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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - November 14, 1985, New Braunfels, Texas Page 6A HeraldZe/ft/m^New Braunfels, Texas Thursday, November 14,1985 Briefly EPA eyes release of man-made organisms WASHINGTON (AP) - The Environmental Protection Agency is leaning toward approval of the first deliberate release of a genetically engineered organism into the natural environment, one that nature already has put there, an EPA official says. Advanced Genetic Sciences Inc. of Oakland, Calif., wants to test bacteria. Pseudonomas syr-ingae and the related P. fluorescens, that appear to protect plants against frost. Use of such bacteria could significantly extend the growing seasons for crops. EPA spokesman Dave Cohen said the agency was likely to grant the company a permit today to spray the bacteria on strawberry plants. Nature makes the bacteria by the billions onplant leaves in two forms — about 99.9 percent "ice-plus” and 0.1 percent "ice-minus.” Ice-plus produces a protein that becomes the nucleus around which dew freezes. Ice-minus is missing the section of genetic material that directs the bacterium to make that protein The company makes the ice-minus form by gene-splicing techniques. Amry toughens fitness standards WASHINGTON (AP) — The Army, convinced that too many of its soldiers are passing their physical fitness tests without regularly exercising, has decided to toughen the semi annual exam. The changes, outlined last week in a directive sent to all Army units, will have the greatest impact on men over ge 40 and women Female soldiers, for example, will have to perform nearly twice as many sit-ups as they do now to achieve a passing score The new standards also will be ap plied to all members of the National Guard and Reserve The changes become effective next Oct. I. Each of the nation’s military services uses a different physical fitness test and scoring standards, with the Marine Corps' test considered the most difficult. The current Army test is basd on the number of situps and push ups performed in two ua spans and the time it takes to run two miles Each event is scored on a O-to-lOO scale, with a score of 60 deemed passing The minimums for that score of (JO differ for men and women as well as by age group Congress moves to refill treasury WASHINGTON (AP) Congress is moving to refill the Treasury’s empty coffers with borrowed money to avert a government financial crisis just as President Reagan leaves for his summit with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. The House and Senate on Wednesday each approved short term increases in the government’s debt limit But because they didn’t agree on when the new credit would expire, the differences must be settled by midnight tonight. The White House warned Wednesday that unless the Treasury can borrow more money, the government will stop paying its bills on Friday. The administration supports permanent legislation raising the national debt ceiling to $2 078 trillion more than twice the red ink of when Reagan took office in 1981 and enough to last through another $200 billion deficit year Malpractice insurance soaring ASHINGTON (AP) Malpractice insurance premiums for obstetricians have risen an average of $9,871 over the last two years, prompting a growing number of physicians to leave the field or limit their practices, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said today. The professional organization, releasing the results of survey of some 1,400 obstetricians-gynecologists, said the rising malpractice insurance fees threaten to limit women’s access to quality care by persuading physicians to enter medical fields with a lower risk of being sued. Dr. William Mixson, the organization’s president, said 28 percent of the physicians surveyed said they have decreased the amount of high-risk obstetrics they perform because of the increasing chance of being sued and the higher malpractice premiums He said other data show that young physicians entering practice are shunning the feld of high-risk pregnancies entirely Of the 75 spcialdzed programs in the field, he said, 45 have staff vacancies. Space weapons    will divide U.S.-Soviet relations MOSCOW (AP) Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gor bachev said he plans "serious and productive” talks with President Reagan next week, but that Reagan’s plan to develop space weapons would further divide the superpowers and force Soviet countermeasures. Meanwhile, Soviet officials in Europe stressed the Soviet view that arms control is the most important item on the agenda for the summit meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday. The summit should center on "whether there is going to be a war or not” and not on other issues, the officials said If Reagan broaches U.S. concerns that human rights are being violated in the Soviet Union, one official said the Soviets would counter by charging "massive