News highlights for February 9, 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 Hindustan Times – Patna Edition

How to turn bacteria against themselves

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have explained a mechanism by which bacteria protect themselves from their own toxins. Bacteria often attack with toxins designed to hijack or even kill host cells. But they also have ways to avoid self-destruction. The new study described one of these protective mechanisms, potentially paving the way for new classes of antibiotics that cause the bacteria’s toxins to turn on themselves. Read Full Text See also Science 2.0, Sify News, Health Canal, Daily Tech, Daily India, Le Scienze (Italy), Sciences et Aviner (France), Calcutta News, SciGuru
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R&D Magazine

New findings in India’s Bt cotton controversy: Good for the field, bad for the farm?

Crop yields from India’s first genetically modified crop may have been overemphasized, as modest rises in crop yields may come at the expense of sustainable farm management, says a new study by a Washington University in St. Louis anthropologist Glenn Stone. The study appears in the March issue of the journal World Development.
 Link to Article See also Sify News, GreenBio, NewsTrackIndia, Real Clear Science, Lab Spaces, Scientific Computing, Science Daily
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Bioscience Technology

Impact of FDA regulations restricting outdoor cigarette advertising near schools examined

When the FDA proposed new rules restricting outdoor tobacco advertising near schools and playgrounds in 2009, the tobacco industry argued that such rules would lead to a near complete ban on tobacco advertising in urban areas. A study led by Douglas A. Luke, PhD, Professor, Center for Tobacco Policy Research, Washington University, St. Louis shows that the effect of these rules would be less severe than the industry contends. Link to Article See also, Health Canal,, Science Daily, Science Centric, Missouri Tobacco Control, USA Today
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Brookings Institute

Brookings President Strobe Talbott ‘s address at Washington University


“While Brookings and WashU are both ‘going global’ in various ways, we’re still originally and essentially American institutions,” Brookings President Strobe Talbot said in a recent speech titled: The Angels of Our Nature: Restoring Unity of Purpose and Civility of Discourse in America — The Challenge to Think Tanks and Universities. Link to Article


Brain’s ‘radio stations’ have much to tell scientists

Like listeners adjusting a high-tech radio, scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have tuned in to precise frequencies of brain activity to unleash new insights into how the brain works. “Analysis of brain function normally focuses on where brain activity happens and when,” says Eric C. Leuthardt, MD. “What we’ve found is that the wavelength of the activity provides a third major branch of understanding brain physiology.” 
Link to Article See also SciCasts,, St. Louis Riverfront Times, Red Orbit, Health Canal, Argentina Star
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The Defenders Online | A Civil Rights Blog

Trying juveniles as adults in the ‘Show-Me’ state

Despite an unusual state law requiring judges to consider racial disparity when deciding whether to try juveniles as adults, Missouri prosecutes a disproportionate number of black youth accused of serious crimes in regular courts, where they can be sentenced to prison alongside hardened criminals. A free legal clinic at Washington University in St. Louis that defends lower-income juveniles has concluded one reason for “the high amount of disparity” is that Missouri does not require juvenile judges to hold a probable cause hearing before transferring a case. Nor do a dozen other states, including California and Maryland, and also Washington, D.C. Link to Article

Nature / Perspectives

A decade’s perspective on DNA sequencing technology


The sequencing of the human genome was in many ways a triumph for technology as much as it was for science. “The decade since the Human Genome Project ended has witnessed a remarkable sequencing technology explosion,” writes Elaine Mardis of the Genome Center at Washington University in St Louis. Link to Article

Glamour | Slaves to Fashion

Get inspired by Styleta: Meet the Harvard grad turning fashion into philanthropy

Yifan Zhang, a recent Harvard graduate with a keen mind for social enterprise, is turning that formula on its head with Styleta, a non-profit organization that turns old designer clothes into amazing new opportunities. The concept worked so well that it has already expanded beyond Boston, recruiting student leaders on the campuses of Indiana University, NYU, SUNY Binghamton and Washington University in St. Louis.Link to Article

St. Louis Beacon

Landfill opponents question Franklin County tests showing coal-ash site wouldn’t harm health


Local residents question tests showing trace metals from Ameren coal ash wouldn’t contaminate water enough to pose a health risk if placed in a proposed coal-waste landfill. Aided by Washington University’s Interdisciplinary Environmental Clinic, opponents cited a 2006 report that found testing procedures used at the site to be unreliable. Link to Article

News in Higher Education

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Missouri college savings plan to reduce fees for many investors


All investors in the do-it-yourself version of Missouri’s college savings plan should see sharp reduction in fees starting in June, state Treasurer Clint Zweifel announced Tuesday. The fee reduction was negotiated as part of the state’s new five-year deal with the investment firms that run the program, called Missouri Saving for Tuition, or MOST. Link to Article

New York Times

Illegal immigrant students worry after Dream Act loss

2/ 9/2011

Students who declared their illegal status in a campaign for legislation that failed to pass are now vulnerable. Link to Article

New York Times

Education: Teachers’ colleges upset by plan to grade them

2/ 9/2011

Deans push back as U.S. News & World Report prepares for new ratings. Link to Article

New York Times

After a false dawn, anxiety for illegal immigrant students

2/ 8/2011

Thousands of immigrant students who declared their illegal status during a nationwide campaign for a bill in Congress that would have put them on a path to legal residence. In December that bill, known as the Dream Act, passed the House, then failed in the Senate. That leaves students like her who might have benefited from the bill — an estimated 1.2 million nationwide — in a legal twilight. Link to Article

Chicago Tribune | Associated Press

Forget going to rock ‘n’ roll heaven, yesterday’s pop music stars head to college classrooms


They may fall off the pop charts, some might even lose the muse. But these days old rock stars need not worry about fading away, not when there’s a college classroom nearby. Around the country, everyone from punk rockers to doo-wop harmonizers are holding down teaching positions at big-name universities. Link to Article

Washington Post

Default rate for repayment of for-profit college loans hits 25 percent


Loan defaults are on the rise throughout higher education because of economic troubles. The three-year default rate for public colleges is now about 11 percent, up from about 10 percent in the previous report. The rate for private nonprofit colleges is about 8 percent, up from about 7 percent. About one-quarter of students who took out federal loans to attend for-profit colleges defaulted within three years of starting repayment, according to a new federal analysis. 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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