The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, December 10, 1987, Image 3
Thursday, December 10,1987/The Battalion/Page 3
State and Local
Laboratory process developed
at A&M may become AIDS test
From Staff and Wire Reports
A laboratory process devel
oped at Texas A&M could be
come a test to determine which
people exposed to AIDS actually
would develop the deadly dis
ease, an A&M researcher said
The procedure was developed
by Dr. Luther Lindner of A&M’s
Pathology and Laboratory Medi
cine Department and Stephen R.
Wechter, a former research assis
tant in the department.
The laboratory process has de
tected acquired immune defi
“The research started about
three and a half years ago,”
Lindner said. “However, it has
been sitting in limbo for a year or
Wechter acquired sole patent
rights from A&M and is continu
ing work on the process at a pri
vate firm in Houston.
Lindner and A&M will get a
jercentage of royalties from any
income associated with the pat
"Since any further research
will be conducted by a private
’ I knot
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Judge: Firms using insurance to pay
damages do not avoid punishment
AUSTIN (AP) — Corporations do
not unfairly avoid punishment by
carrying insurance coverage that
s punitive damages for them in
ility lawsuits, a state appeals
court ruled Wednesday.
The 3rd Court of Appeals re
jected arguments that such insur
ance coverage allows companies to
shift the burden” and cause higher
premiums for “innocent members of
society who purchase insurance.”
The decisions evolved from two
liability cases in which insurance
companies contested whether they
had to pay the punitive damages
awarded against their policyholders.
l staff re
“If we’re right, it (a new laboratory procedure) is
going to make an explosive impact in the AIDS
Stephen R. Wechter, former Texas A&M
firm, it probably won’t bring in
any other research money into
A&M,” Lindner said.
The new test is promising, but
needs additional research to con
firm early results, Lindner said.
“Certainly, it has the potential
for providing a useful test,” he
Lindner said the process ap
pears to show whether a person
exposed to the AIDS virus will
develop a full-blown case of
The process could develop
into an alternative to current
testing procedures, he said.
Whether such a new proce
dure actually would be any better
or definitely show who will get
AIDS has not yet been deter
mined, Lindner added.
“The first thing it is aimed at is
developing a test,” he said.
“Whether other things will
come out of it remains to be
seen,” he said.“More testing is
going to have to be done before
we know how reliable it is.
Wechter shares Lindner’s be
lief that additional research is
needed, but Wechter is con
vinced they are on the threshold
of an important development.
“If we’re right, it is going to
make an explosive impact in the
AIDS field,” Wechter said.
The process is based on
Lindner and Wechter’s studies of
a disease similar to AIDS that oc
curs naturally in monkeys.
The monkey’s symptoms
matched human AIDS symptoms
closely except for the presence of
the AIDS-related human T-cell
leukemia-lymphoma virus, which
was missing from the monkeys.
“We’re obviously detecting
something other than HTLV
III,” Wechter said.
“It may be a new virus,”
Wechter said. “It may be a prod
uct of the disease.
“We just don’t know at this
Lindner said identifying the
unknown factor should be one of
the major aims of future re
Whatever “it” is, it appears to
provide reliable information
about AIDS in humans.
In double-blind laboratory
tests, Lindner and Wechter were
able to detect AIDS in samples
from people with no other posi
tive signs and track the disease’s
progress from their test samples.
Wechter says additional re
search eventually could make
their process a starting point for
a three-pronged attack on AIDS
—a vaccine to help prevent the
disease, a screening tool and a
drug to treat the disease after in
Cisneros will explain
shared power system
in U.S. to Gorbachev
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Mayor
Henry Cisneros said Wednesday he
will tell Soviet leader Mikhail Gorba
chev how American cities, unlike
their Soviet counterparts, share
power with the national govern
Cisneros, past president of the
National League of Cities, said he is
one of five leaders nationwide asked
by Vice President George Bush to at
tend a breakfast today at the Soviet
Embassy. Cisneros is in his fourth
term as mayor of the nation’s ninth
“I basically will give a description
of how local government fits into the
big picture and how we build our
country,” Cisneros said. “Local gov
ernment is the level that provides
“Local government is the one that
provides the infrastructure for
ports, docks, airports and streets.
“To a country that is a centralized
country, as the Soviet Union is —
centrally planned, centrally pro
grammed — I suspect this idea of
decentralized political responsibility
out across the country would be in
teresting and important.”
