Saturday, February 2, 2008


Remains of a bus-sized prehistoric "monster" reptile found on a remote Arctic island may be a new species never before recorded by science, researchers said Tuesday.

Initial excavation of a site on the Svalbard islands in August yielded the remains, teeth, skull fragments and vertebrae of a reptile estimated to measure nearly 40 feet long, said Joern Harald Hurum of the University of Oslo.

"It seems the monster is a new species," he told The Associated Press.

The reptile appears be the same species as another sea predator whose remains were found nearby on Svalbard last year. His team described those 150-million-year-old remains as belonging to a short-necked plesiosaur measuring more than 30 feet _ "as long as a bus ... with teeth larger than cucumbers."

The short-necked plesiosaur was a voracious reptile often compared to the Tyrannosaurus rex of the oceans.

Mark Evans, a plesiosaur expert at the Leicester City Museums in Britain, said he not know enough about the Norwegian find to comment on it specifically. But he said new types of the sea reptiles are being found regularly.

"We are regularly seeing new species of plesiosaurs popping up _ in a way because, in the past 10 or 15 years, there has been what we call a renaissance in plesiosaur research," Evans said by telephone.

Hurum said the team had only managed to excavate a 3-meter area of the find. The Norwegian-led team plans to present more detailed findings early next year, and return to Svalbard, 300 miles north of Norway's mainland, to excavate further next year.

During the two-week field period the palaeontologists documented a remarkable 28 skeletons, ranging from two to ten meters in length. The discovery ranks Svalbard as one of the world's four most productive sites for the remains of marine reptiles.

Pliosaurus, one of the largest-ever marine predators, lived in the ocean and hunted other smaller marine reptiles.

Could it be that the "natural" mental decline that afflicts many older people is related to how much lead they absorbed decades before?

Mount Sinai's Andrew Todd uses an acrylic leg and human bones to calibrate lead measurement.

That's the provocative idea emerging from some recent studies, part of a broader area of new research that suggests some pollutants can cause harm that shows up only years after someone is exposed.

The new work suggests long-ago lead exposure can make an aging person's brain work as if it's five years older than it really is. If that's verified by more research, it means that sharp cuts in environmental lead levels more than 20 years ago didn't stop its widespread effects.

"We're trying to offer a caution that a portion of what has been called normal aging might in fact be due to ubiquitous environmental exposures like lead," says Dr. Brian Schwartz of Johns Hopkins University.

"The fact that it's happening with lead is the first proof of principle that it's possible," said Schwartz, a leader in the study of lead's delayed effects. Other pollutants like mercury and pesticides may do the same thing, he said.

In fact, some recent research does suggest that being exposed to pesticides raises the risk of getting Parkinson's disease a decade or more later. Experts say such studies in mercury are lacking.

The notion of long-delayed effects is familiar; tobacco and asbestos, for example, can lead to cancer. But in recent years, scientists are coming to appreciate that exposure to other pollutants in early life also may promote disease much later on. Video Watch CNN's Elizabeth Cohen explain more about lead's long-term effects on the brain ».

"It's an emerging area" for research, said Dr. Philip Landrigan of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. It certainly makes sense that if a substance destroys brain cells in early life, the brain may cope by drawing on its reserve capacity until it loses still more cells with aging, he said. Only then would symptoms like forgetfulness or tremors appear.

Linda Birnbaum, director of experimental toxicology at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, said infant mice exposed to chemicals like PCBs show only very subtle effects in young adulthood. But more dramatic harm in areas like movement and learning appears when they reach old age.

Animal studies also show clear evidence that being exposed to harmful substances in the womb can harm health later on, she said. For example, rodents that encounter PCBs or dioxins before birth are more susceptible to cancer once they grow up.

Studying delayed effects in people is difficult because they generally must be followed for a long time. Research with lead is easier because scientists can measure the amount that has accumulated in the shinbone over decades and get a read on how much lead a person has been exposed to in the past.

Lead in the blood, by contrast, reflects recent exposure. Virtually all Americans have lead in their blood, but the amounts are far lower today than in the past.

The big reason for the drop: the phasing out of lead in gasoline from 1976 to 1991. Because of that and accompanying measures, the average lead level in the blood of American adults fell 30 percent by 1980 and about 80 percent by 1990.

That's a major success story for environmentalists. But work by Schwartz and Dr. Howard Hu of the University of Michigan suggests that the long-term effects of the high-lead era are still being felt.

In 2006, Schwartz and his colleagues published a study of about 1,000 Baltimore, Maryland, residents. They were ages 50 to 70, old enough to have absorbed plenty of lead before it disappeared from gasoline. They probably got their peak doses in the 1960s and 1970s, Schwartz said, mostly by inhaling air pollution from vehicle exhaust and from other sources in the environment.

The researchers estimated each person's lifetime dose by scanning their shinbones for lead. Then they gave each one a battery of mental ability tests.

In brief, the scientists found that the higher the lifetime lead dose, the poorer the performance across a wide variety of mental functions, like verbal and visual memory and language ability. From low to high dose, the difference in mental functioning was about the equivalent of aging by two to six years.

"We think that's a large effect," Schwartz said.

Hu and his colleagues took a slightly different approach in a 2004 study of 466 men with an average age of 67. Those men took a mental-ability test twice, about four years apart on average. Those with the highest bone lead levels showed more decline between exams than those with smaller levels, with the effect of the lead equal to about five years of aging.

Nobody is claiming that lead is the sole cause of age-related mental decline, but it appears to be one of several factors involved, Hu stressed.

If so, it would join such possible influences as high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, emotional stress and maybe education level, said Bradley Wise of the National Institute on Aging. Nobody knows exactly what causes mental decline with age, he said.

Although the studies by Hu and Schwartz suggest lead is involved, Wise and others say they don't prove the link.

"I think many things impact how we age, but I think right now it's maybe premature to be giving lead a huge role in our age-related cognitive decline," said Dr. Margit L. Bleecker, director of the Center for Occupational and Environmental Neurology in Baltimore. Still, she called the lead hypothesis "a very interesting idea" deserving more study.

Others were more impressed.

"The new evidence from these studies should concern people" said epidemiologist Andrew Rowland of the University of New Mexico. "These two research groups are finding adverse effects on the aging brain at low levels of lead exposure. More work needs to be done, but these studies are raising important questions."

In any case, scientists still face some basic mysteries about the delayed effects of lead. For example, when does it actually harm the brain? Does a high level in the shinbone merely identify those who were the most harmed by chronic exposure decades ago? Or does lead in the bone continue to do its dirty work over a lifetime, leaching into the bloodstream and continuously hammering the brain?

"I think that both things are happening," Schwartz said, though he suspects most of the damage occurred in the past, during years of higher exposure. Hu's suspicions are similar.
Health Library

Just how lead impairs brainpower is still a mystery. And so is the question of whether anything can be done to help people who have absorbed a lot of lead over a lifetime.

A medical procedure called chelation can remove lead from the body, but it wouldn't help in this case, said experts, who had few suggestions.

For younger people, prevention is a clearer strategy, Hu said. He called for tougher federal standards on lead exposure in the workplace.

