News in Brief: University Leaders Warn of Future Big Game Relocation, Hinging on Conduct

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UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Berdahl and Stanford University President John Hennessy said this week they might consider relocating future Big Games to a neutral, off-campus facility if this year's event is not conducted in a safe manner.

The decision would stem from conduct at this Saturday's game in Memorial Stadium, the two said in open letters to both universities.

"It is indeed unfortunate that in the past few years the spirit of Big Game has been tarnished by irresponsible behavior of a few that has led to melee and property damage," the letter said. "If this athletic event cannot be conducted in a safe manner for all, then we will strongly consider moving this event to an off-campus neutral facility."

The statement also stressed the fact that the Big Game should be a worthy reflection of a century of tradition. It added that anyone found engaging in physical assault or property damage would be ejected from the game, and that students found guilty of such actions would be suspended or dismissed from their respective universities.

"Nobody wants it to happen," said UC Berkeley spokesperson Marie Felde. "As soon as somebody's hurt, everything changes."

Felde said officials had not considered where the game might be moved, but that a neutral arena might provide more restrictive security features.


Protests Erupt Locally Over Violence Against Palestinians

With banner in hand, two members of the Coalition of Jews for Justice stood on Bancroft Avenue yesterday asking for Israel to stop the violence in the Middle East.

The group protested at several major intersections in Berkeley, a day after one Palestinian man was killed and fifteen more injured during a celebration of the Palestinians' symbolic independence day.

Hilda Roberts, a representative of the San Francisco-based group, said Israel has taken too much land and mistreated Palestinians in the process.

"We're (speaking out) because we think Israel is abusing Palestine," Roberts said. "Israel was given a certain-sized piece of land. They continue to move out from the land they took."

At the rate Israel is expanding, she said, they would just as soon push Palestine into the sea.

"The government gives a lot of money to Israel," Roberts said. "We want (the U.S.) to stop giving money to Israel until they give Palestine their rightful land."

The group vehemently stresses that "mainstream" Jewish organizations do not represent them when they unconditionally support Israeli policy, according to a coalition statement.

"We hope that by protesting people will hear and know about what's going on," Roberts said. "Maybe people will decide to speak out for themselves."

Jews for Justice is only one of several Bay Area organizations - such as the Middle East Children's Alliance - that turn conventional roles upside-down by having Jewish leadership that blames the Isreali government for violence in the Middle East.


Group Holds Peace Rally on Heels of Middle East Clashes

Shrouded in patriotism and Israeli flags, members of UC Berkeley's Israel Action Committee held a peace rally on the steps of Sproul Hall yesterday afternoon.

According to the committee's organizers and members, the goal of the event was to emphasize peace between Israel and its Palestinian neighbors.

"We wanted to create a non-partisan event," said organization member Benjamin Klafter. "It was something that everyone, regardless of their political stance, would feel comfortable participating in."

The rally addressed the recent clashes initiated by Palestinian leaders, including mass attacks against Israeli soldiers and communities.

"We are frustrated with the deadlocks and failed peace plans seen so far," Klafter said. "Palistinian government has opted for violence and the community deserves to be educated."

Tomer Altman, a spokesperson for the organization, said that the rally brought a general Israeli community feeling to the forefront.

"We aren't necessarily retaliating to the news reports or current events," Altman said. "This is definitely a factor but there's more at hand."

Altman added that the only way that different Middle Eastern communities can achieve peace among themselves and with others is through understanding.

"There are so many different students and student groups on this campus," said Altman. "And its up to us to set a positive message and dialogue for everyone out there to use."


Future of Bioengineering Highlighted at Conference

From bionic chips to artificial hearts, bioengineering luminaries from around the country prophesied the future of medicine and computing at the inaugural Bioengineering Symposium at Bechtel Hall Tuesday.

The conference celebrated the second year of the bioengineering department, a joint effort with UC San Francisco.

International pioneers in the field offered their visions of "Bioengineering in the 21st Century." Bioengineering melds computer science, engineering, and molecular biology to solve complex medical and computational problems.

"Mixing and matching cells with non-biological parts - this is my vision of what bioengineering will be," said James Hickman, biocomputation advisor to the National Science Foundation and professor of bioengineering at Clemson University.

Hickman detailed how organ systems could be formed from such combinations. For instance, cardiac pumps could be toggled to synthetic machinery to create a computer controllable pulmonary system.

UC Berkeley researchers have already taken the first step toward combining cells and silicon.

Boris Rubinsky, a UC Berkeley mechanical engineering professor and symposium presenter, explained his "bionic chip" unveiled earlier this year.

A cell floats in a computer chip, which both monitors and applies electricity to the cell, he said. Applied voltage powers the pores in the cell membrane to open and close, and can be remotely operated by computer.

Like many of the applications presented, a potential use for the chip is in drug delivery. So-called biosensors would be loaded with medication and could monitor the status of a patient, releasing the appropriate drugs when needed, said Shankar Sastry, director of information technology at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

"In the future, medicine will be individually tailored," said Rubinsky. "That's probably the most important change that will be made in medicine."



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