DISCOVERY MAY STIR PHARMACEUTICS

IN A BIG WAY

by Andy Alford

Daily Cougar Staff

A research team, led by a UH pharmacy professor, has made a discovery that has shaken the foundation of 60 years of accepted drug therapy practice.

UH pharmacy Professor Richard A. Bond, Robert Lefkowitz of Duke University Medical College and their research team have proven the existence of inverse agonists -- molecules believed to have the ability to control diseases resistant to other forms of treatment.

Classic drug therapy utilizes a system of stimulants and blockers: stimulants to turn on inactive cells and blockers to stop hormones from causing hyperactivity.

This therapy has been ineffective with a class of new diseases in which cells apparently spontaneously turn themselves on. Blockers fail in these situations because there is nothing to block.

Various forms of hyperthyroidism are among the six diseases that in the last two years have been identified in this class.

Although researchers have postulated the existence of inverse agonists, agents that can turn off spontaneous cell activity, only a handful of people have supported this theory due to lack of evidence. Bond and his colleagues have, for the first time, proven it in a living organism.

Having worked for more than a year on his discovery, Bond says it will have a huge impact on the pharmaceutical market in the next five to 10 years after further research is conducted to determine the most effective ways to treat this new class of diseases.

Bond and his research team, which includes scientists from UH, Duke University, Baylor College of Medicine, the University of California and Glaxo Research, have published their study in the March 16 issue of Nature magazine.

 

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FRONTIER FIESTA TO SPORT NEW EVENTS

by Jessica Ellis

Daily Cougar Staff

A petting zoo and carnival rides, barbecue and live entertainment. You don't need your boots, and you don't need to pay admission.

This year, Frontier Fiesta will feature new attractions, including a petting zoo, carnival rides and a talent showcase.

Fiesta City, for the first time, will honor a guest chairperson, said Julie Baumgarten, Frontier Fiesta Association chairwoman. Patsy Swayze, mother of motion picture star Patrick Swayze, will be the 1995 Frontier Fiesta honorary chairwoman.

Patsy Swayze, now a professional dance instructor, helped choreograph Frontier Fiesta shows in the '50s.

Swayze will be on the Fiesta City grounds during the full course of the three-day event.

Amy Turner, Frontier Fiesta Public Relations chairwoman, said this year, there will be spirit contests during the week prior to the event.

Chalking sidewalks, a banner contest, a red-and-white day and a spirit contest will conclude the contests Thursday, April 6.

These spirit contests will allow student groups who cannot afford the time or more money to reserve a booth or cook-off space to contribute to the event, Baumgarten said.

Prizes will be awarded to student groups who earn the most points by participating in the week-long events.

"This Frontier Fiesta activity gives students an opportunity to participate and support the university at this event (Frontier Fiesta)," Turner said.

Another new event includes a talent showcase, featuring live performances by UH members.

Visiting Mexican American Studies scholars Lorna Dee Cervantes and Raul Salinas will do poetry readings for the talent showcase in addition to musical performances.

A barbecue concession, provided by ARAMARK, is also on the list of new Fiesta delights.

In response to complaints by some Fiesta-goers from last year, the board, along with President Pickering, concluded that cook-off areas should be open to the public.

In the past, cook-off teams have held private, by-invitation-only dining.

This year, those who wish to eat at the private cook-off booths will be able to purchase a ticket that will be redeemable for a barbecue plate, Baumgarten said.

The Council of Ethnic Organizations has reserved a booth for a trivia game dubbed Cultural Challenge, CEO Director Julie Robinson said.

CEO boycotted the event last year, along with the Metropolitan Volunteer Program.

Frontier Fiesta will take place April 6-8 on the grounds across from Entrance 1 on Calhoun.

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NIGHTTIME SAFETY AT UH CONCERNS STUDENTS

by Clydenestra Brooks

News Reporter

It was 7:15 p.m., and it was dark. With just enough light to walk from the Communications Building to the Science and Research Building, I began to second-guess myself as to who and what might be around me.

What began as a short walk across campus quickly turned into a treadmill trot, and my steps seemed to be going nowhere.

Having never taken courses at night, it was odd being in what I felt was a totally different surrounding. Safety has always been a major concern, and it became even more evident that night. I'm not alone in my concerns. In fact, junior Lorinda O'Hagan knows firsthand.

"When I'm here at night, I feel like I have to keep watching my back," she said. "I don't want to become another statistic."

