News highlights for November 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.

New York Times
Banning the bottle
Beginning this fall, a number of colleges and universities will institute a campus-wide ban on selling bottled water, reports the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. According to the Earth Policy Institute, 86 percent of plastic water bottles in the United States end up as garbage. Washington University in St. Louis started the movement last year. Link to Article

Healthcare reform not factor in election

Timothy D. McBride, professor and associate dean for public health at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis, says the United States is still more or less a 50-50 country on health reform. Link to Article

Marketplace MONEY
Feds quantitative easing doesn’t help savers

The Fed is pushing $600 billion into the economy to drive long-term interest rates down, make borrowing cheaper, and get us to spend more. But that is the very last thing the nation’s savers need right now. Says Steve Fazzari, professor of economics at Washington University, “If you are a retired person, risk-averse, doesn’t have money in the stock market, trying to finance your retirement by, say, certificates of deposit – very safe assets – the returns you’ve been getting for the last several years have been historically low.” Link to Article

Air Twitter: Social media meets science

It used to be that scientists would publish their findings in obscure journals, and only other researchers would ever see them. Now a new generation of scientists, armed with the latest technology tools, has led to some big changes. “I’ve grown up with this idea that science should be open. There are a lot of ways people can share information back and forth through serendipitous means on the Web,” says Erin Robinson, a graduate engineering student at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo. Just as businesses now make some decisions by monitoring social media chatter, scientists are letting “civilians” help them with research. Hence, the birth of “Air Twitter,” a project that examines air quality. Link to Article

Charlottesville Observer

Will N.C. vote tilt Democratic convention away from Charlotte?

Steven Smith, a political scientist at Washington University in St. Louis, says Charlotte, St. Louis and Minneapolis may have lost ground to Cleveland – despite the fact that Ohio Democrats took a drubbing in their state legislature and Congress. “Ohio went so strongly Republican at every level that because of the size of Ohio, it’s going to be given priority in … siting decisions,” Smith says. “You don’t want to give up on a state like Ohio.” Link to Article

Orlando Sentinel (Orlando FL)

Studies examine environmental factors that may be linked to higher risk of Parkinson’s
The cause of Parkinson’s disease remains unknown, but a recent report identifies pollutants in some urban areas that may increase the risk of getting the disease. A report from Washington University in St. Louis identifies high levels of manganese and copper pollution as potential risk factors for some city dwellers. For example, people living in areas with higher levels of manganese pollution had a 78% greater risk of having Parkinson’s than those who didn’t, according to the report. Link to Article See also Morning Call

Columbia Missourian
NORML conference at MU looks at marijuana as medicine

Cannabis might cure cancer. At least that was one of the major themes of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws’ state conference Saturday afternoon. Six speakers and a panel of six cannabis patients discussed the benefits that marijuana can have on health, and even its benefits within the fields of building construction. Fred Raines, professor emeritus of economics at Washington University in St. Louis, spoke about the economic side of medicinal marijuana. Link to Article

St. Louis Beacon
Genome research institute director is part of St. Louis’ first family of science
Profile of Eric Green, a WUSTL distinguished alumni of the year and director of the National Human Genome Research Institute at the National Institutes of Health. Green said he feels fortunate to have found a medical field that was emerging as he started his career. “I got on the human genome elevator on day one and have ridden it ever since,” he said. “It’s treated me very well, and I have a strong interest in seeing this field thrive.” Link to Article

News in higher education

Wall St. Journal

U.S. Officials to press India on education

A delegation of U.S. education officials visiting India alongside President Barack Obama is trying to push India to speed up its acceptance of foreign universities, an Indian government initiative that has been promised but appears to be stalled. The group of about a dozen U.S. officials, including representatives from Duke University, Rutgers University and Arizona State University, will make its case Tuesday to senior officials from India’s Human Resource Development ministry, which covers higher education. Link to Article

The Economic Times

Knowledge Power: Higher education summit next year
Education continues to be an important area of cooperation for India and the United States. On Monday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and US President Barack Obama announced the decision to host a higher education summit next year. “Building on our successful efforts to expand educational exchanges, including our Singh-Obama 21st Century Knowledge Initiative, we’ll convene a summit to forge new collaborations in higher education,” US President Barack Obama said in his opening statement at the joint press conference. Link to Article

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The Chronicle of Higher Education
Inside Higher Ed
University Business

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