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News 01-02-2001

Syllabus Spring2001 Conference Highlights Campus Communications

Syllabus is proud to announce its 2001 conference offering, including Syllabus spring200, to be held at the Dr. Albert B. Sabin Convention Center in downtown Cincinnati, April 5-8. Themed Campus Communications: From World Wide Web to Wireless, Syllabus spring2001 will present a framework for successful integration and implementation of new communications technologies on campus. A variety of breakout sessions, case studies, workshops, seminars, and technology demonstrations will provide exciting opportunities for attendees to absorb the fundamentals of technology use and gain a practical understanding of how to implement information technologies at the classroom, program, and institutional levels.

Visit SyllabusWeb at for more information about Syllabus spring2001, and look for the full conference brochure, available in the January issue of Syllabus magazine.

$14.3 Million Grant Funds Cardiovascular Gene Therapy

The University of Pittsburgh has received a five-year, $14.3 million federal grant to fund initiatives to treat cardiovascular diseases using gene therapy. The grant, from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), establishes the Cardiovascular Gene Therapy Center to focus on clinical and laboratory studies and designates Pitt's Human Gene Therapy Applications Laboratory as the only national facility for producing vectors, or gene transport systems, used in all future NHLBI-funded clinical gene therapy studies. The grant, largest of four awarded nationally by the NHLBI, also provides for training of future clinicians/scientists in the latest gene therapy technologies and procedures.

The grant is a collaboration of many departments at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine including the Department of Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry, the Department of Surgery, and the Cardiovascular Institute. It will fund two clinical trials, three pre-clinical research studies, and a training program in gene therapy.

For more information, visit

Whose Congress?

In anticipation of the swearing in of the new Congress next week, has announced that its YourCongress.Watch e-mail service will continue to be free for the duration of the 107th Congress. The service offers to e-mail registered individuals any time their congressional representatives speak in Congress.

For more information, visit

Web Expedition to Track Jaguars

"Jaguar: Lord of the Mayan Jungle," a ten-day Webcast expedition beginning January 15, will focus on the efforts of Mexico City-based conservation organization Unidos para la Conservacion to track twelve jaguars tagged during the past five years., a nature and wilderness exploration and photography site will Webcast the expedition from the field with daily updates via satellite phone of digital photography, dispatches, and audio and video feeds.

The expedition will take place in southeastern Mexico in the 1.8 million-acre Calakmul Biosphere Reserve, which protects part of the largest surviving rain forest in the Americas outside of the Amazon. The study is a cooperative effort between Unidos para la Conservacion and the Institute of Ecology of the National University of Mexico.

For more information, visit

Internet2 Connection Supports Stanford School of Medicine

Internet2 member, Stanford University, is advancing medical and life sciences education through the use of information technology. SUMMIT (Stanford University Medical Media and Information Technologies), a research and development center in the School of Medicine, is developing collaborative simulation and haptics-based learning programs for anatomy and surgery that will operate using high bandwidth over Abilene, the Internet2 advanced backbone network. The Stanford Visible Female, Lucy 2.0, will serve as the virtual anatomical model for the Surgery Workbench.

For more information, visit

Millennium Meteors

One of the most intense annual meteor showers, the Quadrantids, will peak over North America on January 3, 2001. Observers in western parts of Canada, the USA, and Mexico could see an impressive outburst of shooting stars, numbering as many as 100 per hour. Forecasters expect the shower to climax during a two-hour interval around 1200 Universal Time on January 3rd (7AM Wednesday in the Eastern Standard Time zone or 4AM PST).

To view the Quadrantids, go outside an hour or so before the expected maximum and face north. The shower's radiant (a point in the sky from which meteors appear to stream) will lie about 35 degrees above the northeastern horizon in the constellation Bootes. Quadrantid meteors can appear anywhere in the heavens, but their trails will point back toward the radiant. Experts advise viewers to begin watch early to increase the likelihood of witnessing a Quadrantid fireball, a meteor at least as bright as the planet Venus.

For more information, visit

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