News highlights for October 21, 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.

Hindustan Times
Get funded by top US varsities
Many colleges and universities in the US are known for their generous merit scholarships and financial aid. Historically, international students from developing countries have benefited from these awards. A few colleges like the University of Virginia at Charlottesville and Washington University at St. Louis have announced scholarship programs that students can be on the lookout for. Wash U’s Danforth Scholars Program is one example. Link to Article

A technique that shows colorful connections in the brain

The connections between neurons in a young, growing brain are more dynamic and changeable than previously thought, according to research using a new technique to reveal the brain circuitry of a living mouse. Daniel Kerschensteiner of Washington University School of Medicine is one of the first to study connections in the nervous system of living mice by inserting genes into neurons that cause them to produce fluorescent molecules. He hopes to refine science’s understanding of how a developing brain reorganizes its connections as it grows. Link to Article
Hip resurfacing helps man get back to marathons
A runner stays in the race with a procedure that involves resurfacing the head of the femur with a metal hip “joint,” leaving the rest of the thighbone intact as opposed to traditional hip replacement, which replaces the femur. WUSTL surgeon Robert L Barrack, MD, performed the first resurfacing in the United States in May 2006. He says the procedure offers advantages for certain patients, especially younger, more active patients. Link to Article

Nature News /
Biomedical science: Putting research into practice
Hospitals are an obvious career destination for medical doctors. But are they a good fit for basic scientists? Immunologist Claudia Kemper left a faculty position at Washington University two years ago. She loved the university but wanted to apply her basic-research findings to patient care while conducting translational research, which she pursued at a transplantation center in London. Interactions with her new colleagues are proving fruitful, but Kemper admits to missing her old workmates. “Sometimes I miss being part of a large basic-research community and talking about hardcore immunological signaling pathways,” she says. Link to Article

RD (Religion Dispatches)
Pakistan’s ‘Martyrs of Love’ under attack
Daanish Faruqi, a master’s student in Islamic Studies at Washington University in St. Louis
, and the editor of the forthcoming volume From Camp David to Cast Lead: Essays on Israel, Palestine, and the Future of the Peace Process, explores religious motives behind terrorist attacks at Pakistani shrines to Muslim saints. “The miscreants now at work in Pakistan who committed these dastardly attacks seek to strip Islam of its primordial spiritual wholesomeness, and replace it with strait-jacketed dogmatism,” he writes. Link to Article

Marketplace Radio / WYPR Radio (Baltimore)
Baltimore students invest in their future

Baltimore students are learning the ups and downs of the investment market with the help of Stocks in the Future, a program where students get paid for perfect attendance and good grades. Garrett Duncan, who teaches education and African American studies at Washington University in St. Louis, says incentives make him uncomfortable. “They reinforce certain stereotypes about certain communities, poor and working class students, black and Latino students, that they need some kind of carrot in front of them to do what other students normally do,” he says. Link to Article/Podcast

WJXT-TV (Jacksonville, FL)
Channel 4 News at 6 (2/2)


Researchers are testing new treatments for prostate cancer, like Dutasteride. It’s approved to treat enlarged prostates, but doctors say it has other uses. “What we’ve learned,” says Gerald l. Andriole, urologist at Washington University School of Medicine, “is that men who take Dutasteride have a 25 to 40 percent lower chance of being diagnosed with prostate cancer than those who don’t.” Link to Broadcast
Bachmann flush with cash from outside Minnesota

Minnesota candidate Michelle Bachmann has raised big money from out of state donors. So what does Bachmann do with all the money? Washington University congressional scholar Steven Smith says she might be raising money in case Minnesota Democrats win the governor’s office, retain control of the Legislature and try to reshape her Republican-leaning district into something more favorable to Democrats. Smith said Bachmann’s profile puts her in a position of influence, both within Republican circles and nationally. Link to Article

St. Louis Beacon
Musings: McGegan returns, expect something wonderful
Internationally acclaimed musician and conductor Nicholas McGegan, who returns to St. Louis Oct. 22-23 to conduct a classical music concert, has a long association with Washington University. He came to WUSTL in 1979 for a one-semester teaching appointment but ended up staying through the mid-1980s. He is remembered for making “extraordinary contributions to the musical life of the community.” Link to Article

News in higher education

New York Times
Early action could aid in admission, report finds
It is a question on the minds of many high school seniors: How can you raise your chances of getting into your No. 1 college choice? “An annual report by the National Association for College Admission Counseling provides new evidence that applying to college early in the academic year – specifically, under binding early-decision programs – increases the likelihood of acceptance. Link to Article

Associated Press

Racial gaps persist in U.S. colleges

While U.S. colleges have grown more racially diverse in recent years, minority students – especially Hispanics – still lag behind on key measures of academic progress, a new report says. Those findings were released Wednesday in a biannual report card on minority educational attainment by the American Council on Education, with financial backing from the GE Foundation. Overall, postsecondary educational achievement has flat-lined, meaning today’s young adults are no better educated than the baby-boomer generation, the report concludes. Link to Article

Open Society Foundation (blog)

Making scientific research accessible to all

Melissa Hagemann, an information program manager for the Open Society Foundation and member of the advisory board of the Wikimedia Foundation, offers an overview of the Open Access movement, which promotes free online access to scholarly research materials and databases. She says the movement’s single most important victory is a mandate adopted by the U.S. Congress which stipulates that all research funded by the National Institutes of Health (about $29 billion annually) be made freely available online. Open Access Week, a global event, takes place October 18–24. Link to Article

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The Chronicle of Higher Education
Inside Higher Ed
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