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Murphy, Thomas H. (ed.) / Wisconsin alumnus
Vol. 70, Number 3 (Dec. 1968)

The University,   pp. 17-21

Page 20

project is Dr. Donn J. D'Alessio.
  The Apollo 7 astronauts all came
down with the common virus cold
during their 11-day mission in Oc-
tober. Astronaut Walter Cunning-
ham is believed to have caught the
cold before the flight and passed it
to the other crew members.
  NASA flight surgeons were seri-
ously concerned that the sinuses of
the astronauts would become
blocked by mucus and that this
would result in serious ear damage
during re-entry.
  NASA officials reportedly are
considering placing astronauts in
semi-isolation for two to three
weeks prior to future flights to pre-
vent reoccurrence of the colds.
  The Dick test for viruses uses a
fluorescent stain containing an anti-
body that reacts with an antigen-
in this case, a virus. The stain is
mixed with a tissue culture taken
from the person being tested. After
24 hours, if a particular virus is
present, the antibody in the stain
bonds itself to the virus in a reac-
tion visible under ultra-violet light.
  But there are nearly 100 viruses
believed to cause the common cold.
The problem now facing Dr. Dick
is the development of stains specific
for each of these cold-producing
viruses as well as others causing
other diseases.
  When perfected, the technique
could have wide application in pub-
lic health programs, Dr. Dick says.
The test could quickly determine
the virus responsible for a disease
so doctors could move against that
   The technique may become espe-
cially important in the 1970s when
astronauts embark on long trips to
the planets. Then, detection of
viruses prior to take-off will be
   "There certainly is a danger that
the ionizing effects of radiation and
the pure-oxygen atmosphere in the
capsule could cause viruses on
board to mutate into more virulent
forms," Dr. Dick says.
   Astronauts also become more
susceptible to infections during
space flights, he adds.
Speak To Me
   More than 40 foreign languages
-from Aramaic, the Semitic lan-
guage of Jesus, to Xhosa, the
tongue-clicking speech of some
African Bantus-are offered at the
University this semester.
   Such popular and long-estab-
lished languages as French, Span-
ish, German, Italian, and Russian
have more than tripled their enroll-
ments in the past 10 years. Others
are so specialized -Quechua, for
instance, the tongue spoken by
many South American Indians; or
Early Irish, or Pali, or Old Church
Slavonic-that they draw an earn-
est handful of advanced scholars.
  A survey of language depart-
ments reveals the wide range of
offerings. The department of Afri-
can languages and literature, for
example, now teaches Xhosa,
Hausa, and Swahili at beginning
and advanced levels, and has of-
fered Bantu on occasion. In anthro-
pology, students can elect elemen-
tary and intermediate Quechua this
semester. Last semester, Nahuatl,
the major language of the Mexican
Indians and the tongue of the Az-
tects, was available.
  In East Asian studies, Indonesian
is taught in addition to Chinese and
Japanese. The English department
lists among its scores of courses
"Old" English and "Middle" Eng-
  The department of Hebrew and
Semitic studies schedules beginning,
intermediate, and classical Arabic,
as well as legal and documentary
Arabic and the spoken Arabic of
Egypt. Hebrew is available at all
levels including the Hebrew of
newspapers and radio.
   Eight Indian languages are sched-
uled this semester: Hindi, Urdu,
Telugu, Sanskrit, Pali, Tibetan,
Buddhist Sanskrit, and elementary
Persian, Kannada, Oriya, and Pra-
krit are also taught when enough
scholars wish to learn them.
: Latin and Greek are still impor-
tant, with the latter offered at the
"modem" as well as the classical
level. French listings include "Old"
French and "Old" Provencal, and
"Old" Italian is available in the
same department. "Old High" Ger-
man is another specialized offering.
   Scandinavian languages offered
are Norwegian, Swedish, Danish,
Finnish, and Old Norse-Icelandic.
Slavic languages include Polish,
Russian, and Old Church Slavonic,
and sometimes Czech and Ukrain-
ian. Old Irish and Early Welsh are
listed by the department of linguis-
tics. Spanish can be studied inten-
sively or nonintensively, and Portu-
guese at all levels is offered in the
same department.
  In 1969 the intensive summer
program in African languages spon-
sored by 12 U. S. universities- will
be held at Wisconsin for the first
time. Last summer 139 students
from the U. S., Canada, and Europe
were enrolled in the Far Eastern
Language Institute on the Madison
campus for intensive study of Chin-
ese and Japanese. At the same time
a record number of 80 enrolled in
the Luso-Brazilian Center to study
Portuguese intensively. The Center,
now 10 years old, is recognized as
the outstanding program of Portu-
guese studies in the United States.
  Of the three African languages
now taught, Swahili has the largest
enrollment-66. The other two-
Hausa and Xhosa-have 19 and 6.
  Figures from the African Studies
Program show that 22 of those in
Swahili are graduates. Hausa and
Xhosa have 11 and 2 graduate en-
rollments respectively.
               Wisconsin Alumnus
roo >41

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