And plenty of low-income neighborhoods could use a strong effort to remove lead from old houses, many of which still have lead paint, Rowland said. "It's there on the walls, it's on the radiators, it's underneath the top layers of paint. In places where the paint is crumbling, there's still exposure going on," he said.

Yet another question: Who really has to worry about long-ago lead affecting their brainpower? What about people born after the high lead levels of the 1970s were history?

Schwartz noted that most Americans younger than 30 have gotten much less lead from the environment than the men in his study did. And Hu hopes that the lead effect will peter out in the future.

However, Hu points out that there's still lead in the environment, and exposure remains especially high in many developing countries. And citing evidence that lead can cross the placenta, he says women who grew up in the 1970s might dose their fetuses with the metal.

"Kids who grew up in the 21st century have a lot less to worry about" than their elders, Hu said. But "it's hard for me to be totally optimistic the current generation is completely scot-free."

Susquehanna Twp.-based Capital BlueCross is the scrappy local insurer that nearly got crushed by a giant, but fought back to dominate the 21-county central Pennsylvania market.

Now it wants permission to compete all over the state and take on an even bigger giant that would rise up following the proposed merger of Highmark Inc. and Independence Blue Cross.

Otherwise, a new health insurance colossus will stomp out competition in Pennsylvania, and consumers will take more of a beating on health care costs, Capital BlueCross CEO Anita Smith said.

She made that argument Wednesday at a state Senate Banking and Insurance Committee hearing on the Highmark-Independence merger, which needs state approval.

The committee is dominated by Republicans, who were receptive to Smith's arguments in favor of more competition.

But Smith had pointed exchanges with Sen. Robert Mellow, D-Lackawanna County, who said she put on a good "performance," but accused her of inaccuracy.

Mellow said Smith's arguments ignored Capital's absorption of a Lehigh County-based Blues plan in the mid-1980s, and merger discussions with Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania a few years later.

Smith said those actions occurred before her time as a top executive at Capital BlueCross, and she stood by her statements.

Mellow said he wanted to ask many more questions and called for an additional hearing.

State Sen. Don White, R-Indiana County, the committee chairman, acknowledged the need for another session. No date was set.

Capital BlueCross, with 4,000 employees, operates in a 21-county market that extends from State College through the Lehigh Valley. It has a 5.3 percent slice of the Pennsylvania market. Capital and Highmark were partners until 2001 and now compete in the 21 counties.

Highmark, another major employer in the Harrisburg area, also dominates in western Pennsylvania. Independence is based in Philadelphia. A combined Highmark-Independence would control 53 percent of the state health insurance market.

Smith said Capital BlueCross won't oppose the merger as long as the state imposes conditions to ensure competition.

She said the Capital-Highmark split has made central Pennsylvania the state's most competitive health insurance market, and consumers have benefited.

Smith claimed that Highmark and Independence aim to eliminate competition across the state. She said the two insurers signed a secret 1996 agreement not to compete against each other.

Highmark spokesman Michael Weinstein said the agreement was signed by a corporate predecessor of Highmark, which sold an HMO plan to Independence. The agreement was approved by the state Insurance Department and federal antitrust authorities, Weinstein wrote in an e-mail.

Highmark and Independence said the purpose of their merger is to improve efficiency and reduce health insurance premiums.

Dr. Ken Melani, CEO at Highmark, would head the combined insurance operation. He has said there's no need for competing Blues plans.

Creating the biggest possible "pool' of people is the best way to keep health care affordable, he contends.

If you've ever heard of equity-indexed annuities (EIAs), there's a good chance you did so from your mom or dad. And there's a good chance they learned about them at a "free seminar." I know that that's how I first heard about them. My dad enjoyed the free meal and the sales pitch (er ... seminar), but told me he was skeptical about the EIA he was being pitched. He understood that this particular EIA would put a cap on his potential gains. Well, it turns out dad may have been more right than he realized.

At, one blogger offered a similar take on his dad's experience with an EIA pitch. He made a particularly good point: While EIAs are often compared to the S&P 500, with sellers concluding that the EIAs are the better choice, that doesn't seem right. An EIA will often feature gains capped at a certain level, along with the benefit of never losing any money: If the market tanks in a given year, your loss is zero.

The EIA that the blogger used as his example capped investors' gains each year at 10%. Well, given that the S&P 500's average annual return over the long haul is near 10%, including down years, the EIA is already comparing unfavorably. That's because in good years, your gain will be a maximum of just 10%, and not much higher, as can sometimes happen. In 2003, for example, the S&P 500 rose more than 28%! Your gain in the EIA? 10%. In 2006, it rose more than 15%. Your gain in the EIA? 10%.

You might argue that when it plunges, as in 2002, when it fell 22%, your loss would be zero. But remember that the S&P 500's average return of 10% includes those down years. [Note also that while the historic average return is around 10%, that's in no way what you should expect over your investing time frame. You might earn slightly or considerably more or less.]

The blogger crunched a bunch of numbers, simulating investments in an EIA and the S&P 500 from 1950 onward. He found that the annuity would have returned less than 7% annually, compared to nearly 10.5% for the S&P 500. Ouch!

According to his analysis, the reason why the numbers worked out this way is because of how the market cycles up and down. He found 34 years when the S&P 500 rose more than 10%, but just 13 years with negative returns. As a result, the benefits of avoiding losses within the annuity were outweighed by the loss of return during great years.

Finally, another consideration is fees, which are often charged yearly whether you make money that year or not. If you're looking at EIAs, be sure to look hard at the annual fees, just as you would with a mutual fund. The blog analysis assumed fees of 1.5% for the S&P 500 option, but you can find index funds that are much cheaper. ETFs like SPDR Trust (AMEX: SPY) or Vanguard Total Stock (AMEX: VTI) offer an inexpensive proxy for the broad market.

A contaminated anticancer drug made by one of China's largest pharmaceutical companies underscores how quality-control problems continue to plague the Chinese drug industry. There is no sign the tainted leukemia drug was exported. But the case provides a cautionary tale as Western pharmaceutical companies start outsourcing some manufacturing to China.

Last June, Yan Zhenni, a 5-year-old with leukemia from Shanghai, received a shot of the anticancer medication methotrexate. But the drug meant to treat her left her incontinent and unable to walk on her own, her mother says.
• The News: A leukemia medicine made by a unit of one of China's largest drug companies was found to be contaminated.
• The Big Picture: Although no tainted products were exported, the case highlights quality-control problems in China's drug industry as Western companies look to produce more medicines there.

Possibly dozens of patients across China who took the drug from the same Chinese factory had similar problems. The drug's manufacturer initially said the reactions might be a side effect of the medication. Later, government officials investigating reports of problems with the drug discovered the medicine had been contaminated, blamed its maker for a coverup and revoked the factory's license to make the drug.

"We were so hopeful that she would recover from leukemia eventually. The chances were very good. But now even walking has become a problem," says 28-year-old Ms. Yan, who took a leave from her job at an auto-parts factory to care for her daughter.

Over the past year, a spate of safety problems involving Chinese-made products has surfaced, mostly involving small-scale factories operating with little scrutiny. But the tainted leukemia drug given to Yan Zhenni was made by a subsidiary of one of China's largest and more prominent drug companies, Shanghai Pharmaceutical (Group) Co. Other units of the company make medicines in collaboration with a number of multinational drug companies, although there is no sign that the quality-control problems affected other divisions.

