Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on June 13, 1976 · Page 61
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Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 61

Charleston, West Virginia
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Sunday, June 13, 1976
Page 61
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Sunday Gazt'ttc-.Mail Charleston. W.Va. June 13, 1976 Page3E The binnic man may nut be just around the corner, but medical expertise is reaching the point where the maimed tinil handicapped icill be provided ifith kidneys, hearts, sight nnd hearing, all dvrisvd li\ the hand of man. Bv Dean Lokken SALT LAKE CITY lAPi-Eyes to help the blind see. ears to help the deaf hear, arms to let the maimed work. These were once only a medical dream. But a group of scientists at the University of Utah is reporting success toward creating artificial organs to replace those that would otherwise leave people crippled, impaired, even dead. Now in the forefront of artificial organs research, the Utah scientists have devised a metal and plastic artificial kidney small enough to fit into a large handbag. They have fashioned artificial eyes and ears of computers and electrodes that are attached to a patient's brain. Recently they killed a Holstein calf that had lived'l22 days on an artificial heart, an air-driven aluminum and polyurethane pump about the size of a large grapefruit. It was longer than any creature had lived on an artificial, implanted heart, although a month later, in April, researchers in Cleveland reported that a calf with an artificial heart had remained alive past the 122-day mark. The experiment here was ended after scientists discovered that a valve had failed. Twelve other calves with implanted artificial hearts have been kept alive for a month or more at the university of Utah's Artificial Organs Division. Dr. Willem Kolf f. 67. a pioneer in the development of the artificial kidney machine, started the now famous division nine years ago. ^ UNDER HIS DIRECTION, the scien- t i s t s have developed in addition to the heart project, the major artificial eye program in the country and one of the leading ear projects. One of Dr. Kolff's assistants calls him an "incredible source of ener- gy." a man who draws talent to the university. The Utah scientists point out that marketable artificial organs may be far in the future and that some may never be satisfactorily produced. But there is optimism. "I will be very disappointed if the heart is not ready for clinical use in three years," says"Dr. Kolff. "Three years ago 1 said the same thing." In some cases, success may be closer-perhaps only a year or two away for a wearable artificial kidney. Artificial organs have some clear a d v a n t a g e over transplanted ones, which are subject to limited supply and to body rejection. "Some 800.000 people died last year from heart disease and. although I don't want to suggest an artificial heart could have saved all of t h e m , it could have helped some." says Dr. Donald B. Olsen. a University of Utah researcher. The university has received letters from people afflicted with heart disease who say they are willing now to act as guinea pigs. "They have t r i e d many other things known to medical science and when they face irreversible heart disease, and death is imminent, most strive for anything that will prolong life." says Olsen. Research advances reported by Utah's A r t i f i c i a l Organs Division in recent months include: ·-Development of the wearable artificial kidney to the point of scheduling commercial production of the k i d n e y w i t h i n a year. The wearable kidney would permit greater freedom for 18.000 Americans now kept alive on large artificial kidney machines located at hospitals or in their homes. ·-A scientist in the university's department of engineering, working with Kolf I. has constructed a motor-driven arm based on invention of an unusual artificial mus- cle. He claims the arm. constructed of aluminum and guided by electrodes placed about the shoulder, can do 95 per cent of a normal human's lifting tasks. ··A 33-year-old man blind for a decade now "sees" Braille through use of a computer plugged directly into his brain. Utah researchers say it may be possible to develop a miniature computer in the frame of a pair of glasses and attach it to a tiny eye-socket camera, giving sight to some of the 500.000 legally blind people in the United Slates. ··Advances toward hearing for the completely deaf have reached the point where a 62-year-old m a n . deaf f r o m b i r t h , is hearing sounds through use of electrodes implanted in his inner ear and connected to a computer. The computer stimulates the inner ear to "hear" sounds at different pitches. But so far the simulations carried to the inner ear are not complex enough to be used for words. KOLFF'S TEAM of 100 scientists and aides has ignored cosmetic devices like artificial breasts and replacements for diseased facial bones. It has concentrated on the heart, eye. car. arm and kidney. Kolff. a gray-haired soft-spoken physician who began experimenting with artili- rial kidneys in his native Holland during World War II. moved to the United Slates in 1950. In 1967. he was lured to the University of U t a h w i t h promises he would have a relatively free hand developing an artificial organs center. Of current