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MONDAY, JULY 30, 2007



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3 genes linked to multiple sclerosis
Mutations may increase risk of developing disease
By Sabin Russell
Chronicle Medical Writer


and the art of lawyering

Energy bill will test Pelosi’s command
Democrats in auto states oppose increasing gas mileage standards
By Zachary Coile
Chronicle Washington Bureau

Michael Macor / The Chronicle

New DNA scanning technologies, which have uncovered genetic traits tied to a growing list of human ailments, have spotted three gene mutations that may raise the risk of a person developing multiple sclerosis, the most common neurological disease among young and middle-age adults. The discoveries strengthen the widely held but unproven theory that MS is an autoimmune disease in which infection-fighting blood cells mistakenly attack the protein sheaths that protect our nerves. In three papers released online Sunday, international teams of researchers report how new experiments have reconfirmed the role of one gene in raising the risk of MS, and stirred suspicions about two other immune system genes that may contribute to the disease. “I think these studies, together, really change the landscape of multiple sclerosis research,’’ said Dr. Stephen Hauser, chairman of the UCSF Department of Neurology. He was lead author of the study released Sunday by the New England Journal of Medicine, and also a contributor to one of two studies also published online by the British medical journal Nature Genetics. Multiple sclerosis strikes women twice as often as men and afflicts about 400,000 Americans and 2.5 million people worldwide. Sufferers are plagued by chronic and progressive symptoms, ranging from muscle weakness and fatigue to complete loss of mobility. Hauser’s study involved an in1 GENES: Page A8

Washington — Democrats, in taking back the House from Republicans, promised to tilt the nation’s energy policy away from oil drilling and toward efficiency and cleaner sources of energy. This week their pledge will be put to the test. As the House starts debate on its energy bill, Speaker Nancy Pelosi must decide: Will she push a measure, opposed by electric utilities, to require them to produce 20 percent of their power from renewable sources? Will she allow a vote on a major increase in fuel economy that’s being fought by autoworkers’ unions and a few powerful Democrats? “When you talk about energy policy, there is the car piece and the electricity piece,” said Marchant Wentworth, legislative representative for the Union of Concerned Sci- Nancy Pelosi entists, who has been lobbying the told environDemocratic leadership. “You need mentalists she both for an energy-efficient policy.” supports The Democratic speaker from raising fuel San Francisco has told environ- economy mentalists she supports raising fuel standards to at economy standards to at least 35 least 35 mpg. miles per gallon and requiring utilities to generate 20 percent of their power from renewable sources such as wind, solar or biomass by 2020. But neither measure is part of the energy bill now, and Pelosi has not committed to bringing the proposals to the floor as amendments — although she’s leaning toward putting the electricity standard to a vote. Pelosi is balancing her desire for a new, greener energy policy with her fear that if the bill tries to go too
1 PELOSI: Page A9

Tens of thousands of Iraqis poured into the usually treacherous streets to celebrate a rare moment of joy and unity when the national team won Asia’s most prestigious soccer tournament. A6

MS at a glance
1 Affects the central nervous system. 1 Believed to be an autoimmune disease in which infection-fighting cells mistakenly attack the sheath that protects nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord. 1 Symptoms vary, but among the most common are bladder and bowel dysfunction, blurry vision, dizziness, loss of balance, fatigue, muscle weakness, slurred speech, mobility impairment. 1 Afflicts an estimated 400,000 Americans and 2.5 million worldwide. 1 Most people are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50; MS strikes women twice as often as men.
Sources: National Multiple Sclerosis Society, National Institutes of Health

Legal eagles find meditation a stress solution
By Heidi Benson
Chronicle Staff Writer

Mary Mocine,

Mary Mocine, a 63-year-old Zen priest and former litigator, teaches meditation to burned-out attorneys at weekend retreats at Tassajara in Big Sur and Green Gulch Farm at Muir Beach. “I speak two kinds of language — law practice and Zen practice,” said the sunny, linen-clad founder of the Vallejo Zen Center. Her work couldn’t be more timely.

a former labor lawyer, had to slow down after a divorce and an illness. She found peace in meditation and is now a Zen priest.

Recent studies reinforce the results of a 1990 Johns Hopkins University report showing that lawyers suffer higher rates of depression than those in other professions. Depression is often preceded by chronic stress, and with work hours escalating and public perception of lawyers in a nosedive, some members of the hyper-rational legal profession are looking East for relief. Meditation, yoga

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, right, led his scandalstained ruling coalition to an unexpectedly severe defeat in parliamentary elections. A3


Fans’ next best hope — rub Dodgers’ nose in it
By Carl T. Hall
Chronicle Staff Writer

In Sports
1 The game: Bonds went 1-for-4, and the Giants were 8-5 losers to the Marlins, who battered Matt Morris to overcome a 5-2 deficit. Bonds will continue his Hank Aaron chase when the Giants begin a six-game Southern California trek Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. 1 Ray Ratto: After Tuesday’s trading deadline, the Giants you’ve come to know and grouse about almost surely will be the same as they are today. D1

Michael Macor / The Chronicle

Boaters in McCovey Cove are denied as Barry Bonds fails to hit

the record-tying and -breaking homers that could be worth a mint.

Baseball history took a detour toward hostile territory Sunday as fans at AT&T Park glumly watched Barry Bonds go without a home run during the last game of the Giants homestand. The Giants lost the game, too. It was a sour way to send the team packing for accursed Los Angeles, even if Bonds remains just one away from tying Hank Aaron’s career record of 755 home runs. A sellout crowd of 42,965 watched the controversial King of the Cove manage nothing splashier Sunday than a high fly ball to right field. It broke Bonds’ bat, and brought a surge of excite-

ment to the fans lined shoulder to shoulder atop the outfield wall. For a brief moment, breathing stopped. Everybody was on tiptoes, gloves at the ready. “It was coming right at me, and it looked like a basketball,” said Robert Engert of Santa Rosa. But the wind blowing in from the bay kept on blowing the wrong way, and the hopes for something special wilted into the waiting glove of Florida Marlins outfielder Jeremy Hermida. Even Giants deities like Will “The Thrill” Clark and Roger “Humm Baby” Craig, who were on hand as part of a tribute to the 1987 Western Division champion team, didn’t bring the mojo needed to get Bonds over the hump.
1 FANS: Page A9




Cnet reviews lightweight headphones that can stand up to a workout. C1

Robert Hurwitt reports on the first San Francisco International Poetry Festival, which ended Sunday. E1

Morning fog clearing. Highs: 62-96. Lows: 50-61. D10

Bridge/Chess . . . . . . . F2 Classified . . . . . . . . . . . F1 Autos. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F4 Homes . . . . . . . . . . . . . F3 Jobs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F1

Comics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . E6 Crosswords. . . . . E8, F2 Editorials. . . . . . . . . . . . B6 Horoscope. . . . . . . . . . . F2 Lottery. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . B2

Funds. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . C4 Movies . . . . . . . . . . . . E4-5 Obituaries . . . . . . . . . . B8 Television . . . . . . . . . . . E7 Theater . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . E2

Year 143 · Volume 195
© 2007 San Francisco Chronicle