Major drug companies are quickly moving to conduct research and some manufacturing in China, as costs in the U.S. rise and they face hurdles in bringing new drugs to market and defending existing blockbusters against generic competition. AstraZeneca PLC, GlaxoSmithKline PLC, Pfizer Inc. and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. have all recently announced plans to outsource some of their manufacturing capacity.

China is still a relatively small player when it comes to exporting finished pills, a market that India's generic-drug makers dominate. But China is the world's largest producer of active pharmaceutical ingredients, the chemicals needed to produce drugs. In 2005, China had $4.4 billion, or 14%, of the world's $31 billion market for APIs, ahead of Italy and India, the world's second- and third-largest players respectively, according to a report last year from Credit Suisse.

Shanghai Pharma has teamed up with a number of multinational drug companies over the years and says it exports APIs around the world. The group's products are sold in countries including the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the U.K., India and Japan, according to Neil Wang, general manager in China for the research and consulting firm Frost & Sullivan.

Roche Holding AG of Basel, Switzerland, set up a joint venture with Shanghai Pharma in 1994 called Shanghai Roche Pharmaceuticals, according to a media officer for Roche, who emphasized that Roche has no connection with the subsidiary that produced the tainted medicine. The factory makes most, if not all, of the drugs Roche sells in China, she says.

Pfizer has signed a deal with Shanghai Pharma in which a unit of the Chinese company would produce a hormonal steroid for Pfizer at one of its factories, the Shanghai Pharmaceutical Group Hualian Pharmaceutical Factory, according to a person in the foreign trade department at Shanghai Pharma. The plant that Pfizer is partnered with isn't the same as the one that produced the tainted drug.

Pfizer spokesman Chris Loder couldn't confirm the hormonal steroid agreement with Shanghai Pharma. He did say in a statement: "In 2006, Pfizer entered into an agreement with Shanghai Pharmaceutical Group in China to evaluate SPG's capabilities as an ingredient supplier. To date, SPG has not met the standards required by Pfizer for suppliers of active pharmaceutical ingredients." As a result, Mr. Loder said, Pfizer hasn't sourced any API for human use in the U.S. or elsewhere.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says none of the tainted drugs from the Shanghai Pharma unit involved, Shanghai Hualian Pharmaceutical Co., were manufactured for the U.S.

In November 2006, Yan Zhenni was diagnosed with leukemia, a cancer of the cells that make up blood or bone marrow. The following year, on June 2, 2007, she received an injection of methotrexate, a drug commonly used to treat leukemia, at the Children's Hospital of Fudan University in Shanghai.

Around eight days later, according to her mother, the girl started to show unusual symptoms. "She started to have problems walking, had no strength, and was unable to climb stairs," recalls Ms. Yan. On June 19, the mother sent her daughter back to the hospital, but doctors weren't sure what was causing her problems. They said a viral infection might be the culprit. They prescribed antibiotics, but that didn't help. On June 27, Yan Zhenni left the hospital and returned home.

Just over a week later, however, Ms. Yan received a call from the hospital telling her that the drug her daughter received, which had been made by the Hualian factory, was contaminated. The girl was hospitalized that same day.

Signs of problems with the same drug began cropping up elsewhere in the country. The First Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi Medical University reported problems with patients who took the Hualian drug, a hospital nurse said. In Shanghai, at the Xinhua Hospital, doctors switched to a similar version of the drug made by Pfizer, said Yuan Xiaojun, a doctor at the hospital. Dr. Yuan added that he suspected there might have been impurities in the Hualian medicine, but he wasn't sure.

The Pfizer drug cost significantly more than the Chinese drug, which was priced at about 50 cents a dose. That cost differential was daunting for one mother, Fang Yangqing, who traveled from her home in Anhui province to the Xinhua Hospital to seek treatment for her 4-year-old daughter, Wang Yujie. "The expenditure is too high. I hope the situation could soon change," she said in July.

Following reports of adverse affects from the drug, Shanghai Pharma said in July it had stopped selling two batches of methotrexate, a drug commonly used to treat leukemia, and was conducting a "thorough investigation." But it also suggested side effects might be at fault, noting "all drugs have 30% harm, and it's even bigger with cancer-fighting medicines."

Yin Qinxie, Shanghai Pharma's spokesman, said in an interview at the time that "so far, we don't think the quality of this drug has any problems," but that the company had to investigate "in order to be responsible to the drug's users."

When reached yesterday, Mr. Yin declined to answer questions, and subsequent efforts to reach him were unsuccessful.

Also around July 2007, Chinese officials were pledging to crack down on safety and corruption in the country's drug industry. In July, Zheng Xiaoyu, the former head of the State Food and Drug Administration, was executed for taking bribes to speed drug approvals.

By that time, Shanghai drug authorities, as well as others with the State Food and Drug Administration and Ministry of Health in Beijing, were investigating the Hualian unit. In a statement from December, the SFDA accused Hualian of "systematically covering up irregularities in manufacturing."

For years, Hualian had been recycling leftover materials from methotrexate's production process to "cut costs," according to the head of cancer-drug sales for Hualian in Shanghai, although it is unclear if that caused any problems. But last summer, a technician mistakenly added another anticancer compound, vincristine sulfate, to the mix. "It was an accident," the sales official says, denying there was any coverup.
The technician and a company official in charge of the manufacturing line have both been detained by police, according to the Hualian sales official. Production of the cancer drugs have since ceased, although the company is still making drug ingredients for other products, according to the sales official.

On Sept. 5, the State Food and Drug Administration banned the use of Hualian's injectable methotrexate, in addition to another drug made by Hualian called cytarabine hydrochloride, across the country.

Hualian has since offered some families compensation, according to Ms. Yan, who turned down an offer for $55,000 from the company. She says she and a group of other families have retained a lawyer in Guangdong province and plan to sue the drug maker.

Carnegie is known for having built one of the most powerful and influential corporations in United States history, and, later in his life, giving away most of his riches to fund the establishment of many libraries, schools, and universities in America, Scotland and other countries throughout the world. Carnegie, a poor boy with fierce ambition, a pleasant personality, and a devotion to both hard work and self-improvement, started as a telegrapher. By the 1860s, he had investments in railroads, railroad sleeping cars, as well as bridges and oil derricks, and he built wealth as a bond salesman raising money in Europe for American enterprise.

Steel was where he found his fortune. In the 1870s, he founded the Carnegie Steel Company, a step which cemented his name as one of the “Captains of Industry”. By the 1890s, the company was the largest and most profitable industrial enterprise in the world. He sold it to J.P. Morgan's US Steel in 1901 and devoted the remainder of his life to large-scale philanthropy, with special emphasis on local libraries, world peace, and scientific research.

He was the son of a hand loom weaver, William T. Carnegie. His mother, Margaret Morrison, was a daughter of Thomas Morrison, a tanner and shoemaker. Although his family was impoverished, he grew up in a cultured, political home.

