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UNIVERSITY OF IOWA NEWS DIGEST
October 29, 2001
News release summaries from the Office of University Relations,
University News Services, Health Science Relations and Arts Center
Editor: Linda Kettner (firstname.lastname@example.org)
IN THIS EDITION:
For the latest on all University of Iowa news relating to the
national tragedy, visit the University News Services website at:
1. UICHR Appoints Deputy Director To Head Child Labor Research Project
2. UI Studies How Estrogen Protects Against Cardiovascular Disease
3. UI Receives Grant To Develop Website On Voice Health For Teachers
UI IN THE NATIONAL NEWS
1. Titze Praises Voice Rating System (Salt Lake Tribune, Oct. 29)
2. Gillchrist: Microbes Easily Obtained (Washington Post,, Oct. 28)
3. Suzuki Company To Perform At UI (New York Times, Oct. 28)
4. Nelson Quoted (Minneapolis Star Tribune, Oct. 28)
5. UI Considered Safe Campus (Minneapolis Star Tribune, Oct. 27)
6. Sigwarth Camera Captures Auroras (San Francisco Chronicle, Oct. 27)
7. Bell: Baby Second Tiniest In Illinois (Chicago Tribune, Oct. 27)
8. UI Wrestler Comments On Terrorism Effects (Chicago Tribune, Oct. 26)
9. Tobacman: Carrageenan Poses Risks (Yahoo! News, Oct. 26)
10. UI Student Launches Wheel Cover Business (USA Today, Oct. 26)
1. UICHR APPOINTS DEPUTY DIRECTOR TO HEAD CHILD LABOR RESEARCH PROJECT
The University of Iowa Center for Human Rights (UICHR) has appointed a deputy director, Chivy W. Sok, who will principally serve as the Project Director of a $900,000 UICHR Child Labor Research Initiative (CLRI) recently funded by the U.S. Department of Labor.
2. UI STUDIES HOW ESTROGEN PROTECTS AGAINST CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE
Restoring estrogen levels to premenopausal levels in cells taken from postmenopausal rats inhibits processes that cause cardiovascular diseases, according to a University of Iowa study. The researchers hope that their findings will point the way to more specific treatments for these diseases in postmenopausal women. The findings appear as a highlighted topic in the November issue of the Journal of Applied Physiology. The UI researchers also contributed to a commentary accompanying the article.
3. UI RECEIVES GRANT TO DEVELOP WEBSITE ON VOICE HEALTH FOR TEACHERS
Teachers make up 4 percent of the workforce in the United States, yet they account for nearly 20 percent of patients seen at voice centers. A University of Iowa web project aims to help teachers ward off and treat the voice disorders that are all too typical of their occupation. Researchers in the UI Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology have received a three-year, $447,000 grant from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, which is part of the National Institutes of Health. The project, "Teaching the Teacher about Healthy Vocalization," will develop the first comprehensive outreach effort to help teachers adopt healthy vocal habits in their work.
UI IN THE NATIONAL NEWS
Please note: Internet access to the full text of articles summarized
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1. TITZE PRAISES VOICE RATING SYSTEM (Salt Lake Tribune, Oct. 29)
Brigham Young University Professor Clayne Robison has spent much of his 30-year career asking the question: What is beautiful singing and how do you do it? The professor, who happens to be a baritone, has been able to come up with an answer using physics, statistical analysis and group dynamics -- bringing together beginning students to enhance learning, rather than teaching them privately. He shares his solution in "Beautiful Singing: What It is and How to Do It" in the September-October issue of the Journal of Singing and in his self-published book, Beautiful Singing "mind warp" moments. "To have listeners rate on a scale what is beautiful and what isn't, that's a significant contribution," says INGO TITZE, a professor of speech science and voice at the University of Iowa and director of the National Center for Voice and Speech.
2. GILLCHRIST: MICROBES EASILY OBTAINED (Washington Post,, Oct. 28)
Before 1997, ordering microbes often was as simple as filling out a form, said MARY GILCHRIST, president of the Association of Public Health Laboratories and a lab director at the University of Iowa. "Basically, you had to have a convincing letterhead, know what the agent might look like and know how to spell the name of the organism," Gilchrist said. Congress tightened the rules in 1996 after Ohio State University student Larry Wayne Harris used a fake letterhead to obtain three vials of the bacterium that causes plague. Under the 1996 Anti-Terrorism Act, anyone intending to send or receive the most dangerous microbes is required to register with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and to demonstrate a legitimate scientific or medical use for the material. But the law left enormous gaps, according to terrorism experts and many public health officials. Some exchanges of microbes are as simple as stashing a petri dish into a lab-coat pocket before jetting off to a conference, Gilchrist said.
The same article ran Oct. 29 on the Website of the INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE.
The same article ran Oct. 29 on the Website of the ST. PETERSBURG TIMES in Florida.
The same article ran Oct. 28 on the Website of the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS.
The same article ran Oct. 28 on the Website of the BERGEN RECORD in New Jersey.
3. SUZUKI COMPANY TO PERFORM AT UI (New York Times, Oct. 28)
The Suzuki Company's tour, in which a third production, Euripides' "Dionysus," will occasionally replace "Electra" and/or "Oedipus Rex," continues to the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA Nov. 17 and 18 at the Mabie Theater.
