Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today from the U.K. Fall Will Be the Age of Aquarius in LondonHope Mill Theatre’s production of Hair in Manchester, England won’t exactly cross the Atlantic sea, but it is genius genius enough to head to London. The revival will play off-West End venue The Vaults from October 4 through December 3. The production of the classic ‘60s musical, directed by Jonathan O’Boyle premiere at Hope Mill in November last year. Casting will be announced at a later date.New La Strada Adaptation Receives London PremiereA new stage adaptation of Federico Fellini’s 1957 film La Strada will head to London following a U.K. tour. The production, featuring music by Benji Bower and directed by Sally Cookson, will play The Other Palace in London from May 30 through July 8, after concluding its tour on May 27. The cast will be led by Cirque du Soleil alums Audrey Brisson, and Bart Soroczynski, as well as Stuart Goodwin. The movie, about a young girl sold into a circus to a brutish strongman, also inspired the 1969 BroadwayJudith Street Takes Center Stage in The GirlsJudith Street assume the role of Jessie in the West End production of The Girls. The stage veteran, who currently plays Lady Cravenshire in the Gary Barlow and Tim Firth musical, takes over for Michele Dotrice, who has been diagnosed with acute bronchitis. Street joins a septet of leads at the Phoenix Theatre that includes Debbie Chazen as Ruth, Sophie-Louise Dann as Celia, Marian McLoughlin as Marie, Claire Moore as Chris, Claire Machin as Cora and Joanna Riding as Annie.Stars Set for Lettice and LovageFelicity Kendal and Maureen Lipman will headline the previously announced London engagement of Peter Shaffer’s Lettice and Lovage. The Trevor Nunn-helmed production will run at the Menier Chocolate Factory from May 4 through July 8. Kendal, whose recent credits include the U.K. and Australian tour of Hay Fever and Relatively Speaking in the West End, will play Lettice Douffet, while Lipman, an Olivier winner for See How They Run, will take on the role of Lotte Schoen. Nunn is also set to direct Love in Idleness at the venue this spring. View Comments The Hope Mill Theatre production of ‘Hair'(Photo: Anthony Robling)
Second Biotechnology WaveOn the heels of the first wave, he said, is a second wave of biotechnology: Discoveries will shift the emphasis to products that include enhanced human foods, livestock and industrial products and pharmaceuticals.”Over the next five years, biotechnology will develop many more products that will radically change American agriculture,” Phillips predicted. “One extremely exciting area of research and development is the use of animals in pharmaceutical production. The most promising work is in milk and eggs.”Sheep’s milk has been used in cystic fibrosis treatment, goats’ milk in cancer therapy and mice’s milk for arthritis treatment. Chicken eggs have also been used for treating the flu.”And the production of therapeutic proteins doesn’t cause any ill effects to the animal involved,” Phillips said.Reduced-fat Animal ProductsAnimals are being engineered to reduce fat, too, and to have less environmental impact.While plants are being developed to deliver more nutrition, safer foods and even vaccines, some of the most interesting developments are in industrial chemicals.”Research indicates that plants can be modified to produce proteins that become components of detergents, nylon, glue, paints, lubricants and plastics,” Phillips said. “The potential is very high that plants can be the source of biodegradable plastic polymers that will benefit the environmental quality. We are viewing plants in a new way: as minifactories.”Phillips urged everyone to work together to achieve the promise of the technology. “It will require creative and sustained leadership from both (public and private) sectors to make it happen,” he said. Increased fertilizer efficiency.More flexible weed control, especially for soybeans.Greater use of conservation tillage, protecting water quality and preventing soil erosion. Vaccine shots may soon be as comforting as eating mashed potatoes, as tasty as snacking on a banana or as refreshing as eating a salad.”Very promising research is resulting in foods that may one day contain vaccines,” said Michael Phillips, executive director for food and agriculture at the Biotechnology Industry Organization. Phillips delivered the 2001 D.W. Brooks Lecture at the University of Georgia in Athens, Ga., Oct. 1.”Transgenic potatoes may carry the vaccine for hepatitis B, bananas may contain a cholera vaccine and lettuce a vaccine for measles,” he said. “This is especially important for the developing world, where it’s very expensive to purchase, transport and store vaccines.”Where