Biology researchers at UCSD have recently discovered that nerve cells in a fetus are directed throughout the body by intracellular calcium that acts as gophers between the embryo and the cells.

The scientists published their findings in the March 9 issue of “”Science,”” which describes how filopodia, which are projections from a nerve cell, test the outside environment and create calcium as is needed to serve as a transmitter for information between the organism’s developing brain and other parts of its body.

Timothy Gomez, an assistant professor of anatomy at the University of Wisconsin Medical School, led the research and explained that the calcium phenomenon may have previously gone undetected because of their minute size.

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke funded the team’s research.

The team used spinal nerve cells from frog embryos in their research, because they are easily multiplied and grow rapidly.

UCSD to Present 17th Annual Film Festival Later This Month

David G. McKendrick and Stephan Haggard, researchers at UCSD have written “”From Silicon Valley to Singapore: Location and Competitive Advantage in the Hard Disk Drive Industry,”” with Richard Donor, a professor at Emory University. The book explores the dominance of the United States in the global hard disk drive industry.

In the book, the researchers present their findings as to why the United States has excelled in the industry, which has made the information age possible with the ever-growing use of the personal computer. They say that much of United States’ success is due to effective globalization and the fact that they chose to research and develop the product in California, but to manufacture in Singapore, thus giving them an edge over Japanese companies.

McKendrick is currently the research director of UCSD’s Information Storage Industry Center and Haggard is currently acting as Interim Dean of UCSD’s Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies.

UCSD will sponsor this year’s annual San Diego International Film Festival, which will be held March 30 through April 12 at Mann’s Hazard Center Theater in Mission Valley.

UCSD Scientists Collaborate to Author Book on Hard Disk Drive Industry

Twenty-two films will be shown at the Hazard Center Theater and many will be shown on campus. The evening of April 10 will feature 22 short films, and on April 11, an event devoted solely to international animation will be held, featuring 19 animated films.

Films from France, England, Australia, China, India, South Korea, the Netherlands, Austria, Turkey, Thailand, Taiwan, Spain, Italy, Poland, Hungary, Sweden and South Africa will be shown.

Opening night will offer films that proved successful at the Cannes Film Festival, including “”With a Friend Like Harry,”” a French film directed by Gilles Marchand.

For more information and a complete listing of all the films to be screened during the festival call the University Events Office at (858) 534-0497.

Jacobs School Structural Engineers Survey Seattle

Structural Engineers at UCSD’s Jacobs School of Engineering will hold a free public seminar March 12 to discuss their conclusions from a recent trip to Seattle, the site of a recent major earthquake.

The team of engineers, which includes professors Andre Filiatrault and Chia-Ming Uang, looked at the damage done to buildings and bridges in the Puget Sound area.

The quake measured 6.8 on the Richter scale, but damage remained limited because the earthquake was deep below the ground. The engineers found that structural damages were prevalent even though earthquake retrofit procedures had worked successfully.

Damages have reached $2 billion and according to the Washington Emergency Management Division, there were over 400 injuries related to the Seattle earthquake.

The seminar will take place at noon at UCSD’s Center for Magnetic Recording Research auditorium, and the complete findings of the research group can be found online at For more information about the seminar call Andre Filiatrault at (858) 822-2161.

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