He said his presentation is ex
pected to last about five minutes and
that he will return to San Antonio
Cisneros said he welcomed Bush’s
invitation as a bipartisian effort
quainted with the United States.
“I want to share with our guests
my belief that American cities are
wonderful institutions that reflect
our diversity and strength,” he said.
“In America, we have learned that it
is this very diversity- wherein our
“Even though we do have some
problems, our cities are living proof
of the success of the American way
Cisneros said he has read about
Gorbachev and respects the Soviet
leader for attempting to change So
“Indeed, one would have to say he
is one of the most capable people on
the scene today and I look forward
to meeting him and making a short
assessment of my own of his attrib
utes,” he said.
The White House said the guest
list today will include Cisneros;
Bush; Secretary of State George
Shultz; former Rep. Cooper Evans
of Iowa; Gov. John Sununu of New
Hampshire; high school principal
Robert Brooks, who has a strong
Russian program in his school, and
Dr. Mary Good.
Cisneros did not immediately
know much more about Brooks or
Good. Cisneros’ presentation to Gor
bachev comes at a time when he has
made it clear he does not want to
seek higher office.
Punitive damages, in addition to
damages for actual losses, can be or
dered as a punishment and deter
In one of the cases, jurors ordered
Rawlings Sporting Goods Co. Inc. to
pay $750,000 in punitive damages to
a football player who was not noti
fied of the limitations of a Rawlings
football helmet. The other case in
volved $1 million in punitive dam
ages resulting from injuries caused
by a defective scaffold.
Insurance companies “argue that
allowing (the corporations) to insure
themselves against an award of puni
tive damages thwarts the principal
purposes behind punitive damages
— punishment and deterrence,” Jus
tice Jimmy Carroll said in the 3rd
Court’s unanimous opinion.
He said a 1962 decision by an
other court seems to support the in
surance companies’ argument. That
opinion said “insurance against
criminal fines or penalties would be
void as violative of public policy.”
But the 3rd Court said, “We find
no public policy against allowing in
surance coverage against punitive
Confronted by the question of
whether it is fair to make all insur
ance purchasers help cover the cost
of punitive damages, Carroll said,
“It is important to note that inability
to obtain such coverage will inevi
tably be passed on to the consumers
of its products, who are also inno
Carroll also said “less well-estab
lished” corporations could be put
out of business if they cannot get in
surance against punitive damages.
“The instigating event may arise
from only a single incident of gross
negligence on the part of an agent,”
he said. “A fine line separates con
duct that justifies imposition of pu
nitive damages from conduct tn
Krenek approved as editor
of Battalion for Spring '88
Sue Krenek was officially ap
pointed as Spring 1988 editor of
The Battalion by Provost and Vice
President for Academic Affairs Don
ald McDonald Monday.
Krenek, 20, a senior journalism
major from Deer Park, was nomi
nated by the Student Publications
Board Nov. 24. Nominations by the
board are subject to the approval of
the provost before they become offi
“All three of the candidates ap
pear to be very well prepared and
highly qualified, and I am sure that
the decision was a difficult one,” Mc
Donald wrote in a memo approving
the recommendation of Krenek.
Krenek has worked as a Battalion
opinion page editor, copy editor, as
sistant news editor, news editor and
part-time staff writer. She also is
working for the Aggieland as a copy
editor and design assistant.
Krenek and the rest of the Spring
1988 Battalion staff took over the
paper’s operations Sunday.
11 Books &
ONLY AT THE
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STEAMBOAT WINTER SKI BREAK INCLUSIONS-.
• De\uxe hoteV or condominium lodging lor 5 or 7 nights. • Lift tickets tor A or
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TfSa . JANUARY 3-8 OR 3-AO, 1988
Never a dull moment.
Put tfiis in their stocking
and watch their eves light up.
DuraSoft Colors Gift Certificate
This Christmas give someone
with brown eyes something they Ve
never had before—the chance to have
blue eyes. With DuraSoft Colors con
tact lenses brown eyes can become
blue, green, hazel, aqua or new
sapphire. So, give DuraSoft Colors gift,
certificates this year for vision correc
tion or just for fun.
DimSojt: Colors Gift Certificate.
Copyright © 1987 Wesley-lessen. All rights reserved. Printed in U.S.A.
Try some on at no obligation
Call for Appt.
Post Oak Mall (Near Sears)
on complete fit for ALL contact lenses until Jan. 1
OPEN MOST WEEK NIGHTS ’TIL 9
Dr. Kathryn Yorke
Dr. James Mathis
Call Battalion Classified