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Volume 55, Number 20   February 4, 2008         

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Life from scratch
In a Jan. 24 KGO-TV broadcast, Assistant Professor of Bioinformatics Christopher D. Smith commented on the first human-made copy of a bacteria genome. "The idea here is that you're not just copying DNA from cell to cell, but you're copying a synthetic DNA from a machine into a cell," Smith said. Asserting that this latest research paves the way to create made-to-order organisms, Smith added, “When you make it in a machine it means you can design it yourself. You can go to a computer, you can type in any DNA sequence you want, and you can tell the machine to make that sequence, and then you can reassemble all those sequences."

Sculpture worth 1000 words
A Jan. 25 Nichi Bei Times article featured Assistant Professor of Cinema Aaron Kerner, co-curator of "Katsushige Nakahashi: The Depth of Memory," an exhibition of 15,000 model war plane photos, assembled by more than 150 volunteers to recreate a Japanese Zero fighter plane. "It's a community effort — it's not just a sole artist struggling in his studio to make a great work," Kerner said of the life-size fighter plane sculpture. "It emphasizes a different form of history and memory. It's not like textbook history. It's more focused on individual experiences as opposed to grand historical events…The one thing that photography lends to the medium of sculpture is the component of time."

Courting voters
Professor of Communication Studies Joseph Tuman was featured in a Jan. 28 San Francisco Examiner "3-Minute Interview" for his expertise on the relationship between politics and mass communication. When asked why the American public seems to fall for the same campaign speeches year after year, Tuman noted, "Being persuaded by rhetoric is like being wooed at a bar. You know what they're doing, they know what they're doing, but you’re still flattered by it and every now and then it works." On the current election, the former political speechwriter said, "I think unlike any of the recent races, this election is about restoring pride to this country. I think Americans are aware of how they're viewed negatively around the world, and how that ties back in many ways to 9/11."

For more media coverage of faculty, staff, students, alumni and programs, see SF State in the News.

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Last modified Feb. 4, 2008 by University Communications.