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Public Health:  We have been in the midst of the Mid-Autumn Festival holiday (Wednesday through Friday) this week, so the university has been somewhat deserted.  This coming week we will continue our seminar series with t he post-graduate students and Saturday evening I have class to make up for the class missed during the holiday break.  No, I am not making the students come to class.  It was explained to me that this is a normal process for the holiday.  Classes normally health during the week, either get made up the Sunday through Tuesday before the holiday or the Saturday and Sunday after the holiday.  Mine happens to fall on Saturday evening.   The paper we will be discussing this coming week is from the NIEHS journal  Environmental Health Perspectives.   I think I have mentioned this before, but we are using this because it is available on line and has both Chinese and English versions.  The paper being discussed is:  An Emerging Role for Epigenetic Dysregulation in Arsenic Toxicity and Carcinogenesis; doi: 10.1289/ehp.1002114, August 2010.  We are using a format similar to what we use for students in the states where one student will take the lead to prepare and make a presentation, then we will have a discussion about the paper. 

China Daily:    Coal mining is a major industry in China, due in part to its need for an abundant and cheap source of energy for both industry and home heating and cooking (particularly in rural areas).   However, it remains a very dangerous industry that the government is trying to address.  In a recent article in the China Daily, the headline read “105 Prosecuted for Deadly Mine

Accidents”.  The State Administration of Work Safety (SAWS) announced that 105people will be prosecuted in relation to three deadly coal mine accidents in the past 12 months. Two of the mine accidents happened in China’s Henan Province and the other in Hunan.   The three accidents were all caused by illegal operation (the article did not specify what illegal operation meant), which led to 159 deaths and 87.5 million yuan (US$ 12.81 million) of direct economic loss, according to Huang. Another 71 people not directly responsible for the accidents have been given disciplinary punishment by the Communist Party or the government. All the coal mines involved in the accidents were closed down and licenses suspended.

Our day:  On Wednesday night of this week we went to hear Jane Goodall speak at a local expat bookstore called the ‘Book Nook”.  Dr. Goodall has been to china a number of times and to Chengdu as recently as last year.  She is 76 years old and travels around 300 days a year giving lectures about her studies on chimps in Gombe, Tanzania and her subsequent interest in conservation.  She has developed a youth based conservation organization called ‘roots and shoots’ that has chapters all over the world, including Chengdu.  She started her talk with how a chimp would greet you, something that is not exactly translatable through the written word, then described how her interest in animals developed as a child who later translated into her work as a researcher in Africa.  First with Louis Leakey and then later on her on.  She concluded that after working with chimps for 26 years (1960-1986) she became convinced that because the species was endangered (other species as well) her time and reputation would be better used by fostering interest in conservation and sustainability, so for the past 24 years she has been organizing groups around the world, speaking to different organizations, and only rarely gets back to Gombe.  We had a nice vegetarian buffet (Dr Goodall is a vegetarian) and then a question answer session. 

Nina and Jane Goodall


Posted September 24, 2010 by uolrrj in Uncategorized

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