Many of Carnegie's closest relatives were self-educated tradesmen and class activists. William Carnegie, although poor, had educated himself and, as far as his resources would permit, ensured that his children received an education. William Carnegie was politically active and was involved with those organizing demonstrations against the Corn laws. He was also a Chartist. He wrote frequently to newspapers and contributed articles in the radical pamphlet, Cobbett's Register edited by William Cobbett. Among other things, he argued for abolition of the rotten boroughs and reform of the British House of Commons, Catholic Emancipation, and laws governing safety at work, which were passed many years later in the Factory Acts. He promoted the abolition of all forms of hereditary privilege, including all monarchies.

Another great influence on the young Carnegie was his uncle, George Lauder, a proprietor of a small grocer's shop in Dunfermline High Street. This uncle introduced the young Carnegie to such historical Scottish heroes as Robert the Bruce, William Wallace, and Rob Roy. He was introduced to the writings of Robert Burns and Shakespeare. Lauder had Carnegie commit to memory many pages of Burns' writings.
Another uncle, his mother's brother, Tom Kennedy, was also a radical political firebrand. A fervent nonconformist, the chief objects of his tirades were the Church of England and the Church of Scotland. In 1842, the young Carnegie's radical sentiments were stirred further at the news of "Ballie" being imprisoned for his part in a "Cessation of Labour" (strike). At the time, withdrawal of labour by a hireling was a criminal offense.

Carnegie emigrated from Scotland to the United States in 1848 at the age of 13.

Some of Carnegie's direct descendants emigrated back to Scotland and still live there today. William Thomson CBE, his great grandson, is Chairman of the Carnegie Trust Dunfermline, a trust which maintains Carnegie's legacy.

Carnegie's education and passion for reading was given a great boost by Colonel James Anderson, who opened his personal library of 400 volumes to working boys each Saturday night. Carnegie was a consistent borrower. He was a "self-made man" in both his economic development and his intellectual and cultural development. His capacity and willingness for hard work, his perseverance, and his alertness soon brought forth opportunities.

In 1851, he became a telegraph messenger boy in the Pittsburgh Office of the Ohio Telegraph Company, at $2.50 per week. In addition to providing him with an increase in income, the job also provided him with a lifelong love of William Shakespeare's works. He was frequently required to deliver messages to a theater, and he often managed to contrive appearing just as the curtain had been raised on a performance. Using a charm that was to pay even greater dividends in the future, Carnegie was then usually able to convince the theater's manager to allow him to stay and watch the performance for free.
Carnegie quickly taught himself to distinguish the differing sounds the incoming signals produced and learned to transcribe signals by ear without having to write them down. Thomas A. Scott of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company employed him as a secretary/telegraph operator starting in 1853, at a salary of $4.00 per week. Carnegie was eighteen and soon began a rapid advancement through the company, eventually becoming the superintendent of the Pittsburgh Division. Scott also helped him with his first investments. In 1855 he was able to invest $600 in a successful firm called Adams Express. Later he invested money in sleeping cars for the Pennsylvania Railroad Company and bought part of the company making the wagons, which again turned out to be a very profitable investment. Reinvesting his money in railroad related industries (iron, bridges, rails) he was able to slowly earn his first big capital, which would be the basis for his later success.

Before the Civil War, Carnegie had formed a partnership with a Mr. Woodruff, an inventor of a sleeping car for first class travel. The sleeping car facilitated business travel at distances over 500 miles. The investment proved a great success and a source of profit for Woodruff and Carnegie. The young Carnegie became the superintendent of the Pennsylvania railroad's Western Division, responsible for several improvements in the service.

In spring 1861 Carnegie was appointed by Scott, who was now Assistant Secretary of War in charge of military transportation, as Superintendent of the Military Railways and the Union Government's telegraph lines in the East. Carnegie helped open the rail lines into Washington that the rebels had cut; he rode the locomotive that pulled the first brigade of Union troops to reach Washington. Following the defeat of Union forces at Bull Run, he personally supervised the transportation of the defeated forces. Under his organization, the telegraph service rendered efficient service to the Union cause and significantly assisted in the eventual victory. He later boasted he was "the first casualty of the war" when he gained a scar on his cheek from working with telegraph wire.

Defeat of the Confederacy required vast supplies of munitions, as well as railroads (and telegraph lines) to deliver the goods. The demand for iron products, such as armor for gunboats, cannon and shells, as well as a hundred other industrial products, made Pittsburgh a center of war industry, with its railroads and telegraphs also essential.
Carnegie proceeded to increase his wealth through careful investments. In 1864, Carnegie invested $40,000 in Storey Farm on Oil Creek in Venango County, Pennsylvania. In one year, the farm yielded over $1,000,000 in cash dividends, and petroleum from oil wells on the property sold profitably. Carnegie was subsequently associated with others in establishing a steel rolling mill. Carnegie had some investments in the iron industry before the war and, after the war, he left the railroads to devote all his energies to the ironworks trade. Carnegie worked to develop several iron works, eventually forming The Keystone Bridge Works and the Union Ironworks, in Pittsburgh. Although he had left the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, he did not totally sever his links with the railroads. The Keystone Bridge Company made iron train bridges, and, as company superintendent, Carnegie had noticed the weakness of the traditional wooden structures. These were replaced in large numbers with iron bridges made in his works. As well as having good business sense, Carnegie possessed charm and literary knowledge. He was invited to many important social functions—functions that Carnegie exploited to his own advantage.
Carnegie’s philanthropic inclinations began some time before retirement. He wrote;
“ I propose to take an income no greater than $50,000 per annum! Beyond this I need ever earn, make no effort to increase my fortune, but spend the surplus each year for benevolent purposes! Let us cast aside business forever, except for others. Let us settle in Oxford and I shall get a thorough education, making the acquaintance of literary men. I figure that this will take three years active work. I shall pay especial attention to speaking in public. We can settle in London and I can purchase a controlling interest in some newspaper or live review and give the general management of it attention, taking part in public matters, especially those connected with education and improvement of the poorer classes. Man must have an idol and the amassing of wealth is one of the worst species of idolatry! No idol is more debasing than the worship of money! Whatever I engage in I must push inordinately; therefore should I be careful to choose that life which will be the most elevating in its character. To continue much longer overwhelmed by business cares and with most of my thoughts wholly upon the way to make more money in the shortest time, must degrade me beyond hope of permanent recovery. I will resign business at thirty-five, but during these ensuing two years I wish to spend the afternoons in receiving instruction and in reading systematically!”

Carnegie continued his business career; some of his literary intentions were fulfilled. During this time, he made many friends in the literary and political worlds. Among these were such as Matthew Arnold and Herbert Spencer as well as being in correspondence and acquaintance with most of the U.S. Presidents, statesmen, and notable writers of the time. Many were visitors to the Carnegie home. Carnegie greatly admired Spencer. He did not, however, agree with Spencer's Social Darwinism which held that philanthropy was a bad idea.

In 1879, he erected commodious swimming-baths for the use of the people of his hometown of Dunfermline, Scotland. In the following year, Carnegie gave $40,000 for the establishment of a free library in the same city. In 1884, he gave $50,000 to Bellevue Hospital Medical College to found a histological laboratory, now called the Carnegie Laboratory.

