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October 20, 1995 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 1995-10-20

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JOP candidates
ssess Powell bid

The Michigan Daily - Friday, October 20, 1995 - 7
Experiment in
igenetherapy
bailed as success

SHINGTON (AP) - To Pat
anan it would be a "godsend," to
Dole another headache. As they
for Colin Powell to decide whether
ill run for president, the declared
blican candidates can't wait to re-
s their strategies.
I virtually a daily basis, Powell
factors into the GOP campaign
e: The candidates and their allies
td blunt his chances and more
al-observers assess how a Powell
idacy would change the race.
tt yesterday, Buchanan said it
d be unthinkable for the Republi-
arty to turn to Powell, given his
ort of abortion rights, gun control,
native action and "New Deal and
t Society programs.".
here really is no argument for the
nation of General Powell other
the fact he is running high in the
Buchanan said in an interview.
the other Republican campaigns,
creaction to Powell has been more
d. Candidates discuss him only
asked.
xas Sen. Phil Gramm, forexample,
Powell's views seem to make him
tter fit in the Democratic Party.
ner Tennessee Gov. Lamar
ander labels Powell "too liberal to
omnated" by the GOP.
ile;the GOP front-runner, predicts
ell 'would find his popularity hard
aintain if he became a candidate
was forced to spell out his views in

more detail.
Buchanan predicted his supporters
would not waver."I think the entrance
of Colin Powell into the race would be
a godsend," he said.
Powell promises to make a decision
by Thanksgiving.
At a book-signing yesterday in
Duluth, Ga., he told reporters that when
the tour is over, "I then go into seclu-
sion for a couple of weeks with my
family and advisers and then will come
to a conclusion and announce it in due
course, some time in November."
Earlier in the week, Powell said he
would have to be "brain dead"not to be
moved by the support he has received
during his book tour. Buthe also said he
realizes "your enemies don't come out
to buy a book and have you sign it."
Powell added that his "popularity
rating does not really compare to the
political ratings" of President Clinton,
Dole and others engaged in daily de-
bate. "I don't confuse the two,"he said,
adding that some ofthose urging him to
run might miss the distinction.
But every sign that Powell might not
run is matched by one suggesting he
wants to.
On Wednesday,he poked fun at those
in the Republican field who suggest he
could not win. "The answer I give to
them is, well, find your revolutionary
who gets more than 8 or 9 percent ofthe
vote and let me know when you get it,"
Powell said.

The Washington Post
Fiveyearsafterscientistsmademedi-
cal history by giving two seriously ill
children the immune-system genes they
had lacked from birth, the girls are
healthy and thriving, according to the
first published summary of the experi-
mental treatment.
The long-awaited report describes
two unrelated Ohio girls, now aged 9
and 14, who spent their first few years
constantly sick with an inherited im-
mune-system ailment and who today
play volleyball, keep pets and go to
school without fear of suddenly dying
from a minor infection.
Scientists said the results offer the
best evidence yet of the potential of
"gene therapy," a technique in which
doctors give patients healthy genes to
replacethe defective onesinherited from
their parents or to enhance the action of
genes they already have.
"I couldn't have wished for a nicer
outcome," said R. Michael Blaese of
the National Center for Human Ge-
nome Research, a senior author on the
landmark paper that appears in last
Ap psOo Friday's issue of the journal Science.
Enthusiasm was tempered, however,
because it remains unclear how much
of the girls' improvement can be attrib-
uted to their new genes and how much
is due to anew drug they have also been
taking.Moreover, researchers said, the
girls were selected to debut the tech-
[ed great nique because their extremely rare dis-
ong way ease was deemed relatively easy to cure
e found with the crude genetic technology now
we still available. Otherdiseasesthatgenethera-
he said. pists would like to treat, including dia-
he VA/ betes, cancerand AIDS,will require far
an disor- more technical precision than scientists
issues in currently possess.
picture. The results come at a crucial time in
oking for the political and economic evolution of
rying to gene therapy. The approach has long
t ones," been touted as one of the major poten-
n area of tial spinoffs of the Human Genome
stand the Project, a $3 billion federal effort to
order." identify all of the 50,000 to 100,000
at manic genes in the human body. Yet of more
s proven than200 patientswhohave beentreated
My clini- with gene therapy for a variety of dis-
works 80 eases since 1990, none has been cured.
That has spurred criticism that glory-
seeking scientists and profit-seeking
ity Wire companieshavemovedtooquickly into

