News highights for October 13, 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.
Family says it has Michelangelo work
A painting that hung for years in the family living room of a retired Air Force officer may be the lost work of Italian master Michelangelo, according to at least one expert. Others are skeptical. Michelangelo expert and Washington University art history professor, William Wallace, who saw the painting before it was restored, does not share Forcellino’s certainty. He concedes the work “is very nice and very impressive,” and “we’re certainly talking about an object from the 16th century.” But he doubts the authenticity of the piece, stating, “Michelangelo I don’t think actually painted this particular panel.” Link to Article See also HULIQ, WYNC (Buffalo, NY), Daily India, AOL News, KTVI TV (St. Louis)

Listen to Wallace interview with CJOB Radio (Manitoba, Canada)

Green ArchiTEXT
International Living Building Institute certifies world’s greenest buildings
The International Living Building Institute announced the results of its first third-party certification audits today, declaring that the world’s first ‘Living Buildings’ are finally a reality. The Omega Center for Sustainable Living in Rhinebeck, NY, and the Tyson Living Learning Center in Eureka, MO, each earned full certification, or ‘Living’ status. For the Tyson Research Center, Washington University’s satellite campus for environmental research and education, the Living Building Challenge offered a chance to create a classroom facility that doubled as an educational tool. Link to Article See also Scientific Computing, Kansas City Star, Metropolis Magazine

MSNBC / HealthDay News

Siblings of autistic children may also have subtle traits
As many as one in five siblings of children with autism may have subtler problems with language and speech, according to new research. “Smaller studies have reported that in families with children with autism, many children who don’t have an autism diagnosis have had a language delay,” said lead author Dr. John Constantino, professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at Washington University School of Medicine. “When we looked at this huge sample, we saw the same thing — about 20 percent of children presumed to be non-autistic had language delays and autistic qualities in their speech. In the general population, the prevalence of these traits is only about 7 percent,” he said. Link to Article See also St. Louis Post-Dispatch Chicago Tribune Bloomberg / Business Week, Yahoo News

‘Clean Coal’ by any other name
The coal industry and environmental groups have squared off in a multibillion-dollar advertising war seeking support for their stances on “clean coal.” Cleaner than dirty is hardly clean. But then again, “There’s no such thing as clean anything, in terms of the pure sense of the word,” said Richard Axelbaum, director of the new Consortium for Clean Coal Utilization at Washington University in St. Louis. “Everything we do has an impact.” Axelbaum adds that the U.S. must develop an energy policy that we believe is also appropriate for the rest of the world. If we say we intend to go all-nuclear, we must accept that the rest of the world can do the same. Similarly, we can’t build our energy policy on a resource that exists nowhere else. Link to Article

Bloomberg Businessweek
New Nobel winner: Greece must focus on growth
Greece’s budget cuts must be accompanied by policies to help the economy emerge from the current crisis, Nobel Prize winner Christopher Pissarides wrote in an article published in an Athens-based newspaper. The austerity measures and economic reform should be accompanied by a very strong program of development policies in order to remove the country from the vicious circle of rising unemployment and bankruptcies, argued Pissardes in an article was co-written with Costas Azariadis, a professor at Washington University, and Yannis Ioannides, a professor at Tufts University. Link to Article

Birds and mammals ate our ancestors
Early humans may have evolved as prey animals rather than as predators, suggest the remains of our prehistoric primate ancestors that were devoured by hungry birds and carnivorous mammals. Robert Sussman, professor of physical anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis, has long argued that primates, including early humans, evolved not as hunters but as prey. “Despite popular theories posed in research papers and popular literature, early man was not an aggressive killer,” said Sussman, author of the book “Man the Hunted: Primates, Predators and Human Evolution.” Link to Article

