Briefly

    The new online Melvyl-T catalog, which will allow California Digital Library patrons to search more than 23 million records for material held by the libraries of the 10 UC campuses, was rolled out April 23.

    Compared to the legacy Melvyl catalog, which will continue operating until August 2003, Melvyl-T has a new format and design, offers users a variety of enhanced features, and contains completely updated data for the holdings of the UC system. Once the legacy Melvyl catalog has been retired, Melvyl-T (for Transition) will become Melvyl.

    The Melvyl-T has refined and expanded search features that are a significant advance over the legacy Melvyl catalog. These features include more flexible search options, including phrase and proximity searching; browsing by major indexes, including author, title, subject and call number; expanded limiting and sorting of search results; display of foreign language materials using their native language characters, including Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Hebrew and Arabic; and the ability to return to previous searches and combine, review or save them into a personal workspace.

    Melvyl-T is at http://melvyl.cdlib.org and also available via the CDL Web site (http://www.cdlib.org), which contains information about the catalog and other digital collections and services.

    Web site lends insight to college composition

    A new Web site called the UC Writing Institute, which contains information about writing programs and instruction offered throughout the entire UC system, has just been launched.

    The purpose of the site, which was designed for people interested in college composition, is to provide information about writing requirements, courses and special programs offered by each UC campus; supply resources on writing and writing instruction; and present the results of faculty research in the teaching of writing.

    The Web site, which is located at http://www.ucwrite.org, currently includes information about first-year writing programs for UC freshmen, resources for ESL/multilingual writers and a section on the use of technology in teaching writing.

    Conceived as an institute as well as a Web site, UCWRITE will additionally serve as a place where instructors can share research, new classroom technologies and teaching materials, as well as discuss philosophies of instruction and composition.

    The UC Writing Institute has been in development for the past two years and is the result of work completed by faculty from UCSC, UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC Santa Barbara and UC Davis.

    UCSD Lit. Professor receives Guggenheim Fellowship

    UCSD Professor of Comparative Literature Lisa Lowe has been granted a Guggenheim Fellowship for 2003.

    Lowe is among 184 artists, scholars and scientists who were selected from more than 3,200 applicants to receive awards at the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation’s 79th annual United States and Canadian competition. Awards for all recipients total $6,750,000.

    Fellows are appointed on the basis of distinguished achievement in the past and exceptional promise for future accomplishment.

    Lowe has been on the UCSD faculty since 1986. She received a bachelor’s degree in history from Stanford University and a doctorate in literature from UC Santa Cruz.

    Staph infection described by UCSD researchers

    For the first time, UCSD School of Medicine researchers have described the method that Staphylococcus aureus infection uses to inactivate the body’s immune response and cause previously healthy B cells to commit suicide.

    Normally, B cells mount an early defense against invading bacteria. From this immunologic experience, memory B cells are developed with the ability to quickly recognize these antigens and destroy the bacteria if they return in the future. When staph infections occur, however, this important process for immune defense can be corrupted.

    In studies with mice, the researchers found that a staph protein called SpA acts like a B cell toxin to ultimately cause their death. Although B cells begin to respond, they are quickly shut down because the SpA deactivates B cell’s antigen receptors. Then, within a few hours, the SpA toxin induces B cells to turn on themselves in a programmed suicide process called apoptosis. As a direct consequence, the B cells never get a chance to develop the memory cells necessary to recognize and fight future staph infections.

    In follow-up studies, the researchers will examine people with staph infections to verify that the same process takes place and that it prevents individuals from defending against staph infections.

    The study appears in the May 5 issue of the Journal of Experimental Medicine.

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