The Golden Fleece Strikes Again!

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<ul><li><p>SCHOOL SCIENCEAND</p><p>MATHEMATICSVOL. LXXIXAPRIL, 1979WHOLENo. 694</p><p>ciitoz A ^PagE</p><p>The Golden Fleece Strikes Again!Some may wonder at times about Senator Proximires behavior, but</p><p>suffice to say he deserves at least a rhinestone in his crown, or whereverelse may be appropriate, for initiating the Golden Fleece Award. TheAward is given monthly by the Senator for the most ridiculous waste oftax money. A recent recipient was the Office of Education for approvinga $219,592 grant to teach college students how to watch television. Anunderling spokesman of the Office, Bob Hockstein, was thrown to thewolves to explain the alleged perfidy. According to a newspaper report,he stated that the grant is to develop "analytical skills ... to enable stu-dents to recognize stereotyping on the basis of race or sex" . . . [and] "tosee the subtle influence of advertising ..." A colleague of the Editorindicated that Hockstein probably would have preferred to ingest offalrather than to spew such verbal garbage. But, Boss Man in the ivory tow-er ducked the opportunity and stayed under his desk incommunicado.</p><p>But, one often wonders how any proposal could be written sensiblywhen one examines the guidelines and policy statements that emergefrom some Federal agencies. For example, examine the statement in thepublication entitled Program Information and Application ProceduresFiscal Year 1979 for "The Comprehensive Program" of The Fund forthe Improvement of Postsecondary Education, DHEW.</p><p>273</p></li><li><p>274 School Science and Mathematics</p><p>"The Fund is a governmental, grant-making organization with four distinguishing char-acteristics:It is comprehensive in scope, covering the entire range of postsecondary education.It is responsive, seeking to yield to external initiative the task of conceiving and develop-ing proposals to be funded.It is action-oriented. While the Fund will entertain proposals for policy-oriented studiesand feasibility studies directly related to reform, innovation, and improvement, it willnot fund proposals for basic research.It is risk-taking. The Fund will entertain proposals/or new and unproven ideas as wellas proven</p><p>From here, the mess really begins. Its impossible to ferret what thefunction of The Fund is except to keep bureaucrats busy. The publica-tion might well be awarded the next Golden Fleece.</p><p>In brief, its a lot of meadow dressing.</p><p>^^-v^^^GEORGE G. MALLINSON, Editor</p><p>CLONED HUMANDNA PRODUCED</p><p>Geneticists at the University of WisconsinMadison have successfully clonedhuman genetic material. Oliver Smithies, Frederick R. Blattner and members oftheir research team are now analyzing the material, which contains a large partof one of the genes for hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying component of red bloodcells.</p><p>Genetic material, deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), contains chemically coded inits structure the hereditary "blueprints* that parents give to their offspring.</p><p>In a complex series of reactions, DNA directs the formation of proteins, whichserve living organisms as structural building blocks, and as enzymes, catalysts ofcountless chemical reactions in organisms. Together proteins and enzymes makeup life processes. The proteins that make up hemoglobin are called "globins."</p><p>Smithies says the research teams goal is to understand how genes are con-trolled. The team is focusing on hemoglobin genes because more is known abouthemoglobin proteins and how they function than about any other human pro-teins. The researchers hope that what is already known about the genes productswill help them determine how the genes themselves work. The UWMadisonscientists especially want to learn how the hemoglobin genes are turned on andoff.Between conception and about 9 months of age, a series of different hemo-</p><p>globin genes are turned on and off as they direct the formation of a succession offive different kinds of hemoglobin that function for specific periods duringhuman development. The last change begins shortly before birth, when "fetal"hemoglobin is replace with "adult" hemoglobin, the form that continues to bemade throughout life.</p></li></ul>