News highlights for January 27, 2011

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.

Scientific American
Orangutans join the genome gang

Orangutans can now be added to the list of species that have had their genomes sequenced, offering conservationists a wealth of data in their efforts to save the endangered great ape. “We’ve developed a resource that could allow conservationists to prioritize populations for saving based on genetic diversity,” says Devin Locke at the Genome Center at Washington University in St Louis, Mo., who led the study. “Zoo breeding programs could also be informed by genetics, allowing them to maintain maximum diversity.” Link to Article See also Business Week , BBC , Daily Mail (UK) , Irish Times , Reuters , MSNBC.

Daily News
Bristol Palin to get big bucks to talk abstinence at Wash U.

Not all of the students at Washington University in St. Louis are pleased with the school’s choice for keynote speaker for the school’s Sexual Responsibility Week — Bristol Palin. The university’s Student Health Advisory Committee wanted to take Sexual Responsibility Week in a different direction and discuss the issue of abstinence for the students who aren’t sexually active, according to the school’s newspaper Student Life. Bristol Palin has been a vocal champion of abstinence education since giving birth to her son. Link to Article See also Jezebel, The Atlantic , St. Louis Post-Dispatch , Yahoo News , Big Hollywood , The SOP / Student Operated Press , Boston Globe , Tbogg

See also:

WUSTL students’ Facebook pages weigh in on Bristol Palin controversy:

Facebook: Protest SU’s decision to bring Bristol Palin

Facebook: Digital Petition for SU Referendum on Bristol Palin Speech

StorefrontBacktalk | Blog

Who created Square’s technology? Why retailers have reason to be nervous

The last thing an alternative mobile payments vendor needs is to discover that someone else holds the patent to key technology. In the case of Square, the alternative payments vendor with the little card-swiper that plugs into an iPhone, it’s worse: Square’s founders are now in the early stages of a lawsuit over a patent for technology they not only thought they had invented but for which they actually paid the filing fee of said patent, which actually ended up with someone else’s name on it. Washington University electrical engineering professor Robert Morley Jr. says he was the one who built the prototypes. Link to Article

KDNL-TV (St. Louis, MO)
Bristol Palin subject of controversy at Washington University

Bristol Palin is causing controversy at Washington University. The 20-year-old daughter of Sarah Palin is scheduled to come speak with students February 7 as part of a campus-wide Sexual Responsibility Week, but many students are up in arms about Palin’s $17,500 price tag that will come from the student activity fees. Link to Broadcast

KSDK-TV (St. Louis, MO)
Bristol Palin invited to speak at Wash U

Bristol Palin is headed to Washington University in St. Louis to kick off Sexual Responsibility Week. The 20-year-old daughter of Sarah Palin is scheduled to speak on February 7 and will be on a panel with representatives from the Catholic Student Center and Planned Parenthood. Link to Broadcast

KMOX-AM Talk Radio / CBS News (St. Louis, MO)

Wayne Fields recaps Obama’s State of the Union address

KMOX host Charlie Brennan discusses President Obama’s State of the Union Address with professor

Wayne Fields of Washington University. Fields is an expert on presidential rhetoric. Link to online audio

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Arch plan aims for safe crossing across Memorial Drive, I-70

The quest was for a safe walk to the Arch across the rush of Memorial Drive and the racket of Interstate 70’s depressed lanes is a feature of this year’s ambitious drive to make the riverfront park busier and easier to reach. Bruce Lindsey, dean of the Washington University architecture school, said plans to keep Memorial Drive appears to preserve an important street for downtown traffic while making it easier for pedestrians to cross it. “Streets are not always bad,” said Lindsey. “It should remain open if you can accommodate pedestrians by reducing traffic and changing the scale of the street.” Link to Article

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Defense Department helps pay for medical research

Dozens of scientists in local universities conduct medical research with grant money from the Department of Defense, but it’s not for any war effort. The Defense Department has funded experimental research for disorders from autism to prostate cancer for the past two decades. Compared with other federal health research funds, the defense grants generally come in smaller amounts and cover shorter periods of time. The grants are a lower-risk way to encourage innovative and promising ideas that may not end up producing any clinical benefit. Between 1992 and 2010, the Department of Defense funded $6 billion in medical research including $6.5 million to SIU, $6.4 million to St. Louis University and $30 million to Washington University. Link to Article

News in Higher Education

New York Times

Education: College freshmen stress levels high, survey finds

Freshmen are reporting record levels of stress in an annual survey involving more than 200,000 students. Link to Article See also Wall Street Journal, USA Today, MSNBC, Chronicle of Higher Education,

USA Today

Schools on alert in Tucson’s aftermath

Just as colleges nationwide ramped up efforts to make their campuses safer after the Virginia Tech tragedy in 2007, the link between Pima Community College and the Arizona shootings has prompted colleges to again review their practices. One recurring question: How and when to intervene? Link to Article

New York Times

Education: University endowments increase after losing ground in 2009

The value of university endowments increased an average of 11.9 percent for fiscal 2010, a study found. In the previous fiscal year, endowments were down an average of 18.7 percent. Link to Article

New York Times

The President as college counselor

In his State of the Union address, President Obama occasionally adopted the tone of national guidance counselor in advocating for high school and college students and their families. For example, he urged Congress “to make permanent” a college tuition tax credit that is currently worth up to $2,500 a year, or $10,000 for four years, per student. “It’s the right thing to do,” the president said. Link to Article

CBS MoneyWatch | College Solution Blog

10 most prestigious scholarships in America
While there are billions of dollars available through college scholarships, only a select few offer prestige along with the college bucks. Mark Kantrowitz, the publisher of FastWeb and the author of a new book, Secrets To Winning a Scholarship, has compiled a list of the most prestigious scholarships in the country. Link to Article

USA Today

Connecticut donor wants $3 million back after athletic director dispute

A major benefactor to the University of Connecticut wants the school to return $3 million in donations and remove his family name from its football complex because he says he was shut out of discussions about the selection of a new football coach. Link to Article See also Hartford Courant, Hartford Courant

Los Angeles Times

UCLA gets $100-million donation

Half of the gift from Meyer Luskin and his wife, Renee, will go to the School of Public Affairs to support teaching and research in public policy, urban planning and social welfare. The rest will go toward building an on-campus hotel and conference center. 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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