vaccines require refrigeration or must be transported to remote areas, he said, food-borne vaccines would be especially helpful.Biotech Crops Widely AcceptedThe first wave of biotech crops — those containing insect- and disease-resistant properties — have been widely adopted in historic proportions.”Today they’re planted on more than 100 million acres around the world,” Phillips said. “In the United States, in only five years, more than 65 percent of the soybeans, almost 70 percent of the cotton and 25 percent of the corn are varieties that have been enhanced through the use of biotechnology. For hybrid corn, one of the most recent technological revolutions in agriculture, it took almost 30 years to reach comparable adoption rates.”These adoption rates have been mirrored in other countries. In Canada, more than 65 percent of the canola, almost 50 percent of the corn and about 20 percent of soybeans are varieties improved though biotechnology.Farmers’ Competitive Edge”At least 20 percent of the soybeans grown in Brazil today are Roundup-Ready soybeans smuggled in from Argentina,” Phillips said. “That’s how desperate farmers are to get their hands on this technology. They don’t want to lose the competitive edge.”Phillips attributes the rapid acceptance to farmers’ economic bottom line. “It either increases their yields or decreases input costs, or both,” he said.The most obvious savings for farmers has been chemical pesticide inputs. The National Center for Food and Agricultural Policy reports that cotton pesticide usage has declined by more than 50 percent.Phillips said research is also documenting:
The Wisconsin women’s cross country team has excelled as expected in early competition. With a tight grip on the No. 5 spot nationally, the team hopes to push itself as high as possible. It’s not out of the question for Wisconsin to catch Big Ten foe Michigan (No. 2) or reigning national champion Stanford (No. 1). “It’s too early to have expectations,” head coach Jim Stintzi said. “But I’m excited to see how the season unfolds.” Stintzi certainly knows a thing or two about winning. He was a seven-time All-American and six-time Big Ten Champion with the Badgers. After taking home its third-straight Pioneer Invitational two weeks ago, the team looks forward to its next challenge at the Paul Short Invitational Friday at Lehigh in Bethlehem, Pa. “It is my goal to help lead athletes to outstanding success,” Stintzi said.Freshman Cassie Hintz and sophomore Hanna Grinaker (2006 All-America Honors) led the way as they finished first and second respectively in the 5,000-meter course. Freshman Leah Coyle of Middleton, Wis., also placed seventh after winning the UW-Platteville Open Sept. 8. With the underclassmen doing their part to contribute, it has left Stintzi beaming. “Sophomore Hanna Grinaker is filling the role of team leader,” Stintzi said. As the 2006 Big Ten Freshman of the year and All-American status, she will be counted on as a key runner in the Badgers’ success. An exceptional fountain of youth can always be appreciated, especially when its contributions include results in real competition. Because last weekend was only something of a tune-up, the underclassmen’s accomplishments cannot really be gauged yet, but their strong time results are telling and hopefully will improve as the season continues.While this youth movement has certainly thrived, the senior members of the team should not be overlooked. Junior Sarah Hurley, a native of Appleton, Wis., placed third with only 14 seconds separating her and teammate Grinaker in the Carroll College Invitational. Fourth, fifth and sixth place went to senior Amanda Ganser, junior Gwen Jorgensen, and senior-transfer student Kait Hurley, who arrived from William and Mary to join Wisconsin’s squad. Without All-American graduate Katrina Rundhaug, the upperclassmen will need to step up their leadership in order to keep the team focused on success. “The personnel is a little bit different, but the people who were role players last season have gained tons of experience the last couple of years,” Stintzi said.Holding the No. 2 spot in the Great Lakes region, behind No. 1 Michigan and just ahead of No. 3 Michigan State, the struggle within the Big Ten certainly sparks their competitive fire. “Our goal is to return Wisconsin cross country to the top of the Big Ten and be a contender on the national level,” Stintzi said. Illinois, Minnesota and Iowa hold down the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 spots in the Midwest region. With hefty competition, the Badgers will be forced to buckle down as they move in to tougher upcoming tournaments in preparation for the Big Ten Championships, the Great Lakes regional and the NCAA Championships in the coming months.