As for statistics, the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1990 requires colleges and universities receiving Federal funds to publish their security and crime data. These reports include statistics on sexual assaults, robberies, burglaries, thefts and other crimes.

In addition, the act requires campuses to provide information about the accessibility of dormitories, dorm security procedures and campus lighting plans.

In 1993, there were 868 crimes reported on the UH campus, 512 of which were thefts. In 1994, 413 crimes were reported, including eight robberies and two aggravated assaults. Down from 1993 statistics, 226 were reported as those being unattended/unsecured-type thefts.

"I usually feel safe because I see several Cougar Patrols on campus," said Tamara Maze, a senior radio/television major. "I don't take night classes, but when I am here at night, I feel safe."

In welcoming students to the university, UHPD Chief of Police George Hess explains that the mission of the police department is to work with students to make the university a safe place to live, work and study.

"Our officers are commissioned peace officers with the state of Texas and are obligated to enforce our federal, state and local laws," Hess said.

Despite the negative notion that all campus police do is tow cars, a police presence is appreciated, senior Spanish major Jourma Westrup said. "There's always a cop in the parking lot. I see a lot of cops around campus, and the campus lighting is OK for my standards. As students, we have a choice at night. We can either walk alone or get an escort."

One year ago, UHPD dealt with two separate armed robberies simultaneously. According to police reports, in April of last year, an aggravated robbery occurred as a student was walking to her dorm.

"I don't feel safe on campus because I don't see enough patrols," said Claudia Montenegros, secretary for the novels research materials lab. "Considering that this is such a big campus, I think we need more police."

UHPD Lt. Malcolm Davis said, "We try to be very visible, but crimes of opportunity are still a big problem."

Davis said people are not as aware as they should be with their personal belongings.

Arrests have already been made this semester, including the arrests of students charged with indecent exposure in M.D. Anderson Library and a former Parking and Transportation Department employee.

 

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NOT MUCH HAS CHANGED IN AUSTIN

'GUS' HAS TEXAS POISED FOR REPEATED DIAMOND SUCCESS

by Richard C. Kroger

Daily Cougar Staff

The world of baseball constantly changes, but in Austin, things seem to remain the same for the University of Texas.

Year after year, UT keeps producing one of the more lethal baseball clubs in the NCAA.

And unfortunately for Longhorns opponents, 1995 won't be much different.

The season outlook for coach Cliff Gustafson's squad looked bright as the No. 10 Longhorns were a consensus preseason pick to win the Southwest Conference.

However, the SWC season started rough for the Longhorns as the team was rocked in the First Pitch Tournament in Houston's Cougar Field March 16-19, dropping its first three conference games before pulling out a late-inning victory against the Cougars (14-16), who have yet to post a conference win (0-7).

To prove that tradition-rich teams never stay down for long, the Longhorns (29-7, 4-3 in the SWC) have since rebounded with four straight conference victories, though all against the winless Cougars.

The Longhorns swept a three-game set from Houston in Disch-Falk Field over the weekend.

Texas is once again led by the classy Gustafson, whose 1,373 career victory total is the most in college baseball history.

But "Coach Gus" is quick to point out that the SWC is one of the strongest leagues in the nation, and his Longhorns can't afford to overlook any of the teams.

"(Underestimating SWC opponents) always seems (to backfire on you)," Gustafson said. "The best team in the SWC can be beaten badly if they are not prepared to play.

"I would look for this team to finish well and be there when postseason play starts.

Texas has a strong pitching rotation that includes ace righthander J.D. Smart. Smart has been virtually unstoppable this year with his 10-1 season record The Longhorns also have a potent offensive team (.328 avg.) led by freshman outfielder Chris Edelstein (430. avg, 32 RBIs) and junior Shea Morenz (7 HRs, 27 RBIs), who uses the off-season to test his outfielder's arm by throwing spirals as the quarterback for the football team.

"We lost our first three games, but we will be there when it is all said and done," Morenz said. "We just got caught looking the other way against some teams, but Texas will be back."

This season, the Longhorns should be challenged by No. 18 Rice (22-8, 4-3), No. 8 Texas Tech (27-4, 3-1) and conference surprise Texas Christian (17-12), which boasts a 6-1 first-place league record.

