The Courier-Journal from Louisville, Kentucky on December 13, 1981 · Page 114
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The Courier-Journal from Louisville, Kentucky · Page 114

Louisville, Kentucky
Issue Date:
Sunday, December 13, 1981
Page 114
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iG 8 THE COURIER-JOURNAL, SUNDAY, DECEMBER 13. 1981 ; Researchers want to know why some cells are distorted l Continued from Page G 1 j possibilities to benefit mankind in a i positive way," DuPre said, s "None of these experiments was possible until the advent of the laser in commercial availability. They J couldn't have been done IS years ago." For now, the U of L team Is study-l ing synthetic particle chains that j are similar to hemoglobin strands, i Eventually, DuPre and his fellow ' researchers will get enough Infor- " mation to work with hemoglobin it-) self. He hopes to get a $240,000 grant for that next year from the , National Institutes of Health. His present experiments are being financed with $170,000 from the agency. As it is, DuPre and his team are breaking new scientific ground in molecular research. For the past 24 years, the team has been developing techniques for working with chains of large molecules. Although hemoglobin particles are 1,000 times smaller than anything the human eye can see, they are considered large molecules. And this is the first time the movement of chains of large molecules has been studied In . depth, DuPre said. v As an example of how basic, yet i complex, their procedures have been, the team first had to figure out how to make the particle strands . - lie flat and stand straight up and down. They did that with the use of chemicals and magenetic fields. "We thought the preparations would be easy (because of earlier research into small molecular chains)," DuPre said. "It turned out to be more difficult than (we) thought Most (techniques needed for his studies) haven't been done before." "We don't regard it as work, although it's frustrating in cases," DuPre said, noting that his team works seven days a week. "It's not drudgery. You get captivated by it" Not only the procedures , but also the machinery necessary for the experiments is complicated. In addition to lasers, the scientists' tools include custom-built machines called spectrometers that measure the laser beam as it bounces off particle chains, computers that analyze all the data and air-supported tables that resist vibrations.. Those instruments and others make the laboratory look like a scene out of a space movie. Yet it is not ficUon. It Is a scientific drama that relies on finely tuned electronic devices to perform operations so delicate that they cannot withstand ordinary building vibrations. "We zap them (the molecules) with a laser and see how the laser reacts," DuPre said. "We can measure the changes in the laser beam using theories and can infer back about the nature of the thing that holds these things together. "It's a very subtle change in the frequency of the laser beam. It takes very sophisticated Instrumentation to measure the changes. "What we've done at this point is develop methods to analyze the liquid crystallization (chain state) of large molecules," DuPre said. "We're on course there of perfecting the techniques. Later we want to use those to analyze hemoglobin samples." DuPre, 39, a doctoral graduate from Princeton University, became Interested In medical studies after working at a space-research center in California. Although his projects at that center involved inanimate molecules, he later realized he could apply his research techniques to organic molecules. A decade of work with organic molecules led the Houston native to investigate the characteristics of abnormal hemoglobin particles through physics and physical chemistry. And several years ago, DuPre and his team began a probe into the inner depths of the human body. Scientists have explored the In-sides of these abnormal red blood cells before. They have found that hemoglobin strands, a state they call liquid-crystallization, causes the cell to be misshapen. But scientists dont know why the semi-crystallization occurs. That's what DuPre is trying to find out He hopes that analysis of the mobility of hemoglobin particles will tell him why some of them stick together. Mobility, which is less in the 'chainlike state, is a measure of strength of the strand, DuPre explained. Ultimately, measurements of the chains could be used to test the ability of a drug to disrupt the abnormal association. . "That is a practical application that is realistic in this project" DuPre said. Widows of war victims fighting to keep benefits for their children Continued from Page G 1 ters, politely thanking her for her interest