News highlights for November 10, 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.

Fast Company / FC Expert Blog

Turnaround built on non-stop unrelenting change

Bob Weidner has been CEO of the Metal Service Center Institute (MSCI) for nine years. When he was recruited for the position the organization was in need of a turnaround. He has been more than successful. Early on they attacked cost structure. Within education, MSCI went through their offerings and dropped almost half their courses. They created new programs, most notably an executive education program with Washington University’s Business School in St Louis. At this highly rated executive education institution, MSCI now has a proprietary executive education program. Link to Article

Washington Post

MD group says specialist should review concussions


Doctors want to get the message “to the athletes, their parents and their coaches that a concussion is not just a ding, or getting your bell wrung, but it is an injury to the brain,” said Dr. Mark Halstead of Washington University. Concussions “need to be treated as if they are a big deal. The brain is pretty important.” Link to Article

Psychology Today
The elderly and psychiatric drugs
WUSTL School of Medicine psychiatry professors Eugene Rubin MD, PhD and Charles Zorumski MD. co-author a column exploring relevant issues regarding the safe and effective use of psychiatric medications in the elderly. Since, in older patients, the risks of medications may be higher, doctors must weigh many considerations carefully when they work with patients to develop effective and safe treatment plans. Link to Article

Science Magazine / Science Now

The Gene for ZZZzzzzz

Geneticists have homed in on the first gene in the general population that seems to influence how much sleep we need. Researchers have previously linked other potassium channel genes to sleep duration in flies, notes Paul Shaw, a neurobiologist at Washington University School of Medicine. The fact that such a basic finding has now been backed up by a genetic study in people “makes the story that much more important,” says Shaw, who wasn’t at the meeting but has seen an abstract of the work. “It is very elegant that the same gene can influence the same behavior in both humans and flies.” Link to Article

High-intensity chemo, aspirin could dramatically decrease death from prostate, breast cancer

Washington University in St. Louis participated in a study that could reduce the threat of people dying of prostate cancer. Researchers say high-intensity radiation, which concentrates high levels of radiation to specific areas, can cut prostate cancer deaths in half. Another part of the cancer study shows anti-coagulants, such as aspirin, can reduce the number of side effects and subsequent deaths. Link to Article

St. Louis Beacon

BODDY building: Washington University program helps city residents shed pounds and regain their health

Tracy Blue was often irritable as she coped with Type 2 diabetes and the burden of carrying as much as 254 pounds on her 5’4″ frame. However, her health has improved and her weight has dropped, thanks in part to an exercise and counseling program tailored to African-Americans like herself. Called BODDY, the program operates out of the Monsanto YMCA on the north side and is run by Washington University’s Health and Nutrition Center. Link to Article

St. Louis Beacon

Nanotechnology symposium fosters partnership between universities and industry

“Nanotechnology is not science fiction. It is science. It’s not just ‘Honey, I shrunk the kids,’ but a potential solution to many real-world problems we face,” said Sen. Christopher S. “Kit” Bond in a speech at the 2010 Missouri NanoFrontiers Symposium, an event co-hosted last week by the University of Missouri-St. Louis and Washington University. Bond exhorted the attending scientists and businesspeople to bring the discoveries of the laboratory into the home, the hospital and the battlefield. Link to Article

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Bad-cops cases may free some convicts

St. Louis prosecutors are preparing to unlock prison doors on people put there by police officers whose credibility has been damaged by criminal charges or allegations of misconduct. Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce has vowed to dismiss convictions that could not have been prosecuted without the testimony or evidence produced by those officers. “I applaud her,” said Washington University law professor Peter Joy. “If that’s what’s she’s going to do, then that’s really a commitment to making sure that no one’s been wrongfully convicted.” Link to Article

St. Louis Riverfront Times

Protesters planning mock awards ceremony at Peabody Energy headquarters in St. Louis today

Around noon today, members of the climate change protest group Repower Missouri and “dozens of St. Louis area residents” will gather in front of Peabody Energy’s downtown St. Louis offices on Market Street to hand out the “Snake Oil Award for Public Deception.” Earlier this year, students disrupted a keynote speech by Peabody CEO Greg Boyce at Washington University’s “Symposium for Global Energy Future by stripping off their clothes and holding up signs with messages like “Coal Kills.” Link to Article

St. Louis Beacon

Election officials sift through 198 provisional votes in tight 24th District race

The St. Louis County Election Board’s Democratic elections director Joe Donahue takes issue with reports that some Washington University students were improperly denied provisional ballots when they showed up at a polling place that serves the campus’ South 40 dorms. The account he had received from all the poll workers, said Donahue, “totally contradicted” what the students said earlier to the news media. Link to Article

St. Louis Beacon

City parks and sidewalks play a role in health disparities

A research team from St. Louis and Washington universities is exploring whether St. Louis area parks encourage physical activity. One program that helps residents find safe places to exercise is the Monsanto YMCA, where Dr. Consuelo Wilkins, an associate professor at Washington University Medical School, hosts a popular physical education program for what is said to be the largest group of African-American elderly in the nation. Her goal, she says, is to show these older adults that aging and illness don’t have to go hand in hand. Link to Article See also The Architects Newspaper Blog

News in higher education

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Professor causes gun scare

A campus-wide alert about a gunman at the University of Missouri-St. Louis on Tuesday morning turned out to have been caused by a long-time history professor carrying two antique muskets on an elevator in Lucas Hall, officials said. They were for use as props for a lecture. Police emailed a warning about 11:28 a.m. and canceled it about 11:40 p.m., spokesman Bob Samples said. Link to Article

USA Today

NIH chief warns of research grant shortfalls


National Institutes of Health (NIH) chief Francis Collins warned scientists of slimmer federal budgets ahead, suggesting that biomedical researchers could see their odds next year of winning a funding grant drop to 10%. Speaking at the American Society of Human Genetics meeting, Collins discussed a coming era of personalized medicine, and challenges facing the $31 billion NIH, the leading funder of basic disease research. Link to Article

Boston Globe

Colleges aim to revive the humanities


At college campuses around the world, the humanities are hurting. Students are flocking to majors more closely linked to their career ambitions. Grant money and philanthropy are flowing to the sciences. And university presidents are worried about the future of subjects once at the heart of a liberal arts education. Link to Article

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The Chronicle of Higher Education
Inside Higher Ed
University Business

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