News highlights for January 31, 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.


Pain is as much a part of pro football as football helmets. That’s according to a groundbreaking study commissioned by ESPN’s “Outside The Lines” and the National Institute on Drug Abuse and conducted by at the Washington University School of Medicine. Researchers surveyed 644 former NFL players about their health, pain levels, and for the first time in a scientific study, their use and misuse of prescription painkillers. More than half of NFL players surveyed said they used painkillers during their playing days, and 71 percent of those using painkillers admitted misusing the drugs. Link to Broadcast See also United Press International, Bloomberg/Business Week, TIME

FOX News Channel

Red Eye (2/2)

Describing Washington University in St. Louis as a “university being mean” where apparently they do not teach geography, the Fox Red Eye panel debates recently terminated plans to bring Bristol Palin to speak on abstinence. Some panelists supported the decision, suggesting that Palin’s fee was too steep; others said the cancellation was less about money and more about ideology — they don’t like what she’s saying, so they decided to stifle debate. Asking why it is that only liberals want to stop debate, the host suggests the Palin controversy is part of a “wave of hate” coming from people who “live to be outraged.” Link to Broadcast See also MSNBC, ABC Good Morning America.

Associated Press
Obama tries can-do slogan for Part 2 of term, but details TBD for how he’ll ‘win the future’

President Obama unveiled his “Winning the Future” mantra in his State of the Union address, and now the upbeat but amorphous phrase is part of every speech, policy and pronouncement coming out of the administration. It’s also emerged as a fat target for his Republican critics. “It won’t resonate with everyone,” says Professor Wayne Fields, a Washington University expert on presidential rhetoric, “but it has pretty powerful implications in political life. Something has to be done is the view of most people. What this suggests is that he’s at least going to act.”
See also Atlanta Journal Constitution, The Huffington Post. Orlando Sentinel, Daily Kos .

The Scientist

Do Fruit Flies Dream of Electric Bananas?


One might think that our brains doze off and switch to a resting state when we let our minds wander, but research using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to visualize brain activity has shown the reverse: brains are particularly active during these mind-wandering episodes. One of the key brain networks active during the resting state is aptly termed the default-mode network (DMN). The discoverer of the DMN, Marcus Raichle at Washington University in St. Louis, portrays the brain as an active organ, constantly producing spontaneous activity which is only modulated by incoming stimuli. Link to Article

The Scientist



Cell motility—the movement of cells and their internal parts—is crucial to biology, often a matter of life or death. Researchers have made recent strides towards determining how fast motors move with or without cargo, and what happens to the movement in a natural cell environment or in complex in vitro setups, including work, for example, by Washington University biologist Ram Dixit on microtubules growing off fluorescently labeled seeds. Dixit and colleagues devised a technique for the study of end-binding proteins—those that sometimes associate with motor proteins—at single-molecule resolution

Link to Article

Genome Web / In Sequence

Wash U Researchers Embark on Sequencing Project of 450 Childhood Leukemia Samples


Under several grants totaling more than $3.2 million, researchers at Washington University in St. Louis are using the Illumina HiSeq to perform pooled targeted sequencing of DNA from 450 children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Led by Todd Druley, assistant professor of pediatrics and genetics at Wash U’s Center for Genome Sciences and Systems Biology, the team is sequencing both germline and tumor DNA from children enrolled in high-risk ALL trials nationwide, with the goal of finding rare variants that increase a child’s risk for developing the disease, act as driver mutations, and affect tumorigenesis. Link to Article

The Nation

Remembering Dagmar Wilson


In 1961, Dagmar Wilson was so afraid of radioactive fallout from atmospheric nuclear testing endangering her children’s health that she founded Women Strike for Peace, a movement dedicated to the elimination of nuclear testing. She and others responded when Barry Commoner, who was then a scientist at Washington University in St Louis, called for baby teeth to be tested for the presence of Strontium 90. Link to Article

AMLA News Spain
Murcia | Archaeology

Professor Michael Walker has declared an archaeological site in Murcia on the Costa Calida as one of the most important in Europe and Asia. Professor Walker made this declaration at the site in Torre Pacheco in Murcia. Alongside him was a renowned specialist in Neanderthal bones, Professor Erik Trinkhaus of Washington University. He says that he is particularly interested in the joint bones of the Neanderthals found in the pit on the Cabezo Gordo mountain. Link to Article

Sexing Up and Dumbing Down of Work Force

“The Great American Makeover: “The Sexing Up and Dumbing Down of Women’s Work,” is the subject of ongoing research on the sexualization and commodification of female service workers by University at Buffalo Law Professor Dianne Avery. Her next study draws on a previous article, “Branded: Corporate Image, Sexual Stereotyping and the New Face of Capitalism,” which she co-authored with Marion Crain, Wiley B. Rutledge Professor of Law at Washington University in St. Louis. Link to Article

Foster teens get help to put off parenthood

Social workers nationwide have long fretted about rampant pregnancies among teens in foster care or those who have recently aged out of the system. Eight years ago, Curtis McMillen, then a professor of social work at Washington University, set out to find just how bad the problem was in the state. His 2005 study found 53 percent of teens in foster care had been pregnant or had a baby by age 19. Missouri is working to address the problem, a movement triggered in part by staff at Washington University School of Medicine’s teen outreach medical clinic, The SPOT. Link to Article

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Two Washington University students waiting to leave Egypt


Two students from Washington University were at an airport in Cairo, Egypt, late Sunday waiting for a flight to Athens, Greece, to escape the violent protests that have erupted in Egypt, said a university official. The undergraduate students, who were not identified, had been studying in Egypt. They were safe, and flights out of Egypt were leaving regularly to European cities, said Mark Beirn, the associate director for overseas programs at Washington University.

Link to Article See also previous article in St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Clayton-Richmond Heights Patch

Heart Technology Continues to Advance, Washington University Expert Says – Clayton-Richmond Heights, MO Patch

Medical innovations such as the artificial heart have enabled doctors to extend patients’ lives, and ongoing technological advancements hold great promise. “What a lot of the devices we have are going toward are wireless controllers, inter-connectivity and transcutaneous power so that devices that can really support the heart can be planted, set and forgot,” said Dr. Scott Silvestry, director for the university’s heart transplant and mechanical circulatory support program. Link to Article

News in Higher Education

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

UM board approves 5.5 percent tuition increase


A college degree from the University of Missouri will get a little more expensive after system leaders approved a proposal Friday that could raise tuition rates 5.5 percent. It was not, however, an easy decision by the Board of Curators, with three of eight members voting against the increase, citing fears they were asking for too much. Within hours of the vote, Gov. Jay Nixon issued a statement criticizing the tuition hike on exactly those grounds.

Link to Article

Boulder Daily Camera

Despite new technologies, CU-Boulder students crave personal advising


While the University of Colorado’s budget crunch has halted expansion of traditional academic advising, demand for specialty programs continues to grow on the Boulder campus as students seek more individual help toward completing their degrees and finding post-graduate employment. A push to inform students about advising services on campus and an increasingly competitive attitude among students to get ahead in a struggling economy have contributed to students’ growing interest in advising.

Link to Article

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

Leave a Comment

Comments and respectful dialogue are encouraged, but content will be moderated. Please, no personal attacks, obscenity or profanity, selling of commercial products, or endorsements of political candidates or positions. We reserve the right to remove any inappropriate comments. We also cannot address individual medical concerns or provide medical advice in this forum.