in the budget So early this fall, she decided to try another tack. Publicity. She made the rounds of community newspapers and talk shows, and together with other widows held a press conference on Veterans Day announcing her Intention to send -back her husband's flag. Then the women formed Survivors of Sacrifice, a soon-to-be nonprofit organization whose goal is to .lobby the government into restoring their benefits. Mary Maclean is a member, signing up after a relative showed her a newspaper article about Mrs. Van Wagenen. In August 1968, 10 days before he was to return home to his family, her husband, U.S. Marine Corps Pvt. Billy Joe Taylor, was patrolling near the village of Phouc Hoa in South Vietnam's Quang Ngai peninsula. His unit was overrun by Communist forces. All of the commanding officers in Taylor's unit were killed or disabled, and the 20-year-old pri-' vate took control. Taylor directed a gunfire assault on the enemy, according to his Silver Star commendation. Then a bullet struck his head. He died instantly. Mary and Billy Joe Taylor had not been married two years. He had seen his son Michael only once in the hospital where he was born. Michael receives $227 a month in survivors' benefits. Now Michael, 14, says he is learning about Vietnam and his father and trying to ignore those who have told him that soldiers who fought that unpopular war were "stupid." "It may hurt as much as he if had been killed right now," says Mary Maclean, who remarried several years after Taylor died. "His father was a brave man who gave his life for something he believed in the freedom of all people. "Now the Social Security thing . . . he's going to lose out again." Michael Taylor wants to attend California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, then become an officer in the military medical, corps. Without the benefits until age 22, there will be no college. Without . college, Michael will not be accepted into officers' training school. "Society now is such that if you don't get a college education you will not make it in life," Mrs. Maclean said. "We're barely middle class. Without help, there is no way that he will see his dream come true." Officials at the Social Security Administration headquarters in Baltimore, Md., point out that the sons and daughters of soldiers killed in action will still be eligible for student loans, just as civilians are. "It was not aimed at the Vietnam War, or Korean War military survivors," said John Trollinger, a Social Security spokesman. "That was not of consideration. The main consideration was reducing ancillary benefits, things helpful in reducing program costs." Trollinger noted that the Social Security cuts are across-the-board, affecting both the military and civilians. But the survivors point out one difference. "We're on Social Security because our men did what the government told them to do," said Mrs. Van Wagenen, eyes flashing. "Our husbands had definite contracts with the government that required them to pay (into the benefits program). Then they die for their country and they take it away." Further information about Survi vors of Sacrifice is available by writing the organization at P.O. Box 6644, Laguna Niguel, Calif. 92677. fel l EJlsSaJ PS--" The New Sensor Perm Supreme! Introductory Offer: Reg. 58.50 40.95 (Includes geometric cut and style) ' One Week Only! December 14 thru 19 We'll program our new Sensor Hair Computer to process your hair to its most perfect curl ever! You'll receive the most scientifically-designed perm of the 80's! Also, ask about the new Sensor Hair Computer Conditioners- formulated for fine, medium and coarse hair. Beauty Salon VY&c6' 12 Hairstyle Centers: Bashford Manor 456-4530 Shively 447-2672 St. Matthews 895-8269 Westport Plaza Stonefield Square Jeffersonville New Albany .425-4111 245-5748 282-9898 945-2666 The Magic Of A Payette Christmas... y FREE $100 GIFT CERTIFICATE TO THORNBURY'S TOYS With Any New Buick Or Used Car Now Thru Dec. 24! Several New '81 Models & Demonstrators Left Discover The Magic Of A Payette Christmas! Corned see a most delightful display of toys from' Thornbury's and Tom , Payette's own electric train display - in our showroom now thruf Dec. 24th J i ., j-,1,,. - t ;,:,:::, ma., tP 1 lOM UHYETTE T3Sw-. 3700 FRANKFORT AVENUE vSl r r rn t wrm mv ri - ' - - - - - - - - - Kentucky's Largest Buick Dealer 3700 FRANKFORT AVENUE Just west of Shelbyville Rd. & Breckinridge Ln. Conveniently located in the heart of St. Matthews Phone:895-2451 JAGUAR A Blendinq of i t Art and Machine - cu$tot7) sued" btj Castor? 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FREE MONOGRAMMING ill V ' j S dawahare it 1THE MALL on Shelbyville Rdidl

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