projects. K o l f f says he is most impressed with progress toward an artificial eye. Since last summer, scientists have been running experiments with a man who has electrodes implanted on the part of his brain that controls vision. The man saw spots of light last August, his first sight since losing his vision in a gunshot accident 10 years ago. Braille patterns are fed into a computer attached to the electrodes. The impulses sent from the c o m p u t e r to the electrodes s t i m u l a t e points of the brain into seeing pinpoints of Richard L. S trout 'f s Carter, It's WASHINGTON - Jimmy Carter has "a streak of ugly meanness - an egotistical disposition to run right over people . . . a disposition to be a sorehead;" that is the recent testimony of respected columnist Joseph Kraft. He has "a vein of vindictiveness" says the syndicated columnist team of Rowland E v a n s and Robert N o v a k ; they quote "Carter's old enemies back in Georgia" as declaring that along with intelligence, discipline and dedication there is "vindictiveness extraordinary even for a politician." ·· SO HE IS MEAN and vindictive, and likely to be the next president of the United States! How did we get into this fix'.' But wait a bit. here is contrary evidence: Sensitive and compassionate analyst Anthony Lewis of TVir .Vflir VorA- Times says'Jimmy Carter "really does see himself fighting entrenched power, the status quo. He instinctively identifies with the victims of official abuse, the poor, the dis- advantago.d." Yes. says Lewis. "He cares about the powerless in society - genuinely. I am covinced. ' And here is an unusual character witness eccentric iconoclast H u n t e r S. Thompson f"//e//« Angels." "Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ) writing in Rolling Stone lof all places) June 3. "my first instinctive reaction to Jimmy Carter . . . I liked him" and who notes "an extemporaneous speech Carter made in May -1974 to big wigs in Georgia attacking special privilege: it was a "king hell bastard of a speech" (I assume this is praisei: to which Thompson adds. "I have never heard a sustained piece of political oratory that impressed me more." Let's drop Carter and look at the setting. It's one of the most astonishing political years in history. "The United States has the most elaborate, complex and prolonged formal system of nominating candidates for chief"executives in the world." say William Keech and Donald Matthews (Brookings: "The Party's Choice") A system which the late Clinton Rossiter called "a fantastic blend of the solemn and the silly." And this year more than usual. For eight years we have had split government in Washington - White House onepartv Compress an.-ir" ir enmpthint no other nation could survive: And before Kennedy and Johnson. Ike had six years of split government. Now there's near stalemate in Washington with Ford's 49 vetoes. Political parties are in decay. Loyalty has so declined that when Richard Nixon wins every' state but Massachusetts he still faces a Democratic- Senate and House ( f i r s t time since Zachary Taylor). Republicans are now weaker tlian at any time since the Depression - probably since the party started in the Civil War." »» THE NATIONAL MOOD ? Cynical and penitential; Vietnam and Watergate aren't mentioned but obtrude their frustration everywhere: in 1950 three-quarters of the people thought their government was run primarily for the benefit "of the people" H7 per" cent said "big interests"' now only 38 per cent think so and 53 per cent say "big interests." Who would have thought that the Panama Canal could be an issue: that an inc u m b e n t President could be seriously challenged: that in 30 dreary primaries only about a third of those eligible to vote would vote; or that an almost unknown former governor and peanut farmer from Georgia could be front-runner for president of the United States? In 1972 George McGovern revealed to astonished p o l i t i c i a n s how vulnerable modern parties are to penetration by well organized and strongly activated groups in primaries where only a minority vote. In 1976 there are more primaries and direct federal financial aid to ambitious political individuals mot parties i. and Jimmy Carter has shown how porous such parties are to penetration by a highly motivated individual whose cause is ambiguous (unless, indeed, "love" and "anti-Washington" are causes) and who offers the sullen nation a fresh face and a striking personality, blazoned by the all-powerful news media. Jimmy Carter planned it t h a t way. I first met him in the snows of New Hampshire last January and liked him and was astonished by him. I enjoyed the calculated impudence with which he told what he planned to say in his inaugural, and reacted with the expected astonishment. I nev- etmet a candidate like that before and it was swell copy. The c o n f r o n t a t i o n of Southern and New England cultures was w o n d e r f u l , too: when t h e Y M C A - t y p e clean-cut young man at Durham made the reticent Yankee ladies crinec by asking Carter straight out. had he been saved? and Carter answered quietly that, yes, he was a "born-agam Christian" and what was Ihe next question'.' K CARTER STARTED his campaign in September 1972 while still governor and after his term ended worked full lime a! it. He saw the vulnerable place in the primary system was r i g h t at the s t a r