This Week in the News…

Posted: October 10, 2003 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Following are highlights of national news coverage George Mason received during the past week:

Sunday, Oct. 5, Associated Press

‘Ex-Gay’ Supporters Fuel Debate

“There is no evidence that same-sex attractions are biologically hard-wired or that they are a choice, said Roger Lancaster, director of the Cultural Studies program at George Mason University and author of the 2003 release ‘Trouble with Nature: Sex in Science and Popular Culture.’ He called the evidence of successful conversions offered by ex-gay ministries ‘very suspicious. It’s not that surprising that under those intense conditions a certain number of gays could live what for all intents and purposes is a heterosexual life,’ Lancaster said. ‘The real question is, Why would you want to do that?'”

Wednesday, Oct. 8, Biotech Week

Smallpox Vaccines May Protect Against HIV

“Smallpox vaccinations may also provide protection against the virus that causes AIDS, according to researchers at George Mason University. The findings are only preliminary and based on a very small study, but Ken Alibek, director of the university’s National Center for Biodefense, said the early results are encouraging. ‘This could result in some very important work,’ said Alibek, a former top scientist in the Soviet biological weapons program who came to the United States in 1992. ‘If we are on the right direction, this could be a great way to protect people’ because the vaccine is already in production, has been tested for safety and has already been used successfully on a global scale to eradicate the smallpox virus.”

Wednesday, Oct. 8, The Boston Globe

Medical Leaders Consider Financial Incentives for Organ Donors’ Families

“Without knowing the effects that those financial incentives would have on donations, proponents say, it is impossible to assess the balance between harm and good. If the proposal is approved, the United States would apparently be the first country to try an official program using financial incentives, said Lloyd Cohen, a member of the ad hoc committee and a George Mason University School of Law professor who has written extensively on organ markets. The economic principles involved in such incentives are elementary, he said. ‘If you pay for something, you’re more likely to get it than if you don’t.'”

Thursday, Oct. 9, The Korea Herald

Did Saddam’s Weapons Exist?

Francis Fukuyama, a political scientist at George Mason University in Virginia and author of ‘The End of History,’ asks: ‘Could it be that the United States, the U.N. and even Saddam Hussein himself, were the victims of a massive deception? Iraq was a totalitarian system in which everyone was forced to cater to Saddam’s whims,’ Fukuyama says. ‘Iraqi scientists had every incentive to exaggerate the extent of their activities in internal communications with the regime. It is also possible that Saddam understood that his own people were lying or exaggerating Iraq’s capabilities, but wanted word to quietly slip out as a deterrent.'”

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