Last updateWed, 19 Feb 2020 2pm


Volume 83 (Fall 2011 - Spring 2012)

Gene Therapy Provides Potential Cure for Leukemia

Gene TherapyA clinical research trial on three patients at the University of Pennsylvania has yielded what appears to be one of the greatest advances in cancer research in decades.

In the paper published on September 14, 2011, the Penn researchers said that their treatment caused the most common type of leukemia, chroniclymphocytic leukemia (CLL), to disappear in two of the patients and reduced it by about seventy percent in the third patient.

CLL strikes about 15,000 people in the United States and kills about 4,300 every year.

Even though chemotherapy and radiation can hold off CLL for years, the only cure for this form of leukemia has been a bone marrow transplant which requires a suitable match, works only about half the time, and often carries severe, life-threatening side effects such as pain and infection.

The doctors used gene therapy with a harmless HIV vector, a modified form of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), to insert a series of unique genes into the white blood cells, making them able to target and kill the cancer cells.

After growing many of these genetically engineered T-cells, the doctors injected them back into the three patients.

Similar experimental treatments for various types of cancer involving re-injected white blood cells have occurred in the past, but they have only managed to kill a few cancer cells before the T-cells started dying out.

The University of Pennsylvania researchers inserted a gene that caused the white blood cells to multiply by a thousand fold inside the body. Dr. Carl Jung, one of the researchers involved in the Penn experiment, described the resultant white blood cells as having “become ‘serial killers’ relentlessly tracking down and killing the cancer cells in the blood, bone marrow and lymph tissue.”

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Finding a New Home Across the Pond

Student Gains Fond Memories While Studying Abroad in Rome

RomeMy first trip out of the country was when I was seven-years old. My family and I traveled to a small town in southern Italy where my family is from for my cousin’s wedding.

Having family in another country is always difficult, but as soon as we got there, it was like distance did not even exist.

We bonded very quickly. It was my first time meeting most of my relatives there. Language wasn’t a huge barrier either.

As a naive child, I considered those two weeks the best time that I ever had in my life and after I left, I was desperate to go back.

Fast forward 12 years. I finally got to return to Italy! But this time, I was going back to live and study for a month in Rome with my best friend, Kaitlyn.

I had never been so excited for anything in my entire life. When I had signed up to study abroad in Rome last February, I truly had no idea what I was getting myself into, but I was about to find out.

Finally May 23 arrived and Kaitlyn and I boarded a plane for the Eternal City. That day, my life changed forever.

I had never been away from my family for so long, nor had I ever lived completely on my own before, but there we were, two 19-year-old girls thrown into the middle of Rome, alone and allowed to do as we pleased.

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Everything You Need is Right Around the Corner

Attractions and Excitement for Students Near the University

Around the CornerWith all of the excitement of New York City an hour away, students can overlook the activities right in their own backyard.

Monmouth and the surrounding counties have many attractions that can provide entertainment for any student looking for something to do on the weekends, and none of them require too much of a drive.

Six Flags Great Adventure and Wild Safari is located in Jackson, NJ, about 30 minutes from the University.

For anyone who has ever been to a Six Flags, you know that there is enough entertainment to last all day. Great Adventure in Jackson boasts rides like “Batman” and the new “Green Lantern,” which opened this past May.

Along with “Batman” and “Green Lantern,” the park has over 15 thrill rides, multiple family rides, and a drive-through safari. Fright Fest is also coming up, which occurs every weekend in October.

These weekends include fright tours and access to some popular rides at night. It is a great thing to do to get into the Halloween spirit.

In addition, from now until September 25, there is a deal that anyone who buys their ticket to Great Adventure online pays the kids’ price opposed to the adult price.

Sandy Hook is also a great place to visit in the area. The beach is a perfect spot to relax with friends, swim, bike, skateboard, or surf.

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You Know it’s Time for School When...

default article imageYou know it’s time to go back to school when your smart phone is ready to blow up with University emails regarding parking lot closures and weather alerts. Nothing like 15 school emails in a day to make you want to reactivate your old flip phone. But who doesn’t love that email that comes straight to your Blackberry from the professor who cancelled your 8:30 am class? It’s like waking up to a tree full of presents on Christmas morning.

 Now we can’t forget about parking. Remember how much fun that is, commuters? Get ready to fight to the death over a spot that is two miles from your class that starts in five minutes, thanks to Larchwood Avenue being under construction, yet again.

But that’s not all- there is nothing more depressing than those K-mart back to school commercials that pop up every five seconds once July 15 hits. However, nothing could make back-to-school more exciting than Target advertising Solo cups and ping pong balls with their back to school sales. Until, that is, you realize you have to reconstruct your entire schedule because you missed a bad review on RateMyProfessor.com.

Now is when you start adding “library dates” to your calendar instead of planning beach trips on your days off from work. No more late nights at D’Jais or Bar-A until 4:00 am. Looks like the only all-nighters you’ll be pulling will be taking place in the University Library. It turns out LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem” isn’t actually a good song unless you have consumed an entire bottle of Svedka.

The start of another semester means it’s time to start shopping for random ugly furniture off of shady Craigslist ads so that you can still afford tuition. Looks like that beer pong table will have to substitute for a dining room table this year. Hopefully the summer didn’t waste away your flip cup skills while running around for 30 hours a week at that dreadful summer internship.

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A To-Do List for Your First Month Back at School

default article imageReturning to school, whether as a senior or freshman, can be intimidating. As an upper classman, classes can increase in difficulty with class workloads becoming more stressful.

At the same time, first-year students are trying to find their footing as college freshmen. The transition can be made easier for everyone by knowing the five things that are guaranteed to make the beginning of the school year run smoothly.

