News highlights for October 14, 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.

High Performing Buildings Magazine

Nature’s way: Tyson Living Learning Center
Fall 2010

Washington University’s research and education center outside of St. Louis aims to meet goals of net zero energy and water use. Composting toilets require no water for flushing, and a rainwater harvesting and treatment system provides potable water. The building nearly reached net zero energy use in its first year of operation. Additional photovoltaic panels, added insulation, caulking and sealing to reduce infiltration, and HVAC operation adjustments are expected to help the building’s energy production exceed its energy use during its second year. Link to Article (online flipbook)

Associated Press
Painting from New York home may be a Michelangelo

Could a painting of Mary holding the body of Jesus that hung for years in an upstate New York family’s home really be a 16th century Michelangelo? Michelangelo authority William E. Wallace, after examining the painting, stopped short of saying it was the work of Michelangelo’s brush — but did not rule out the possibility. “There’s never proof, unfortunately,” Wallace, an art history professor at Washington University in St. Louis, said Wednesday. “You can do scientific analysis of the paint and the surface and the panel and all that tells you is we’re dealing with something old from the 16th century.” Link to Article

National Public Radio / 13.7: Cosmos And Culture blog

Informal science learning In rural American libraries

Washington University biologist Ursula Goodenough blogs on how Americans engage in free-choice science learning. She suggests that it’s a myth that the American populace is science-ignorant, lagging well behind other “developed” nations in scientific literacy. It turns out that the U.S. curve is U-shaped: Elementary-school children perform as well in science –understanding metrics as their peers elsewhere; and, middle- and high-school students perform abysmally. But American adults demonstrate scientific knowledge on a par equal to or above adults in other “developed” countries, even though only 30 percent of adult Americans have ever taken even one college-level science course. So how to explain these data? Link to Article

MSNBC (Explainer: The math and science of baseball)

Headfirst slide is faster

Every fraction of a second counts when a player rounds third and races to beat the throw at home plate, which raises the question: is it faster to slide feet or head first? According to David Peters, a physicist at Washington University in St. Louis, headfirst has the edge. For one, arms are lighter than legs, which means as the body rotates, arms extend out a bit farther than the legs. For another thing, the feet give an extra push. That said, many players still prefer a foot-first slide. They can pop up easier, instead of sliding by the bag, for starters. They also face less risk of an injury to their hands that could keep them out of the batting lineup for months. Link to Article
Problem: Hotel cancels on students

Chicago businesses, heed this warning: Hell hath no fury like a Washington University student scorned. For the second year in a row, students from the St. Louis school chose Chicago as the destination for their senior trip, and for the second year in a row, the students ran into problems. This year, students signed a contract for 64 rooms with the Fairmont hotel near Millennium Park. Senior Council President Alex Kiles said everything was meticulously planned until last Thursday, when the Fairmont pulled the welcome mat out from under them. Link to Article

Minnesota Public Radio

The President’s reading list

When President Obama had a book thrown at him at a recent rally in Philadelphia, many pundits had suggestions for what the book should have been. MPR’s Midmorning “book club” radio program explores what books should be on President Obama’s reading list in a discussion with Christian Science Monitor book editor and Peter Kastor, an associate professor of history at Washington University in St. Louis. Listen to the Podcast

Minnesota Public Radio

Campaign 2010: Bachmann’s fundraising raises eyebrows

U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann says she pulled in $5.4 million in campaign contributions in the third quarter of this year — more than any Minnesota congressional candidate has ever raised in an entire campaign, let alone a three-month period. “It looks to me that she can’t possibly spend the money she’s already raised,” said political scientist Steven Smith of Washington University in St. Louis. Smith says Bachmann will have a lot of options about what to do with the cash. She’s not allowed to hold onto it personally, but she could keep it in reserve for her next congressional campaign. Link to Article
USDA publishes preliminary 2010 Dietary Guidelines for America

The USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion has posted the next-to-final draft of the2010 Dietary Guidelines for America. Connie Diekman, head of nutrition for Washington University, noted that anything in this preliminary report can change — which is why it’s out early. Diekman found only one notable change — a recommendation to reduce daily sodium (salt) intake to 1,500 milligrams a day, down from the current recommendation of 2,400 mg. That would be a little more than two-thirds of a teaspoon compared to a teaspoon. Link to Article

St. Louis Globe-Democrat

Physicians say PSA testing should be more targeted

While prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer, the most common way of screening for the disease is under question from many in the medical community. Gerald Andriole, MD, chief of urology at the Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine, says PSA (prostate-specific antigen) testing should be tailored to individual risk. Dr. Andriole says with mass screening for prostate cancer there are “winners and losers.” Link to Article

KSDK TV News (St. Louis)

St. Louisans with Chilean ties turn to live coverage of mining rescues

Many of you in the St. Louis area have been watching and waiting as the 33 miners are being pulled out of the ground and several have lost sleep over it, much like Washington University PhD student Fernando Lopez. “This is very striking,” he said. “When you’re far from your country and you see that your people are suffering, you cannot keep doing what you’re doing here.” He and his wife moved to the U.S. from Santiago almost two years ago. “I always want to come back to Chile and in these special moments, I would like to take a plane and stay there and celebrate with everyone,” Lopez said. Link to Article / Online Video

News in higher education

Bloomberg News

Obama urges Congress to act on education tax credit

President Barack Obama urged Congress to extend an educational tax credit that is set to expire at the end of this year in order to make college more affordable, calling it “an economic imperative.” Link to Article

Los Angeles Times

Students who study abroad may hit the brewskis harder, a study finds

With the new school year underway, some college students are spending the year abroad. In addition to hitting the books and taking in the sights, they may also be drinking a lot more, suggests a new study from the University of Washington. Overall, drinking more than doubled while abroad, but returned to pre-travel levels when the students returned. However, the heaviest drinkers drank more when they got back. Where the students studied had an effect on how much they drank. Those who were in Europe or Australia and New Zealand drank the most, and those in Latin America drank significantly more when they returned compared with pre-trip levels. Link to Article

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