News highlights for November 2, 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.

The Globe & Mail (UK)

Physicians’ group: Specialist should review all suspected concussions

Athletes of all ages who are suspected of suffering a concussion should be evaluated by a specialist before they return to sports, a major doctors’ group said Monday in the latest sign of concern over potential lasting damage from head injuries. Concussions “need to be treated as if they are a big deal. The brain is pretty important,” said Dr. Mark Halstead of Washington University. Link to Article See also GoogleNews for links to this story in more than 350 online news outlets.

The Wall Street Journal Online
New surgery to treat asthma

Bronchial thermoplasty, a new approach to treating asthma symptoms that opens constricted airways permanently, uses radiofrequency waves to shrink the smooth muscle itself. St. Louisans Jenny and Michael McLeland joined a clinical trial at Washington University Medical Center and had treatments in 2006. The couple, who used to need their rescue inhalers four or five times a week, now have a much more active life, competing in half marathons and cycling with no

breathing problems. Link to Article Related news release

Genetic Engineering News

Antibody locks up West Nile’s infection mechanism

WUSTL medical researcher Michael S. Diamond, along with colleagues from Purdue University, has learned the structure that results when an antibody binds to the West Nile virus, neutralizing the virus by locking up its infection mechanism. The information could help scientists develop a vaccine against the mosquito-borne disease, according to a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Link to Article

New Scientist

‘Introspection’ brain networks fully formed at birth

Could a fetus lying in the womb be planning its future? Recent research suggests brain areas thought to be involved in introspection and other aspects of consciousness are fully formed in newborn babies. WUSTL neurologist Marcus Raichle is wary of drawing conclusions. While structures like the default mode network may make consciousness possible, he says, they do not define it. However, the finding that newborn brains are more developed than previously thought means the research may ultimately help diagnose and treat neurological conditions like cerebral palsy, he says. Link to Article

Reno Gazette Journal
Tango to ease trembling

Parkinson’s, a degenerative disorder of the nervous system that affects movement, results in trembling of hands, arms, legs, jaw and face; stiffness of the arms, legs and trunk; slowness of movement and poor balance and coordination. In December 2007, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis released a study showing that patients with Parkinson’s disease who took part in ballroom tango dance classes for 20 sessions showed significant improvements in balance and mobility. Link to Article

It’s a Beautiful Day: U2 to perform at Busch

Busch Stadium will transform from baseball field to rock concert venue next summer when the legendary group U2 makes a stop during their 360 Degrees Tour on July 17, 2011. It will be the eighth concert in St. Louis for U2, who first performed at Graham Chapel at Washington University on April 7, 1981. They have since performed at the St. Louis Arena, the old Busch Stadium, the Trans World Dome (now Edward Jones Dome) and the Savvis Center (now Scottrade Center). Link to Article

KWMU / St. Louis Public Radio

Industrial pollution linked to Parkinson’s disease

A new study out of Washington University School of Medicine has shown a link between urban industrial pollution and Parkinson’s disease. Study lead researcher Dr. Allison Willis said the study showed the metal emissions come from a wide range of sources, not just steel factories: everything from food and beverage production to apparel manufacturing. Link to Article

St. Louis Business Journal

Siteman Cancer Center gets $23M

The Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine has received $23 million in research funding for the next five years and renewal of its designation as a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute. Link to Article

News in higher education

New York Times

Gene patent ruling raises questions for industry

A Justice Department declaration late Friday that genes should not be eligible for patents because they are products of nature represents a reversal of what had been the government’s policy for decades. But the new stance cheered those who believe that such patents retard rather than spur medical progress and interfere with people’s access to information about themselves. In the short run, however, it appears the new policy will have little practical impact. The patent office has said it would not start denying patents on genes because of pending litigation. Link to Article

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Missouri to fix shortcomings of state’s college savings plan
The 123,000 investors in Missouri’s college savings plan may not realize it, but the plan has fallen behind the times. A new Morningstar report assigns an average rating to the Missouri Saving for Tuition plan, known as MOST, but makes clear that its fees are nearly twice as high as some plans offered by other states. Fortunately, State Treasurer Clint Zweifel is aware of the plan’s shortcomings. He is reviewing bids from firms that want to manage MOST and will make a recommendation next month to the board that oversees the plan. Link to Article

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The Chronicle of Higher Education
Inside Higher Ed
University Business

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