Studying these cells could lead to new treatments for diseases ranging from gastrointestinal disease to diabetes.
Heading off to Olympic games in Atlanta this summer-in an official capacity-will be Neal H. Dorow, assistant dean for residence and campus activities in the Office of Undergraduate Education and Student Affairs.
Mr. Dorow, a registered and certified international wrestling official, won't be refereeing any matches, but he's been invited to Atlanta to help run the wrestling competition.
He and others with similar credentials will be involved in scorekeeping, timing, results, tabulations, and so forth-support activities that require a superior knowledge of the sport. He did the same thing at the summer Olympics in Los Angeles four years ago, describing it as a "great experience."
"You get to meet the international competitors and their coaches," he explained, "and then there's the whole pageantry of the Olympics. It's like attending the Super Bowl opposed to just any football game."
At Atlanta, the results of the wrestling competition will determine the world championships of wrestling for 1996. The 1995 world championships were held in Atlanta, more or less as a dry run for the Olympics, and Mr. Dorow also helped run those.
He wrestled as an undergraduate at the University of California in Berkeley, and he has been involved in some coaching.
As a referee, he has accompanied the U.S. national team to Cuba last February and to Europe three times.
An article by Dr. Raymond C. Ashoori, assistant professor of physics, titled "Materials: Filling in the Quantum Dot," appears in a February issue of Nature magazine.
In it, he reviews an important new field of research, summarized by Nature as follows: Semiconductor technology has enabled the fabrication of "quantum dots"-structures so small that they can contain just one mobile electron. As successive electrons are added to them, they behave like "artificial atoms," creating a miniature laboratory for the study of atomic physics. As electronic devices themselves shrink, they will have to be thought of, not as small seas of electrons, but as large "atoms."
A group of Air Force cadets in the ROTC program, led by one of their instructors, Maj. Daniel L. Gerrig, visited the Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital in Bedford in observation of National Salute to Hospitalized Veterans Week Feb. 11-17.
The cadets visited some patients and escorted others to the Salute Day program.
Among the students who participated were Cadet Capt. Dione Sturd, Cadet 1st Lt. Carmen O'Shea and cadets Cecilia Lozada, David Naffziger, Nasos Dousis, Sharmil Modi, Robert Roffman and Kevin Kennedy.
Thinking of applying to medical school?
A physician in the Medical Department who has been a premedical advisor at MIT for 17 years, Dr. Mark A. Goldstein, and his wife, Myrna Chandler Goldstein, a journalist, have written The Definitive Guide to Medical School Admission (Font & Center Press, Weston, MA).
According to its publisher, the book "offers a review of the entire process of applying to medical school," a step-by-step guide that is also useful as a resource for high school guidance counselors and premedical advisors.
Dr. Goldstein is chief of pediatrics and student health services at MIT and an assistant clinical professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. He also is on the faculty of the Janeway Medical Service at Children's Hospital in Boston and on the staff of Brigham and Women's Hospital.
"The book is based on my experience at MIT as a premedical advisor," Dr. Goldstein said.
Mrs. Goldstein is a columnist, correspondent and feature writer for the Middlesex Community Newspapers. Her work has appeared in many national and regional publications.
MIT alumnus Harvey Gantt is making another run for the Senate seat held by Jesse Helms of North Carolina.
When Mr. Gantt opposed Sen. Helms in 1990, he was the first black senatorial candidate in the state's history. In that contest, which at one time was extremely close, according to the polls, Sen. Helms eventually won with 53 percent of the vote to Mr. Gantt's 47 percent. Sen. Helms outspent Mr. Gantt $17.8 million to $7.8 million.
Now, with Sen. Helms bidding for a fifth term in the Senate, Mr. Gantt is seeking the Democratic nomination to oppose him once again. The Democratic primary is May 7.
Mr. Gantt, who received the SM in city planning in 1970, has had a career as an architect, businessman, Charlotte, NC, City Council member and two-term mayor of Charlotte.
Update: Back in 1984, Tech Talk reported that Patrick Wolff, 16-year-old son of Professor Cynthia G. Wolff, was scaling the heights of the chess world, having won the US Junior Championship and finished 16th out of 50 players in the World Junior Championships. He also had achieved a senior master ranking, the highest on the national level.
Today, Patrick Wolff is a grand master and recently won his second US Chess Championship.
Dr. Wolff, Class of 1922 Professor of Literature, is widely known for her study of women in literature and for two highly-acclaimed biographies of authors Edith Wharton and Emily Dickinson. She said her son, now 28, is in his senior year at Harvard studying philosophy and plans to attend law school.