The first thing that students should do when returning from summer break is to get a feel for the campus and surrounding areas. Almost every incoming student has had a nightmare about being unable to find their classes on the first day of school. The obvious thing to do would be for students to take their schedules and find the buildings where their classes are located. This also goes for returning students. However, students often skip out on searching for classes.

Unfortunately, I failed to take my own advice at the start of my second semester. When I came back after winter break during my freshman year, I never thought to look for my classes because I knew where all of the buildings were. But after about 15 minutes of roaming Howard Hall in search of my history class and finding four other lost classmates, I decided that this would not happen again.

And even though getting to know the campus is important, exploring the surrounding towns cannot be forgotten either. Knowing how to get around in West Long Branch and the surrounding areas is also beneficial on many occasions. Obviously, students will forget dorm supplies or materials for class. It is nice to know that the nearest Target is in Ocean Township. It’s the small things that will help in the long run.

The second thing to do when arriving at school is to organize. This includes everything from your schedule to your dorm room. Time can seem to disappear once classes begin, having a week to finish your paper turns into five hours in the blink of an eye. Keeping a calendar of when papers and outside readings are due keeps students on track to finish their work on time. It also allows for better planned free time, so all activities are not squeezed into two hours of the day.

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How to Keep Your Wallet Full at the Bookstore

Affordabook.com Offers a Free Service of Price Comparisons

default article imageWhen returning to the University, did you walk into the bookstore and all of a sudden you had a killer migraine caused by the high prices of textbooks? Yep, that’s a pretty common phenomenon among college students.

According to the University bookstore Textbook Manager Megan McCluskey, textbook prices range from small paperbacks that are $1.50 to hardcovers that cost $260.

The cheapest paperback books are usually used in the literature and social science classes while the most expensive textbooks tend to be used for business and science classes.

The bookstore does offer a “used book” choice so you can shave off that price a little bit, but what if your bill still comes out to more than $400?

That’s also a very common problem at a university bookstores. Some textbooks, such as those for Information Technology, are only offered at our bookstore. However, you have other options to try and save some money.

Affordabook.com is a website that provides a free service to college students in finding the lowest prices for their textbooks. According to Affordabook founder and creator Vincent Thomas, the website gets around 500,000 visitors per year searching for over 650,000 textbook titles.

The website searches over 20 partners to find the lowest prices on books, textbooks and novels. Students can search for the textbook by the International Standard Book Number (ISBN), the title, the author, or keywords. The partners include eBay, Amazon and Half.

Students can also win gift cards to Amazon by following Affordabook.com on Twitter, retweeting the giveaway, liking their Facebook page, making it your homepage, or mentioning it on your blog or website.

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Dr. Kevin Dooley Takes the Honors School Under His Wing

Alum and Current Professor Looks Forward to Expanding the Program

Dr. Kevin DooleyWhen Dr. William Mitchell of the Anthropology department stepped down as Honors school Dean in the spring, Honors school staff and students alike were a little nervous about who would be able to step in and continue to change the program for the better.

After interviews with Honors students and faculty, Dr. Kevin Dooley of the Political Science department was selected to be Dean of the Honors school. However, Dooley had been a part of the University long before he started teaching in a University classroom 10 years ago.

Dooley attended Monmouth for his undergraduate degree after graduating from Manasquan High School in 1996. He grew up in Sea Girt, surrounded by political science since his father was a lawyer, and his dream was to follow in his footsteps.

But Professor Rekha Datta, his freshman advisor, opened up Dooley’s mind to other possibilities in the realm of political science. After taking a few classes at the University, Dooley felt he found his niche within International Relations.

“I found a lot of enjoyment in writing rather than practicing the law. I think that I write in a certain style that is much more relatable and better suited for academics,” said Dooley. “I try to strike a balance between analysis and theory. I can weave in between both worlds.”

After graduating from Monmouth University in 1999 and then graduating Rutgers University with his Masters in Political Theory in 2001 and Ph.D in International Relations in 2004, Dooley followed through with his newly found passion and came back to the University to be an Associate Professor of Political Science.

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The Emergence of Gene Therapy

Emergence of GeneAt the start of 21st century, gene therapy was introduced as the new way to treat immune system deficiency. During this time, heads turned among the scientific population as gene therapy was marketed as a cure for hereditary diseases.

Genes are the units of heredity in living organisms. They are composed of stretches of DNA and RNA that code for other RNA chains and proteins, one of the chief building blocks of life. Gene therapy is the insertion, alteration, or removal of genes within the cells and biological tissues of a person to treat various forms of disease. Gene therapy can also be used to correct deficient genes that are responsible for the development of diseases.

Despite the field’s speedy emergence, it was forced to come to grips with reality with the passing of 18-year-old Jessie Gelsinger on September 17, 1999. Gelsinger suffered from ornithine transcarbamylase deficiency, an X chromosome linked genetic disease of the liver. He died from having suffered massive immune response triggered by the use of an adenoviral vector (a modified virus) used to transplant the gene for treating his condition into his cells which ultimately led to organ failure.

Today, more than a decade later, researchers have been armed with new long-term data, providing hope that gene therapy may fulfill its long held potential. Two recent studies published on August 25, 2011 showed that “13 of 16 children treated with gene therapy for severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) actually had their immune systems restored, and one is in remission for leukemia that developed due to the gene therapy treatment.”

Those that are born with SCID do not have a functioning immune system, making them extremely vulnerable to infections – causing even the most minute to be exceptionally threatening.

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Contact Information

The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151
Email: outlook@monmouth.edu