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Distinguished Lecturer To Speak At UW-River Falls

March 26, 1999

When the dust settles, there will be one man left standing; to study it.

Professor George Guthrie of Western Michigan University, will be presenting a lecture at UW-River Falls titled, "Mineralogy of the Lung," on Monday, April 12, at 5 p.m. in Room 200 of the Agriculture Science Building.

The lecture, sponsored by the plant and earth science department, is free and open to the public.

Guthrie is an internationally recognized expert on the geochemical effects of potential hazardous minerals, such as asbestos. As a distinguished lecturer of the Mineralogical Society of America, he speaks across the country and abroad.

According to Guthrie, minerals are important in a wide range of non-geological processes, including pathogenesis, the initiation and development of disease. One example of the role of minerals in the development of disease deals with the inhalation of asbestos, silica, and some zeolites. These can cause disease, but scientists don't know why.

In "Mineralogy of the Lung," Guthrie will give an overview of the mineralogical and biological effects of mineral induced diseases. This will include a discussion of the risks associated with exposure to dust derived from natural resources. In addition, Guthrie will present results from collaborative work aimed at understanding why the zeolite erionite is so cancer-causing.

"This should be a topic of interest to many in the community," said UW-RF geology professor William Cordua.

Before joining the staff at Western Michigan University, Guthrie worked at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. He studied the geochemical aspects of potentially hazardous minerals, the geochemical evolution of concrete, and various environmental issues.

Guthrie is a council member of the Clay Minerals Society. He has received several honors including the Los Alamos Achievement Award, the Eisenhower Faculty Fellowship, and the Mason Award from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand.

He was the associate editor of the magazine American Mineralogist for three years. Currently he is the chair of the Mineralogical Society of America, a special interest group that promotes environmental mineralogy.

For more information contact Cordua at 715/425-3139.

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