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Tracy Barger

Talks to include health, genetics

From cloning to euthanasia to managed health care, numerous important and complicated issues have surfaced recently in the field of bioethics. This Friday and Saturday the University will be hosting the second National Undergraduate Bioethics Conference, which brings together students and researchers from throughout the country to discuss these and other bioethics-related topics. "The point of the conference is to put undergraduates from around the country in touch with each other and encourage them to stay active in the field" of bioethics, said Jonathan Moreno, Professor of Biomedical Ethics and Director of the Center for Biomedical Ethics. In addition, the conference provides an opportunity "to bring attention to the fact that the University of Virginia has an excellent bioethics program," fourth-year College student Planning Committee member Shelley Cavalieri said.

Models connect technology, biology

As the new millennium begins, the computer and biological worlds are moving closer together. By some time this century, new techniques of DNA-based computing may allow computers to laugh at jokes and recognize the difference between cats and dogs.

Exposing e-hoaxes

"Please read this message, important for your health, and pass it on to every woman you know who is using feminine hygiene products!!!" With this statement a forwarded e-mail begins its claim that tampons are dangerous because they contain asbestos, which "makes you bleed more," and dioxin, which "is potentially carcinogenic (cancer-associated) and is toxic to the immune and reproductive systems." At the bottom of the e-mail several seemingly reputable names appear: "Donna C.

Campus Awareness

To many college women, breast cancer may seem like something they do not need to worry about. Third-year College student Jennifer Abastillas, however, believes young women should be aware of the disease. Breast cancer "is an issue, even as young as we are," Abastillas said. Abastillas has seen the effects of breast cancer first-hand.

Break-ins threaten computer security

What if someone stole your computing password? They could log in as you, send e-mail as you - and assume your electronic identity. Stolen passwords are one of the security threats posed by hackers that attempt to gain unauthorized access to computer systems. This summer, several computer break-ins occurred at the University. In Clark Hall, there were three related break-ins to the building's Sun workstations - the first in late June, the second in mid-July and the third in late July/early August, said William Shane Brandon, Computer Systems Engineer for the Environmental Sciences department. Brandon discovered that the hacker had broken in to one of the computers running an old version of the Sun operating system and was using that to break in to other computers. "They used this machine to attack other machines," Brandon said. The old operating system on the home base computer made it easier to gain unauthorized access. "It had a very old operating system," said Computer Center Lead Engineer Hamp Carruth, "Security holes had never been closed." After discovering the break-in on the computers in Clark Hall, logs were analyzed to identify the people whose passwords had been detected by the hacker, Carruth said.

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