Biology in the News
Contemporary Biology N100, Spring 2001
5/7/01: Yes, the Updated, FINAL Gradebook 5/7/01 is here!
Date: Mon, 7 May 2001 22:04:50 EDT
Subject: Newborn Screening legislation becomes law
To: email@example.com, et al
Great News! Gov. O'Bannon signed the legislation on Thurs. Thank you for all
your support with phone calls and letters. Every year 85,000 little Hoosiers
will have a better chance to live a long and productive life because of our
4/25/01 Brotherly Love: IUPUI Student donates kidney today to his sister (also an IUPUI student!)
4/24/01 Newborn Screening Update: Possible veto by Governor O'Bannon! Please read!!! Please help!!!
4/20/01: Although time will not permit us
to do the topic 'Aids in Africa' in N100...you may still be very
interested in this topic. My suggestion: please read these
Scientific American: Caring for a Dying Continent,
Death Stalks a Continent in Time
AIDS in Africa: A Scourge Beyond Imagining in US News & World Report
AIDS Orphans: Africa's Lost Youth MSNBC.com
AIDS: Can the War be Won? MSNBC.com
And an article about this week's protests in South Africa in Time.
Note: 18 million people in Africa
have already died from HIV/AIDS.
25 million more are infected with the HIV virus.
12 million African children have been orphaned.
One person in Africa becomes infected with HIV every 25 seconds.
PS: Time's Person of the Week this week (4/19/01) is Zackie Achmat, an activist who has led the campaign for AIDS treatment in South Africa.
Zackie Achmat, head of the Treatment Action Campaign, an AIDS activist group.
In Memorium....On April 16, 1958: Rosalind Franklin dies at age 37 in London. Although she received relatively few accolades during her brief life, it was her X-ray diffraction studies of DNA that gave Watson and Crick important clues about its structure, the description of which won them Nobel Prizes. Franklin died of ovarian cancer shortly after spending a period of convalescence in Crick's home. [Quote]
April 10: Check out the Countdown to Mars clock!
miles..."Are we there yet?"
April 7, 2001: NASA Returns to Mars: "NASA will launch a $135 million satellite to Mars on April 7, 2001, marking the U.S. space agencys return to the Red Planet after the recent failure of two other martian probes." Hope for the best and stay tuned for October 24, 2001!
To: firstname.lastname@example.org and N100 Students
Subject: Please Help Expanded Newborn Screening become law!
Date: Thu, 5 Apr 2001 13:33:42 -0400
HB1487 - Expanded Newborn screening will be voted on by the full Senate early next week. Please take a couple minutes out of your busy schedule to call your state senator to voice your support for this bill. You can call 1-800-382-9467 to find out who your state senator is and ask to be transferred to his/her office. You can also email them with their address formatted as: (1st initial of first name+1st 7letters of last name)@iga.state.in.us. Make a difference in the lives of all the 85,000 babies born in Indiana each year! Please forward this to Indiana friends & relatives who would like see this effort's success.
Jacque Holm Bradford
See sample letter below (2/28/01) if you are interested!
4/2/01: News Adult Stem Cells Growing Strong: Two research teams said they have evidence that suggests that stem cells harvested from a patient's own bone marrow could one day be used to repair the damage caused by a heart attack. (PS: Thanks to the N100 students who mentioned this news!):
4/2/01: Moo-Two!? Trouble for Kansas-Based Cyagra; cloned cows falling ill.
4/2/01: Are you a fan of Domain Eukarya, Kingdom Animalia, Phylum Cnidaria, and Class Scyphozoa?
(ie: Do you Jellyfish??)) This Week at the Indianapolis Zoo: UFOs - Unbelievable Floating Objects: 'Jellyfish invade the Zoo'. Starting Saturday, April 7th.
3/07/01 Update: Newborn Screening Legislation:
From: Jacque Bradford
Subject: NBS legislation passed House 90-0
Date: Wed, 7 Mar 2001 11:44:18 -0500
Thanks to everyone who helped pass the word and contacted their state representative about HB 1487. It passed Tuesday afternoon with little fanfare. I will notify you again when we get out of committee on the senate side and ask you to help its passage in the senate by contacting your state senator. thanks again, Jacque Bradford
2/28/01 N100 Students: Become an advocate for healthy babies!
This e-mail was sent to me by a friend. She is very actively involved in expanding Indiana's Newborn Screening program (where all newborns are tested by a simple heel prick blood test for a variety of metabolic disorders that can be fatal if undetected.) Please read this letter, and if you have a few minutes, please think about sending a letter, e-mail of phone call to your State Representative. A sample letter is shown below that can by modified for your use. Your support could truly make the difference when this bill goes before the IN House of Representatives on Monday orTuesday! Watch the news to see what happens with HB 1487 if you are interested. --- Dr. Marrs
"Many of you know that my firstborn son, Eric, died 10 1/2 years ago, at 4 days old. You may not know that he had an inherited metabolic disorder called MCAD (medium chain acyl coenzyme A dehydrogenase deficiency). We did not know this until 18 months after his death. My second son, Alec, also has MCAD and will live a normal healthy life, because we knew of his condition at birth.
