The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, March 01, 2001, Image 6

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California faults could prodiAfC
bigger earthquake than expectfor
buried deep beneath the streets of
California could produce larger
earthquakes than previously thought,
say researchers who studied India’s
recent 7.7-magnitude quake.
The type of fault that produced the
deadly Jan. 26 quake — a blind-
thrust fault — is also found in Cali
fornia, including at least one running
directly beneath the skyscrapers of
downtown Los Angeles.
A group that assesses the state’s
earthquake potential previously as
sumed Southern California’s blind-
thrust faults weren’t capable of pro
ducing earthquakes greater than
magnitude 7.3. But its members said
Tuesday they are now questioning
that ceiling after studying the India
quake, which left more than 19,000
people dead.
The difference between the two
measures is significant: A magnitude
7.7 earthquake releases about 2.5
times more energy than a 7.3 quake.
By comparison, the 1989 earth
quake that killed 67 people and
caused $7 billion in damage in the
San Francisco area registered 7.1.
The 1994 Northridge quake, linked
to a blind-thrust fault near Los An
geles, registered 6.7.
“It sort of raises the bar for what the
maximum earthquake detection
threshold is for blind-thrust faults,”
said William Lettis, an earthquake haz
ard consultant and member of the re
search team sponsored by the Nation
al Science Foundation and the
Earthquake Engineering Research In
stitute. “As a geologist, can you go out
and easily find a fault that will produce
a future 7.7 earthquake? The answer is
no, and that’s an important lesson.”
By definition, blind-thrust faults re
main buried and do not break the sur
face of the ground, making them more
difficult to map. The India earthquake
ruptured at a depth of about 12 miles.
Preliminary findings from India
suggests similarly large earthquakes
could occur in areas of California
where blind-thrust faults exist — and
that those earthquakes could be much
larger than anticipated.
“The question here is, could an
earthquake like this happen in Cali
fornia? And if it could — and I am not
saying it can — if it could, the fact
that it did not break the surface could
potentially be of great concern,” said
Jonathan Stewart,anas®; DETRCZ3
sor of civil engineering: he Univej
versity of California all. an does
Earthquakes alongttaffinnativ e
which one side movesovrdmission s
as if on a ramp, tendtoac^medy the
tically, which can desi|$cfiminat
buildings and other ridge has n
Quakes along strike-slipii U S. C
as the San Andreas fail'atrick D u •
move horizontally. j Decern
Lettis cautioned thainchoofs urn
are still studying thenalt iissions si
dia earthquake and said!ince 1999,
not be a direct analog ini jonkl way
States to its tectonicseti erJity. Th
may more closely resembl:H|
earthquakes in 1811 and
the New Madrid fault ii
than any earthquake in Cat* :— i -
Regardless, theblind-tb Lonf///u
known to exist remainat j n i V ersity
ifornia, said Thomas He Galley. The
lessor of engineering se owart i gr
the California Institutec:'5 ta q on
g\. I le is not affiliated^:; . a j sc co
that studied the Indiaea: yomen h
“1 don’t think wer;. nen t s .”
what the largest earthquai: Tj-, e U vva
could happen on a blind :-ecognize
under Los Angeles,” hesat&nen at
_ _ _ - on car
Scientists halt breast cancer spread in#
(AP)—Scientists have figured out
a key process by which breast cancer
spreads to other organs, and they have
successfully blocked it in mice.
“The literature is littered with
cures for cancer that worked in ani
mals but haven't translated to hu
mans,” said Jonathon Sedgwick, di
rector of immunology at the DN AX
Research Institute in Palo Alto,
Calif. “But this has the potential to
influence how we might think about
treating cancer in the future.”
The DNAX researchers found
that pro.teins that normally help
guide infection-fighting white
blood cells to their targets also play
a key role in breast cancer’s devas
tating spread.
They found that the proteins.
called chemokines, are released in
large amounts by the lymph nodes,
bone marrow, lungs and liver.
The chemokines then attract
breast cancer cells circulating in the
body. Those cells take root in the or
gans and form new tumors.
That explains why some organs
become riddled with tumors in
breast cancer patients, while other
organs have few if any tumors, the
researchers said.
The team, led by Albert Zlotnik
and Anja Muller in collaboration
with researchers at the National
Cancer Institute in Mexico City,
studied human breast cancer cells
and tissue from human lungs, lymph
nodes, bone marrow and liver.
They then took what they learned
and used an antibody tosuppE
interaction between dr'jE LECT
I hiv.isi caiKiTiuniorce r
ed into laboratory mice, j
In mice treated with it Becaus
body, the number of lung occurring
was reduced 60 percent to mental Iss
cent, with some mice dev; the Studei
no tumors at all. tion (SGA
All of the mice incom| sis semin;
groups that received an ine: p.m. Ange
antibody developed lungti tion awart
The DNAX instituteisai sophomor
of pharmaceutical maker L the semin:
Plough Corp.’s research ami serve enerj
The findings are “verjeM “We're
and cim lead to additionalm Mcial/y on
coveries, ” said Isaiah Hdlerdfl
of cancer biology at the MD. ...
son Cancer Institute in Hold
. Continued from Page 5A
school sent a copy of the posts to the principle. We did
n’t hear from them again.”
When people visiting the Bronze constantly harass or
behave inappropriately, Gaston said, the members will
trace the person’s Internet service provider and attempt
to have the person’s Internet connection severed,
“Just like any community, this can be dangerous or
uncomfortable too,” she said. “In fact, sometimes it can
feel even more dangerous because someone may seem
to be invading even more so because he is doing it from
the computer in your home.
“The people in the community take this seriously,
mostly because they have seen [harassing behavior] re
ally affect people.
So they use the law and the contract that people sign
with their Internet service provider as protection.”
There are times, however, when the definition of ap
propriate comes into question.
Gaston said that people often feel free to make ques
tionable statements, saying that the right to free speech
gives them the right to do so. Often, the statements are
controversially removed.
Differences between member’s geographical:]
also sometimes create conflict..
“Sometimes, what you can say in the Unitei
you can’t say in Germany,” she said. “Whatyou
in Canada is sometimes not appropriate here.
“For example, the age of consent is different, h
one will say something about someone else’sdi
and the father may end up calling the FBI.”
Life after Buffy
Gaston said she does not see the communityi
any time soon, even after the show ends.
“I expect a significant number of people tost:
contact many years from now,” she said. “IfSts
has taught us anything, it is that you canputast
for a short period of time and people may gather
about it until the end of time, and thereisaltt
strong group here.”
As for this type of cyber community becomk ^
popular as time goes on, Gaston said she foresees! I
ations becoming more common as more people If, =
the Internet.
But there will never be another Buffy.