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News 12-12-2000

Web Seminar on Internet Congestion

Packeteer, a provider of application performance infrastructure systems, recently announced a series of Web seminars to discuss net congestion caused by Napster and other peer-to-peer file sharing programs on college campuses. The seminar "How to Beat Net Congestion" is offered at no cost to attendees, and will describe the Packeteer solution to this problem. The PacketShaper family of tools automatically classifies hundreds of different types of traffic and gives network managers the ability to control how much bandwidth each type of traffic gets. This helps ensure availability and optimum performance of mission-critical applications, while still allowing the use of Napster and other less critical applications when desired.

To register for the seminar, offered four times throughout December and January, visit

MIT eBusiness Awards Call for Nominations

The MIT Sloan eBusiness Awards (eBAs) honoring innovation in eBusiness, have begun accepting nominations for their third annual awards at The event is produced entirely by MIT Sloan students as part of Sloan's eBusiness@MIT program. A selection team of MIT students, faculty, and selection partners narrows the field in each category to five finalists; a winner is then selected by jury. Nominations will be accepted online until February 5, 2001. A company may be nominated by anyone in any category, so long as it meets the category's predetermined criteria. Nominations are submitted via an electronic form on the eBAs Web site.

Nominations will be accepted in a variety of categories, including eBusiness of the Year, Global Reach, Disruptive Technology, Rookie of the Year, Best Supporting Actor, and MIT Student Choice.

California Public Affairs Forum: Bridging the Digital Divide

Hitachi partnered with the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST), the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR) and the Stanford Program in Law, Science and Technology to bring together key experts to address the issues that surround the digital divide debate. The Hitachi California Public Affairs Forum, "Bridging the Digital Divide," was held last Saturday on the Stanford University campus. Top industry, government, and academic experts addressed the causes and consequences of the gap between the technological "haves'' and "have-nots'' and provided specific policy guidance to span the technology chasm in American society.

Topics discussed included providing computers to elementary schools, universal service, and equal access. Expert panelists agreed that technology innovators, government regulators, communications providers, and skilled teachers have responsibilities to bridge the divide and forums like this are critical to develop- ing solutions. Other discussion topics included faculty under- standing of computer software and hardware, outdated software teaching solutions or "hardware dumping,'' and related hardships that result when outdated equipment is donated to a school.

Policy recommendations developed from the forum will be included in CCST's Critical Path Analysis of California's Educational System scheduled for completion in May 2001. For more information, visit

Tuition Increase to Fund Technology, Education Improvements

A special tuition increase for new University of Illinois students will fund improved student services and programs, enhanced educational technology, and expanded enrollment in high-demand courses and disciplines. The tuition increase of $500 per year for each of two years at the University of Illinois is expected to provide specific benefits to the new students who pay it, and will apply only to new students because they will be the primary bene- ficiaries. At the Chicago campus, for instance, the additional revenue will be used to create Internet access to libraries and librarians, meet the demand for courses in computer engineering and computer sciences by hiring new faculty in those programs, and increase the number of student computer laboratories.

University of Michigan Health System to Create Clinical Information System

The University of Michigan Health System (UMHS) and IBM recently announced a joint initiative to develop a Web-based, clinical information system designed to reduce medication errors and improve its level of patient care. The enterprise-wide infrastructure will provide electronic physician order entry of prescriptions and other clinical procedures that can improve clinical outcomes, with the goal of increasing patient satisfaction and supporting UMHS' ongoing work with local and state partners to create healthy communities.

The first phase of the program, currently in progress, is to design and build a Web-based infrastructure to support medication management. The second stage will create an enterprise-wide clinical data repository to incorporate an advanced medical lexicon to standardize clinical nomenclature. Future applications may include consultation management, coordination of care and outcomes, patient records, patient charge capture, clinical data capture, and other documentation.

The solution will use IBM Websphere Advanced Edition, version 3.5, IBM VisualAge for Java 3.5, and Websphere Studio. Phased deployment is targeted for the first quarter of 2002. For more information, visit Launches Gastr'enterology Site, a medical specialists' network, recently announced the launch of a news and information Web site for gastr'enterologists., (, the 20th site in's planned network of 37 specialty sites, is structured so that doctors can immediately access the specialty areas of most interest to them. In addition to General Gastr'enterology news, the site's subspecialties include Basic Science/Genetics, Biliary System, Colonic Polyps and Cancer, Esophagus, Gastrointestinal Bleeding, Gastrointestinal Motility, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Liver, Nutrition, Pancreas, Small and Large Intestine, and Stomach.

Using proprietary technology, aggregates all the gastr'enterology news and research from the Web's medical sources, including The American Journal of Gastr'enterology, Gut, Gastr'enterology, The Journal of Gastr'enterology and Hepatology, JAMA, and The New England Journal of Medicine. also offers daily e-mail newsletters that deliver specialized gastr'enterological news. All services provided on are free to users and are supported by targeted business-to-business advertising and an e-commerce platform.

Virus Replication Results

In a project funded in part by the National Science Foundation, researchers at Purdue and the University of Minnesota used micro-imaging techniques, including X-ray crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy, to determine the structure of the DNA packaging motor in a virus called Bacteriophage phi29. Scientists involved at the two institutions have solved the three-dimensional structure of the central component of a biological motor that powers the DNA packaging system in a virus, providing the first glimpse of such a motor system. The study revealed how the core of a tiny motor, just millionths of a millimeter in size, is constructed and suggests how it works to pack long stretches of the virus' genetic material into its outer shell during the process of viral replication.

The results point to new opportunities in nanoscience, and may provide clues as to how DNA is packaged in similar viruses-- including Herpes virus, which causes human ailments such as Herpes simplex, chicken pox and shingles--and suggest ways for developing drugs that prevent illnesses caused by viral pathogens.

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