Lawmaker calls for meningitis vaccination

    College students living on campus will need to provide evidence of a meningitis vaccination under a new bill introduced by Rep. Robert E. Andrews (D-N.J.). If approved, the proposal would modify the Higher Education Act — a law governing most federal involvement and funding in higher education — to force universities receiving government funds to require the vaccine.

    The law would apply to all students 18 years or older who apply for admission or attempt to register for classes at a postsecondary institution. Minors would be exempt from the requirements.

    In addition, the law would allow students to opt out of the vaccination by signing a written waiver, stating that they reviewed information on the disease but chose not to receive an inoculation.

    For schools that do not keep waivers or medical records showing that students have been immunized on file, the law authorizes the Department of Education to reduce the amount of government administrative allowances provided to campuses for coordinating campus-based federal financial aid.

    The bill has come less than a month after the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices reversed its earlier stance and passed a resolution calling on all college freshmen to receive the vaccine. Previously, it had said that general vaccination would not be cost effective.

    The disease, though very rare, appears at a higher frequency among college students living in on-campus residential halls.

    Bill calls for private work-study use

    A bill introduced by Rep. David Wu (D-Ore.) would require college universities to include private, for-profit organizations in the administration of their work-study programs. Current law allows for, but does not mandate, universities to use private vendors in the coordination of the employment program.

    As originally created in 1965, work-study provides federal money to students as financial aid in the form of matching salary funds. The money is distributed to universities, which then divide it among needy students. To receive the aid, students must work for an approved employer, with the money used to pay a portion of their total wages.

    Traditionally, most of the money had been used for on-campus positions and at nonprofit organizations. However, Wu’s bill would require that universities use a portion of the money to subsidize wages of low-income students working at private companies.

    The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

    New bowel disease treatment found

    Scientists at UCSD School of Medicine, with colleagues in Japan and Israel, have shown that a new type of therapy using special types of proteins was successful in treating two types of inflammatory bowel disease in mice.

    Printed in the March edition of the Journal of Clinical Investigations, the researcher’s findings show how the treatment is used to reduce the severity of an immune system malfunction that attacks the gut.

    Though used on mice, researchers say the findings will help them understand how the proteins work to reduce inflammation involved in Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, two painful, chronic conditions that affect nearly one million Americans.

    Three beetle groups missing testis

    Scientists at UC Berkeley have found that a surprisingly large number of beetles in three beetle families are missing their left testes. The findings, they say, are unusual because the process of natural selection has tended to favor populations with symmetrical body structures.

    “We’ve got two lungs, two kidneys, and females and males have paired gonads. Even our brain has two hemispheres,” UC Berkeley assistant professor of insect biology Kipling Will stated in a university press release. “Evolution has predominantly favored bilateral symmetry in animals, so when we see that the rule is violated, as in the case with these beetles, it gets our attention.”

    However, the beetles in question are not the first organisms to have an unusual population missing testes, and researchers said the anomaly does not inhibit the beetles’ normal functions.

    “The beetles with one testis are mating normally and doing their beetle thing,” Cornell University professor of entomology James Liebherr stated.

    More to Discover
    Donate to The UCSD Guardian
    Our Goal

    Your donation will support the student journalists at University of California, San Diego. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment, keep printing our papers, and cover our annual website hosting costs.

    Donate to The UCSD Guardian
    Our Goal