to find those needed answers
Frontier probed by 'U' geneticists
by two new
By JOHN ADAM
Daily research reporter
A new kind of anatomy is in the
making. While doctors have
traditionally probed and studied the
liver, heart, and lungs, today's scien-
tists are searching at the molecular
level. And they are now at the same
point as gross anatomy was many
years ago-they know very little about
some parts of the body, parts known as
However, due to several recent in-
novations, that situation soon may
change. Here in Ann Arbor, the Univer-,
sity promises to be at the forefront in
applying the newly developed
technology to the protein frontier. Dr.
James Neel-a Lee Dice professor of
human genetics-and his collegues are
now involved in "mapping out" hun-
dreds of proteins in their study of
THE RESEARCH, according to Neel,
will be useful for evaluating genetic
risks to humans from environmental
agents such as radiation and various
In addition, because somatic (body
cell) mutation is thought to contribute
to cancer, immune response, and
aging, among other things, this study
may have far-reaching implications.
Eventually, Neel said he plans to ex-
pand this four-year study into a full
scale monitoring program. "It was a
natural when I saw these developments
that we try to bring on line a better
technology for getting at the question of
monitoring human populations," he ex-
THE SPECIAL project, which is
devided into three parts, is funded by
the National Cancer Institute and in-
volves the work of researchers both
here and at Michigan State University.
It is a good indication of how new and
unbroken this frontier is that there
already seem to be different branches
sprouting from the Neel project. "We
have clear objectives," the scientist
explained. "But the joy of research is
that it always leads to unexpected fin-
DailIy PtfoTby 'KIM IV~
UNIVERSITY Ph.D. candidate Michael Skolnick sits in front of a computer terminal at the Environmental Research
Institute of Michigan. Inserted behind him is a section of the 2-D gel displayed on a video screen. The software places
crosses, dots, and Xs on the various protein spots to determine whether a mutation may have taken place.
The lack of knowledge about proteins.
may seem surprising in this age of
astonishing advances in science and
medicine because proteins play such a
major role in body chemistry. Proteins
are the most plentiful components of
the living cell.
IT IS ESTIMATED that about 50,000
different kinds of proteins are in the
human body, though guesses have
varied substantially. Scientists now
know a little bit about some 500
proteins, said Neel, only one percent of
the total number.
Last year, Neel spoke at an "in-
vitation only" conference sponsored by
the Fund for Integrative Biomedical
Research. He, along with a handful of
other scientists from across the nation,
spoke about the establishment of a
"Human Protein Index" which is now
possible because of two developments:
computerized image analysis and two-
dimensional electrophoretic gels.
The 2-D gel technique is based on a
rather simple principle, explained
Neel. Proteins are large molecules with
electric changes and when placed in an
electric field, they will move.
trophoresis is quite common and has
proven a powerful scientific tool. Arne
Tiselius, the Swedish chemist who
developed the technique, earned a
Nobel prize for his efforts in 1948. But
the recently developed 2-D technique
took his liner approach a step further.
Down on the second floor of the
Medical Science II Building Drs. Sam
Hanash and Barnett Rosenblum of the
Human Genetics and Pediatrics depar-
tments are working to perfect the out-
put of 2-D gels in what Rosenblum
describes asa "tune-up period."
The first step in the process lines up
the protein molecules on a single strand
noodle-like gel according to their elec-
trical charge. The second step takes
this linear "noodle," again using an
electric field, and spreads out the
proteins it contains in a second dimen-
sion in which the conglomeration of
molecules is separated by weight.
THUS, INSTEAD of looking at
proteins one at a time (as with the 1-D
See FRONTIER, Page 6