City gives Kindergartners head start on college
With the launch last week of its Kindergarten to College program, San Francisco became the first city in the nation to seed college savings accounts for children entering its public schools, an initiative that could have a significant impact on the city’s Asian-American community. The idea that just having a savings account can make a difference in student’s educational aspirations is supported by a recent study from the Center for Social Development at Washington University in St. Louis, which showed that having a college savings account makes kids seven times more likely to attend, regardless of income or race. Link to Article

WXXA-TV (Albany, NY)
Fox23 News at 5 (1/2)
Babies born with a life-threatening problem called CDH (Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia), which causes the lungs to be poorly developed, were once rushed into surgery. Now, Dr. Brad Warner and colleagues at the Washington University School of Medicine are finding new, less-invasive techniques to treat CDH, including treatment with Viagra. The little blue pill causes relaxation of smooth muscle beds in different parts of the body, and has proven effective in helping these children breath easier. Link to Broadcast Related release

Dallas Business Journal
Therapeutic benefits of bariatric surgery on diabetes translate Into significant economic benefits

New data presented at the annual Obesity 2010 scientific meeting find that bariatric surgery is associated with reduced healthcare costs for diabetes patients who are morbidly obese. “Bariatric surgery is the most effective available weight-loss therapy and has considerable beneficial effects on diabetes and other obesity-related comorbidities,” says Samuel Klein, M.D., director, Center for Human Nutrition, Washington University School of Medicine. Link to Article

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Labs allow scientists to test ideas, keep talents here

The BioGenerator Accelerator Labs, opening today in midtown St. Louis, will offer equipment and space to researchers, at low or no rent, so they can perform very early-stage research to determine whether their ideas might one day turn into products. Advocates say the facility will help retain businesses, such as the two promising tech start-ups that recently left the area for lack of venture capital. “Most of the money and all the jobs went to California,” William Danforth, former chancellor of Washington University, said in an interview Tuesday. Link to Article

St. Louis Business Journal
Pfizer to buy King for $3.6 billion

Pfizer Inc., which has operations in St. Louis, said Tuesday it plans to buy of Bristol, Tenn., for $3.6 billion in cash. Pfizer and Washington University in St. Louis have partnered to develop new drugs based on Pfizers extensive library of pharmaceuticals. For the next five years, Washington University researchers will have access to a treasure trove of more than 500 compounds that are currently, or have been, in clinical testing. Link to Article

St. Louis Beacon

Analysis: Door to big, undisclosed campaign contributions swung open before Citizens United decision


Conventional wisdom is taking hold in the news media and the political arena that the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Citizens United decision has opened the floodgates to big, secret money donations to conservative Republican candidates. “Citizens United has become a whipping boy for criticism of money in politics,” wrote Bruce La Pierre, a Washington University Law School professor and expert on campaign finance law. “Many doors were left wide open before Citizens United and corporations and wealthy individuals were taking advantage of them. Citizens United’s door is not particularly attractive to most corporations because they would have to disclose, I think, their ‘vote for X’ statements. So corporations are using other vehicles to support candidates — other vehicles available before Citizens United.” Link to Article

News in higher education

The New York Times

M.I.T.’s makeover for the 21st century

Not so long ago, the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology was a hodgepodge of bunker-like academic buildings, converted World War I-era factories, parking lots and even an occasional Quonset hut. But a 10-year development plan, nearly complete at a cost of $1.4 billion, has set a new mood — avant-garde — with 10 buildings by architects like Frank Gehry, Steven Holl and Fumihiko Maki, as well as a revamped streetscape. Link to Article


Duke University sex scandal and the death of online privacy

College sex. It wasn’t the first time and it won’t be the last. But this time, the trysts of a female Duke University student became a PowerPoint presentation, complete with the names of the men, mostly athletes, she hooked up with and detailed reviews of their prowess, or lack thereof, in bed. It was supposed to be a joke for a few friends. Instead, it became a worldwide Internet sensation. Because of emerging Internet technology, the most intimate moments can now become very public, very quickly. Experts say technology now means everybody can read the “bathroom wall.” Link to Article

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