He started his undergraduate studies at Yale, but took a leave after his sophomore year when he received a fellowship to play chess full time. When he found out he could make a living playing chess, Professor Wolff said, he took about another four years to do that before transferring to Harvard.
Another son, Tobias, 26, already is attending law school at Yale and is on the Yale Law Journal.
Professor Wolff said Patrick seemed born to play chess, which he began doing with his father when he was six, entering tournaments four years later.
She recalled that he was putting together children's jig-saw puzzles before he was one.
There's much more to his life than chess, she said, adding that he won his school's English prize in high school and loves both Shakespeare and baseball.
Dr. Wolff's former husband, Robert, is a philosophy professor at UMass-Amherst.
President Charles M. Vest's annual report in which he focused on the unknown, parts of which were reprinted both in the Chronicle of Higher Education and The Washington Post, continues to gain high visibility through its dissemination by the Los Angeles Times-Washington Post news service. One newspaper, The Ottawa Citizen, added a touch of its own, a cartoon showing a figure holding a diploma and confronting a dragon. The article's headline neatly summed up President Vest's central point, "The Wise know what they don't know; Value of Universities is based on their readiness to explore the truly unknown." The president's report even found its way into a speech by Vice President Al Gore.
Parade Magazine (Feb. 11) is the latest national publication to profile MIT's Sheila E. Widnall, Secretary of the Air Force and the first woman-among her several firsts-to serve as an armed forces secretary.
Dr. Widnall, on leave as Abby Rockefeller Mauze Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics, taught at MIT for 28 years before going to Washington in 1993. She was the first MIT alumna appointed to the faculty in the School of Engineering, and the first woman to serve as chair of the faculty, in 1979-80.
Some of her quotes in the Parade article:
"Women in our country have historically defended their homes and families. When you had the covered wagons going across the country, there were lots of examples of women engaged in ground combat. If women want to go into combat, I don't see any reason why they shouldn't."
[Climbing Mount Rainier last summer with her husband] "Well, your heart is pounding, and you're at the limit of your physical ability. But you just put one foot in front of the other. My whole life I had been looking at the mountain [she grew up in Tacoma, WA]. I had this opportunity to climb it, and I just wanted to do it."
The public relations staff at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research-led by Eve K. Nichols-overcame a snowstorm, the first government furlough and the distractions of Christmas to get out word of the recently completed human genome map.
As the Whitehead Bulletin reports, "The question to ask about the press coverage. isn't `Who covered the story?' but `Who didn't?' News about the this major scientific feat-completion of a powerful new map spanning nearly 95 percent of the human genome-hit many major news outlets around the world, including The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, the Boston Herald, Toronto Globe and Mail and The Daily Telegraph (London), among others."
All recognized the importance of an "extraordinary achievement," as it was called by Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Center for Human Genome Research.
The map, comprising more than 15,000 markers, is the first to provide a framework for the final and most exciting phase of the project-large-scale sequencing of the 3 billion DNA building blocks that make up a human being (Tech Talk, Jan. 10, 1996).
The Financial Times reports that Benjamin Netanyahu, leader of the Israeli rightwing opposition Likud party, is an MIT-educated, "fast-talking 46-year-old, in sharp contrast to his more traditional Likud predecessors." Mr. Netanyahu received two degrees from MIT under the name Benjamin Nitay, the SB in art and design in 1975 and the SM in management in 1976.
"The agent will be looking over your shoulder and figuring out your interests and preferred way of doing things."-Dr. Patricia E. Maes, associate professor of media technology and Sony Corporation Career Development Professor of Media Arts and Sciences, commenting on the development of software "agents" that will act as "servants" to computer users, in The Times of London.
"There's a potential for a lot of explosive conflict between labor and management." - Dr. Thomas A. Kochan, George Maverick Bunker Professor of Management, in a Wall Street Journal article on the inability of unions to deliver big pay increases to members.
"A biological mechanism is at work. Whatever Creator made the body had this in mind. It comes out in physiological science like a clear blueprint."- Dr. William C. Bushell, a visiting scholar in the Anthropology/Archeology section who specializes in medicine and anthropology, in an Associated Press story on exercise-induced mental and physiological changes that can lead to a spiritual experience.
"If there are fewer computers in the home than there are people, chances are the boys and men will dominate over the girls and women. Whether the boys are monopolizing it, or whether the girls just aren't interested in the computers, we can't say."-Michele J. Evard, a doctoral candidate in the Program in Media Arts and Sciences who studies preteen children and computers, in an article in The San Diego Union-Tribune.