Bad memory? Multi-tasking fuels forgetting
Those twinges of forgetfulness that appear to be getting more pronounced may worry you. After all, the statistics are scary: Every 70 seconds, someone in the USA develops Alzheimer’s. But every lapse isn’t a signal that your memory is kaput. Some reduction in memory is typical in healthy, normal aging, says Mark McDaniel, a psychology professor at Washington University in St. Louis. Most lapses involve remembering arbitrary information, such as a name that goes with a face or a PIN. But there will be definite signals when memory really starts to go awry, he says. Link to Article
Possible new therapeutic uses for recreational drugs
A recent study suggests that “ecstasy,” a commonly abused psychedelic drug, may help patients with chronic disorder PTSD. Other research suggests that ketamine (an anesthetic drug with similarities to angel dust or PCP) may help patients with treatment-resistant depression. An explanation of what’s going on here is offered in this column co-written by School of Medicine professors Charles Zorumski and Eugene Rubin. Link to Article
Cancer survivors benefit from exercise plan, research shows
What role does exercise play for the cancer survivor? In 2009, the Siteman Cancer Center of Washington University in St. Louis and the American College of Sports Medicine convened a panel of 13 experts to discuss the topic. As a result of the meeting, a special communication on exercise guidelines for cancer survivors was published in the ACSM’s July 2010 issue of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. Those findings are discussed in this news article. Link to Article
Fugitive’s arrest echoes Catch Me If You Can case
Michael Royston reinvented himself with a new name and new passport as a high-flying China-based executive for an international company. He hopscotched the globe as the multilingual North Asia managing director for the firm, which has offices in 17 countries and 37 cities, including Houston. But the man supposedly named Royston, according to federal agents, was really Brent A. Farris, a fast-talking fugitive convicted of fraud who failed to report to prison five years ago. By then, Farris was using the alias Michael Royston and claimed to be a British citizen with an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis. The university has never heard of him. Link to Article
National Park Service
Eero Saarinen’s 100th birthday celebration
On August 20, 2010, Jefferson National Expansion Memorial will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of architect Eero Saarinen, designer of the Gateway Arch. The event will feature a display of entry boards from the 1947 memorial competition, highlighting some of the better-known architects who entered the competition. Harry Richman of St. Louis, who was a young architecture student at Washington University in 1947, had the job of opening the crates of all the 172 entries and arranging them on easels for the jury, Richman, the last surviving person who was a witness to the 1947 competition and overheard some of the deliberations, will give a short account of his experiences. Link to Article
Summer program puts spotlight on young scientists
There are summer camps for sports and for music. But what if your bright, talented high schooler plans to become a doctor or a research scientist? There is a ‘camp’ for that, too, thanks to University of Missouri’s STARS program. Students and Teachers As Research Scientists is a six-week summer program aimed at giving high achieving high school students research experience with top scientists from Washington University, St. Louis University, University of Missouri-St. Louis, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, St. Louis College of Pharmacy and Solae corporation.
See also St. Louis Beacon’s story Link to Article
Two scientists at Washington University in St. Louis have developed technologies that together promise to solve a difficult problem related to the imaging of melanoma cancer cells. Their solution, described in the July issue of ACSNano, combines an imaging technique developed by Lihong Wang, PhD, the Gene K. Beare Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering, and a contrast agent developed by Younan Xia, PhD, the James M. McKelvey Professor of Biomedical Engineering. Together the imaging technique and contrast agent produce images of startling three-dimensional clarity. Link to Article
Reaching today’s tech-obsessed students
Today’s digital-media natives need a school environment that both challenges and channels their tech-savvy brains. Some experts suggest that technology has fundamentally changed the world our students live in-and perhaps the students themselves. Children’s brains do behave differently from adults, according to brain scans taken by researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St.Louis. In these images, involving more than 200 subjects ages 7 to 31,children were much more likely to have connections between brain regions close together while older subjects were more likely to feature links between parts of the brain that are physically farther apart. Link to Article
News in higher education
The New York Times
Op-Ed: Don’t Send In the Clones
August 10, 2010
The serendipity of ending up with roommates that you like, despite your differences, or can’t stand, despite your similarities, or grow to like, despite your reservations, is an experience that toughens you up and broadens you out for the rest of life, writes columnist Maureen Dowd. So, she was dubious when she read in The Wall Street Journal last week that students are relying more on online roommate matching services to avoid getting paired with strangers or peers with different political views, study habits and messiness quotients.
Wall Street Journal
Science Stimulus Funds Called Wasteful
August 12, 2010
Economic-stimulus funds for scientific research are becoming a political target for Republican skeptics who say they have identified some grants as evidence of wasteful spending.
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