News In Brief

Baghdad School Project Sends School Supplies Abroad
The Baghdad School Project will be hosting a fundraiser entitled ‘Reconstructing Iraqi Lives: Dinner and Dialogue’ in the Library Room of the UCI University Club on Jan. 7 to raise money for basic educational tools for Iraqi children.
Tickets for the event are priced at $75 per person. From each ticket sold, $50 will be used to buy school supplies including paper, pencils, erasers, folders, glue, rulers and scissors to be donated to the Iraqi educational system.
Aside from a meal, the event will also include a discussion with three speakers. Those taking part in the dialogue include Lieutenant Phillip Peacock, who served as an infantry officer in Iraq in 2007, Omar Feikeiki, a Washington Post writer and Iraqi-born journalist, and military specialist Nick Masellis, who was deployed to Iraq from 2003 to 2004.

Professor Emeritus Alfred Bork Passes Away at Age 81
Alfred Bork, UC Irvine Professor Emeritus of information and computer studies passed away on Dec. 18, 2007.
Bork’s career at UCI spanned nearly 40 years, beginning in 1968 when he worked simultaneously for the information and computer science and physics departments.
Perhaps Bork’s most enduring accomplishment was as the founder and director of the Educational Technology Center. Before retiring in 1994, Bork engaged in more than 60 student-computer dialogues in order to extend his knowledge to the UCI student body.
Aside from his time at UCI, Bork was also a well-traveled educator, serving in various roles for different international bodies. Bork’s achievements included serving as a scholar at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, a consultant to the United Kingdom National Development Programme in Computer-Aided Learning, and a visiting professor at the University of Geneva in Switzerland.
Bork is survived by his wife, Annette, and the couple’s three daughters Ellen, Brenda and Carol.

‘Creator’ Gene in Cerebral Cortex Aids Stem-Cell Research
Dr. Edwin Monuki and doctoral student Karla Hirokawa, along with a staff of UC Irvine researchers, have identified a gene responsible for generating the cerebral cortex. The discovery of the gene may aid stem-cell research in treating brain injuries caused by such ailments as strokes and Alzheimer’s disease.
The gene, labeled as Lhx2, serves a number of sensory and cognitive functions, which through brain deterioration can significantly reduce over time. Such functions include speaking, reasoning and vision.
Identifying the abilities of Lhx2, such as helping new cortical neurons form, could potentially benefit further scientific research. Cortical neurons play an active part in brain-controlled functions and may be reduced over time when the brain is exposed to trauma, thus reducing brain function. By being able to form new cortical neurons, impairment due to these brain deficiencies may be lessened.