t . It didn't matter if only a fraction of a fraction voted nor if the margin was rninis- cule. the point was to get the h e a d l i n e "Jimmy Carter Wins." He did that in the precinct caucuses of Iowa, f i r s t of the year, and in the tiny state of New Hampshire. Next, of course, he had to knock Wallace out in Florida. March 9. and he- did. He was launched. The press grabbed him. In her remarkable series in the Vir Vor/w, Elizabeth Drew tells how it was done, and her cautious assessment of this "enigmatic and hidden man" who is asking us to take such a big gamble. He can talk about "love" and be tough and even ruthless. Was that a grin, a natural honest- to-God grin, he was giving her at one point i not the toothy smile i? "It seems to be a natural grin by someone who might, after all. have a sense of humor about himself. "It. is odd." she r e f l e c t s , "to spend t i m e c o n s i d e r i n g whether a grin just might be natural." Yes. she notes, Carter may have "a certain mean streak." George McGovern fired his left-wing political operative Alan Baron, who was quoted as calling Carter "a positive evil, surrounded by a staff committee with no ideals, like Haldeman and Ehrlichman." This sounds silly and venomous to me. I like him and still do. James T. Woolen put it negatively in The Vu- VVirfc Timp»: " . . . He is'not a liberal, not a conservative, not a racist, not a man of long gov- e r n m e n t a l experience, not a religious zealot, not a Southerner of stereotypical dimensions." and from such negative deductions, he says, many have concluded "that Jimmy Carter is not entirely unacceptable as a presidential candidate." light that form Braille symbols. The hope is to develop a miniature. TV-like eye- socket camera that would feed impulses to a miniature computer in a pair of eyeglasses. At present the electrodds are attached to a large computer. Occasionally a hand-held TV camera is connected to the computer, which breaks down the visual image i n t o impulses sent to the electrodes. "When the patient is given a TV camera in his hand, he can scan a blackboard, and he can tell you whether a heavy white line on that blackboard is vertical or horizontal." says Kolff. "Although the present form of the b r a i n s t i m u l a t i o n is not of practical use to the patient, the theory behind it leaves no doubt that it can be made into a practical device." Dr. William H. Dobelle. a leader of the eyes and ears research at the university, declines to estimate when a seeing device might be marketable, if ever. He says that if one is produced, it probably will cost between S3.000 and $5.000. *· MEANWHILE, experiments continue with the man who hasn't seen in HI years and with others. The artificial arm research was primarily the responsibility of the university's School of Engineering. The "Utah Arm." invented by Stephen Jacobsen, is based on an artificial muscle that Jacobsen designed while still a student. The "Muscle" is a series of small metal rings joined by many tough fibers. When the fibers are twisted, the rings pull together and the muscle shortens. Jacobsen has connected the muscle to a small motor powered by balteries. Electrodes placed about a person's shoulder activate the motor. The motor and muscle are placed in a metal-framed arm that swings freely below the elbow like a natural limb. Jacobsen says it is more flexible than other artificial arms so far developed. It weighs two to three pounds, compared with a man's natural arm of about seven pounds. The wearable artificial kidney, the size of a large book, also was developed by ,la- cobsen's staff in conjunction with Kolff. It is a refinement of a process used lor years in large kidney machines. Like the bigger version, the wearable kidney cleanses the blood of impurities that ailing or completely failed kidneys cannot remove. It does this by filtering blood through charcoal as part of Ihe cleansing process. Kolff estimates thai the wearable k i d - ney, when and if it is marketed, might cosl SI.500 plus maintenance costs. Thai compares w i t h SI2.000 annually in fees to have a conventional kidney dialysis machine ,il home. S Arlene Jeffs Wears a Portable Artificial Kidney M;irkdinn Is Still in the Future. Hut Scientists Arc O p t i m i s t i c Tin- U t a h scientists havi 1 tried their artificial hwrls only on calves. In addilion ID I he air-driven model, they have placed in calves an eleclrieally driven heart They hope eventually to power this mndel w i l l ] nuclear capsules. D r . Olsen says t h a i t h e a i r - d r i v e n heart called a .larvik lor Hubert .