DINO FINDER MERITS PATENT
A University of Utah radiation analyst has taken the search for dinosaur fossils to a higher level. Ramal Jones has patented a radiological fossil-bone locator he used to pinpoint two previously unknown dinosaurs and to locate a skull paleontologists couldnt otherwise find.
The $3,000 device, which Jones invented in 1993, is a scintillation counter mounted on a cart built of PVC pipe that rolls on two small wheels. Pushed like a lawnmower over the land, the instrument gives paleontologists the ability to see through up to three feet of rock by detecting elevated levels of radioactivity common to most dinosaur fossils. With it Jones has found the bones of a 100-million-year-old plant-eating dinosaur at a site near Castle Dale, Utah. In addition, he helped paleontologists at Dinosaur National Monument in eastern Utah find the skull of a new carnivore in a rock wall. The instrument recently was used to map a fossil horse quarry at Hagerman Fossil Beds Natural Monument in Idaho.
Jones says he doesnt intend to market his invention. Hes an amateur fossil-hunter who simply enjoys knowing he is helping experts find clues about Earths first inhabitants.
When my wife and I started searching for dinosaurs, we were looking for something to make life interesting we wanted adventure. And I knew if we found something in the strata that we were searching, it would be important, says Jones.
ATHLETICS OBTAINS NCAA APPROVAL
Compliance with National Collegiate Athletic Association rules for gender equity and academic and financial integrity earned NCAA certification for the U. Following a year-long process, the University and 12 other Division I schools received the designation of certified. A self-study committee analyzed the conformity of athletic programs with operating principles adopted by the Division 1 member schools, and submitted a report to the NCAA.
Of the 307 Division 1 schools, 142 are certified. The remaining schools will undergo audits again within the next five years.
U GETTING FORT LAND
The campaign to transfer land in the Stephen A. Douglas Armed Forces Reserve Center to the University has apparently ended, with both Congress and the Clinton Administration giving assurance that U.S. Army Reserves will vacate 11 acres at Fort Douglas. It will be used for a new studenthousing complex that will double as the athletes village for the 2002 Winter Olympics.
The action was delayed while Army officials argued that the land should be retained, and then President Clinton vetoed a military-construction appropriations bill. The bill would have made available $12.7 million for the command to move Fort Douglas-based Army Reserve units to Camp Williams and replace training and maintenance facilities.
The latest plan is for reserves to leave next September and lease interim facilities for $500,000 annually at yet-unspecified facilities in the Salt Lake City area pending construction of a new Reserve Center. However, Congress may come up with the money even sooner, which would enable the units to move directly to Camp Williams.
The 11-acre parcel is south and east of historic Officers Circle and contains motor pools, storage areas, and mostly small buildings, but not the Reserve Centers main buildings. The land will be linked to existing University property for new, low-rise dormitories and apartments that will house an estimated 2,500 students. The Salt Lake Olympic Committee is paying $28 million of the more than $100 million projected cost to house up to 4,000 athletes, coaches, and team officials during the Olympic and Paralympic games.
Location, location, location, it seems, is the reason Olympic planners selected the Fort Douglas site for the Olympic Village. SLOC Spokesman Mike Korologos BS59 said there are two reasons it was the top choice for housing athletes. One, its a great benefit to the University and two, it provides the athletes with a village in the truest sense of the word. It is a big plus to the athletes to get to know one another in an atmosphere of close proximity, he says.
Location is also weighing heavily on the minds of Army recruiters. The U.S. Army Reserve opposed moving the units to Camp Williams, because, they say, relocating the 96th Regional Support Command west of Point of the Mountain will make it difficult to recruit and retain Army Reserve personnel.
WHERE EARTH MEETS SKY
Public investigations of Earth and sky are coming closer together under a four-year interlocal agreement which transferred management of the Hansen Planetarium to the Utah Museum of Natural History October 1. University and Salt Lake County officials will consider the possibility of the museum permanently overseeing planetarium operations.
Museum Director Sarah George is overseeing both operations. The current board of directors for the planetarium remains intact and future members will be nominated by University officials for County Commission approval. George says the entities are already embarking on long-range programs that help people understand that Earth and space sciences are not distinct anymore.
The agreement puts the U in the position of being the primary informal provider of science education in the Intermountain West, according to U Interim President Jerilyn McIntyre.
Last spring the County Commission issued a request for proposals to take over management of the planetarium, located at 15 S. State Street. The U was selected as the preferred bidder.
TURN ON TUNE IN
Sports fans can now tune in to radio broadcasts of Ute football and mens basketball games anywhere in the world via the Internet. Web browsers (with appropriate sound capability) can find broadcasts by KALL Radio 910 in Salt Lake City at www.aros.net/KALL/. For a schedule of upcoming games, visit the U of U athletics page at www.utahutes.com/
Mark Roblez BA78 in Murray Hill, New Jersey is one such listener. Roblez writes, via e-mail, I havent lived in Utah since the Chuck Stobart era , but I have tried every way imaginable to keep up with the Utes...I even called SLC radio stations to find out who won/lost. I live in New Jersey now, and find Audionet a godsend.
SEEKING ARTHRITIS SUFFERERS
People who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis are being sought for a study designed to find the genes responsible for predisposing people to the disease. The University of Utah Health Sciences Center, funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Arthritis Foundation, is one of 12 research centers nationwide participating in the study.
To participate in the study, patients must have rheumatoid arthritis that began when they were between 18 and 60 years old and have a sibling suffering from the disease. According to Dr. Daniel Clegg BS73 MD77, professor of internal medicine, participants will have a sample of blood taken for genetic testing, and receive a joint evaluation and physician consultation. Study organizers hope to collect medical information and genetic material (DNA) from 1,000 families nationwide.
For inquiries about participation, please contact study coordinator Linda Ingles at 801-581-4125 or 1-888-299-1928.
HEART DATA LOST IN SPACE
Art Heart, the device that was supposed to mimic human circulatory system behavior, will have to go back in space (Continuum, Fall ). Utahs orbiting artificial heart caught a ride on the space shuttle Discovery in August. But since only six beats were recorded by a faulty data recorder, the experiment will be repeated. The $170,000 experiment was supposed to produce three hours of data.
Scientists from the U hope to explain why, in the absence of gravity, the partial artificial heart fills with less blood during each heartbeat than it does on Earth. George Pantalos, a research associate professor of surgery and bioengineering, hypothesizes that human hearts tend to pump less blood per beat in the weightlessness of space, which explains why astronauts hearts shrink after a few days in orbit.
The date for the mechanical hearts second space launch had not been set at press time. The estimated cost for a repeat flight is $35,000.
Copyright 1998 by The University of Utah Alumni Association