News highlights for October 8, 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.

Discovery News

Laser will melt your brain (tumor, that Is)

A laser beam has been developed that can cook brain tumors. The research from Washington University could help save the lives of people with, until now, inoperable brain tumors, and could soon be extended to destroy other tumors in other parts of the body without resorting to surgery. “This tool gives us a treatment for patients with tumors that were previously deemed inoperable,” said Eric Leuthardt, a doctor at Washington University. “It offers hope to certain patients who had few or no options before.” Link to Article

Science News
Siblings of autistic children may share some symptoms

Autism seems to play a genetically inspired hide-and-seek game in some families. Undiagnosed siblings in families that include two or more children with autism often grapple with language delays, social difficulties and other mild symptoms of the disorder, suggests anew study by psychiatrist John Constantino and colleagues at the Washington University School of Medicine. Constantino emphasizes that, for three in four families, one child had an autism spectrum disorder and the rest showed no signs of autism. Link to Article See also US News & World Report, United Press International, National Public Radio

Science Magazine
Universities are trying too hard to cash in on discoveries, says academy panel

It’s been 30 years since Congress revised U.S. patent laws to encourage universities to embrace the world of commerce. Critics predicted that the integrity of academic research would be compromised, but such fears did not come true, says a new report from a National Academies panel chaired by Mark Wrighton, chancellor of Washington University in St. Louis. The report concludesthings are pretty much hunky-dory right now” but also warns universities not to go overboard hunting for patents. Link to Article

Space Daily
Cassini catches Saturn moons In paintball fight

Scientists using data from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft have learned that distinctive, colorful bands and splotches embellish the surfaces of Saturn’s inner, mid-size moons. “The richness of the Cassini data set – visible images, infrared images, ultraviolet images, measurements of the radiation belts – is such that we can finally ‘paint a picture’ as to how the satellites themselves are ‘painted,’ ” said William B. McKinnon, one of six co-authors on the paper. McKinnon is based at Washington University in St. Louis and was also funded by the Cassini data analysis program. Link to Article

Bio-IT World
Re-defining storage for the next generation

Genome research is generating a tidal wave of data and there are no vendors that have their finger on the pulse of the problem, says David Dooling, assistant director of informatics at The Genome Center at Washington University. Dooling asserts that just finding cheap storage is not the answer. “You get what you pay for,” he says. Link to Article

The Associated Press

Alzheimer’s brain tangles offer clue to worsening

Nobody knows what causes Alzheimer’s, although the disease’s hallmark plaque — that gooey stuff called beta-amyloid — is the main suspect. Now comes a different clue: A second protein called tau seems to signal how aggressive the mind-robbing disease will be. If scientists can figure out how to lower tau levels, it might slow dementia, says senior researcher Alison Goate of Washington University in St. Louis. Don’t look for a genetic test for tau any time soon. It’s likely just one genetic marker among many to be discovered, says Goate. Link to Article See also online video at ABC 4 News-TV (PROVO, UTAH)

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Brain mapping study centered in St. Louis

The human brain is among the most complex structures in the universe — and researchers here will try to map it in just five years. A consortium led by scientists at the Washington University School of Medicine and the University of Minnesota has launched a project, dubbed the Human Connectome, that will diagram all the major circuits in a healthy human brain. The effort will lay the groundwork for understanding how the human brain functions — and eventually, how it doesn’t. “This is the first effort to create a wiring diagram of the brain in a comprehensive way,” said David Van Essen, head of the department of anatomy and neurobiology at Washington University. Link to Article

The St. Louis American

‘Rising Star’ at Boeing, Evelyn N. Bailey setting standards as minority and woman engineering manager

Evelyn N. Bailey was bit by the engineering bug when she went on an eighth grade field trip to Washington University School of Engineering. “I knew I wanted to be an engineer at 13,” Bailey said. The path, however, was not smooth. Bailey became a teen mother, yet still graduated from Kirkwood Senior High School with her eye on the prize of becoming an engineer. Bailey stayed in school, earning a Bachelors of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from University of Missouri–St. Louis and a Masters Degree in Engineering Management and a Graduate Certificate in Project Management from Washington University. Link to Article

News 11 at Noon (2/2)

Washington university lecturer Todd Sproull has created an iPhone app for Metrolink schedules and routes. Available for 99 cents in Apples app store, the app offers the ability to select the station the trains depart from and direction of the destination in order to find departure and arrival times. Washington University offers a course on building apps for the iPhone. Link to Broadcast

Related release

News in higher education

The New York Times

A senior’s view: The college crisis (Teen Community contributor)

Cakewalk is not a word to describe first term for a high school senior. You think it’s over – the work, the studying, the stress, the agony – but no, it has really just begun. At Brooklyn Technical High School, students go through a rigorous junior year. With so many tests: Regents, AP and the dreaded SAT, a junior wants only one thing – a break. But the Brooklyn Tech senior has an entirely new load of stress, and that stress shall now be referred to as ‘The College Crisis.’ With hell-born college essays to complete, summer wasn’t the most relaxing of times, and now D-day is approaching. Link to Article See also New York Times: Drafting a College List in a Tough Economy

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The Chronicle of Higher Education
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