News highlights for February 28, 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.  

Irish Times (UK)
Biblio detective work restores Jefferson legacy
Thomas Jefferson is acknowledged to have been the US’s most bibliophile president. Washington University in St. Louis has just discovered it owns 74 volumes that belonged to Jefferson, many of them with his notations. So his retirement library has been virtually reconstructed, 182 years after it was dispersed. Link to Article See also Detroit Free Press

The Bahamas Weekly
The NAGB announces the return of its director
The Director of the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas, Dr. Erica James, has returned from a year-long Post Doctoral Teaching Fellowship in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Washington University in St. Louis. While there, Dr. James taught two courses and two seminars focusing on Caribbean, African and African-American art. She also presented public lectures as part of Washington University’s Chancellor’s Graduate Fellowship Symposium. Link to Article

Yahoo News
Obamacare and the Constitution
Much of the debate surrounding the Affordable Health Care Law, known by its opponents as Obamacare, centers around its constitutionality. According to Constitutional law expert Greg Margarian, a law professor at Washington University in St. Louis, “If the Supreme Court strikes down the health care bill, it will be a deeply political decision. … I think we need to acknowledge the political essence of the challenge if we’re going to have an honest discussion of it.” Link to Article
Related news release

The Epoch Times
Bacteria’s self-defense mechanism might work against it
Bacteria infect host cells, often using toxins, and shield themselves with inbuilt protective mechanisms. In a study published in the journal Structure, researchers from Washington University looked at the common bacteria Streptococcus pyogenes to determine the structures of its toxin and antitoxin. The antitoxin deactivates the toxin by binding to it. “That’s the Achilles’ heel that we would like to exploit,” said Dr. Thomas Ellenberger, head of the university’s Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics. “A drug that would stabilize the inactive form of the immunity factor would liberate the toxin in the bacteria.” Link to Article

Daily Kos

Green Diary Rescue returns

Students stand up to the National Coal Council: This week in St. Louis a group of students from Washington University helped stop a meeting of the National Coal Council. The protest, organized by the university chapter of Green Action, combined acts of civil disobedience with engagement of passersby and succeeded in getting the meeting canceled. Link to Article

Two drugs protect hearing better than one

Whether on a battlefield, in a factory or at a rock concert, noise-induced hearing loss is one of the most common hazards people face. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified a low-dose, two-drug cocktail that reduces hearing loss in mice that are exposed to loud noise. “We found the they have synergy,” says Jianxin Bao, PhD, research associate professor of otolaryngology at the School of Medicine. “Two drugs at lower dosages can block more signaling pathways than one alone, improving results while reducing side effects. We got the idea from cancer and HIV studies that use multiple drugs at lower dosages.” Link to Article

Los Angeles Times

Public, private workers unite over showdown in Wisconsin
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal to curtail the collective bargaining rights of public employees has ignited solidarity between private-sector union workers and public union members. The statehouse fights have become important for labor because public-sector union members outnumbered their counterparts in private industries for the first time in 2009. “If public-sector unions lose strength, the labor movement as a whole will lose power,” said Marion Crain, a labor law expert at Washington University in St. Louis.

Link to Article See also Pioneer Press (Minneapolis. MN), KRCW (Portland, OR)

Related News Release

WYPR (Baltimore, MD)

Bargaining rights for home care workers?

Collective bargaining rights are currently being debated in Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio – and also, in Maryland. There’s a bill before the legislature that would grant collective bargaining rights to home health care workers who contract with the state. The host speaks about the bill with Peggie Smith, a professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis, who’s studied the acquisition of collective bargaining rights for domestic workers. Link to Broadcast

Herald Times Review (Manitowac WI)
For some lawmakers, House office is home
Although various House representatives have bunked in their offices over the past few decades, the practice has drawn new scrutiny from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics (CREW), which has asked the Office of Congressional Ethics to investigate whether the members are violating any rules. Kathleen Clarke, a professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis, says an ethics investigation may not be the best way to handle CREW’s complaints. “It seems to me the way to address it is administratively, by setting some guidelines,” Clarke said. “But I don’t think an ethics investigation of individual members of Congress and their sleeping habits would be the optimal way to address this problem.” Link to Article

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Hospitals leery of reporting serious errors

Hospital errors kill more people every year than car crashes, diabetes or pneumonia, according to federal government estimates. But Missouri hospitals don’t want people to know when and where these mistakes happen — and no law requires them to tell. Andrew Rehfeld, a political scientist at Washington University, said transparency wasn’t always necessary as long as regulators had the information to do their job. “What I do want to know is that someone in government has access to that information and can regulate and hold them to account,” he said. “There is too much secrecy protection if they are not revealing these actions (to regulators) and they happen on a regular basis.” Link to Article

St. Louis Business Journal

Student Life

As economic development gurus ponder what it takes to lure new businesses, create startups and woo talent to St. Louis, it may be time to go back to school. To Washington University, specifically, where the editors of Student Life, the campus newspaper, have made a case for postgraduates to stay in the river city. Link to Article

KTVI-TV (St. Louis, MO)

Washington University womens’ basketball coach honored

What a surprise for Washington University womens’ basketball coach Nancy Fahey last night, receiving honors for her five national championships. Link to Broadcast

Riverfront Times
Ken Botnick: “The Book, Multimedia Tool”
With the advent of the e-book, publishing and book trades are experiencing a sea change. Ken Botnick, an art professor at Washington University, maintains that at a time when the physical book is allegedly dying out, there are, in fact, more courses on the art of the book offered at universities than ever before. Botnick gave a free lecture, “The Book, Multimedia Tool,” on Feb. 28 in the J.C. Penney Conference Center at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Link to Article

News in Higher Education

New York Times
Lawmakers debate effect of weapons on campus
About a dozen legislatures nationwide, concerned about the potential for campus shootings, are considering arming their academies. Gun control advocates say Texas is probably the most likely to pass such a measure, with Arizona also in the mix. Link to Article

Boston Globe

College actions in sexual assault case scrutinized

Federal education officials are touting a tougher approach to colleges and universities that fail to adequately punish perpetrators of campus sexual assaults. 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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