News Highlights for December 27, 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.

South China Morning Post (Hong Kong)

HK to become world genomics research hub


Hong Kong is poised to become international gene sequencing and genomics research hub, thanks to Beijing’s drive to turn the country into an international science powerhouse by 2020. Already it houses some of the world’s most powerful supercomputers and gene sequencers, the result of it hosting key laboratory of mainland’s dominant genomic company, BGI. “To put that in perspective, [BGI] has about the same capacity as the three largest genome centres in the United States, including the Broad Institute, Washington University and Baylor College of Medicine combined,” said magazine editor Kevin Davies. Link to Article


Video interview: John Bowen, Anthropologist at Washington University


Marc Perelman of France24 news agency talks to the anthropologist John Bowen, an expert on Islam at Washington University in St. Louis, about whether there can be a truly ‘French version’ of the Islamic faith. View online video


Drug overdoses on the rise in most age groups

With more prescriptions come more opportunities for people to get addicted, to take drugs that aren’t theirs, or to use drugs for non-medical purposes, all of which can have dangerous consequences. Theodore Cicero, who studies drug abuse at Washington University in St. Louis, agrees. “Even if it’s a very small percentage, when the number of people (getting prescriptions) grows, obviously you’re going to have more drugs in the illicit market,” he told Reuters Health. Link to Article See also , Tehran Times, / Health, Yahoo News

The New York Times
In budget crunch, science fairs struggle to survive

Securing financing for science fairs is becoming difficult because of the poor economy. Two science fairs in the St. Louis area are having financing problems after losing corporate donations. The Academy of Science St. Louis Science Fair lost half of its financing when the pharmaceutical company, Pfizer, withdrew as a sponsor after giving $65,000 last year. Organizers say the contests have inspired students to pursue careers in science, including one who landed an internship at a Washington University lab. Link to Article See also National Public Radio, Lakeland (Fla.) Ledger, Honolula Star Advertiser.

History News Network
How the color line caused a 100-year break in football between Iowa and Missouri

The Dec. 28 Insight Bowl match between the University of Iowa and the University of Missouri will mark the first time the two teams have played since 1910. The 100-year gap in this once-heated rivalry can be explained, in part, by racial discrimination. Missouri refused to play Iowa in 1910 unless Iowa’s star lineman, a black student named Archie Alexander, was banned from the game. Alexander also missed the last game of the season when Washington University of St. Louis similarly resorted to Jim Crow. Link to Article See also Columbia Missourian, Columbia Tribune.

Women’s Health
8 sex myths debunked


# 8 – Watching porn is a guy thing. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found that looking at erotic images caused a rapid increase in women’s electrical brainwave activity that was just as strong as in men’s. “Women can use porn to find out what they like and are comfortable with in the bedroom,” explains Lou Paget, a certified sex educator. Link to Article

Lansing State Journal / (Michigan)
Federal agency to review safety of baby bedding


Federal regulators have known for years that bumper pads could pose a suffocation hazard but have failed to warn parents. Three years ago, a Washington University pediatrician Bradley Thach sounded the alarm on bumper pad safety in a study concluding that 27 babies’ deaths were attributed to bumper pads from 1985 to 2005. Thach and other experts said such deaths are underreported because they can be wrongly labeled Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Link to Article
See also Herald Tribune (South Carolina).

College Media Matters
New Q magazine at Yale celebrates queer experience


“Q is coming out!” The exclamatory greeting kicked off the press release announcing college media’s latest creation: Q magazine, a LGBTQ magazine produced by students at Yale University. Q, which premiered at Yale earlier this month, follows in the footsteps of other college sex and lifestyle magazines, including X at Washington University in St. Louis, Vita Excolatur at the University of Chicago, and Squirm at Vassar College. Link to Article

St. Louis Beacon

Reforming the Senate: Efforts to limit filibusters may be talked to death


“There’s a variety of things [Senate Democrats] can do to improve the efficiency of the Senate and make minority obstructionism somewhat less effective,” said Steven S. Smith, a political science professor at Washington University in St. Louis who has written a book about Senate filibusters. “But they probably cannot go all the way to simple-majority cloture” — under which 51 votes could cut off debate. Smith testified to a Senate panel in September about proposals to alter filibuster rules.

Link to Article

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

From Napoleon to Ansel Adams, top exhibits were illuminating


The year’s best art exhibits at St. Louis’ major museums were plentiful and full of history, culture and innovation. Among the editors’ favorites for 2010 were several at WUSTL’s Mildred Lane Kemper Museum, including “Sharon Lockhart: Lunch Break,” which took viewers inside a shipyard and Navy supplier in Bath, Maine. Lockhart, a conceptual artist whose projects involve film and photography, conducted early research on the project in Los Angeles and St. Louis, including visits to local workplaces. (Ran Feb. 5-April 19.) Link to Article

New York Times

A Master’s for science professionals sweeps U.S. schools


A curiosity tucked away in a handful of university catalogs a decade ago, the professional science master’s degree is emerging from the shadows at a number of college campuses. The degree, which a few universities quietly pioneered in the mid-1990s, combines graduate studies in science or mathematics and business management courses. Link to Article

New York Times

Education: Chapel Hill campus takes on grade inflation


The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is planning to add extra information probably median grades, and perhaps more to transcripts, among other measures. Link to Article

New York Times

Questions of racial discrimination on tenure unsettle DePaul


As DePaul University seeks to improve its academic standing and raise $250 million for capital projects and scholarships, public accusations of bias and discrimination in the tenure process continue to mount. On Dec. 7, professors and students protested this year’s denial of tenure to two minorities, Quinetta Shelby, a black professor of chemistry, and Namita Goswami, an Indian professor of philosophy. Of more than 40 professors who applied for tenure this year, 6 were denied, all of them minorities. Last year, the five professors denied tenure were four women and one minority man. Link to Article

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