Aug. 10-23, 2001
Vol. 31, Issue 24
Back Issues
They got the beat
Researchers find evidence of "second genetic code"
U.Va. sells health insurance company
U.Va. helps teens improve tech skills
Getting new bosses started

Evaluations begin despite lack of state funds for raises

Thomas to speak on Bush
Deadline for Administrative Internship Program extended to Aug. 31

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They got the beat

Rebecca Arrington
When high school classes commence this fall, there will be no shortage of chants and cheers to foster school spirit, if this week’s Universal Cheerleading Association camp, held at U.Va., is any indication. This week, last week and next, some 820 high school cheerleaders and dance team members will have participated.

Researchers find evidence of “second genetic code”

Staff Report

Sequencing and mapping the human genome was the first essential step for scientists to study where genes for diseases such as cancer are located. But in studies to identify the complex factors that make those genes active or inactive, molecular genetic researchers at the University have discovered a new area outside the DNA itself that may show existence of another type of genetic code.

In four articles published in the Aug. 10 issue of the journal Science, U.Va. researchers and collaborators at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York, as well as the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology at the Vienna Biocenter in Austria, describe how proteins called histones, around which the DNA is coiled, form a structure called chromatin and provide sites where additional gene regulation appears to occur, acting, in effect, as a master “on/off” switch.

C. David Allis, U.Va. Byrd Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, explains that the scientific community has known for some time that the location of specific genes within chromatin appears to determine whether that gene is “on” or “off.”  The DNA in our cells is not “naked,” and as a consequence of its form in chromatin, it makes a difference in what kind of chromatin “neighborhood” a particular gene finds itself. Full story.

U.Va. sells health insurance company

By Dan Heuchert

University officials said July 30 that employees will see no change in their health benefits following the sale of Blue Ridge Health Alliance Inc., parent company of QualChoice of Virginia Health Plan, to a Maryland-based company. QualChoice administers U.Va.’s self-insured health plan.

“I want to assure you that this sale will not change your health benefits,” said Yoke San Reynolds, U.Va.’s vice president for finance, in an e-mail sent July 30 to University employees. “The only change for you and your dependents is that a different company will administer our plan.”

Premiums will not likely be affected in the short term, she said. “We do not anticipate that the sale will have any effect on your costs in 2002. If there are increases to the plan’s premiums or co-payments for next year, they will reflect the level of participants’ claims in 2001, as well as any changes or enhancements to the benefit package.” Full story.

© Copyright 2001 by the Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia

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Anne Bromley

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Staff Writers
Rebecca Arrington
Nancy Hurrelbrinck
Matt Kelly

Robert Brickhouse
Charlotte Crystal
Jane Ford
Dan Heuchert
Fariss Samarrai
Catherine Seigerman Wolz
Carol Wood
Ida Lee Wootten
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