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June 23, 1959 - Image 10

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1959-06-23

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Cold Harder To Fight Than Polio

"About the only way to
from catching a cold is to
warm, dry and well fed,"
Ward asserts. "If possible,
away from people who
Pace Quickening


Biochemists, physiologists, vir-
ologists and other scientists are
quickening the pace of their re-
search, the report declares. They
are trying to develop vaccines for
'UT' Appoints
Center Head
Revision of a Regents' Bylaw to
establish a Computing Center at
the University and the appoint-
ment of Prof. Robert C. F. Bartels
of the mathematics department
as the director, effective July 1,
1959, were approved by the Re-
gents June 12.
The Computing Center will be
maintained as a research and
service activity of the graduate
school. It will provide consultation
and computing service for teach-
ing and research units of the Uni-
versity and for members of the
faculty and students who are in
need of such service for their re-
search activities.
Other services will include the
provision of facilities for research
in scientific computing and data
processing and the providing of
opportunities for students to have
experience in these fields.
Will Correlate Efforts
The center also will correlate
the interest and efforts of mem-
bers of the faculty engaged in in-
struction and research in com-
puting and - data processing.
The center will be located in
the North University Building,
formerly the Plant Department
Building, on North University at
Forest Avenue. It is planned to
install an IBM 704 digital com-
puter in the new center. The Sta-
tistical Research Laboratory will
continue to function in the Rack-
ham Building under the direction
of Prof. Cecil C. Craig of the
mathematics department.
Prof. Bartels has been on the
faculty since 1939 except for the
period from 1942 to 1945 when he
served as an aeronautical engi-
neer in the Navy Department. He
was promoted from instructor to
assistant professor when he re-
turned to the University from the
Navy in 1945.
Has Three Degrees
Promotions to associate profes-
sor in 1950 and to professor in
1957 followed. He has three de-
grees from the University of Wis-
consin, including the Doctor of
Philosophy received in 1938.
The Regents also approved a
six-member Executive Committee
for the Computing Center. Ap-
pointed for one-year terms end-
ing June 30, 1960 were Prof. Ar-
thur W. Burks of the philosophy
department and Prof. George E.
Hay, chairman of the mathe-
matics department.
Prof. Wallace W. Gardner of
the economics department and
Prof. Norman R. Scott of the en-
gineering college were named to
two-year terms. James E. Lesch
of the University Research Insti-
tute and Prof. Stuart W. Church-
ill of the engineering college were
appointed to three-year terms.

the common cold to relieve al-c
most universal discomfort, to re-1
duce industry's number one ab-
sentee problem, and to meet a
multi-million dollar p o t e n t i a 1
What-have these scientists
found? How effective will the vac-
cines be? When will they be avail-7
able? Why is the problem so diffi-
cult? These are some of the ques-
tions the American Chemical So-
ciety weekly asked these scien-
tists, and here are some answers:
The common cold, which can be
defined as "a disorder in which a
person has a runny nose two days
in succession but little or no
fever," has been found to be an
extremely complex, ever changing
problem. Colds are caused by
dozens of different strains of vi-
ruses and, apparently, by many
viruses not yet isolated. These
viruses are capable of mutating,
or changing, which makes the job
of finding and fighting them very
Furthermore, many "rip-roar-
ing colds" are simply the first
stages of mumps, pneumonia,.
chicken pox or polio, which the
sufferer has the resistance to fight
off after this initial stage. Cold
symptoms also may result from
bacterial infections or allergies.
Some Pessimistic
One researcher thinks a vac-
cine that will prevent 60 to 70 per
cent of all common colds will be
available within two years. Some,
much less optimistic, talk in terms
of 10 to 15 years. The polio vac-
cine, which is considered highly
successful, is about 80 per cent
effective, but it contains only
three inactivate viruses and deals
with a much simpler problem.
Some scientists are convinced
that no cold vaccine used on a
national scale will be more than
about 40 or 50 per cent effective,
which brings up the interesting
question whether the public will
buy them.
A person may have five colds in
a single season, exactly the same
in symptoms, but each caused by
a different organism. It is possible
that, in a given area in a given
season, only a few viruses are the
cause of the cold problem. This
may even be true nationwide. On
the other hand, some observers
doubt whether any one virus
causes more than about 10 per
cent of the nation's colds in any
one year.
Production Problems
The manufacturer of a success-
ful cold vaccine, the report says,
will have to put into his product
the antigens of the most import-
ant causes of respiratory diseases,
and as many of them as possible.
His formula may have to be
changed from time to time as the
importance of individual viruses
changes and as new viruses are
Scientists working for the vac-
cine manufacturer have the basic
job of isolating the pure virus
strain, producing it in 1 a r g e
enough quantity, inactivating it,
and putting it into a safe vaccine.
One of the practical limitations
is the number of antigens that
can be purified and squeezed into
a single hypodermic shot. One 15-
antigen shot has already been de-
veloped. Twenty antigens in a
single shot would constitute "a
heroic effort," but they might also
begin to interfere with one an-
One manufacturer believes that,
after the safety and potential
Ivalueof a cold vaccine have been

determined, it may be necessary
to test it on 10 million people be-
fore its real effectiveness can be
"In the expanding quest for an
effective cold vaccine, chemists
are continuing to play a key role,"
says "Chemical and Engineering
News." "They are helping to de-
velope culture media for the
growing of viruses, helping to de-
velop improved ways of purifying
and inactivating viruses, working
on new adjuvants to increase the
potency of virus antigens. They
are also deeply involved in the
problems of analytical control."
Regents Pass
League Funds
The Regents approved a project
budget of $883,000 for remodeling
of the League, and awarded the
contract to A. Z. Shmina & Sons
of Dearborn at their meeting
June 12.
The remodeling,, to be paid for
from League funds, involves ex-
tensive changes in the kitchen fa-
cilities, excavation of the area un-
der the north end of the building
and construction of additional of-
fices and other facilities.


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