Task force to redefine SRTV purpose, charter

Following the appointment of A.S. councilmembers to the Student-Run Television Ad Hoc Task Force, the group will meet to rewrite the station’s charter in order to craft a management hierarchy, identify roles and define the purpose of the station, according to Thurgood Marshall Student College Council Chair and appointed task force member Denis Shmidt.

“One of the main things I want to accomplish out of all of this is clarity; I would like anyone to be able to read the charter and know exactly where A.S. stands, what the rules are and what the hierarchy is,” Shmidt stated in an e-mail. “The current charter is far too vague, has far too many discrepancies and does not clearly show who is accountable for preserving and enforcing the rules of the station.”

The task force has not yet convened, but hopes to at least once before the end of the quarter, according to Revelle College Senior Senator Rachel Corell, another task force member.

Report: Federal funds for science slipping

Data released from the National Science Foundation suggest that federal money for scientific research has been shrinking in recent years.

The foundation’s report estimates that, while research funding in 2005 will increase a half percent over last year, adjusting for inflation since 2000 still puts federal funding 1.5 percent below the 2004 level. The NSF projected that total federal science research funding would be $54.7 billion in 2005.

The numbers released by the NSF also showed varying federal support levels for different agencies and indicated that while the Department of Health and Human Services, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the NSF received funding hikes in 2005, research funding declined for the Departments of Agriculture, Defense and Energy.

However, when adjusted for inflation since 2000, all agencies showed a decline in federal research funding after, except the NSF.

The NSF also reported that, in 2005, total federal funding of all research and development as well as R&D facilities will amount to $110 billion.

Ericsson backs new UCSD position

Telecommunications company Ericsson has endowed a new UCSD chair of wireless communication access techniques, which will be filled by Jacobs School of Engineering professor Laurence Milstein.

Milstein, a faculty member of almost three decades, will serve as chair through UCSD’s new Cal-(IT)2 division, which has a corporate partnership with Ericsson. Milstein, a specialist in digital communication theory, usually advises up to 20 graduate students as well as some candidates for master’s degrees.

Milstein served as principal investigator on another Ericsson-funded venture. The code division multiple access systems research project, run through Cal-(IT)2 since 2002, was also backed by a grant provided by the UC Discovery program. With the research, Milstein hopes to lead developments in the area of CDMA, which is used in mobile telecommunications.

Anti-depressant key in meth use therapy

UCLA researchers have begun human testing on a potential treatment for methamphetamine addiction by using an anti-depressant. Currently, no medications are federally sanctioned to treat meth addicts. The anti-depressant, called bupropion, curbs the “high” created by meth as well as the desire to use the drug, UCLA Semel Institute researchers stated in the online journal Neuropsychopharmacology.

The researchers stated in the report that bupropion diminishes the effects of meth by blocking its way into brain cells, where the drug expedites the release of neurotransmitters that give the user feelings of euphoria. The study, the first to use the anti-depressant in human meth treatment, is in its second phase of a clinical trial. Currently, 20 of 26 clinical participants have completed testing. All participants, active meth users between the ages of 18 and 45, randomly received either a placebo or the anti-depressant while taking meth doses intravenously. Subjects taking the antidepressant said that they experienced both weaker highs and cravings after treatment, the researchers found.