In 1881, Carnegie took his family, which included his mother, then age 70, on a trip to the United Kingdom. They toured Scotland by coach, having several receptions en-route. The highlight for them all was a triumphal return to Dunfermline where Carnegie's mother laid the foundation stone of the "Carnegie Library". Carnegie's criticism of British society did not point to a dislike of the country of his birth; on the contrary, one of Carnegie's ambitions was to act as a catalyst for a close association between the English-speaking peoples. To this end, he purchased, in the early 1880s, numerous newspapers in England, all of which were to advocate the abolition of the monarchy and the establishment of "the British Republic". Carnegie's charm aided by his great wealth meant that he had many British friends, including Prime Minister Gladstone.

In 1886, Carnegie's younger brother Thomas died at age 43. Success in the business continued, however. At the same time as owning steel works, Carnegie had purchased, at low cost, the most valuable of the iron ore fields around Lake Superior. The same year Carnegie became a figure of controversy. Following his tour of the UK, he wrote about his experiences in a book entitled An American Four-in-hand in Britain. Although still actively involved in running his many businesses, Carnegie had become a regular contributor of articles to numerous magazines, most notably the Nineteenth Century, under the editorship of James Knowles, and the North American Review, whose editor, Lloyd Bryce, oversaw the publication during its most influential period.

In the same year, Carnegie penned his most radical work to date, entitled Triumphant Democracy. The work, liberal in its use of statistics to make its arguments, was an attempt to argue his view that the American republican system of government was superior to the British monarchical system. It gave an overly-favourable and idealised view of American progress and had considerable criticism of the British royal family. Most antagonistic, however, was the cover that depicted amongst other motifs, an upended royal crown and a broken scepter. Given these aspects, it was no surprise that the book was the cause of considerable controversy in the UK. The book itself was successful. It made many Americans aware for the first time of their country's economic progress and sold over 40,000 copies, mostly in the U.S.

In 1889, Carnegie published an article entitled "Wealth" in the June issue of the North American Review. After reading it, Gladstone requested its publication in England, and it appeared under a new title, "The Gospel of Wealth" in the Pall Mall Gazette. The article was the subject of much discussion. In the article, the author argued that the life of a wealthy industrialist such as Carnegie should comprise two parts. The first part was the gathering and the accumulation of wealth. The second part was to be used for the subsequent distribution of this wealth to benevolent causes.

In 1898, Carnegie tried to give the Philippines its independence. As the end of the Spanish American War neared, the United States bought the Philippines from Spain for $20 million USD. To counter what he perceived as imperialism on the part of the United States, Carnegie personally offered $20 million USD to the Philippines so that the Filipino people could buy their independence from Spain. However, nothing came of this gesture and the Philippine-American War ensued.

Carnegie made his fortune in the steel industry, controlling the most extensive integrated iron and steel operations ever owned by an individual in the United States. One of his two great innovations was in the cheap and efficient mass production of steel rails for railroad lines. The second was in his integration of all suppliers of raw materials through vertical integration. In the late 1880s, Carnegie Steel was the largest manufacturer of pig iron, steel rails, and coke in the world, with a capacity to produce approximately 2,000 tons of pig metal per day. In 1888, he bought the rival Homestead Steel Works, which included an extensive plant served by tributary coal and iron fields, a 425-mile (685 km) long railway, and a line of lake steamships. A melding of Carnegie's assets and those of his associates occurred in 1892 with the launching of the Carnegie Steel Company.

By 1889, the U.S. output of steel exceeded that of the UK, and Carnegie owned a large part of it. Carnegie's empire grew to include the J. Edgar Thomson Steel Works, (named for John Edgar Thomson, Carnegie's former boss and president of the Pennsylvania Railroad), Pittsburgh Bessemer Steel Works, the Lucy Furnaces, the Union Iron Mills, the Union Mill (Wilson, Walker & County), the Keystone Bridge Works, the Hartman Steel Works, the Frick Coke Company, and the Scotia ore mines. Carnegie, through Keystone, supplied the steel for and owned shares in the landmark Eads Bridge project across the Mississippi River in St. Louis, Missouri (completed 1874). This project was an important proof-of-concept for steel technology which marked the opening of a new steel market.

In 1901, Carnegie was 66 years old and was considering retirement. He reformed his enterprises into conventional joint stock corporations as preparation to this end.

John Pierpont Morgan was a banker and perhaps America's most important financial deal maker. He had observed how efficiently Carnegie produced profit. He envisioned an integrated steel industry that would cut costs, lower prices to consumers and raise wages to workers. To this end, he needed to buy out Carnegie and several other major producers and integrate them into one company, thereby eliminating duplication and waste. Negotiations were concluded on March 2, 1901, with the formation of the United States Steel Corporation. It was the first corporation in the world with a market capitalization in excess of $1 billion.

The buyout, which was negotiated in secret by Charles M. Schwab (no relation to Charles R. Schwab, the brokerage house founder), was the largest such industrial takeover in United States history to date. The holdings were incorporated in the United States Steel Corporation, a trust organized by Morgan, and Carnegie retired from business. His steel enterprises were bought out at a figure equivalent to twelve times their annual earnings—$480 million (approximately $120 billion in 2007 dollars)[1]—which at the time was the largest ever personal commercial transaction. Carnegie's share of this amounted to $225,639,000, which was paid to Carnegie in the form of 5%, 50 year gold bonds. The letter agreeing to sell his share was signed on February 26, 1901. On March 2, the circular formally filing the organization and capitalization (at $1,400,000,000—4% of U.S. national wealth at the time) of the United States Steel Corporation actually completed the contract. The bonds were to be delivered within two weeks to the Hudson Trust Company of Hoboken, New Jersey, in trust to Robert A. Franks, Carnegie's business secretary. There, a special vault was built to house the physical bulk of nearly $230,000,000 worth of bonds. It was said that "....Carnegie never wanted to see or touch these bonds that represented the fruition of his business career. It was as if he feared that if he looked upon them they might vanish like the gossamer gold of the leprechaun. Let them lie safe in a vault in New Jersey, safe from the New York tax assessors, until he was ready to dispose of them...."

As they signed the papers of sale, Carnegie remarked, "Well, Pierpont, I am now handing the burden over to you." In return, Carnegie became one of the world's wealthiest men.

Retirement was something many men dreaded. Carnegie was not one of them. He looked forward to retirement when he could chart a new course in life.

Besides steel, Carnegie's companies were involved in other areas of the railroad industry. His company, Pittsburgh Locomotive and Car Works, was noted for its building of large steam locomotives at the turn of the 20th century. His associates and partners included Henry Clay Frick and F. T. F. Loverjoy.

At the height of his career he was the second-richest person in the world, behind only John D. Rockefeller of Standard Oil.

Carnegie spent his last years as a philanthropist. From 1901 forward, public attention was turned from the shrewd business acumen which had enabled Carnegie to accumulate such a fortune, to the public-spirited way in which he devoted himself to utilizing it on philanthropic objects. His views on social subjects and the responsibilities which great wealth involved were already known from Triumphant Democracy (1886), and from his Gospel of Wealth (1889). He acquired Skibo Castle, in Sutherland, Scotland, and made his home partly there and partly in New York. He then devoted his life to the work of providing the capital for purposes of public interest and social and educational advancement.

He was a powerful supporter of the movement for spelling reform as a means of promoting the spread of the English language.

