News highlights for September 17, 2010

p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt;font-size:12pt;font-family:'Times New Roman';} 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.

The Daily Telegraph (UK)

Gene predicts speed of Alzheimer’s development

Knowing that certain patients are going to develop the disease very quickly could also help experts better analyze the effectiveness of trial drugs designed to slow its development, suggests a WUSTL study. “We have looked at data from three separate, international studies, and in all three, we found the same association. So we are confident that it is real and that this gene variant is associated with progression in Alzheimer’s disease,” said Carlos Cruchaga, the study co-author and a postdoc research associate at the School of Medicine. Link to Article
See also United Press International, e also Deseret News, St. Louis Public Radio, Bloomberg

Popular Science

The Human Connectome Project Is a first-of-its-kind map of the brain’s circuitry

It took cartographers and explorers thousands of years to map every nook, cranny, and crevasse of planet Earth. Now, a consortium of researchers from across the U.S. is going to try to map the entire human brain in just five. Working with $30 million and just half a decade, the Human Connectome Project aims to create a first-of-its-kind map of the brain’s complex circuitry, detailing every connection linking thousands of different regions of the brain. Washington University School of Medicine and the University of Minnesota will be the lead universities in the effort and the sites where much of the brain scanning will take place.
Will record number of uninsured change Americans’ minds on health care?
If there is a magic number that will turn the tide of public opinion now arrayed against Obama’s health care legislation, it could be 50.7 million — the number of Americans now estimated to be without health insurance. Some experts say changing attitudes will take more than a few eye-popping numbers, but Steven Smith, director of the Weidenbaum Center at Washington University disagrees. “Any headlines that remind Americans of these developments will enhance support for the adopted health care plan,” he said. “They will raise the salience of the issue in the campaigns, reduce support of Republican governors to block implementation and help Democrats shift attention from unemployment to its consequences.” Link to Article

Women in Planetary Science
Rhonda Stroud: Be visible and be involved

Susan (Mahan) Niebur, who spent five years at NASA as Discovery Program scientist after earning her PhD in physics at Washington University’s McDonnell Center for Space Sciences, interviews Rhonda Stroud, another WUSTL graduate whom she met while both were attending WUSTL. After getting her PhD at WUSTL, Stroud took a post doc at the Naval Research Lab (NRL) in Washington, D.C., and continues to work there as a staff member. Niebur and Stroud discuss their experiences as women doctoral students at WUSTL and current careers in science research. Link to Article

Science Letter
Risky business: Sexual behavior, drug use and victimization among incarcerated women in St. Louis

“Effective HIV-prevention interventions are needed to assist these incarcerated women in making lifestyle changes during incarceration and sustaining them after release,” is the conclusion of a new study in the Journal of Urban Health by T.A. Millay and colleagues in the Washington University Department of Psychiatry. Inmates in a medium-security St. Louis institution were invited to share personal experiences regarding drug use, the sex trade and sexual assaults as part of an HIV-prevention intervention study among female offenders in Drug Court. Findings confirm these women are at high risk for HIV. Read Full Text

Public International
New study links gene to aggressive Alzheimer’s

Washington University School of Medicine has identified a gene that may determine how quickly Alzheimer’s patients develop dementia. Study co-lead Alison Goate says the researchers found that the same genetic marker was associated with the rapid development of dementia. “There are clearly genes that influence those levels of tau and therefore the rate at which the disease progresses. And I think if wean understand those more, then maybe we can develop drugs that slowdown that progression.” Link to Article See also Yahoo / Reuters Newswire

KSDK News (St. Louis)
Auction to help cover dog’s medical expenses

A community center and two Washington University students are teaming up for a unique fundraiser to help pay for the medical expenses for Fred, a former stray dog, who showed up at Kinlock Learning Center during a Summer Arts Program for children and never left. A vet discovered Fred has life-threatening heartworm disease. The center, located in poverty-stricken Kinloch, could not afford the bills. Two Washington University graduate students volunteered and came up with a project, with five undergraduate students, to build five dog houses to be sold at auction to help pay for Fred’s bills. Link to online video

St. Louis Business Journal

Nixon in St. Louis today to talk energy
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon plans to visit Washington University in St. Louis this afternoon to discuss Missouri’s energy future before a group of CEOs and other leaders of major energy producers and industrial and commercial energy consumers. Link to Article

News in higher education

Voice of America

US failing its top science students

A new report from a government advisory panel says U.S. education is failing many of America’s best and brightest young people. The National Science Board, which advises Congress and the president on science and engineering issues, says potentially high-achieving young students often go unrecognized or under-served in the nation’s classrooms. In a back-to-school speech in Philadelphia a few days ago, President Barack Obama told high school students to study hard, even at subjects in which they don’t think they can excel. Link to Article

The Columbus Dispatch

Plagiarism a persistent problem on campuses

Ohio State University has revoked the doctoral degree of a 2006 anthropology graduate for plagiarizing significant portions of her dissertation. As an increasing amount of material can be found online, plagiarism has become a growing problem on college campuses. More than 60 percent of undergraduate students nationwide admitted to cheating on assignments and exams, according to one study. And 40 percent of all U.S. college students said they had woven unattributed material from the Internet into their own work. Link to Article

Business Week / Bloomberg News

Continuing education for business owners and employees

SUNY Oswego business school dean Richard Skolnik offers advice to small business owners considering a full-time, part-time, or online program. Providing or subsidizing continuing education is a powerful employee recruitment and retention tool that has long been used by large corporations. Now, with the flexibility and availability of online MBA programs, it’s a perk that CEOs of small and midsize companies may want to consider, for themselves or for key employees, says SUNY Oswego business school dean Richard Skolnik. He offers advice to small business owners considering a full-time, part-time, or online program. Link to Article

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The Chronicle of Higher Education
Inside Higher Ed
University Business

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