human studies.
Two major reviews of the federal
gene therapy effort are currently under-
way, with reports to be submitted to
National Institutes of Health director
Harold Varmus in December. Today's
report, together with a similarly prom-
ising study by Italian researchers in the
same issue ofScience,couldhelpswing
public opinion back in scientists' favor.
"It's a milestone," said Francis S.
Collins, director ofthe National Center
for Human Genome Research, which
oversees the NIH's role in the Human
Genome Project. "Ithinkpeople willno
longer be able to say that gene therapy
has never benefited a patient."
The two girls featured in the Ameri-
can study were born with an extremely
rare genetic disorder called adenosine
deaminase (ADA) deficiency. The dis-
ease occurs when a child inherits mu-
tated versions of a gene responsible for
making a crucial detoxifying enzyme.
Without the enzyme, toxins build up in
the blood, killing immune-system cells
andleaving the child defenseless against
bacteriaandviruses. Untilrecently,such
children typically died in the first few
years of life.
In March 1990, the Food and Drug
Administration approved the first drug
for ADA deficiency. Weekly injections
of PEG-ADA, made by ENZON Inc.of
Piscatawy, N.J., enable the 45 known
patients with the disease to lead essen-
tiallynormal lives. The drug costs about
$2,200 a week, however. And although
people on PEG-ADA are mostly
healthy, their immune systems do not
score well in laboratory tests, suggest-
ing they may still be at higher risk of
developing life-threatening infections.
So researchers sought to cure the dis-
ease by giving healthy versions of the
ADA gene to those who lacked them.
Ashanthi DeSilva, then a 4-year-old
living in North Olmsted, Ohio, became
the world's first federally approved re-
cipient ofnew genesin September 1990.
Inaprocedure ledby Blaese, W. French
Anderson and Kenneth Culver, all of
whom were then at the NIH, research-
ers removed some of DeSilva's white
blood cells, added the ADA gene to
those cells in laboratory dishes, and
then reinfused the altered cells back
into her veins.

Colin Powell signs books in West Bloomfield, Mich., earlier this week.

. T i
Jdrgraduates not exempfrom depressio
Yaslt Dsily Newswhr
EWDa HAVN Cg is stitutions such as Yale has yield
SEW H AVEN, Cann. - Ah, Octo- The univerSity a range:Is Wire gains, but psychiatrists have a h
-. - - -- --: m-t. ReB n sid. "We h

alling leaves, Halloween and Na- manicadepression f
al Depression Awareness Month.
vlental health is something that is itself.
y overlooked," said Yale School of
icine AssistantProf. RobertBerman.
nan and a team ofpsychiatrists at the
rans Administration Hospital, an af-
:eoftheYaleSchoolofMedicine,are proximately 1 percent of the national
piling research on manic depression population, Berman said.
r the auspices ofthe Depression Dis- A recent study by the National Insti-
rCinic. tute of Mental Health reportsthat manic
anic depression, termed bi-polar depression usually begins to appear at
rder by psychiatrists, is character- age 18, or during most students' first
by excessive highs and euphoric year of college.
ngs that flow into sadhopeless and "The university age range is where
ty moods. The disorder affects ap- manic deoression first manifestsitself."

many pieces of the puzzle, but

- Dr. Lorraine Siggins
Yale psychiatrist

said Dr. Lorraine Siggins, a Yale psy-
chiatrist.
A stressful environment like college
may also lead to agreater manic denres-
sion, Berman said.
"I'm not sure ofthe statistics, but it's
thought that stress helps bring on de-
pression," he said.
Research on manic depression at in-

do not have the whole picture,'
Berman and his team at t
School of Medicine depressi
der clinic focus on two maini
their attempt to complete the 1
"First, we are constantly lot
new treatments as well as t
better understand the curren
Berman said. "The second mai
focus is trying to better unders
biological workings of the dis
The main agent used to tre
depression is lithium, and it ha
very effective, Berman said. "1
cal impression is that lithiumv
percent of the time."
- Distributedby Univers

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