violations” in America Whooping cough cases double WASHINGTON (AP) Whooping cough cases among American youngsters, some of them fatal, have nearly doubled over the last three years as parents wary of possible side effects of the vaccine apparently have chosen not to immunize their children, medical experts say The American Academy of Pediatrics says 2,258 cases of whooping cough had been reported to federal epidemiologists from Jan I through mid-October, compared with a total of 1,242 cases in all of 1982 Laser communication explored WASHINGTON (AP) Pentagon researchers, in the first successful test of its kind, have managed to transmit messages to a submarine cruising at "operational depths” using a laser aboard a high flying airplane. The experiment, conducted a year ago off the coast of California, was disclosed in an article written by a high ranking officer with the Space and Naval Warfare Command The officer. Rear Adm Thomas K Mattingly, and other sources agreed such a laser system, if made operational, could have far-reaching implications. One of the more significant problems facing nuclear strategists is that of communicating reliably with ballistic missile submarines without requiring the sub to come up near the surface, where it can be detected by an enemy Such a laser system also could allow easy com munication between carrier battle groups and attack submarines, allowing airplanes or helicopters that locate an enemy sub to pass that information on School voucher faces fight WASHINGTON (AP) The Reagan administration’s proposal to give poor parents vouchers they could spend on public or private schools faces formidable obstacles in Congress and a certain legal bat tie should it ever clear all the legislative hurdles Reactions to Secretary of Education William J Bennett's TEACH plan a loosely drawn acronym for "The Equity and Choice Act” were predictable Reagan may announce new U.S.- Soviet accord WASHINGTON (AP) - President Reagan is expected to announce to the nation tonight completion of a new agreement with the Soviet Union providing for broader exchanges of culture, students and scientists. I a nationally broadcast address at 7p.m. CST, Reagan also was likely to outline his hopes for success at next week’s summit meeting with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. State Department officials said after a year and a half of negotiation, an "umbrella framework” for the exchange agreement had been worked out through emissaries in Moscow and Washington. It replaces an agreement suspended in 1980 to punish the Soviet Union for sending more than 100,000 tuoops into Afghanistan the year before. Reagan and Gorbachev could sign the new accord when they sit own together in Geneva, Switzerland, next Tuesday and Wednesday, said the State Department officials, who insisted on anonymity. "There are a few dots and dashes remaining, but they should not present a problem,” one of the officials told The Associated Press Wednesday night. "It’s good news. Ifs a gain,” the official said. ‘‘It can yield a lot of understanding.” Meanwhile,The New York Times reported in today’s editions that the two nations will announce at the summit that they have agreed to combine efforts to halt the spread of chemical weapons. Although the cultural exchange agreement was suspended after the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, there have been cultural exchanges between the two superpowers, on a case-by-case basis. Negotiations on the new, formal agreement picked up over the last six months, with most of the work being done in Moscow, the State Department official said. But despite the breakthrough. U.S. summit expectations remain modest. A senior administration official says the success or failure of Reagan’s meeting with Gorbachev may not be clear until Soviet behavior around the world is measured months later. With major nuclear arms control agreements already ruled out, the official told reporters at the White House on Wednesday that Reagan hoped to alter Gorbachev’s attitudes about the United States but realized fundamental Soviet policy would not be changed in Geneva. "The president doesn’t have any illusions this meeting will change the ideological underpinings ofthe (Soviet) state,” the official said. He described the president’s mood as both calm and excited, and said he was reviewing the history of past U.S.