Among all of his many philanthropic efforts, the establishment of public libraries in the United States, the United Kingdom, and in other English-speaking countries was especially prominent. Carnegie libraries, as they were commonly called, were built seemingly everywhere. The first was opened in 1883 in Dunfermline, Scotland. His method was to build and equip, but only on condition that the local authority provided site and maintenance. To secure local interest, in 1885, he gave $500,000 to Pittsburgh for a public library, and in 1886, he gave $250,000 to Allegheny City for a music hall and library, and $250,000 to Edinburgh, Scotland, for a free library. In total Carnegie funded some 3,000 libraries, located in 47 states. Carnegie also built libraries in Canada and overseas in United Kingdom including what is now the Republic of Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, the West Indies, and Fiji. He also donated £50,000 to help set up the University of Birmingham in 1899.

As VanSlyck (1991) shows, the last years of the 19th century saw acceptance of the idea that libraries should be available to the American public free of charge. However the design of the idealized free library was at the center of a prolonged and heated debate. On one hand, the library profession called for designs that supported efficiency in administration and operation; on the other, wealthy philanthropists favored buildings that reinforced the paternalistic metaphor and enhanced civic pride. Between 1886 and 1917, Carnegie reformed both library philanthropy and library design, encouraging a closer correspondence between the two.

The Broome County Public Library opened in October 1904. Originally called the Binghamton Public Library, it was created with a gift of $75,000 from Andrew Carnegie. The building was designed to serve as both a public library and a community center.

He gave $2 million in 1901 to start the Carnegie Institute of Technology (CIT) at Pittsburgh, and the same amount in 1902 to found the Carnegie Institution at Washington, D.C. He later contributed more to these and other schools. CIT is now part of Carnegie Mellon University.

He served on the Board of Cornell University.

In Scotland, he gave $2 million in 1901 to establish a trust for providing funds for assisting education at the Scottish universities, a benefaction which resulted in his being elected Lord Rector of University of St. Andrews. He was a large benefactor of the Tuskegee Institute under Booker Washington for African American education. He also established large pension funds in 1901 for his former employees at Homestead and, in 1905, for American college professors. The later fund has evolved into TIAA-CREF. One critical term was that church-related schools had to sever their connections to get his money. He also funded the construction of 7,000 church organs.

He owned Carnegie Hall in New York City.

He founded the Carnegie Hero Fund for the United States and Canada in 1904 (a few years later also established in the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, and Germany) for the recognition of deeds of heroism; he contributed $1,500,000 in 1903 for the erection of the Peace Palace at The Hague; and he donated $150,000 for a Pan-American Palace in Washington as a home for the International Bureau of American Republics.

Carnegie was honored for his philanthropy and support of the arts by initiation as an honorary member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity on October 14, 1917 at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. The fraternity's mission reflects Carnegie's values by making the world a better place by developing young men to share their talents to create harmony in the world.

By the standards of 19th century tycoons, Carnegie was not a particularly ruthless man, but the contrast between his life and the lives of many of his own workers and of the poor, in general, was stark. "Maybe with the giving away of his money," commented biographer Joseph Wall, "he would justify what he had done to get that money."

By the time he died, Carnegie had given away $350,695,653 (approximately $4.3 billion, adjusted to 2005 figures). At his death, the last $30,000,000 was likewise given away to foundations, charities, and to pensioners.

In an era in which financial capital was consolidated in New York City, Carnegie stayed aloof from the city, preferring to live near his factories in western Pennsylvania and at Skibo Castle, Scotland, which he bought in 1898 and enlarged on a massive scale: an excellent example of Scottish Baronial style. He spent every summer at Skibo until the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, calling it his "Heaven on Earth". However, he also built (in 1901) and resided during the winters in a townhouse on New York City's Fifth Avenue that later came to house Cooper-Hewitt's National Design Museum.

Carnegie married Louise Whitfield in 1887 and had one daughter, Margaret Carnegie Miller, who was born in 1897.
David Nasaw's biography, Andrew Carnegie, details the story of Carnegie's religious life. Witnessing the sectarianism and strife in 19th century Scotland regarding religion and philosophy, Carnegie kept his distance from organized religion, eventually coming to identify himself as a positivist. He held much hope for humanity in what may be termed an atheistic and humanistic view on life, shaped also by the Scottish values with which he was raised. After the outbreak of the First World War and the slaughter it would bring, Carnegie underwent a crisis of ideology in his positivist views and secluded himself to his estate, Shadowbrook, in Lenox, Massachusetts, where he died on August 11, 1919. He is interred in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Sleepy Hollow, New York

Carnegie was one of more than 60 wealthy members of the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club, which was blamed for the Johnstown Flood that killed more than 2,200 people in 1889.

The Homestead Strike

The Homestead Strike was a bloody labor confrontation lasting 143 days in 1892 and was one of the most serious in U.S. history. The conflict was situated around Carnegie Steel's main plant in Homestead, Pennsylvania, and grew out of a dispute between the National Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers of the United States and the Carnegie Steel Company.

Carnegie departed the country for a trip to his Scottish homeland before the unrest peaked. In doing so, Carnegie left mediation of the dispute in the hands of his associate and partner Henry Clay Frick. Frick was well known in industrial circles for maintaining staunch anti-union sensibilities.

The company had attempted to cut the wages of the skilled steel workers, and when the workers refused the pay cut, management locked the union out (workers considered the stoppage a "lockout" by management and not a "strike" by workers). Frick brought in thousands of strikebreakers to work the steel mills and Pinkerton agents to safeguard them.

On July 6, the arrival of a force of 300 Pinkerton agents from New York City and Chicago resulted in a fight in which 10 men—seven strikers and three Pinkertons—were killed and hundreds were injured. Pennsylvania Governor Robert Pattison discharged two brigades of the state militia to the strike site. Then, allegedly in response to the fight between the striking workers and the Pinkertons, anarchist Alexander Berkman tried to assassinate Frick using a gun. However, the attempt failed, and Frick was only wounded. Berkman was not directly connected to the strike, but was tied in for the assassination attempt. Afterwards, the company successfully resumed operations with non-union immigrant employees in place of the Homestead plant workers, and Carnegie returned to the United States. However, Carnegie's reputation was permanently damaged by the Homestead incident.

Carnegie wrote The Gospel of Wealth, in which he stated his belief that the rich should use their wealth to help enrich society.

The following is taken from one of Carnegie's memos to himself:
“ Man does not live by bread alone. I have known millionaires starving for lack of the nutriment which alone can sustain all that is human in man, and I know workmen, and many so-called poor men, who revel in luxuries beyond the power of those millionaires to reach. It is the mind that makes the body rich. There is no class so pitiably wretched as that which possesses money and nothing else. Money can only be the useful drudge of things immeasurably higher than itself. Exalted beyond this, as it sometimes is, it remains Caliban still and still plays the beast. My aspirations take a higher flight. Mine be it to have contributed to the enlightenment and the joys of the mind, to the things of the spirit, to all that tends to bring into the lives of the toilers of Pittsburgh sweetness and light. I hold this the noblest possible use of wealth. ”

Carnegie believed that achievement of financial failed could be reduced to a simple formula, which could be duplicated by the average person. In 1908, he commissioned (at no pay) Napoleon Hill, then a journalist, to interview more than 500 high and wealthy achievers to find out the common threads of their success. Hill eventually became a Carnegie collaborator, and their work was published in 1928, after Carnegie's death, in Hill's book The Law of Success (ISBN 0-87980-447-5) and in 1937, Think and Grow Rich (ISBN 1-59330-200-2). The latter has not been out of print since it was first published and has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide. In 1960, Hill published an abridged version of the book containing the Andrew Carnegie formula for wealth creation. For years it was the only version generally available. In 2004, Ross Cornwell published Think and Grow Rich!: The Original Version, Restored and Revised (Second Printing 2007), which restored the book to its original content, with slight revisions, and added comprehensive endnotes, an index, and an appendix.

