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Dec. 2 - 15, 2005
Vol. 35, Issue 21
Back Issues
IN THIS ISSUE
Stem cells
Preserving the past planning the future

Options abound for public transit commuting

Digest
Headlines @ U.Va.
Students build liyes after Katrina
World-renowned german author, jurist and law professor to speak
Symphony and singers premiere family holiday concert
History lessons

 

Headlines @ U.Va.

U ROCK, U ROLL/A CRASH COURSE IN TODAY’S MUSIC, HEAD FOR THREE SOUTHERN COLLEGE TOWNS
Pink Floyd told us that we don’t need no education. I don’t want no argument with rock ’n’ roll royalty, but perhaps the band failed to consider higher education. I say this because — to borrow one of Jack Black’s lines from the movie “School of Rock” — colleges quite clearly “service society by rocking.” Think of it this way: Without colleges, we would have no college towns. And without college towns, we’d be out a lot of great music. No Athens, Ga. No R.E.M. Get rid of Charlottesville. Get rid of the birthplace of the Dave Matthews Band. Axe Chapel Hill, N.C. Lose the launching pad for the piano tunes of Ben Folds. These college towns are laboratories, creative enclaves where music bubbles, swirls and mutates into more infectious strains. They are the primordial ooze in which some of the best American music evolves — or, if you prefer, is created. (The Washington Post, Nov. 25)

FIGHTNG ROAD GRIDLOCK USING CELL PHONE SIGNALS
[...] Several state transportation agencies, including those in Maryland and Virginia, are starting to test technology that allows them to monitor traffic by tracking cellphone signals and mapping them against road grids. The technology underlines how readily cellphones can become tracking devices for private companies, law enforcement and government agencies — a development that deeply troubles privacy advocates. ... [Virginia] plans to test a system around the Norfolk beltway. ... “The potential is incredible,’’ said Phil Tarnoff, director of the Center for Advanced Transportation Technology at the University of Maryland. He said the monitoring technology could possibly help reduce congestion in some areas by 50 percent. ... Starting in mid-November, ... [Virginia] working with U.Va., plans to test a system that uses data provided by Sprint and compiled by AirSage. (The New York Times, Nov. 11)

CHILD SAFETY ISSUE TURNED AROUND
Today’s child car seats are nothing like the first commonly used safety seats. They are more difficult to properly install, and the guidelines as to which children should use what seats are changing, according to local police and a new study. ... But a new study by research scientist Chris Sherwood at U.Va.’s automobile safety lab recommends children remain rear-facing in their car seats until at least the age of 2. The study showed children under 2 who were riding in forward-facing child car seats during a crash were more than four times as likely to be injured in side crashes as opposed to the children in rear-facing seats. (The Beaver County (Pa.) Times, Nov. 17)

A PROTEIN MAY BE KEY TO HEARING
Scientists believe they have discovered the protein responsible for converting sound into an electrical response the brain can understand and act upon. “This is certainly one of the Holy Grails in the hearing world,” said Peter Gillespie, a professor at Oregon Health & Sciences University in Portland. “Everyone is excited, but there is still a lot that needs to be done to prove that this is the right protein.” The finding of TRPA1 marks the end of a 25-year search, said lead investigator Jeffrey Holt, an assistant professor at U.Va. He presented his findings the week of Nov. 14 at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in Washington, D.C. (Newsday, Nov. 16)


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