-Soviet summit meetings and the "chemistry” of the participants to prepare for his talks with Gorbachev. In their greetings, the official said, "the president wants to establish a basic understanding in the mind of the General Secretary of what our concerns are” and to tell him U.S. research into an anti-missile defense system was neither "visionary” nor "a political stunt ” In that regard, the official said "there is a Soviet attitude of mistrust of us” that Reagan hoped to change through "personal dialogue” with Gorbachev Experimental drug promising weapon against AIDS BOSTON (AP) — Scientists searching for the Achilles’ heel of the AIDS virus believe they have found a promising new strategy — drug that wrecks the crucial outer coat of the lethal microbe. The medicine has not been tested on victims of acquired immune deficiency syndrome. But in the test tube, at least, it appears to be a powerful weapon that destroys the germ’s ablity to cause an infection. The medicine, called AL 721, seems to carry no dangerous side effects, a major advantage over other experimental AIDS drugs. In a cautiously worded letter in today’s New England Journal of Medicine, researchers said this apparent safety "makes AL 721 a promising new candidate for clinical investigation in the treatment of AIDS and AIDS-related complex." The report continued, however, that "it shoul be emphasized that results so far are preliminary and that much more work will be re quired to determine th clinical usefulness of this agent.” The letter by Dr Prem S. Sarin of the National Cancer Institute and other researchers said that in test tube studies, the drug could protect vulnerable white blood cells from infection by the virus It attacks the virus but spares normal human cells. ‘‘This compound is very nontoxic,” said Sarin “It doesn’t do anything to normal cells at the concentration we used ” Researchers say that if it works, the medicine will represent an entirely new approach to fighting germs. Consumer debt hits record high yaa rn ca ** ca wa wa wa**** ** vt ** wa wa wa rn wa** wa wa aam wa wa wa ****** wa wa wa wa wa wa wa v i Bf th* ASSOCIATED PRESS Consumer debt soared to record levels in September and auto sales slumped early in Novemtrer as a result of the end of cut rate financing offered by the major US automakers at the end of the 1985 model year Americans took on $108 billion more debt than they paid oft in September, the Federal Reserve reported Wednesday, saying most of the gain was due to the buying of cars The increase topped the record $9 09 billion set in May 1984 and far outdistanced the $8 3 billion increase for August, prompting warnings by some analysts of a coming consumer spending slowdown. "The consumer is over extended given the current economic conditions,” said Sandra Shaber, an economist at Chase Econometrics, a research firm "Consumer demand isn t going to collapse, but it certain ly is going to slow down sharply from what we had in the first nine months of the year ” Cut rate financing offered in late August and early September by the major automakers prompted part of the debt increase The Fed said $7 4 billion of the September increase was for auto loans — nearly double the May record of $3 8 billion. The special financing and other in centives led to inventory shortages in early November, which analysts blamed for the 12 4 percent drop in sales the nation’s automakers reported for Nov 1-10, compared with last year. The slump dropped the industry’s annualized sales rate to 5 9 million, far below its 8 million capacity. S Looking for Something Special for that Hard To i f $ i B ! I I I J I t > I Please Person? We Have It! S The Perfect Gift! Call I I Herald-Zeitung Cheer Fund in Your Name ti I I I t I t t t I f ti 625-9144 Or Come By 186 South Casten Or Mail to P.O. Drawer 361, New Braunfels, Texas 78131 The Herald-Zeitung Cheer Fund is to feed needy families on Christmas Day. AL 721 removes cholesterol from the outer membrane, or evelope, of the virus, changing its structure. Wihout an intact envelope, the virus is powerless ti infect and do harm. Another of the researchers, Dr. Fulton Crews of the University ef Florida, said experts have long known that solents can kill viruses But until now. no one has considered assaulting them inside the human body by drawing out the cholesterol that is part of their outer mem branes. "Cholesterol makes membrane rigid and hard,” Crews said. "So when you pull the cholesterol out, the membrane does, in essence, melt.” Several other experiment?! AIDS medicines work by attacking transcriptase, an enzyme the virus uses to take command of infected cells However, many of these drugs also have damaging side effects that could limit their long-term use. AL 721 was developed at Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel It is being tested in the United States by researchers at Praxis Pharmaceuticals Inc. I I J I j A gift that is Special Every Day . . . Relaxing . . . Informing ...    J | Entertaining . . . Educational. . . Start Christmas Morning out right with a j I Gift Subscription to the New Braunfels Rerald-Zeitung. Purchase    | I your gift subscription now and tell us when to start delivery. We will send I | a Gift Card — Plus we will donate ($2.50 for a 3 month subscription, I $3.50 for a 6 month subscription, or $5.00 for a I year subscription) to the g I I I J I I I I I V I I ii Frankie's Mom Is Sickloday. Like yesterday. And the day before. And, most likely, tomorrow. Frankie's mom is sick. 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