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NIH Record News Briefs

STEP Forum on Biodiversity

The Staff Training in Extramural Programs (STEP) Program of NIH will present a forum on "Biodiversity and Health: Life in the Balance" on Thursday, Apr. 22 in Bldg. 1, Wilson Hall from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Come learn how health is linked to the survival or extinction of species of plants, animals, insects, microbes and the destruction of the ecosystems that support them. Topics will include links between biodiversity and infectious diseases, sources of old and new medicines and sentinels to indicate trouble with our own health (the "canary in the coal mine"). Discussion will focus on what NIH can do to address the problems here and far away.

The planned speakers include: Dr. Rita Colwell, director of the National Science Foundation; Dr. Richard Ostfeld, Institute of Ecosystem Studies; Dr. James Burkhart, NIEHS; Dr. Gordon Cragg, NCI; Dr. Joshua Rosenthal, FIC, and a panel from industry, nonprofits, government and academia.

The session is free and open to all on a first-come, first-served basis. No advance registration is necessary. Inform STEP regarding any need for sign language interpretation or reasonable accommodation by Apr. 15. For more information, call the STEP program office, 435-2769.

TFactors Interest Group Conference

Registration is now open for the upcoming 1-day "TFactors Interest Group Conference" scheduled for Tuesday, Apr. 27 at the Holiday Inn in Frederick, Md. Conference organizers are Nancy Colburn, Peter Johnson, Stoney Simons and Uli Siebenlist. The purpose of the conference is to enhance the exchange of information and collaborations among NIH scientists interested in gene transcription and transcription factors. The program will include poster sessions, short talks selected from abstracts and outside speakers. Participation is limited, so register promptly at or contact Margaret Fanning at (301) 846-1995 (email: for more information.

FAES Concert Set, Apr. 11

The FAES Chamber Music Series will present Lilya Zilberstein, piano, at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Apr. 11 in Masur Auditorium, Bldg. 10. Tickets are $20 at the door; $10 for students and fellows. For more information call 496-7975.

Leshner Gives Smithsonian Talk

Dr. Alan I. Leshner, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, will lecture at the Smithsonian Institution on "The Science of Addiction," as part of NIDA's 25th anniversary events. He will discuss important new addiction research highlighting the impact that drugs have on the human brain. He will also offer insight into the genetics of addiction and discuss the latest science-based prevention and treatment strategies.

The lecture will take place Monday, Apr. 19 at 6 p.m. at the Smithsonian on the Mall. For ticket and location information, contact the Smithsonian Residence Associates Program at (202) 357-3030.

Labs Must Meet CLIA Standards

Many of NIH's research laboratories are also "clinical laboratories" according to the definitions encompassed in the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA 1988) and must be certified as meeting CLIA operational standards. The Clinical Center's clinical pathology department has established a centralized CLIA Resource Center to help institute laboratories meet these standards. For information, contact Peggy Spina at or call clin path at 496-5668.

The Man Who Can Separate an Elk Herd

Most people at NIDA know Richard Harrison as "Rick." But to the children at Executive Child Development Center (NIH's day care on Executive Blvd.), Rick is known as Ne-Kah-Pah-Xe from the Osage Tribe.

Children sit rapt as Rick Harrison dances in Osage raiment. He is also chief of NIDA's Contract Review Branch.

In full ceremonial dress, Ne-Kah-Pah-Xe recently danced his way into the hearts and minds of children ages 2 to 6 years. For 3 hours, the children danced, asked questions and sat riveted while Ne-Kah-Pah-Xe shared tales of his Native American customs and ceremonies.

His name describes an elk that is able to command respect from the elk herd. And even more remarkably, Ne-Kah-Pah-Xe can hold the attention span of 2-year-olds for more than 5 minutes.

Image Enhancement of Dead Sea Scrolls

Almost 2,000 years ago, leather scrolls covered with sacred texts were sealed in earthenware jars and hidden deep inside caves that line the Dead Sea. Since the discovery of these Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947, researchers the world over have spent years trying to piece the scrolls together, and to learn what they say and who wrote them.

On Friday, Apr. 16, at 10 a.m., NLM will host a presentation on efforts by researchers from Rochester Institute of Technology and Xerox Corp., to apply state-of-the-art image processing to the scrolls. The NIH community is invited to the session, which will be held in the Lister Hill Auditorium, on the first floor of Bldg. 38A.

New Lupus Care Guide Published

An up-to-date, comprehensive professional manual called Lupus: A Patient Care Guide for Nurses and Other Health Professionals is now available from NIAMS.

The new publication is an update and expansion of Lupus Erythematosus: A Handbook for Nurses by Terri Nass. It was revised by a team of medical writers, nurses and nurse educators, read and commented on by members of the National Black Nurses Association, and reviewed by leading physicians and nurses expert in lupus. Partners with NIAMS in this publication include the Office of Research on Women's Health, the Office of Research on Minority Health and the National Institute of Nursing Research, along with two nonprofit, private organizations — the SLE Foundation and the Lupus Foundation of America.

Free copies are available by calling (301) 495-4484. The text is also on the NIAMS Web site at:

Wednesday Afternoon Lectures

The Wednesday Afternoon Lecture series — held on its namesake day at 3 p.m. in Masur Auditorium, Bldg. 10 — features Dr. Craig B. Thompson on Apr. 14; he will discuss "Keeping Cells Alive: Is Caspase Inhibition Enough?" He is professor, departments of medicine, and molecular genetics and cell biology at the University of Chicago, an HHMI investigator, and director of the Gwen Knapp Center for Lupus and Immunology Research.

On Apr. 21, Dr. Gail R. Martin, professor, department of anatomy, and program in developmental biology, University of California, San Francisco, will speak on "FGF Gene Function in Vertebrate Gastrulation, Brain and Limb Development."

For more information or for reasonable accommodation, call Hilda Madine, 594-5595.

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