News highlights for August 25, 2010

p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {margin:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;font-size:12.0pt;font-family:'Times New Roman';} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in;margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} CisionPoint news monitoring provides this small sampling of the university's daily news coverage. Click headline to read full text via Cision or link directly to the online article where available. For questions or comments about this service, or to add or delete a name from the mailing list, please contact Gerry Everding.

DEA wants to hire Ebonics translators

The DEA has issued a request for translators in 114 languages, including Ebonics — the common name for what linguists call African-American English. Ebonics has long been the butt of jokes, as well as the subject of controversy, but the agency is serious about needing nine people to translate conversations picked up on wiretaps during investigations. The DEA’s recruiting “has it half right,” says John Baugh a Washington University professor who leads the public relations committee of the Linguistic Society of America. “African-American English is an evolving dialect and in some ways is growing in stature,” he says. Link to Article

Smithsonian magazine

Patience Worth: Author From the Great Beyond
September 2010

Smithsonian explores the curious story of Pearl Lenore Curran, a St. Louis housewife of limited education who channeled a 17th-century spirit to the heights of literary stardom in the early 20th century. Speaking through a Ouija board operated by Curran, Patience Worth became a national phenomenon, producing seven books, voluminous poetry, short stories, plays and reams of sparkling conversation—nearly four million words between 1913 and 1937. Those who witnessed her performances, some of them leading scholars, feminists, politicians and writers, believed they’d seen a miracle. “I still confess myself completely baffled by the experience,” Otto Heller, dean of the Graduate School at Washington University in St. Louis, recalled years later.

Link to the Article


Washington University Joins MoveOn.Org’s Target Boycott/Backs out of deal for student shopping event

Might’s Target boycott be gaining steam? Washington University has jumped aboard, backing out of a deal to funnel students to an event at the retail giant, the school’s student newspaper reports. The school was one of several set to participate in the “Target After Hours Shopping Event,” in which the giant would bus in freshmen to shop after the store’s official closing time, providing opportunities for them to win prizes in the process. See also Queerty. Link to Article

Prop A: voters decide whether to keep earnings tax

Voters throughout the state might wonder why they’re voting on Proposition A in November when it seemingly is a Kansas City / St. Louis issue. Kansas City and St. Louis residents currently pay a 1-percent earnings tax. Those who live outside the cities but earn a paycheck in them also pay the tax, which amounts to millions of dollars for those two metro areas. Opponents of repealing the earnings tax include Washington University and the labor lobby. Kansas City and St. Louis city leaders also have argued against repealing the tax, saying it is essential to providing city services. Link to Article

KMOV-TV – St. Louis MO
Great Day St. Louis
With the economy in flux, many people are looking for a job, and now may be the best time to go back to school. Time to consider to pick up where you left off or get the degree that you thought was out of reach? WUSTL’s University College is all about making adult continuing education easy and accessible, says University College Dean Robert Wiltenburg. “Washington University has education accessible to all and we have a remarkably low tuition rate. And for those over 60? Half price for all of our programs,” he says. Link to Broadcast

Stem cell setback chills researchers

The ripple effect of the federal court ruling against the expanded use of stem cells in research is being felt as strongly at Washington University as it is at research facilities throughout the country. “It’s a pretty disastrous event,” said Dr. Steven Teitelbaum, a professor of immunology and pathology at Washington University. “You can’t expect science to move forward if you take the hammer out of the toolbox.” Link to Article

Alzheimer’s disease a priority

Building awareness and gathering petition signatures to support the Alzheimer’s Breakthrough Act (H.R. 3286/S. 1492) is the goal of the Alzheimer’s Breakthrough Ride, a national cross-country cycling event involving about 55 researchers, including John R. Cirrito, an assistant professor in the Department of Neurology at Washington University. Cirrito seeks public support for the effort, which begins on July 17 in San Francisco and will end on Sept. 21, World Alzheimer’s Day, on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. Link to Article

St. Louis Riverfront Times blog

New Wash U Ban Also Outlaws Outdoor Smoking

Clayton has banned smoking outdoors in the municipality’s parks and public properties. Open-air smoking is also off-limits at Washington University, where a smoking ban in took effect in July. Fall classes start August 31 so the school is just starting to deal with nicotine-addicted undergrads looking for a place to get their fix. See also Student Life. Link to Article

News in higher education

National Public Radio

Health Overhaul Could Threaten Student Health Plans

Colleges and universities say some rules in the new health law could keep them from offering low-cost, limited benefit student insurance policies — and they’re seeking federal authority to continue offering them. But their request drew immediate fire from critics who say student health plans should be held to the same standards as other insurance. Among other things, the colleges want clarification that they won’t have to offer the policies to non-students. Link to Article

New York Times

Stem Cell Biology and Its Complications

The renewed debate over embryonic stem cells highlights the advances and complications that have arisen in the field since its controversial beginnings. The problem is their origin — human embryos. In order to get stem cells, embryos must be destroyed. It is this fact that led to the court ruling on Monday blocking most federal financing for embryonic stem cell research. Link to Article

New York Times

Stem Cell Ruling Will Be Appealed

The Obama administration said Tuesday that it would appeal a court ruling challenging the legality of President Obama’s rules governing human embryonic stem cell research, as the head of the National Institutes of Health said the decision would most likely force the cancellation of dozens of experiments in diseases ranging from diabetes to Parkinson’s. Link to Article

New York Times

Wrong Direction on Stem Cells

In a huge overreach, a federal judge has decided that the legal interpretation that has governed federal support of embryonic stem cell research for more than a decade is invalid. If the ruling stands, it will be a serious blow to medical research. Link to Article

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