The Lost City hydrothermal field, which sits on the side of an undersea mountain about 2,500 kilometers east of Bermuda, was discovered in December 2000 (SN: 7/14/01, p. 21). Unlike most hydrothermal vents, which crop up along midocean ridges where tectonic plates spread to form new seafloor, those of the Lost City lie about 15 km west of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge on ocean crust that's about 1.5 million years old. Accordingly, the chemistry of the fluids surging from the Lost City vents differs radically from that found at other hydrothermal sites, says Giora Proskurowski, a geochemist at Woods Hole (Mass.) Oceanographic Institution.

Most hydrothermal vents spew a highly acidic, mineral-rich broth at temperatures as high as 400°C. The sulfide minerals that precipitate when those hot fluids mix with near-freezing seawater form dark, crumbly chimneys that typically reach heights of only 20 meters or so before they collapse. At the Lost City site, however, vent fluids are alkaline, have temperatures between 28°C and 90°C, and are rich in dissolved carbonates, Proskurowski notes. Because carbonate minerals are much stronger than sulfides, the lofty white chimneys that form in the Lost City can grow at least 60 m tall.

Lost City fluids also contain small quantities of hydrocarbons such as methane, ethane, and butane. A number of clues suggests that those substances, whose natural production usually results from the long-term heating of sediment rich in organic matter, were actually produced by inorganic chemical reactions, Proskurowski says. First, the rocks beneath the Lost City don't contain large amounts of organic matter. Second, the hydrothermal fluids are rich in dissolved hydrogen but contain a much lower than normal concentration of dissolved carbon dioxide. This suggests that what are called Fischer-Tropsch inorganic chemical reactions, which convert carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and hydrogen into hydrocarbons, generated the substances.

Finally, the proportion of the carbon-13 isotope in the hydrocarbons found in the Lost City fluids drops as the size of the hydrocarbon molecule grows, a trend opposite that found in sediment-derived hydrocarbons but characteristic of those generated by inorganic reactions, Proskurowski and his colleagues report in the Feb. 1 Science.

Although some types of microorganisms that inhabit the mineral chimneys in the Lost City may have generated a portion of the fluids' dissolved methane, none found there could have produced the ethane, butane, or other organic compounds in the vents' brew. Finding butane in the fluids is particularly important, because that hydrocarbon is a building block for some of the organic substances found in cell membranes, Proskurowski notes.

"If what they've found is right, it has significant implications for the origin of life," says Allan J. Hall, a geochemist at the University of Glasgow in Scotland.

Robert M. Hazen, a geophysicist at the Carnegie Institution of Washington (D.C.), agrees: "This is an exciting finding ... that demonstrates there are so many ways to make hydrocarbons in an abiogenic setting." The largest barrier to making the complex, sulfur- and nitrogen-bearing molecules characteristic of living organisms is creating long-chain hydrocarbon precursors like those found in the Lost City fluids, he says.

Researchers studying brain injury believe they've found a common thread running through many cases of seemingly unrelated social problems: a long-forgotten blow to the head.
New research indicates hidden traumatic brain injuries can cause social or educational failure, such as alcoholism or homelessness. WSJ's Tom Burton talks with researchers at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York for some insight.

They've found that providing therapy for an underlying brain injury often helps people with a variety of ills ranging from learning disabilities to chronic homelessness and alcoholism. If broadly verified, the findings could have a significant impact in dealing with such intractable difficulties.

That severe head injuries can lead to cognitive and behavioral problems is widely accepted. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 5.3 million Americans suffer from mental or physical disability that is due to brain injury.

What's new is the contention of some researchers that there are many other cases where a severe past blow to the head, resulting in unconsciousness or confusion, is the unrecognized source of such problems. "Unidentified traumatic brain injury is an unrecognized major source of social and vocational failure," says Wayne A. Gordon, director of the Brain Injury Research Center at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, where much of the research is being done.

Research by his team has consistently found high rates of "hidden" head trauma when screening various populations in New York schools, addiction programs and the general population. The CDC acknowledges its 5.3 million estimate is an undercount based on hospital admissions; it doesn't include people who sought no treatment for a severe blow to the head or who were sent home from a doctor's office or emergency room with little treatment.

• New Findings: Researchers say a blow to the head years earlier may be linked to problems later in life, such as learning disabilities, homelessness and alcoholism.
• Early Identification: Some schools are trying to identify children who may have had head injuries to provide special help in education.
• The Impact: The findings are offering new hope to adults coping with the onset of disorders such as losing the ability to read or concentrate.

Causes of brain injury can include bike and car accidents, sports concussions such as those suffered by professional football players, and abuse and falls that can date back to childhood. Doctors say about 85% of common falls in infancy don't produce long-term deficits, but that some do.

To be sure, it's difficult to connect with any certainty a long-ago blow to the head to memory and cognition problems years later. Other researchers point out that many people do recover completely from severe head injury, and mental problems arise from other causes. Moreover, Mount Sinai's findings haven't all been published, nor have they been widely evaluated at other institutions.

Mount Sinai's research involves people like Kate Gleason, a business-college instructor who over the course of a year lost her ability to read, keep her home orderly and even maintain friendships.

In 1998, Ms. Gleason tried to open a window in her New York apartment building's hallway, but the heavy top window fell and bashed her on the head. She was treated by doctors at a local hospital, who she says let her walk home and told her she'd be fine. But on the way back, she was still so confused she had to hang onto lampposts and buildings to keep from losing her way.

A slim, auburn-haired woman then in her mid-40s, Ms. Gleason kept teaching, but found that the bright lights and hectic office were overwhelming. She says she confided in a boss about her troubles and soon lost her job. After that, she made ends meet by returning to proofreading work, but she slowly withdrew socially.

She didn't pay bills on time. Her house was a mess. "Years and years went by, and I had lots of problems," she says. "I didn't know it was from the head injury. I just thought I had a clutter problem." By 1999, Ms. Gleason, who has a master's from Columbia University, was "so bad on the level of functioning as a college grad that I wanted to die." She had no idea why.

Then about two years ago, she got a strange letter from Mount Sinai: It asked if she was having trouble thinking or solving problems or if she became easily overwhelmed. It turned out Mount Sinai doctors were reaching out to people whose medical records showed a blow to the head. Ms. Gleason responded, and when researchers interviewed her, she began to sob, saying, "Life is just so hard."

On what was to be the first day of an attention and memory program, Ms. Gleason got lost in the maze of hospital hallways and began crying again. Once she found the site, she discovered she wasn't the only patient who got lost a lot, or who cried.

