News highlights for February 24, 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.


MetLife Foundation announces major awards to scientists for research in Alzheimer’s disease

The MetLife Foundation is honoring two noted researchers for their work in brain imaging. Randy L. Buckner, PhD, professor of psychology and neuroscience at Harvard University, and Marcus E. Raichle, MD, professor of radiology and neurology at Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis, received the MetLife award for Medical Research in Alzheimer’s Disease. Buckner earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in psychology and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from WUSTL. Link to Article

The Washington Post

No matter what happens in NFL labor negotiations, the players pay the price

Risk of player concussions and disabilities has become a bargaining issue in NFL labor negotiations. Recently researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis released the results of interviews with 644 former players who played in the league between 1979 and 2006, who averaged 48 years in age. The survey found 93 percent of them suffered some level of pain, and 73 percent described that pain as moderate to severe. 
Link to Article

Science 2.0

Do you give serious science talks?

After attending a chemistry meeting, a blogger asks why academic presentations have to be so seriously dull? in a video, science comedian Brian Malow offers tips on adding humor to presentations, but some chemists argue that they shouldn’t have to tap dance for their audiences. In contrast, she mentions a presentation on neuroprosthetics by Daniel Moran of Washington University, “There it was: a great talk. It was entertaining, filled with videos, and replete with analogies, maybe not humorous, but very helpful, to explain the technique electrocorticography, abbreviated as ECoG,” she writes. “Pretty effective, if you ask me.” Link to Article

ars technica

National security driving a Helium-3 shortage, hurting physics

Scientists are concerned about a resource shortage with implications for national security, supercool physics and pulmonary research. Helium-3 had been readily available as a by-product of nuclear weapons maintenance, but reduction in nuclear stockpiles coupled with an increased demand for helium-3 in the production of nuclear detectors, has caused shortages. Sadly, unlike neutron detection, the non-security applications of 3He don’t have any replacements as Jason Woods of Washington University mentioned while discussig the impact of the shortage on both low-temperature physics and MRI work. When the supplies of 3He ran out, it essentially put a stop to new science in some areas of low-temperature physics. Link to Article


Bupropion improves sexual function in type 2 diabetes

Patients with type 2 diabetes who are treated with bupropion (BU) for major depressive disorder (MDD) show significant improvement in sexual function, according to a study published in the February issue of Diabetes Care. Gregory S. Sayuk, M.D., M.P.H., from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and colleagues analyzed the effect of BU treatment on sexual function in 90 patients with type 2 diabetes and MDD, over a period of 10 weeks. Link to Article


Reading the Yellow River

T.R. Kidder often says that a river is like a text. It leaves behind telltale layers of silt, carves channels when it runs quickly, and makes patterns in the sand when the water is low. If that is the case, he says, then China’s Yellow River is one hell of a read. Kidder, a geoarchaeologist at Washington University in St. Louis, is standing in a place where the river once flowed, at the bottom of a hole dug 30 feet into the layers of sediment it left over millennia. Link to Article

New Mexico Business Weekly

Roman chosen as engineering dean at UNM

The University of New Mexico has appointed Catalin Roman as its new dean for the School of Engineering. Roman has worked as a computer science professor at Washington University in St. Louis since 1976. He now chairs that university’s Department of Computer Science and directs the doctoral program. He was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in computer science. Link to Article

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Young man battles genetic heart disorder


Andrew Buddemeyer, 21, of Tampa, Fla., participates in a test at Washington University to measure how much an exercise program has improved his cardiovascular fitness. Buddemeyer has Barth syndrome, a genetic disorder. W. Todd Cade, assistant professor of physical therapy at Washington University, received a $40,000 grant to do the same test on three other young men with the condition as part of a pilot study. He hopes to get another grant to do a larger study with more participants and more weight training. Link to Article

Kirkwood-Webster Groves Patch

Webster senior excels on, off court

Erin Reynolds was captain of Webster High School’s girls’ varsity basketball team this year and is a top student as well. This summer, Reynolds will work at a Washington University lab. While in the lab there last year, she studied MRI images of the brains of babies born prematurely as part of a study aimed at developing medicines for premature babies. “It was so cool,” Reynolds said. “I got to go into the NICU and do some tests and see the babies.” Link to Article

St. Louis Beacon
Fools 4 luv
Love hurts. Take it from the rock band Nazareth. Or listen to Lysander, who opines in Act 1 of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “The course of true love never did run smooth [sic].” Shakespeare’s tale of passion and its pitfalls is being presented by Washington University’s Performing Arts department at the Edison Theatre Feb. 25 through March 6. The cast of 32 includes the four would-be lovers, a flock of forest fairies and a group of amateur actors putting on a play within the play. At a rehearsal this week, director Henry I. Schvey told the Beacon that while the story begins tragically, it quickly turns humorous, and has messages that resonate in today’s world. Link to Article / Online video

News in Higher Education

Wall Street Journal

What to do as colleges cut back on financial aid

Amid greater financial pressures, some colleges are scaling back their financial-aid packages to students in ways that are likely to give wealthier families an admissions edge. This Wall Street Journal article looks at the trend from the perspective of offering advice to prospective students. Link to Article

Washington Post

Opinion: We need 14 million more Hispanic college degrees

Frank Alvarez, president and CEO of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, considers the barriers facing Hispanic families and the need for increased college attainment. Link to Article

Baltimore Sun

Johns Hopkins under fire for using animals in medical training

A former state health secretary and a physicians’ group that supports animal rights are calling on the city prosecutor to investigate the Johns Hopkins University’s School of Medicine, claiming it illegally uses live animals to train surgeons. 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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