News highlights for November 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.

Wall Street Journal / Careers

Employers still uncertain on hiring new graduates

College graduates might find a better job market this academic year, but many employers are still uncertain if they will hire at all. The big financial-services companies and consulting firms in particular have recruited students more aggressively than in the past couple of years, says Mark Smith, Washington University in St. Louis career-center director. “The past two years, they would come to campus but say they weren’t sure they would hire. This year, they say they’re definitely hiring,” he said. Link to Article

Chicago Sun-Times
Biochemist spurred rehydration therapy

Robert Crane, a biochemist whose discoveries about how salt and sugar are absorbed by the body led to the development of oral rehydration therapy, has died. He was 90.The therapy is used to treat people with cholera or severe diarrhea and has been credited with saving millions of lives. Crane was researching metabolism at Washington University School of Medicine when he discovered that sodium and glucose are most efficiently absorbed in the small intestine when mixed together. In 1978, the journal Lancet described the breakthrough as “potentially the most important medical advance this century.” Link to Article

Treating prostate cancer without side effects (Fresno, California)

Researchers are testing new treatments, like Dutasteride. It’s been approved to treat enlarged prostates, but doctors say it has other uses. “What we’ve learned 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,” Gerald Andriole, M.D., urologist at Washington University School of Medicine, said. Link to Article

Voice of America

Technology enables small artists to compete for big bucks

Can independent artists compete with large manufacturers in places like East Asia? “I think it is feasible and what has made it more feasible is technology. Technology interestingly, the way I see it, is almost re-democratizing capitalism,” says Clifford Holekamp, senior lecturer in Entrepreneurship at the Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis . “What I think is really neat about creative commons licensing is what we’re seeing here—a foothold that the small guy is coming back in and competing with the big guy.” Link to Article

Microbiology: The new germ theory

New research collaborations are linking those exploring the human microbiota in the intestine, skin, mouth and other surfaces with microbial ecologists, who study microbial universes in environments such as soil, ocean water and toxic waste sites. “The arbitrary and false barriers between environmental and medical microbiology are breaking down,” says Jeff Gordon, a leader in gut microbiology at Washington University in St Louis. Link to Article

Foreign Policy

The Four Horsemen of the Teapocalypse

December 2010

John Maynard Keynes, Hyman Minsky, Walter Bagehot, and Milton Friedman are cited as the “dead thinkers” who dictated the world’s response to the recent financial crisis. Minsky, an economist at Washington University in St. Louis, for warning that times of financial calm and economic growth led banks to step further and further out onto the ice of leverage – until finally they would step too far and fall through. Link to Article

HealthCare IT News

RSNA session preview: Checklists demonstrate quality improvement


Quality improvement has become a hot topic with the passage of health reform legislation. Pre-surgery timeouts, which record procedures from start to finish, are a good investment, says James Duncan, an associate professor at Washington University School of Medicine’s Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology. “It’s a terrific team-building exercise because it’s the one time that the team communicates,” he said. Link to Article

Technology Review
Ultrasound gets more portable

A new handheld ultrasound device could be the first that can connect directly to cell-phone and Wi-Fi networks. Two years ago, computer engineers at Washington University in St. Louis created a prototype that took ultrasound imaging to a new level of mobility and connectivity—they connected an ultrasound probe to a smart phone. A startup awaiting clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration hopes to begin selling the device next year. Link to Article
$1 million grant for Washington University to recru…

Washington University has received a $1 million grant from the Amgen Foundation to help recruit scientists over four years. The school is one of 13 selected to take part in the Amgen Scholars Program, which started in 2006. Washington University‘s participation starts next May with a summer research program aimed at U.S. citizens and permanent residents. Participants will conduct independent research with Washington University scientists. Link to Article
Volunteering is the ‘new health club’ for seniors

New research is finding that “in some ways, volunteering is more positive for people who are serving, than the people who need help. Scientists testing human brains have found that helping others stimulates areas of the brain associated with a sense of accomplishment and well-being, and creativity, said Dr. C. Robert Cloninger, a psychiatrist and director of the Center for the Psychobiology of Personality at Washington University School of Medicine. Link to Article
Database has drug firms’ payments to 17,000 doctors
Three drug companies paid a Washington University anesthesiologist $255,737 over 18 months to speak to other doctors about some of their products, including pain killers and muscle relaxants, according to an analysis by the ProPublica news organization. The analysis found that Dr.Anthony Guarino, an assistant professor of anesthesiology, was one of the doctors nationwide who received the most money from the drug companies between January 2009 and June 2010. Link to Article See also Post-Dispatch

St Louis Globe-Democrat
Post-Thanksgiving meal heartburn could be GERD

That post-Thanksgiving heartburn you feel could be more serious than you think. It could be GERD or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. Heartburn, an uncomfortable burning sensation behind the breastbone, may occur after a big meal, but when this happens frequently, you may have Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease or GERD. While many holiday activities and treats can create a “perfect storm” for GERD sufferers, it’s a treatable problem, says C. Prakash Gyawali, MD, a Washington University gastroenterologist at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Link to Article
Column: In Your Words

Alexander Benjamin, a rising junior at Washington University in St. Louis, writes an ” In Your Words” column on his life-changing trip to Technion, Israel’s top technical school. Benjamin is studying electrical engineering, computer science, and business. He currently plays oboe in the Symphony Orchestra at Washington University. Link to Article

News in higher education

New York Times

Universities tell high schools logos are off limits


If a high school’s logo can be confused with a university’s, or if it is capable of diluting its value, universities often demand changes. Link to Article

Mizzou taps rich Chicago market


The University of Missouri, Columbia, is attracting more students from Chicago. The Chicago area has become one of the school’s most important feeder markets, providing an increasing number of applications that topped 3,000 last year. The St. Louis area, by comparison, generated 4,700 applications. Mizzou makes sense to Chicagoland teens because it’s close enough to reach in a few hours by car, has a strong reputation and offers competitive out-of-state tuition rates. Link to Article

College graduates taking on more debt


The average student debt for bachelor’s degree graduates mushroomed 50 percent from 1996 to 2008, according to a new report. Over the same time frame, debt for associate-degree graduates grew to twice the amount of their 1996 counterparts, according to an analysis of National Center for Education Statistics data by the Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project.

Link to Article


Class OF ’11 will see slightly better job outlook


College graduates next May will face better job prospects than students last year as large corporations end hiring freezes, small businesses reshape the economy and employers become more confident they can safely expand, according to a report from Michigan State University.

Link to Article


Activist group claims to send AIDS-tainted razors to animal researcher


The FBI and University of California at Los Angeles police are investigating a new round of threats from anti-animal research activists who claimed to have sent AIDS-tainted razor blades and a threatening message to UCLA neuroscientist David Jentsch. Link to Article

For additional higher education news (subscription may be required):
The Chronicle of Higher Education
Inside Higher Ed
University Business