(arvik. Ihe U t a h medical s t u d e n t who invented it- "could IK; i m p l a n t e d in man now." The cosl w o u l d he $:i.H()il for t h e hcarl and $.'i.00ll I'm 1 implant surgery. l i u l t h e r e ' s a p r o b l e m . An air hnse wniild t e t h e r tin- palienl permanently to an air pump. Scientists estimate that the nuclear heart is. at best, a couple of years away II would be powered by p l u l o n i u m 2HH. a long-lasting nuclear luel. placed in a c o n t a i n e r t h e size ol an egp. The nmlainer would be implanted near ill'- abdomen. By Ncal R. Peirce HELENA. Montana-Across this f a r flung, multisplendorcd Western state, the citizens of every county and town are engaged in an exciting Bicentennial year exercise- in grassroots democracy--deciding afresh the form and powers of the local governments they choose to live under. There has never been anything quite like it in American history: popularly-elected study commissions, functioning as mini- constitutional conventions in each of the state's 182 counties and municipalities, each proposing an alternative form of local government, with local plebiscites in a single year to decide between the old and proposed new forms. For local government. Montana has institutionalized - as no other state has -- Thomas.Jefferson's idea lhal current generations should judge, and change if they wish, the form of government they have inherited. EACH JURISDICTION can m a k e its own choice: mayor-council, council-manager, county commission with or without an appointed county manager or chief executive or. in smaller places. New England-style town meeting. Three major city-county consolidations were proposed. Any Montana jurisdiction that adopts a s e l f - g o v e r n m e n t c h a r t e r may o b t a i n a broad measure of "home rule" under a formula of "shared powers" with the state government. This is a dramatic departure from the prevailing pattern in Montana and most other states, where antiquated state constitutions and state laws leave local governments hamstrung-unable to act in any area without specific permission from the state. Perhaps the most surprising thing about Montana's broad-scale reform effort is that it's taking place at all. The state was once the province of rapacious copper kings and later the private satrapy of the An,iconda Copper Co.. which bought legis- lators and stifled dissent through ownership of eight leading daily papers Corporate interests, led by the Montana I'ower Company, dominated state government u n l i l the late 19'IOs Then the system was 'opened up" by strong cilixen a c t i o n from environmentalist groups, the League ol Women Voters and others. Through court-ordered re-apportionment, the legislature became more representative. The executive branch was made more responsive by a reorganization from KiO into 19 departments. Fresh cili- zen voices dominated a 1972 c o n s t i t u t i o n a l convention, which wrote a model charter. THE C O N V E N T I O N d e l e g a t e s were c a p e r t o a c h i e v e l o c a l g o v e r n m e n t reform - k n o w i n g that inertia and special interests f r u s t r a t e d reform in most states Recognizing Montana's immense diversity, r a n g i n g from rugged ranching towns to fast-growing metropolitan centers, they withstood the temptation to prescribe u n i form structures and powers for all local governments. Instead they proposed that each community's citizens debate and decide on t h e i r own government--a process to be undertaken f i r s t in 1975-1076 and repeated every If; years thereafter. Despite iithe narrow margin by which Montanans approved the 1972 constitution, the legislature gave full support to local government reform. It created the Montana Commission on I/jcal Government, headed by Dale A. Harris, the brilliant pol* itical scientist-strategist who, at 26. had been director of the constitutional convention. Through conferences and technical assistance, the commission--with headquarters on Helena's historic Last Chance Gulch-provided invaluable help to the local study commissions. Predictably, the quality of local study commission work has varied greatly. A critic could call the process one of a r t i f i - cial insemination of reform in localities where there weren't already root causes or demand:, for change. Perhaps for that reason, a majority of the proposed city and counlv charter changes failed in the first wave ol voting J u n e 1. Several wen- adopted, however, and those rejeclcd lost b y f a i r l y n a r r o w m a r g i n s , s e t t i n g t h e stage for repeat a t i i - r n p l s in the near lu- t u r e ONE STARTLING development was thr- recommendation of study groups in counties amounting to 60 per cent of Montana s population that, professional county managers be hired a slep only Ki2 other U.S eounlics have t a k e n . There was no advance constituency for the manager form in Montana, bill local debate and comparing notes I n n n county to county I'-.'nl to a new consensus. The objective- to create professional, centralized a d m i n i s t r a t i o n as counties find themselves bombarded with new responsibilities for complex and varied urban services-occasioned by stepped up economic activity and state-federal requirements. Montana's geographically large counties now possess the increased powers necessary lo deal w i t h metropolitan growth problems to avoid Iragmcnted a u t h o r i t y , cily-counties. The Anaconda-Deer Lodge County consolidation won in the first, citizen plebiscites .June 1. but the- proposed change met with defeat in Missoula Montana's local government reform advocates will be disappointed if most localities reject the proposed new forms of government in this year's plebiscites lending Nov. 2i. But in Harris' view, the whole effort will have been worthwhile, even if it produces few immediate results. It has created a new political and intellectual climate, a new citizen awareness of representation, government management, accountability and responsiveness. "I think it will filter down further into our political society, as the years go on," Harris sajiS. ' · ' V

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