For five days a week for six months, she worked through five hours of attention exercises, reading articles to explain the main idea, interpreting charts and graphs, taking classes on how to take apart a problem and reduce it to smaller steps, writing mock "advice columns" on how to handle life issues.

At first, she found the work so intense she needed a break every 15 minutes. By a week later, she could concentrate a little longer. She completed the program in August 2006, eight years after the window struck her. Now she's studying to be a church-based counselor. "That program gave me my life back," she says.

A group for whom the research on undiagnosed head injuries could be especially relevant is the homeless. Assessments by Mount Sinai researchers of about 100 homeless men in New York found that 82% had suffered brain injury in childhood, primarily as a result of parental abuse.

An epidemiological study in 2000 was larger. Researchers went door-to-door in New Haven, Conn., interviewing 5,000 people, 7.2% of whom recalled a past blow to the head that was followed by unconsciousness or a period of confusion. In follow-up testing, the researchers found that those who reported such injuries had more than twice the rate of depression and of alcohol and drug abuse as others.

They also had sharply elevated rates of panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and suicide attempts, say the researchers, led by Jonathan Silver of New York University.

Such research began in the late 1980s with Mount Sinai's Dr. Gordon and Mary Hibbard, both Ph.D. psychologists specializing in rehabilitation and neuropsychology. In questioning patients referred to them, they were struck by how often they turned up a history of a brain injury that wasn't in the patients' medical records.

Using a questionnaire they devised, they tried to determine how many children in the city school system had head injuries that were followed by cognitive difficulties. At one school, 10% of students told of having once had a significant head injury. Later testing of these children frequently "was suggestive of impairments," Dr. Hibbard says.

Next, with a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, they set out to determine how many pupils enrolled in programs for children with learning disabilities had ever suffered a hard blow to the head. The results were startling: About 50% had.

"The accident can be three months ago, but by the time the symptoms happen, the accident is forgotten. Nobody puts it together," says Tamar Martin, a psychologist in the program. The team worked with about 400 children, finding that many children who'd had brain injuries were lost in regular learning-disabilities classrooms.

They have trouble with their memory from day to day, and teachers can assume they're not trying hard, Dr. Martin says. They need more breaks between topics. But their performance varies greatly from day to day, and a teacher can also erroneously perceive this fluctuation as lack of initiative.

Just giving such children more time often helps, she says, as do special prompts from teachers. For instance, Dr. Martin says, a teacher may say, "In a couple of minutes, I am going to ask you about problem No. 10," and give the child time to prepare before officially asking.

One 14-year-old girl had a high intellect, but after she was hit by a car, she suddenly couldn't do outlines or organize her time, her mother says in an interview. "Her processing was slower," adds Michelle Kornbleuth, another psychologist in the Mount Sinai program. "She was frustrated, and her scores came out in the average range."

With Dr. Kornbleuth's help, the girl was allowed to take exams privately in an office and could concentrate better. With such accommodations, she completed high school and went on to graduate from prestigious Smith College.

Kansas systematically tries to identify brain injuries among the "learning disabled." School social workers and teachers with special training across the state show other teachers how to recognize and work with the brain-injured, says Janet Tyler, director of a neurologic-disabilities project in the state education department.

"When you look at children with learning disabilities or behavior problems, there's often an underlying high percentage of children with traumatic brain injury. We're looking at about 20%," she says.

In Mulvane, Kan., Sandy Baca's son Timothy, who was hit by a car at age 2, struggled in school for years. Ms. Baca says that once teachers understood the difference between brain injury and other disability, "they found ways for him to be successful. If he couldn't do the work one day, they would lower expectations for the day." Ultimately, he finished high school.

The Mount Sinai team evaluates people via a battery of "neuropsych" tests lasting up to nine hours. They are shown pictures of objects, then asked minutes later what they saw. They see a complex geometric design with triangles, lines and circles and are asked to draw it from memory. They're shown a series of multiple random letters and asked to cross out, say, the "c" and "e" every time they see one.

On a recent morning, a 44-year-old manager at a New York investment firm was working on attention training with a postdoctoral fellow. He had sustained several sports concussions as a younger man and then in recent years twice banged his head hard. Lately, he had been feeling confused. Commuting between New York City and Long Island, he boarded the wrong train three days in a row.

In the first of several exercises, the patient was asked to read a page of text while crossing out all words ending in "ing," and then to answer questions about what he'd read. The first time through, he caught only seven of 12 "ing" words. A second test asked him to choose a word that didn't belong in a group of five, while listening to other words and pressing a buzzer when he heard words with four letters.

About five years ago, the Mount Sinai team began looking at residents of New York centers for alcoholism and drug abuse. They evaluated 845 patients and determined that 54% had once suffered a hard blow to the head. Of course, some had injuries after they began drinking, so there is a certain chicken-and-egg problem with that number.

Steven Kipnis, medical director of a New York state agency for alcoholism and addiction, says his work with counselors convinces him that many of the patients became alcoholic or addicted in part because of a head injury, and knowing about it helps in treatment.

"Someone can get hit in the head with a softball and still be working. They tend to be in denial. They get mood swings, they yell at a spouse. It's a slow downward spiral, and that's when alcohol and drugs" become an option, he says.

The agency has a program specifically for the brain-injured at the R.E. Blaisdell Addiction Treatment Center in Orangeburg, N.Y. A counselor there, Steve Oswald, tells of one patient who dropped out of a general alcoholism program three times before the program for the brain-injured began, and then successfully completed the program.

In 2006, Mount Sinai's Dr. Gordon began to work with Common Ground, a New York nonprofit that builds housing for the homeless. About 70% of 100 homeless people they tested came out in the 10th percentile or lower for memory, language or attention, says the group's director of psychiatric services, Jennifer Highley. Questioning uncovered that 82% had a significant blow to the head prior to becoming homeless, usually from severe parental abuse during childhood.

"People get abused as kids, making them inattentive in school and sometimes unable to learn," says Ms. Highley. She says head injury and the emotional fallout from abuse can lead to alcoholism and addiction, and "that combination creates the inability to function and often leads to homelessness."

Leonard Robert Palmer published The Latin Language in 1954. Since then there have been some advances in the Italic dialects, but it is basically a really good introduction to the linguistics of Latin. Roughly half the 372-page book is taken up with the linguistic fields of syntax, phonology, and morphology, and appendices. I've read it through a couple of times and wanted more. Ad Infinitum - A Biography of Latin, by Nicholas Ostler, is that more. Especially for the period when the Roman Empire was dominant, the book is very satisfying.
Since it was published in 2007, it has all the latest in Etruscan research behind it. Although there are some flaws in the book, it is, in my opinion, a most satisfying sequel to The Latin Language.

Hibernating bats in New York and Vermont caves and mines are dying off in thousands from an ailment that produces a white circle of fungus around their noses. Researchers are scrambling to find the cause of "white nose syndrome," first noticed last January. The white ring is a symptom, though not necessarily causal. The dying bats deplete their fat reserves, and perish months before they should emerge from hibernation. Bat specialist Alan Hicks, with New York's Department of Environmental Conservation, called the threat to bats grave and said there was potential for a "huge spread" among them. Bats can hang together by the thousands when they hibernate.
State officials are asking people not to enter caves or mines with bats until researchers understand how the ailment spreads, though there is no evidence that it is a threat to humans.

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