The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on April 13, 2001 · Page 10
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 10

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Friday, April 13, 2001
Page 10
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AID FRIDAY, APRIL 13, 2001 HEALTH & SCIENCE THE SALINA JOURNAL T MEDICAL RECORDS Rules to open health records Bush-backed rules would allow patients imuch greater access By ANJETTA McQUEEN Tlie Associated Press WASHINGTON — Brushing aside opposition from hospitals and insurers, President Bush endorsed sweeping rules to ensure the privacy of medical files while ordering changes so parents can see their children's records. The rules proposed late in the Clinton administration and quickly put under review after Bush took office wiU give patients the ability to control who sees their medical records. The decision to move ahead with the first-ever federal protections is in contrast to Bush's rolling back of other Clinton- era consumer protections on the environment and worker safety The guidelines take effect Saturday but the health care industry has two years to comply with the rules. "For the first time, patients will have full access to their medical records and more control over how their personal information win be used and disclosed," Bush said. The rules require doctors, hospitals and other health care providers to get permission before disclosing patients' information. Patients wUl have the right to inspect their medical records and request corrections. They cover electronic, written and oral communications about patients. Improper disclosure of medical information can result in fines and imprisonment. Besides children's records, the administration intends other rule changes. One would make it clear that doctors can share information with specialists who are treating the same patient and pharmacists can fiU • DOWN SYNDROME prescriptions over the telephone. The regulations are intended to create a uniform standard for patients who now must navigate state laws offering varying protections. "We have laws in this country to protect the personal information contained in bank, credit card and' other financial records. Our citizens must not wait any longer for protection of the most personal of all information — their health records," Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson said. The Clinton administration issued the rules in its final weeks, long after Congress tried unsuccessfully to write a medical privacy law. The current administration had a chance to review the rules and did so. During that time, the government received more than 24,000 comments from patient advocates and health care industry officials who have long fought over the issue. Under the Clinton administration's plan, doctors and hospitals would have decided whether to disclose a minor's health information unless state law directed otherwise. The Bush directive gives parents access to their children's records, including records on abortion and substance abuse. "They essentially say they are going to weaken the rights of minors," said Ronald Welch, a lobbyist for the American CivU Liberties Union. Parents' right to information about their children's records was one of the few disputes that stalled Senate passage of a medical privacy bill in 1999. Conservatives in the Senate opposed to abortions sought to continue to deny minors any privacy rights. Abortion rights supporters wanted to extend the new rights to minors as well as adults — as long as children in a particular state were allowed to get medical care on their own. • TECHNOLOGY Techs keep chipping away EUV lithography is latest effort to stretch room on silicon chips By MATTHEW FORDAHL Tlie Associated Press LIVERMORE, Calif. — The silicon chip — the foundation of the high-tech industry for decades — got a new lease on life as researchers unveiled a machine that can squeeze more circuits into each wafer. If successful outside the lab, the technology, unveiled Wednesday, will ensure chip makers can maintain the growth in processing power that has driven computer sales over the past 30 years. In 1965, Intel Corp. cofounder Gordon Moore said the number of transistors on a chip would double every 18 months. So far, Moore's Law has held true. Less is more But some had feared the industry quickly was approaching the physical limits of silicon, with each new chip that shrinks the size and increases the number of transistors. Transistors are printed in -i; to microchips using a tech-i' nique called lithography. Light passes through a mask of the chip design and is projected onto the silicon wafer. Light-sensitive chemicals then etch in the desired pattern. Using today's technique of deep ultraviolet lithography, manufacturers can print circuits as small as 0.1 micron, or one-thousandth the width of a human hair. Under current rates of innovation, the limits of what can be printed would be reached in 2004 or 2005. The new machine, using a process called extreme ultraviolet lithography, reduces the size of features on silicon to at least 0.03 microns. With The Associated Press Micron Technology Chief Technical Officer D. Mark Durcan (from left); Intel Corp. Senior Vice President and General Manager Sunlin Chou; Intel Chief Executive Officer Craig Barrett; and Sandia National Laboratories Systems Engineer William Replogie wear protective clothing during a tour of the newly unveiled Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography process in Livermore, Calif., Wednesday. that, the number of transistors on a chip could continue to expand under Moore's Law until about 2010. 