News highlights for January 21, 2011

p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt;font-size:12pt;font-family:Cambria;} .MsoChpDefault {font-family:Cambria;} div.WordSection1 {page:WordSection1;} 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 Washington Post

Giffords faces long road to help her brain rebuild itself after Tucson shooting

Scientists now realize that brain reorganization after injury is far more common and extensive than previously thought. They also know that neuroplasticity depends to a great degree on what the brain is forced to do in the critical weeks and months after it is injured. “There is a relationship between the amount of therapy you receive and the degree of recovery,” said Maurizio Corbetta, a neurologist who runs a brain injury unit at the Rehabilitation Institute of St. Louis at Washington University. “This is particularly true in the first three to six months when the brain is reorganizing.” Link to Article See also CBS News, Seattle Times

The New York Times

The philosophical novel

Can a novelist write philosophically? Even those novelists most commonly deemed philosophical have sometimes answered with an emphatic no. William H. Gass, who received his Ph.D. in philosophy from Cornell and taught philosophy for many years at Washington University in St. Louis, has claimed that the influence of his philosophical education on his fiction was negligible. “I don’t pretend to be treating issues in any philosophical sense,” he said. Link to Article

Psychology Today

How many people are treated for depression?

A recent paper in the Archives of General Psychiatry provides interesting data about recent trends in the treatment of depression. In one of their co-written “Demystifying Psychology” columns, Washington University medical researchers Charles Zorumski and Eugene Rubin suggest that trends indicate some progress has been made in recognizing and treating depression, but there is much room for improvement. Link to Article

Business Insider

Should I become an entrepreneur?

When to become an entrepreneur is a common quandary. Despite popular wisdom to the contrary, age is not a major factor in the decision to start a company. The Kauffman Foundation reports that the median age of founders is 39 — right at the midpoint of a typical professional career — and 69% are 35 or older. Another study by Washington University professors of 86,000 science and engineering graduates showed that age was not a significant predictor of becoming an entrepreneur. Link to Article


Profile of Eric Green, director of the National Human Genome Research Institute

Eric Green, director of the National Human Genome Research Institute at the National Institutes of Health, discusses his mission and personal influences on his career, including his joint M.D.-Ph.D. degree at Washington University in St. Louis. “Although I no longer practice medicine, when you read the institute’s new strategic plan and think about the mission and future of genomics, it will be clear that my medical training greatly influenced my thinking. Link to Article


Wash U hikes tuition

Missouri’s most expensive university is hiking tuition rates by almost four percent. That means it will cost another $1,550 to go to Washington University in St. Louis, where the tuition will be $41,950 per year next fall. Housing and meal plans are going up, too. Charges for on-campus double-occupancy housing for 2011-12 will range between $8,374 and $9,264, also up from this year. St. Louis Business Journal
Student Life


Snow days a rarity at Washington University

Despite heavy snow, Washington University students could not quite escape the classroom. “Washington University has a lot of student who live on campus,” explains Rob Wild, assistant to the chancellor. “The majority actually live on or near campus. So staying open is what we do when there’s bad weather.” Link to Broadcast

Missouri Energy Initiative is new think tank on energy

Months of harsh rhetoric over Ameren Missouri’s proposal to develop a second nuclear plant in Callaway County has provided the impetus for the Missouri Energy Initiative, a new statewide think tank for energy issues. Washington University Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton is one of 14 current board members for the group, which emerges as Missouri faces thorny questions regarding its energy future. Its mission will be fact finding, educating the public, promoting dialogue and searching for ways to leverage energy research. Link to Article

St. Louis Beacon

New push for a regional economic strategy

“What is a Winning Strategy for Economic Development in the St. Louis Region?” is the focus of St. Louis Urban Corps’ second Great Debates event on Tuesday, Jan. 25 at the Missouri History Museum. Panelists include Kathleen Osborn, executive director of The Regional Business Council, Henry Webber, executive vice chancellor for administration at Washington University and Gilbert Bickel, Morgan Stanley senior vice president and founder of St. Louis Arch Angels. Washington University is a co-sponsor of the event, which is free and open to the public. Link to Article

St. Louis Riverfront Times

Heart failure gene discovered…in the kidney

Researchers at Washington University have identified a gene sequence that indicates a person is at risk for heart failure even before there are any outward signs, like high blood pressure. Surprisingly, this gene isn’t connected to the heart—it’s related to the kidney. “The kidney doesn’t just evacuate salt and water,” explains Dr. Gerald W. Dorn II, a lead investigator of the team that made the discovery. “It also makes hormones involved in maintaining blood volume.” Link to Article

St. Louis Beacon

Ambitious study of Missourians’ health, smoking gets underway

The Missouri Foundation for Health has embarked on an ambitious yearlong comparison of progress on tobacco and three other health issues within each county across the state. Sarah Shelton, a senior data analyst at the Center for Tobacco Policy Research at Washington University’s Brown School, says the state’s new evidence-based cessation programs represent a wise investment for tackling smoking in Missouri, especially among Medicaid recipients “That’s going to be a huge benefit,” she said, noting that the center released a report last year showing that Medicaid recipients had the highest smoking prevalence. Link to Article
Related news release

St. Louis American

Wash U black social work students honor MLK with free financial seminar
1/11/ 2011

The Society of Black Student Social Workers at Washington University’s Brown School will host the fifth annual “Financial Freedom Seminar: Recovering From the Recession, Reaching for the Future,” on Jan. 22. The seminar is designed for St. Louis community youth and adults interested in building wealth, repairing and maintaining good credit, purchasing a home or starting and expanding a business. Link to Article

News in Higher Education

St. Louis Post-Dispatch / Editorial

Our view • University of Missouri welcomes everyone with enough money

In a commentary published in Thursday’s Post-Dispatch, University of Missouri Chancellor Brady J. Deaton wrote, “MU’s doors are open to anyone who qualifies to attend Mizzou, regardless of financial background.” Yes, rich or poor, all are welcome at all of Missouri’s public colleges and universities — as long as they can come up with the money to pay the tuition and fees. Link to Article

Associated Press

U of I sets tuition policy hikes housing fee

University of Illinois trustees voted Thursday to adopt a policy designed to limit tuition increases, but the cost of housing is still going up at the school’s three campuses. The policy will link tuition increases and other factors in a way that’s intended to limit the size of increases. The new policy requires the university to weigh potential increases against the rate of inflation and other things, such as the availability of state funding. Link to Article

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Colleges relieved cuts not deeper

Maybe it’s a sign of the times that Missouri’s higher education leaders were relieved, if not actually happy, to hear the governor wants to trim their budgets by 7 percent. The day after Gov. Jay Nixon announced plans to cut more than $63 million from higher education spending as part of an effort to balance the state’s troubled budget, campus officials said they had braced for worse. Link to Article

National Public Radio / NPR

Scientists encourage military to map genome of all personnel

A new report from the Jasons, a secretive, highly influential group of scientists, is urging the Department of Defense to begin collecting and mapping the full genome of all military personnel — a move that could well give the Pentagon the ability to select for certain genetic predispositions. Link to Article

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

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