News highlights for October 29, 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.

Mars Rover finds signs of buried water on red planet

The sandy spot where the Mars Rover Spirit got bogged down last year harbors stratified layers of dirt with different compositions close to the surface, a new study in the Journal of Geophysical Research reveals. These layers were likely caused by seepage of thin films of water on Mars, perhaps from melting frost or snow,” suggests deputy principal investigator Ray Arvidson of Washington University in St. Louis. The findings contribute to evidence that Mars may harbor small amounts of liquid water at some periods during ongoing climate cycles. Link to Article See also The Telegraph (UK), MSNBC Discovery News, CNET

The Christian Science Monitor
Charlie Chaplin time traveler debunked: It’s just a hearing aid

Speculation about a supposed time traveler talking on her cell phone at a 1928 Hollywood film premiere has sped across the Internet faster than a DeLorean time machine. But a less mind-bending possibility is that she was just hard of hearing, say experts, noting that the device might well be an old-fashioned hearing aid. “They could look something like a cell phone to imaginative YouTube viewers in the 21st century,” suggests Philip Skroska, an archivist at the Bernard Becker Medical Library of Washington University in St. Louis. Link to Article

Psychology Today
Can the mentally ill be hospitalized against their will?

Can people with mental disorders be hospitalized against their will? The short answer is “yes,” but only under specific circumstances, suggest WUSTL psychiatry professors Eugene Rubin MD, PhD and Charles Zorumski MD. In a co-written column, they explain the issues involved in such a decision and what are some of the safeguards that protect individuals from having their rights taken away inappropriately. Link to Article

Ivanhoe Broadcasting / Medical Breakthroughs
Stuffing brain aneurysms

One in 20 people in the U.S. will get a brain aneurysm, and if these swollen blood vessels burst, there’s a 50 percent chance you won’t make it. “When an aneurysm is ruptured, there’s a high likelihood that it ruptures again, and if it does rupture again, there’s a very high likelihood that that rupture is worst than the first and often fatal,” says WUSTL Interventional neuro-radiologist Colin Derdeyn. Now, doctors can repair these aneurysms with a procedure so minimally invasive, it doesn’t require a scalpel. Link to Article See also WDNU-TV News (South Bend, Indiana)

WISN-TV (Milwaulkee)
Steel plant emissions linked to Parkinson’s Disease

Researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis say that reducing industrial metal emissions may result in fewer cases or Parkinson’s Disease. Link to Broadcast

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

New type of heart surgery buoys woman

Open-heart surgery wasn’t an option for 81-year-old Mary Ann Cahalin, but she’s feeling much better now thanks to a new, less-invasive heart valve repair procedure that’s being evaluated by cardiologists at Washington University School of Medicine and Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Instead of surgery, doctors pushed a new heart valve up through an artery from her groin to her heart. “I woke up from the surgery and I could feel the difference immediately,” she said. Cahalin was the first person in the St. Louis area to have the surgery. Link to Article

KSDK Channel 5 (St. Louis)
News Channel 5 Special Edition

A local university has made Kiplinger’s Personal Finance list of the best values in private colleges. Washington University in St. Louis has been ranked the 13th best value by the financial publication. The magazine bases the new list on excellence in academics, while keeping costs down. Princeton University tops the list. Link to Broadcast

St. Louis Beacon

Fighting the myths about health-care reform with facts 10/28/2010

A federal official says health reform has become “a political football,” but the Obama administration is making progress. Her comments at a community discussion are timely in that Republican congressional leaders are hoping to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. WUSTL social work dean Eddie Lawlor praised the Act for setting up a new form of health-care provider. He says the law has potential for developing school-based clinics as a way of expanding health access for children. “The idea is outreach; that’s the subplot of this legislation,” he said. Link to Article
JobWatch: A disabled worker’s unusual tenure

Ask Cheryl Clobes about her 33 years on the job at Washington University School of Medicine and her response is all positive. But as recently as 50 years ago, Clobes might never have had this job opportunity. The credit for Clobes’ accomplishments goes first to her parents, who recognized – long before Congress took a big step toward leveling the playing field by enacting the Americans with Disabilities Act – that their mildly developmentally disabled daughter possessed the wherewithal to land and hold a job. Link to Article

Jewish Light
SCOPE it out, shtick and stones

Jacob Talve-Goodman, a 27-year-old St. Louisan, is making a name for himself as statewide outreach coordinator for SCOPE, which stands for Science & Citizens Organized for Purpose and Exploration. SCOPE was begun by Cynthia Kramer (a former Trustee of the Jewish Light), who credits science and clinical trials at Washington University with saving her life. Now in remission for cancer, Cynthia started SCOPE to reach out to young people and adults to encourage them to have a career in science and technology. Link to Article

Ladue News
Early puberty

Perhaps because they’ve been through it themselves, parents might believe they’re prepared for their pre-teen kids to enter puberty. What they might not expect, or understand, are the implications of early puberty, especially in girls. Although girls are maturing as young as age 8 or 9, this is still within the normal range, says Dr. Abby Hollander, a pediatric endocrinologist at Washington University. “Part of the ongoing discussion from the medical provider’s perspective is what should be considered ‘normal,’ ” she says. Link to Article

News in higher education

Chicago Tribune

Few answers from Notre Dame on student’s fatal accident

No one can comprehend Declan Sullivan’s death — including the university charged with finding out why the 20-year-old student was asked to videotape football practice from an elevated perch during a strong wind advisory. University officials offered few answers Thursday when pressed about the accident and the decision to record the workout from an extended scissor lift. They sidestepped questions about Sullivan’s Twitter feed, which indicated the junior from suburban Long Grove was terrified as gusts swirled about him during practice Wednesday. Link to Article

Wall Street Journal / Hire Education Blog

A Gap Year for College Graduates

Taking a “gap year” – typically a year off between high school and college – has long been common in other countries and is becoming more so in the United States as well. However, there is another type of gap year, and it is becoming more common among recent college graduates. This gap-year experience serves as a transition from a student’s undergraduate career and ideally can be used to gain life and/or work experience in a particular arena before full-time work or graduate school. Link to Article

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The Chronicle of Higher Education
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