'Major milestones' "The completion of the prototype machine marks a major milestone for the program, since we have proven that EUV lithography works," said Chuck Gwyn, manager of EUV LLC, a consortium of chip makers. The key to the new technology is the length of the light wave. Because extreme ultraviolet light has a shorter wavelength, smaller features can be etched into silicon. But the invisible light waves pose new problems: They can be absorbed by air and lenses typically used to focus patterns onto chips. As a result, the process occurs in a vacuum and mirrors are used to focus the light. The technology behind the prototype machine at Sandia National Laboratories will be transferred to chip manufacturers. The first EUV-de- veloped processors — estimated to be 10 times more powerful than today's fastest chips — are expected in 2005. It already has produced features on wafers many times smaller than the current technology, said Sunlin Chou of Intel's Technology and Manufacturing Group. "It has already fulfilled many technical limita^ons and posed the question of not whether, but when, EUV lithography will be in pro­ duction," he said. Basic research into EUV began in the early 1990s at the Department of Energy's nuclear laboratories, but Congress eliminated funding for the program in 1996. Realizing the limits of current technology, several semiconductor companies led by Intel stepped in and provided about $250 million to fund the program through 2002. Others include Intel competitors Motorola and Advanced Micro Devices. "We're putting all their minds to work to solve a common problem," Intel chief executive Craig Barrett said. "Once that problem is solved, we'll go out and beat each other over the head in the marketplace." Study: 'Smart drug' fails to make the grade Down syndrotne drug hailed in ads proves to offer little relief By LINDSEY TANNER The Associated Press CHICAGO — One of the first studies of a so-called "smart drug" for Down syndrome suggests it does not boost children's intellectual ability, despite testimonials on television and the Internet. In fact, the drug, called pirac- etam, had side effects such as aggression, irritability and poor sleep in some of the youngsters. Piracetam, though legal, is not approved for any use in the T MENTAL ILLNESS United States. "We did not identify even a single case that would suggest the possibility that piracetam therapy generally improved cognition," researchers said in the study, which appears in April's Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. The study of 18 children ages 6 through 12 found no significant difference in mental function between those who took the drug and those who were given placebo pills. Each child received four months of piracetam and four months of placebos. Though parents of 11 children thought they seemed brighter or more focused on piracetam, intelligence tests showed no improvement compared with the placebo. The behavioral side effects in seven children suggested the drug has a stimulant effect, the researchers said. Dr. Nancy Lobaugh of the University of Toronto, who led the study, said some parents might mistake that effect — like being "wired" on coffee — with improved mental function. Her study follows numerous TV reports and Internet testimonials touting the benefits of piracetam for children with Down syndrome, a chromosomal abnormality that is a common cause of mental retardation. While the severity of Down syndrome varies, such children can learn and progress as they mature. Critics of piracetam say some parents are mistakenly crediting the drug for normal developmental changes. The study "should temper our enthusiasm for piracetam markedly," said Dr. Chris Feudtner of the University of Washington's Child Health Institute. In an accompanying editorial, Feudtner said the results illustrate the difficulty of "sorting good ideas from bad ones" in the Internet age. Piracetam (pronounced pur- AHS-uh-tam) is in a class of drugs called nootropics that are purported to improve cognitive function. The drug is made by several overseas com­ panies and has been used, mostly abroad, for conditions such as stroke, Alzheimer's disease and dyslexia. It has been available by prescription in some countries and is sold by mail-order and over the Internet. The National Down Syndrome Society and National Down Syndrome Congress do not recommend piracetam, given the lack of research on its effects. Suzan Leake, associate director of medical affairs for UCB Pharma, a Belgian maker of piracetam, said the company hopes to begin U.S. studies this year on piracetam's use in treating a muscle disorder called myoclonus. SIMPLE mmcnoNS COULD SAVKVOUMONKV.' CALL US TO SBK HOW SAPB DRIVERS CAN SAVE. DIanne Carter Erica Revell Charles Carter & Associates 804 E. Crawford Salina, KS 67401 785-825-4241 ^>4ilstaie. YOUVB In good hands. Subfecl to BVsBablUty and qualHIcallons 1*2000 Allstate Insurance Company. Norlhbrook llllnola. Children of older fathers have more health risks By The Associated Press CHICAGO — Older fathers are much more likely than younger ones to have children with schizophrenia, a study suggests, adding mental illness to the list of diseases linked with advancing paternal age. While previous research has suggested children of older fathers are at risk for certain cancers and birth defects, the study is the first to make the link with a psychiatric illness, said Dr. Dolores Malaspina of Columbia University and the New York State Psychiatric Institute. In the study, men who fathered children at ages 45 to 49 were twice as likely as those POOL SERVICE SPA SERVICE WATER CHEMISTRY Poors Plus of. Salina 823-POOL* 2501 Marketplace under 25 to have schizophrenic children, and men 50 and older were three times more likely The researchers, led by Malaspina, reviewed data on 87,907 people born in Jerusalem from 1964 to 1976. Their findings appear in April's Archives of General Psychiatry "I would guess that our study is just the tip of the iceberg," said co-author Dr Susan Har- lap of New York University Digitally School of Medicine. "Eventually, it would seem that the father's sperm is going to turn out to be just as important as the mother's egg." During their lifetimes, men's sperm cells continue to repro­ duce by dividing. Each time this process occurs, there is a slight risk of genetic defects. By the time a man is 20, his sperm cells have undergone about 200 divisions; by age 40, about 660. Air Conditioning Specialists BEN&SON SERVICE CENTER O^t^ PMS 730 N. Santa Fe • Salina • 785-823-3771 lEARINC Hearing Aid 827-8911 l-«{)0-11K-O2IS Hi S-. S.iiu^i 1 1- Siiliii.i ReliAbiliTATioN CENTER Caring for your loved ones through responsive professionalism. 1007 Johnstown / Salina, KS / 785-823-7107 Get Your ART Together! "If You Love It...Frame It! Framing I 'Matters 1 /2 block south of Iron Ave. 121 S. Santa Fe, Salina, KS • (785) 827-9200 Finish Your Bachelor's Degree In Only 18 Months^ One Night A Week Earn a B.S. in Organizational Leadership with Excel, the new degree completion program at Central Christian College! • meet one night a week for four hours • finish your college degree in 18 months If you are 25 years or older and have some college but never finished, Excel might be for you. 620.241.0770 Call today for more details and directions to the Information Session Thursday at 7:00 p.m. fISr 1200 S. Main, McPherson, KS

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