News highlights for October 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.

CLTV/Chicagoland Television News
ChicagoLand News at 2

Another Chicago establishment is now saying sorry to students from Washington University in St. Louis over problems that arose as part lodging arrangements for the student’s senior class trip to Chicago. But in this case, Chicago’s Fairmont Hotel is paying big money to respond to the student’s complaints and make good on a hotel deal gone bad. As a reporter from the Chicago Tribune notes, the Washington University students obviously knew what they were doing, handling the negotiations in an expert fashion that included a well-orchestrated Twitter messaging campaign. Link to Broadcast

Hey kids: tests help you learn

Students who quiz themselves more often recall information more easily, suggests a new study in the journal Science. Tests aren’t just a way for teachers to torture their students, according to the study, which finds the brain encodes better mental hints during test taking than during studying alone. “It’d be great to have more tests in the classroom, but also to get students to test themselves more often when they’re studying,” said study author Mary Pyc, a postdoctoral fellow at Washington University in St. Louis. Link to Article See also Science News, Science Magazine

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Autism might affect siblings: In the lab • Researchers find genetic factors play different role among family members.

Siblings of children with autism who are believed to be unaffected by the disorder are still at risk for language delays and other subtler signs of the disorder, researchers at Washington University have found. About one in five siblings who have not been diagnosed with autism display some form of language delay or speech problems according to the study. Dr. John Constantino, lead author, said the data suggests that the genetic factors linked to autism manifest differently among siblings. Link to Article See also TIME
Saturn moon mystery solved?
Saturn’s moon Iapetus looks like a walnut because it lies in a “Goldilocks zone” around the giant planet, new research suggests. The moon was once a fast-spinning blob of rock and ice, but its location was just right for locking an unusual feature in place as the spin slowed. WUSTL planetary scientist William McKinnon says the gravitationally-driven geologic forces that pinched the ridge into its present shape must have been titanic. “It’s the most colossal tectonics imaginable,” McKinnon said. “It’s mind-boggling.” Link to Article

Triple transplant needed for 20-year-old

Rex Andersen doesn’t know what it’s like to take in a big, deep breath of air, but he’s hopeful things will change for him within the next year. Andersen, 20, has cystic fibrosis, a disease that causes thick, sticky mucus to build up in the lungs and digestive tract. Last July, Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University Medical School in St. Louis, called and asked if the family would be interested in having Rex evaluated as a candidate. Rex is now on the list, and the family will move to St. Louis and wait for a donor to match with Andersen. Link to Article

St. Louis Public Radio
Live from the St. Louis Science Center

A discussion about the intersection of science and citizenship and the growing importance of science literacy. The discussion, available for audio download, includes comments from Michael Wysession, PhD, associate professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Washington University and chair of the Earth Science Literacy Initiative. Other commentators include St. Louis Science Center CEO Doug King, UMSL chemistry professor Hal Harris and St. Louis Public Radio science reporter Veronique LaCapra. Link to Article

Bloomberg Businessweek
Admission to top B-Schools gets easier

The economic crisis that has laid waste to the endowments and reputations of elite business schools now threatens to transform them again. A third of the top 30 U.S. business schools became less selective when admitting applicants to their full-time MBA programs in 2010. The decline in applications is forcing some schools to be less picky, and it could get worse, says Joe Fox, associate dean for MBA programs at the Olin School of Business at Washington University in St. Louis, which has bucked the trend by becoming more selective. “The early expectation is that this will be a tepid year for applications,” Fox says. Link to Article

The Telegraph (UK)

Skip the ‘kiss’ when giving the kiss of life doctors recommend

It was calculated that one life would be saved for every 41 patients given compression-only CPR. The analysis was carried our by Dr Peter Nagele, of Washington University School of Medicine, and Drs Michael Hüpfl and Harald Selig, of the Medical University of Vienna. The authors wrote: “By avoidance of rescue ventilations (mouth-to-mouth) during CPR, which are often fairly time-consuming for lay bystanders, a continuous uninterrupted coronary perfusion pressure is maintained, which increases the probability of a successful outcome.” It is hoped that bystanders will be more willing to perform CPR if they know they do not have to carry out mouth-to-mouth. Link to Article

The St. Louis Beacon

For the cause

Washington University alum and longtime St. Louis journalist Robert Duffy reflects on philanthropic motivations behind his participation in a recent St. Louis fundraising bike-a-thon. “I thought also about philanthropy in connection with all of this as I rode along, and how its mercies touch us all, whether we know it or not. The great institutions of America, many, many of them anyway, large and small, are build on foundations of philanthropy. I, for example, am a direct recipient. Washington University, my alma mater, to which I owe so much, simply would not be, were it not for the largesse of visionary men and women who worked to have it established and who through the years have sustained it: Bixby, Fox, Steinberg, Givens, Breuer, Whitaker, Brookings, Busch, Crow, Cupples, January, Brown and so on, moving east to west on the Danforth Campus. Link to Article

Double whammy reveals cholesterol gene

Scientists at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard have been searching for the genes underlying lipid levels in the blood. One researcher came across work by WUSTL medical researcher Gustav Schonfeld, who a decade ago had identified a family that had low LDL cholesterol levels but also low risk for fatty liver. Schonfeld had searched for related mutations and had narrowed in on a large region of chromosome one containing dozens of genes. His team sequenced some suspected genes in the region but came up empty-handed. The cost of sequencing at the time had precluded covering all the genes. Now, follow-up research using today’s technology is becoming one of the first exome sequencing success stories. Link to Article

News in higher education

Fast Company

Why are colleges flunking Web Strategy 101?

The stakes have never been higher for colleges to use the Web effectively. So why can so few barely muster up a passing grade for their Web strategy? The majority of higher education leaders, suggests a blogging community expert, are struggling to simply keep the digital lights on, let alone differentiate the institution online. They spend more time fighting internal politics than building remarkable online experiences. Their Web operations are underfunded, understaffed, and undervalued. Link to Article

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