Two Arrested for Body Part Trading at UCLA

The UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine has suspended its program for accepting donated human bodies in the wake of a discovery of illicit body-part trading. An employee of the school and an independent tissue broker are alleged to have used UCLA resources in order to supply body parts for various biotechnology firms and research institutions.

Henry Reid, director of the program, was arrested on March 6 on charges of grand theft.

He is suspected of allowing tissue broker Ernest Nelson to remove and trade the body parts of nearly 500 cadavers from the university over a period of six years, generating a profit of over $700,000.

Reid was coincidentally hired by UCLA in 1997 to correct such problems in handling cadavers. University officials say they are now deciding how to compensate for the university’s loss of access to human specimens.

Biotechnology companies and academic institutes use body parts for medical research and training purposes. Though the sale of human body parts is illegal in the United States, firms profit by charging to cover the costs of supplying specimens, which can run up to thousands of dollars for a single human body.

Similar instances have occurred in the past decades at medical facilities at UC Irvine and UCSD.

Attempts to enact stronger state and federal regulation are often hindered by institutions lobbying for ready access to tissue.

UC Irvine Opens Hydrogen Fuel Station

On Feb. 27, UC Irvine celebrated the grand opening of its automobile hydrogen fueling station.

The station is the first in California capable of dispensing hydrogen at 700 bar, or the equivalent of 10,000 pounds per square inch.

In some cases, this nearly doubles a vehicle’s driving range.

The station provides the latest in fueling technology, meeting the demands of vehicle development programs directed by automakers Toyota, Nissan, Honda, General Motors and Daimler Chrysler.

“”The world looks to California as the testing ground for next-generation automobile technologies,”” UC Irvine’s National Fuel Cell Research Center Director Scott Samuelsen said in a press release. “”The shift to a hydrogen economy is … a dramatic and fundamental shift in the way that individuals will operate their vehicles in the future.””

The emissions from a hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicle contain only water vapor.

Today, hydrogen can be produced from nonpetroleum gas sources, potentially reducing our current reliance on petroleum for the future.

The facility looks similar to a gas station, with stand-alone dispensers delivering pure gaseous hydrogen. According to the California Fuel Cell Partnership, 23 hydrogen stations exist in California, with 14 more planned. Automakers say that they may begin selling fuel cell vehicles by the year 2010.