 

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FILMS AND MUSIC IN FOCUS AT SXSW

by Jenalia Moreno

Daily Cougar Staff

Austin's annual South by Southwest Music and Media Conference kicked off Wednesday, March 15, when the Austin Music Awards were handed out, and SXSW didn't stop rockin' until the following Sunday.

It's impossible to mention everything that happened in Austin during those five days, which passed in a blur. The conference incorporated everything that could possibly affect the music and film industry, from how to finance your record or film to what your record jacket should look like. Not only was there a lot of music, but there was also a lot of talk from more than 300 industry experts who were featured in more than 60 panels. Panel topics ranged from "Why radio hates you" to "Koresh and the Waco Disaster: What Really Happened at Mt. Carmel?"

Sugar's Bob Mould started off the festivities as the keynote speaker Thursday, and the conference closed with a Texas-style barbecue.

Mould was not the only famous person at SXSW, renowned for welcoming unknown or local bands that ache to be signed on to an independent label. (Dangerous Toys is the only band ever signed on at SXSW.) More than 3,600 bands sent tapes to the SXSW officials; only 550 were chosen to play. Sony's Soul Asylum had The Terrace to itself at 10 p.m. Thursday. The making of Matthew Sweet's <I>Girlfriend<P> was the subject of one panel Thursday. Other well-known bands that made an appearance were Letters to Cleo, Dionne Farris, The Toadies and Bush.

Many of the bands in attendance were local Austin groups, including The Texas Instruments, Wannabes, The Shivers, Spoon, Sincola and the ever popular Bad Livers, who brought their blue grass sounds to the Continental Club Saturday. Some Houston bands performed at SXSW. Crazy C was a member of the panel discussing "The State of Hip Hop," and Big Mello was part of the hip hop demo listening party Thursday. Other Houston bands that took the stage included The Last Wish, Vice Grip, Lil' Brian Terry & Zydeco Travelers, Fliponya, Conscious Man and The Jinkies.

Every genre of music was offered at SXSW, including hip hop, country, jazz and rock. It was impossible to see more than four bands of your choice per night because the acts were back-to-back in different venues, which were spread across Austin. Moreover, because parking was such a nightmare, it was too much of a hassle to see more than a few shows. But, for just $35 you could buy a wristband that would admit you to any of the Austin clubs to check out these bands and see some fine films made by independent film makers.

One film shown was <I>Pop Love<P>, by first-time filmmaker Kyle Henry of Rice University. <I>Pop Love<P> was produced on a budget of about $15,000, and is a dark comedy adapted from Henry's 1992 stage play, <I>Balance and Symmetry<P>. <I>The Secret of Roan Inish<P>, a Celtic fairy tale that is playing at River Oaks 3, was also shown at SXSW. For those in search of horror, there was <I>The Return of The Texas Chain saw Massacre<P>, by film maker Kim Henkel.

 

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UH INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS ASSOCIATION OFFERS OPPORTUNITIES

by Lynn Reinhardt

Contributing Writer

Launched in October 1994, the University of Houston has the distinction of being home to Texas' first student chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators, currently 12 members strong and growing as the spring 1995 membership drive continues.

Founded in Chicago in 1924, IABC has 12,000 members in 45 countries and 1,600 student members in the United States and Canada.

A professional communications organization dedicated to providing lifelong learning opportunities, IABC provides tools and information to members in their chosen disciplines. IABC's mission is to shape the future of the profession through ground-breaking research and to serve as a leader in the use of advanced information technology.

Membership provides an opportunity to share the latest in global communication practices, ideas and experiences, while maintaining high ethical and performance standards for professional communicators.

Chapter benefits include access to a communications job bank and information on current trends and issues through professional and student meetings. Membership offers many occasions to meet professionals in areas of majors and to network with student support groups. Membership also provides opportunities to explore career options.

Expanded memberships benefit students with discounts to IABC's international conference, special member rates at other IABC events, a yearly communication world subscription and qualifies students for a 50 percent discount on professional dues after graduation. Basic student membership fees are $25 per year and expanded membership fees are $47.50, which includes basic fee.

All journalism, public relations, advertising, RTV and marketing majors are encouraged to attend the next chapter meeting at 3 p.m. Wednesday, March 29 in the Cascade room at the UC.

IABC officers for 1995 are Tricia Walker, acting president, Heidi Orrenmaa, vice president and Lady Oliver, director of public relations. For additional information, contact Tricia Walker at 872-9509.

 

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