4. NELSON QUOTED (Minneapolis Star Tribune, Oct. 28)
Since 1995 at least 20 Minnesotans with mental retardation and other medical problems have died in cases in which maltreatment or questionable care was identified, a Star Tribune investigation has found. The deaths involved neglect, starvation, physical restraint, medication overdose, drowning or other circumstances. At least 15 died in group homes where authorities or workers raised questions about proper training. The state's watchdog, the Office of the Ombudsman for Mental Health and Mental Retardation, has a backlog of about 500 deaths of mentally retarded and other vulnerable people that have yet to be reviewed. A national expert, Dr. RICHARD NELSON, criticized the Minnesota system. Before becoming executive dean of the University of Iowa School of Medicine, he directed programs serving children with disabilities in Minnesota. "It's obvious something is wrong and needs to be fixed," he said. "The system is not prepared. The training is uneven, the organizations are not held accountable consistently, and it diminishes the enthusiasm of providers to put in safeguards."
5. UI CONSIDERED SAFE CAMPUS (Minneapolis Star Tribune, Oct. 27)
Joe Darnaby had his heart set on going to college out East next year. But since Sept. 11, his parents have laid down a new rule: no school more than five hours' drive from home in Deerfield, Ill. "Part of me says that he has to follow his dreams," said his mother, Maureen, who wants her son to be able to get home in an emergency. "But there must be another place closer to home where he can do that." After a decade of pushing hard for elite schools, Americans are showing a new willingness to trade prestige for location, safety and cost. With admissions season gearing up, applications are up 15 to 35 percent from last year at such bucolic institutions as Penn State and the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA, while attendance at Indiana University recruiting events has doubled.
6. SIGWARTH CAMERA CAPTURES AURORAS (San Francisco Chronicle, Oct. 27)
Giant flares erupting on the surface of the sun for the past month are causing vivid displays of the Northern Lights, but few who live above the equator are aware that those same magnetic storms cause equally striking Southern Lights as well. Now a robot NASA satellite called Polar, flying in a looping orbit around the Earth, has photographed both displays simultaneously -- the first time they have ever been captured in space images with such clarity. To space physicist JOHN B. SIGWARTH at the University of Iowa, who helped design and build the satellite's main camera, the images of the two auroras pose an intriguing mystery because theories have always held that the details of both should be exactly the same. "Yet we're already finding slight differences in their intensity, and we don't understand why," Sigwarth said Friday. "It's an exciting puzzle, and because we've just now gotten the data, we've got work to do."
7. BELL: BABY SECOND TINIEST IN ILLINOIS (Chicago Tribune, Oct. 27)
A week before Halea Maurer was born, her parents began preparing for her death. Told by doctors that their daughter was not getting adequate nutrition and oxygen, Anne and Ken Maurer of Elmhurst, Ill., agreed to delivery at 27 weeks. Her only chance of survival was outside the womb, doctors said, but such an early birth would place her at great risk, too. Halea weighed in at 12 ounces--even less than doctors had expected. So her parents prepared a memento box of ultrasound images and cards from family and friends. They chose a name that is a variation of a Hawaiian word meaning "fond remembrance." But Friday, Halea (which they pronounce HAL-ee-ah) was a thriving 4-month-old infant who tips the scales at 4 pounds, 6.5 ounces. She is believed to be the second-smallest baby in Illinois to survive and the sixth-smallest baby ever. According to the University of Iowa, Halea is the second smallest baby ever to survive in Illinois. She also ties for sixth place on the list of smallest babies ever to survive. Dr. EDWARD BELL, director of neonatology at the University of Iowa's Department of Medicine, said he composed the list of tiny babies based on reports by doctors and parents.
The story also includes a link to the UI list of tiniest babies, which is http://www.medicine.uiowa.edu/tiniestbabies
8. UI WRESTLER COMMENTS ON TERRORISM EFFECTS (Chicago Tribune, Oct. 26)
Anxiety may be less visible than anthrax, but it is just as insidious an aftereffect of the terrorism of Sept. 11 -- especially for athletes. Citing concerns about safety, an increasing number of athletes and teams have withdrawn from competitions in the aftermath of last month's terrorist attacks. Some American athletes still are planning overseas travel, however. American wrestlers intend to compete overseas in two imminent World Wrestling Championships, freestyle Nov. 22-25 in Sofia, Bulgaria, and Greco-Roman from Dec. 6-9 in Patras, Greece. The championships were rescheduled and relocated from Sept. 26-29, when they were supposed to be held in New York. Joe Williams, a standout wrestler at Mt. Carmel High School and the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA, said he would abide by USA Wrestling's decision. "The thought of terrorism is in the back of my mind, and I thought about it quite a while," he said. "But I'm looking forward to competing."
9. TOBACMAN: CARRAGEENAN POSES RISKS (Yahoo! News, Oct. 26)
Here's something else to add to that growing list of things to avoid -- carrageenan. It's a common food additive, and one researcher says it may play a role in the development of colon cancer and inflammatory bowel diseases, like ulcerative colitis. Other experts, however, are not convinced that there is enough evidence to say that the substance poses a health risk to humans. "Carrageenan is a wolf in sheep's clothing," says Dr. JOANNE TOBACMAN, an assistant professor of clinical internal medicine at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. "It looks innocent, like a simple molecule, but it's really not metabolizable."
10. UI STUDENT LAUNCHES WHEEL COVER BUSINESS (USA Today, Oct. 26)
John Smith of Orlando used to drive 30,000 miles a year for his job running a housecleaning service. When you spend that much time in a car, you notice details about other vehicles -- such as unused space on hubcaps. ''I thought, wouldn't it be great to put a sign on a wheel,'' said the 33-year-old one-time UNIVERSITY OF IOWA student. Smith is a budding sports merchandiser with a novelty product designed for the college sports fan who has everything: specialized hubcaps. His company, born from ''being broke and creative,'' is called Clever Covers. Smith started his venture in 1996, marketing it through the NCAA's official licensing arm. He has licenses with Florida, Florida State, Miami (Fla.) and Central Florida and hopes to add 30 by next year.
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