"Today, for $7-$10 per child, MCAD plus 30 other metabolic disorders can be detected with technology called Tandem Mass Spectrometry. It is estimated that this technology will save 17 babies per year in Indiana from death or permanent disabilities. I am involved in legislation right now to require this technology be used as part of Indiana's newborn screening panel. Please help this effort succeed by contacting your state representative and urging him/her to support this bill. The legislation known as HB1487 will go before the entire IN House of Representatives for a vote next Monday or Tuesday, March 5 or 6. To find out who your representative is, their phone number, email & mailing address, call 1-800-382-9841. This number can also connect you directly with the rep's office at the state house. If you want to email & already know their name, go to <www.state.in.us/legislative> to get their email address. Below is a basic letter you can use as an example. Thanks in advance for your help. Please pass this on to others in Indiana who care about children."
Jacque Bradford, parent advocate.
Sample letter that can be used:
Dear Representative (Name Here) :
I am writing to express my support for HB 1487, which expands the number of medical tests that are routinely screened for in newborns. The bill will change the wording of the current Indiana newborn screening law to allow the Indiana State Department of Health to test for additional metabolic disorders. Because most metabolic disorders are so easily and inexpensively detected and treated, I believe it's in the best interest of our community's health to require expanded universal newborn screening.
For an additional $7 - 10 per child, the best screening technology can be utilized - Tandem Mass Spectrometry. This technology will screen for more than 30 metabolic disorders and detect an additional 17 children with a disorder in Indiana. Without expanded newborn screening, these families will lose the opportunity to raise a healthy child as these disorders, if undetected, can cause mental retardation, psychomotor defects or death. The average cost to diagnose each of these 17 children today without newborn screening is $50,000. This does not include any long term costs or needs due to delayed diagnosis. Every baby born in Indiana deserves the best start possible. Please support Expanded Newborn Screening.
Sincerely, (Your Name Here), Indianapolis IN 46220
2/12/01: Happy Birthday to You....Charles Darwin! Charles Robert Darwin was born in the village of Shrewsbury (England) on February 12, 1809 (and died on April 19, 1882). On that same day (February 12, 1809), the 16th President of the United States of America, Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) was born in Kentucky. Coincidence...OR NOT? (Just kidding.)
"I have called this principle, by which each slight variation, if useful, is preserved, by the term 'Natural Selection'. And I'll have another piece of cake, please."
2/11/01: Human genome smaller than expected, but full of history: Please read this article in Sunday's StarNews. It won't be on the test, but it is a milestone for Biology and for human knowledge in general!! If you have Sunday's paper lying around, cut the article out and keep it - show it to your grandkids someday...?
2/16/01: Nature: The Human Genome: The Full Text of the Human Genome Issue of Nature. Courtesy of the Human Genome Project. For serious DNA fans...those who the helix, click here! Hey, where do you think they got the idea for this sentence in their paper: "It has not escaped our notice that the more we learn about the human genome, the more there is to explore."...?
2/16/01: Science: The Human Genome: The Full Text of the Human Genome Issue of Science. 'This week's issue of Science contains the report of the sequencing of the human genome from a group of authors led by Craig Venter of Celera Genomics. Humanity has been given a great gift. With the completion of the human genome sequence, we have received a powerful tool for unlocking the secrets of our genetic heritage and for finding our place among the other participants in the adventure of life.'
January 24, 2001: Trouble in the Galapagos Island
Officials battle to clean up Galapagos Islands Oil Spill
By Santiago Armas
January 24, 2001, 5:51 AM (EP); PUERTO BAQUERIZO MORENO, Ecuador (Reuters) - Ecuadorean naval officers struggled to right a wrecked ship half a mile off the shore of Ecuador's famed Galapagos islands after nearly all the fuel it was carrying spilled into the ocean, threatening some of the world's rarest species.
Ecuador's navy said officers were attempting to pull the ''Jessica,'' an 835-ton ship that ran aground near the archipelago's capital, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, a week ago, back to an upright position from its 45-degree list in order to get the remaining 15,000 gallons of diesel and bunker fuel off the craft.
So far, some 170,000 gallons of diesel fuel has poured from the disabled ship, which on January 20th ran aground and began leaking its cargo just off San Cristobal Island. Image
Tanker Spills More Fuel
Galapagos Oil Catastrophy
Alex Bellos and John Vidal Tuesday January 23, 2001
Some of the world's rarest animals were being evacuated from their habitats in the Galapagos archipelago last night as an international clear-up team failed to contain a 150,000 gallon spillage of diesel oil which is advancing to new islands.
Three days after the Ecuadorean tanker Jessica started leaking oil, the slick covers more than 300 square kilometres within one of the most fragile and untouched marine ecosystems in the world. it threatens the islands' unique species of plants and animals that were crucial in helping Charles Darwin develop his theory of evolution when he visited the Galapagos in 1835. Ecuador's environment minister said the accident had already caused "extremely severe" environmental damage.
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