News highlights for September 15, 2010

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.


‘One-off’ prostate cancer tests backed for 60-year-olds

A single blood test for all 60-year-old men could pick out the vast majority of those likely to die from prostate cancer, suggests a new study in the British Medical Journal. Professor Gerard Andriole, from the Washington University School of Medicine, said that while the findings needed to be tested again in other groups of men, particularly those from different ethnic groups, in the future much older men and those at lower risk of disease could be spared further testing.

Link to Article and listen to program

See also Bloomberg News, The Independent (UK)


The NEWSWEEK College Rankings


NEWSWEEK debuts its first-ever college rankings this week and the launch of NEWSWEEK Education, a special section of dedicated to helping families through the college-application process. The NEWSWEEK College Rankings—13 lists of 25 schools each—are tailored to address the real concerns of parents and prospective students. WUSTL is on three of the lists of top 25 schools for: Braniacs, Powerbrokers and Most Desirable Urban Schools.

Link to Article

Daily Beast

Washington University ranks as one of the most dangerous colleges in US


The on-line news site “The Daily Beast” has ranked Washington University in St. Louis as #13 on its list of the most dangerous colleges in America. The site also includes WUSTL in its top 25 lists for murders and as #4 for vehicle thefts. The rankings are based on federally reported crime statistics indicating there were 59 robberies, 30 aggravated assaults, 22 forcible rapes, 144 car thefts and one murder reported to WUSTL campus police in 2006 through 2008. Washington University officials called the analysis and methodology flawed, pointing out that The Daily Beast itself admits that numbers reported to the U.S. Department of Education are frequently criticized as imperfect. School officials also said that the one murder cited in the report happened in 2008 and was a domestic dispute between two visitors at Children’s Hospital. St. Louis KSDK TV news included comments from WUSTL students in its noon webcast. Link to Article See all rankings

See also St. Louis Business Journal

See also Riverfront Times

See also KSDK-TV News (online video)

Fresh Air with Terry Gross, NPR

Bacterial bonanza: Microbes keep us alive


Jeffrey Gordon, director of the Center for Genome Sciences at the Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine discusses the microbes that live on and in us. He offers this factoid: “We think that there are 10 times more microbial cells on and in our bodies than there are human cells. That means that we’re 90 percent microbial and 10 percent human. Link to Article and listen to program

New America Foundation (blog)

Do children’s savings accounts work?


A new report, the Saving for Education, Entrepreneurship, and Down payment Initiative, or SEED will be released Sept. 21. WUSTL Professor Michael Sherraden will be a featured speaker along with representatives of SEED’s National Partnersthe Center for Social Development at Washington University (CSD), the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED), the Initiative on Financial Security at the Aspen Institute, the New America Foundation, the University of Kansas School of Social Welfare, and RTI International. Link to Article

Science Daily

Study identifies students at risk for difficulties in medical school

Students who enter medical school with high debt levels, low scores on the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) or who are non-white are more likely to face difficulties that may prevent graduation or hinder acceptance into a residency program if they do graduate, according to a nationwide study of students enrolled in MD programs. The research, from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, is reported Sept. 15 in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Link to Article

Scientific American

US clinics quietly embrace whole-genome sequencing

It may be small-scale and without fanfare, but genomic medicine has clearly arrived in the United States. A handful of physicians have quietly begun using whole-genome sequencing in attempts to diagnose patients whose conditions defy other available tools. At the Personal Genome meeting at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York last weekend, Richard Wilson, director of the Genome Sequencing Center at Washington University in St. Louis said, whole-genome sequencing is also affecting treatment choices for atypical cancers.

Link to Article

See also Modern Medicine

News in higher education

International Herald Tribune

U.S. schools attract smaller share of international students


Although the United States is still the favored destination for students who want to study abroad, the share of international students coming to the country has been declining steadily since the year 2000, according to a study released Tuesday by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Link to Article


Columbia investments rise 17%, beating Harvard fund


Columbia University’s investments rose 17 percent in the past year,
beating gains of Harvard University, the world’s richest school, and
the returns of a broad group of institutions for the second year in a
row. Link to Article

Science Insider

Stem cell research opponents ask appeals court to reinstate ban


In the latest development in the stem cell funding saga, the adult stem cell researchers behind the lawsuit that shut down federal funding for human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) three weeks ago have asked an appeals court that lifted the ban to reinstate it. In a 25-page response (and addendum) submitted today to the appeals court, attorneys for plaintiffs Theresa Deisher and James Sherley argue that the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH’s) efforts to quickly disburse hESC research grants during the current stay show that continuing it “would lead to a flight of federal dollars into hESC research” and cause them “irreparable harm.” The brief notes that the same appeals court found earlier that NIH’s policy of funding hESC research lessens Deisher’s and Sherley’s chances of winning grants to study adult stem cells — a position with which NIH sharply disagrees. Further on, the plaintiffs argue that NIH’s ability to quickly resume peer reviews and intramural hESC research contradicts NIH Director Francis Collins’s claims of “irreparable harm” to scientists and taxpayer-funded research from a temporary freeze. Link to Article

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