The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, February 11, 2000, Image 1

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    ‘Breathing’ leoo‘*ns
Tonight, modem dance choreogra
pher Bill T. Jones brings his solo
piece to the Lied. A&E, PAGE 10
Dalhia Ingram and the Nebraska
track team will host the Frank
Friday, February 11,2000 Vol 99, Issue 100 Sevigne invitational.
Groups not satisfied with
UNMC’s answer to letter
By Kimberly Sweet
Staff writer
Leaders of three anti-abortion groups in Nebraska
want more answers from University of Nebraska Medical
Center officials about research being done with aborted
fetal tissue.
In a letter drafted Tuesday to Robert Bartee, executive
assistant to the chancellor at UNMC, the three leaders
requested information and documentation under the
Freedom of Information Act.
Leaders of Nebraska Right to Life, Metro Right to
Life and the Nebraska Family Council cosigned the letter,
asking for more detailed answers to 17 questions they pre
sented to the NU Board of Regents at its December meet
Bartee signed and sent a letter on behalf of UNMC
officials who provided answers to the 17 questions on Feb.
But Juliq Schmit-Albin, exectrtive director of
Nebraska Right to Life, said the responses UNMC offi
cials provided weren’t enough.
“We did not feel they adequately answered all the
questions,” Schmit-Albin said. “The tone of their
response was curt”
In the letter, Schmit-Albin, along with Metro Right to
Life President Bob Blank and Nebraska Family Council
Director Guyla Mills, asked for specific documentation
under the Freedom of Information Act concerning the
In the letter, the three ask for specific details on how
LeRoy Carhart, die physician who provides the aborted
fetal tissue to the university, obtains die brain cells used
for research.
They also ask for documentation proving the fetus is
dead and the heart is stopped when research is being con
The leaders want to know which individuals are
assigned to oversee the procedure Carhart uses to extract
die tissue.
They also want to see the consent forms the women
have to sign and records that can prove whether the cells
were obtained through a partial-birth abortion procedure.
The letter requests information concerning how much
tissue is currently acquired through miscarried and still
born babies.
It also asks if UNMC receives tissue from any of the
four universities it collaborates with in its fetal cell
According to the response letter Bartee sent to the
anti-abortion groups, the institutions include Columbia
Please see UNMC on 6
Melanie Falk/DN
Christensen, an
lb associate profes
sor of bleloay, has
F asked students In bis genetics
classes to go outside and
observe characteristics of cats as
a way to determine their geno
Here kitty, kitty: Cats help j
students learn about genes
isy jonn tiejKai
Staff writer
Whether you love or hate them, there is
one thing you absolutely cannot deny. Cats
are usefUl for teaching gaieties.
At least, that’s what Alan Christensen,
associate professor of biology at UNL, has
In 1995, Christensen decided to give his
Biological Sciences 301 gaieties class an
opportunity to earn extra credit by filling
out a worksheet on a cat’s genotype. A geno
type describes a specific genetic aspect of
an organism.
most oi me siuaenis ooserve cats nom
friends’ houses, pet stores, the Humane
Society (»* their own homes, he said. Some
look at stray cats.
“You actually can get a remarkable
amount of a cat’s genetic background from
just a quick lode,” Christensen said.
Students can tell four or five aspects of a
cat’s genotype with an easy, non-invasive
examination. He said he instructed students
not to intrude upon cats to check gender.
“It’s completely cat-friendly,” he said.
Students observe characteristics such as
whether a cat is long- or short-haired, is
white, has orange lur patterns or has piebald
spotting, which includes white blotches.
Looking at these things can give clues to
a cat’s genotype.
Christensen passed his idea on to John
Osterman, associate professor of biology,
who is teaching the genetics course this
“It was clear to me that this was a good
way of getting students to see a lot of the
concepts discussed in class,” Osterman said.
He said the project makes genetics more
real for the students. Many of the organisms
they study in class are not so much apart of
Please see CATS on 7
Medical care at state prisons examined
It would have
been simple for us
to ignore this, but
it was the right
thing to do.
Marshal Lux
State ombudsman
■ After unfavorable ombudsman
report, investigations into
correctional services continue.
By Michelle Starr
Staff writer
The use of maintenance equipment during sur
gical procedures, a disregard for inmates needing
medicine and untrained medical staff are all cited
in a report criticizing medical services at state pris
ons, released on Nov. 23.
In response to inmates’ complaints, the state
ombudsman investigated the medical facilities in
the correctional institutions.
A five-member task force appointed by Gov.
Mike Johanns will meet for the second time today
to continue its independent investigation of the
State Department of Correctional Services
Medical Services System.
The investigation is in response to the Nov. 23
release of the state ombudsman’s report.
One complaint was in a letter from Heather
Cornwell, an inmate at Nebraska Correctional
Center for Women in York.
She said: “(Medical staff) have the attitude that
they are better or higher up than any inmates, and
they don’t have to listen to inmates’ needs if they
are ‘busy.’”
Marshal Lux, the state’s ombudsman, said:
“The punishment these men and women receive is
the loss of their liberty. That does not pertain to pain
and suffering during medical care.”
At today’s meeting, Harold Clarke, director of
the Department of Correctional Services, and his
staff - including doctors John Cherry, Richard
Elliot, George Osborne and physicians’ assistant
Dan Danaher- will present information.
Also, Elkhom Sea Dwite Pedersen will talk
about medical cases he is familiaf wifi, said Marla
Augustine, spokeswoman for the Nebraska Health
Please see MEDICAL on 6