News highlights for February 22, 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.

The New York Times

Books from Jefferson’s library turn up after more than a century

A literary detective story that began 18 months ago and was advanced through a chance reading of an 1880 edition of The Harvard Register has led researchers to a trove of books that were among the last ones collected and read byThomas Jefferson. “It strikes me as particularly appropriate these are in Missouri,” said Shirley K. Baker, Washington University’s vice chancellor for scholarly resources and dean of university libraries.” Jefferson bought this territory, and we in Missouri identify with him and honor him.” Link to Article See also St. Louis Post-Dispatch, St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Weatherbird), Washington Post, Miami Herald, Riverfront Times, The Guardian, Associated Press, Huffington Post, The Telegram (Canada), Seattle Times, St. Louis Public Radio (audio).

Related news release/video

 (St. Louis, MO)
Books owned by Thomas Jefferson found in Washington University’s collection

On the day we honor the presidents, it was fitting that Washington University announced on the Today Show that books belonging to Thomas Jefferson were discovered in the university’s collection. Books sitting untouched for 130 years. While researching Jefferson’s granddaughter, a writer learned that the books were donated to Washington University in 1880. The story was mentioned on dozens of newscasts nationwide, including TV-3 News (Harrisonburg, Va.), KMBC 9 News ( Kansas City, Mo.) and WPEC-TV (South Florida). Link to Broadcast

ABC News

Pro-ana websites to encourage eating disorders send mixed messages about anorexia, study finds

If ever there were an example that words could kill, a “pro-ana” or “pro-mia” Web site could be a contender. “Ana” stands for anorexia and just as the name implies, the “pro-ana” and “pro-mia” (for bulimia) websites encourage starving yourself and explain how to do it. Connie Diekman, director of university nutrition at Washington University in St. Louis, estimated that 1 to 3 percent of all women will become anorexic at some point in their lives and 2 to 8 percent of all women will become bulimic at some point in their lives. Link to Article

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Everything you wanted to know about a parasitic worm

Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have decoded the genome of the parasitic worm that causes trichinosis. Trichinosis is a common infection caused by eating undercooked meat that contains cysts of a roundworm called Trichinella spiralis. Researchers said the worm’s genome could provide potential targets for new medications to fight the illness, which infects about 11 million worldwide. “It takes less than two weeks for larvae to travel from the intestine to muscle where they live,” explained lead author of the new paper Makedonka Mitreva, an assistant professor of genetics at Washington University’s Genome Center. Link to Article See also Science Daily, Red Orbit, Genome Web, eScience News, Health Canal

Related news release/video


Leeches can transmit resistant bug, case study shows

A resistant Aeromonas infection transmitted by a medicinal leech developed in a man undergoing reconstructive surgery of the jaw, leading to total failure of the graft, investigators reported. The case points out the rare possibility of resistance of this organism, carried in the gut of leeches, to the two antibiotics usually used for prophylaxis. “Leech therapy is the most effective nonsurgical management of soft-tissue venous congestion,” explained Brian Nussenbaum, MD, of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Link to Article

McGill University

Rita Levi Montalcini to receive honorary degree at ceremony in Rome

McGill University will recognize the contributions of Rita Levi Montalcini by awarding her a Doctor of Science honorary degree on Feb. 23, 2011. An invitation to work at Washington University in St. Louis changed the course of her life. As a full professor from 1958 to 1977, she conducted fundamental research that led to the discovery of the Nerve Growth Factor, a breakthrough for which she was named co-recipient of the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1986. Link to Article

St. Louis Business Journal

Washington University endowment grows by $400M

Helped by an increase in gifts and rebounding financial markets, Washington University grew its endowment by $392 million last year, an increase of 9.6 percent. Construction, which Washington U. delayed after its endowment took a hit, has been resumed but at a slower pace, according to spokeswoman Jessica Daues. Washington University added to its endowment using reserve funds, and saw an increase in gifts to the endowment in the last year, said Kim Walker, chief investment officer. The endowment returned about 12.7 percent last year, but withdrawals for operating expenses reduced the fund’s total growth to 9.6 percent, she said. Link to Article

St. Louis American

‘Henrietta’s Ghost’: A dialogue on race, medical ethics at MoHist on March 1

“Henrietta’s Ghost” will explore the story of a poor black woman whose cells were used for medical research without her knowledge or permission. The discussion begins at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 1 at the Missouri History Museum in Forest Park. Sowandé Mustakeem, professor of African Studies at Washington University, will moderate the discussion which will include Iris A. Malone, a clinical trial analyst, and Dr. Ira Kodner, a medical ethicist at Washington University. Link to Article

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Talking about ‘Race in the Age of Obama’

Last fall, a Rasmussen poll showed that only 39 percent of whites and 13 percent of blacks thought race relations were getting better. That 13 percent, writes Gerald Early in the journal Daedalus, “seems especially remarkable given we now have an African American president — or more accurately, a president of American and African parentage whose ascent to the highest political office in the realm was meant to signal a remarkable coming of racial age in the United States, the proof of a new American exceptionalism.” Early and Washington University colleague Korina Jocson will be among the thinkers discussing “Race in the Age of Obama” at a public forum that starts at 1 p.m. Friday at Washington University. Link to Article

Saint Louis Beacon

Storm of controversy follows Luetkemeyer’s climate-change measure

Leading scientists are hoping to block an effort to stop federal funding of the Nobel Prize-winning international climate-change panel, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Christopher Field, IPCC-co-chair, spoke at Washington University last September. William R. Lowry, a political science professor at Washington University considers the IPCC to be a “pretty reliable source” for climate-change information. “Losing that would be problematic,” he said. “It’s one place we can get some honest data about climate change.” Link to Article

Saint Louis Beacon

Memo to college seniors: Seeking someone who will hire you? Look in the mirror

Given recent employment statistics, it comes as no surprise that some graduates have decided to become their own boss. Greg Faletto, a 2009 graduate of Washington University, has continued to build a tutoring business he started as an undergraduate. His business has been successful, but he’s not on easy street. (See accompanying story with Faletto, Take five: Greg Faletto gives a tutorial in entrepreneurship, on the risks and rewards of owning your own business.) Link to Article

News in Higher Education

USA Today

Economy shuffles top-value schools

Economic uncertainty in recent years is reflected in changes to The Princeton Review’s “100 Best Value Colleges,” published online today by USA TODAY. The fluctuation over three years in the list, which features 50 public and 50 private schools culled from about 700 surveyed, suggests that many colleges are struggling to stay affordable. Link to Article

Educators seek out more minorities to study abroad

Educators want more minority students to consider studying abroad. Foreign study is seen as crucial to student development and even key to national security, yet minority participation badly lags compared to their overall presence on college campuses. 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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