News highlights for March 1, 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

Well-oiled security apparatus in China stifles calls for change

Police react to calls for Middle East-style demonstrations by placing dozens of dissidents and campaigners under house arrest. Carl Minzner, an expert in Chinese law at Washington University in St. Louis, said many courts will coerce plaintiffs into settling lawsuits regardless of the facts or will simply obstruct them from filing lawsuits in the first place. He cited a “model judge” who was lionized for using mediation to resolve 3,100 cases without a single appeal or petition. See also MSNBC, Honolulu Star Advertiser, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Discovery News

Belly up to the biofuel bar


Recent research has examined the use of agave, the plant used in making tequila, to create energy. Breweries too are using production leftovers to serve up alternative fuel, and not just to fuel a night of debauchery. Beyond the biodiversity, the researchers also found a set of certain bacteria that seemed tougher than the rest. Researchers at Cornell along with colleagues at Washington University and the University of Colorado at Boulder analyzed over 400,000 ribose nucleic acid (RNA) sequences of the critters in the brewery waste sludge. Link to Article

Bloomberg Businessweek

Few MBA applicants submitting GRE scores

It’s been widely reported that more top business schools are accepting the GRE exam in place of the GMAT for admission into their full-time MBA programs, but among eight business schools accepting the GRE, only four percent of applicants actually submitted the test. Washington University’s Olin Business School received the highest percentage of GRE scores, accounting for seven percent of the total applications submitted. Link to Article

Science News

Memories can’t wait

Preliminary results from recent Alzheimer’s studies suggest that A-beta plaques appear years before brainpower declines. This potentially long lag time between the start of the disease and debilitating symptoms fits with clinical observations, says neurologist Randall Bateman of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. “Clinical symptoms are only seen when the neurons are dead,” he says. “We know that people aren’t symptomatic until they lose 60 to 70 percent of the neurons in key brain regions.” Link to Article

An online community for tweens


Juliette Brindak began sketching to entertain her sister as a tween. Now the Washington University senior is CEO of a website dedicated to entertaining and educating 8-to-14-year-old girls. Every evening, Brindak writes a to-do list of gargantuan proportions. It includes classes for her double-major in anthropology and public health at Washington University in St. Louis, homework assignments and social time. It also includes meetings with investors, calls with employees and moderating tween discussion boards. Link to Article

Columbia Daily Tribune

MU receives second-place rank for dorms


The University of Missouri has the second best slate of residential halls in the country, according to a new review from — a website that explores everything from college admissions to the latest fashion trends on campus. The site has created the Dormy Awards, ranking the best and worst residential halls in the country. Also on that list, Washington University ranked No. 10 and Truman State landed at 14. KU ranked sixth. Link to Article

St. Louis Business Journal

Wash. U. researchers get $3.8M in grants


A total of 11 Washington University research teams will split $3.8 million in new grants from the Children’s Discovery Institute. The Children’s Discovery Institute encourages collaborations among scientists at Washington University School of Medicine, the university’s Danforth Campus and St. Louis Children’s Hospital, and has awarded nearly $23 million in scientific grants since its launch in 2006. Link to Article

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Saturday event promotes science, technology careers


A program to interest youths and adults in careers in science and technology will occur 2 p.m. Saturday at the lower level of Creve Coeur city hall, 300 North New Ballas Road. People can visit booths about science and technology, higher education, job opportunities, internships and scholarships. Science and Citizens Organized for Purpose and Exploration, which includes such organizations as Boeing, Washington University and St. Louis Community College, is sponsoring the event. Link to Article

Jewish Chronicle

Rambam has the cure


Dr. Fuad Fares has a huge secret. The Israeli scientist has been looking into the potency of ancient herbal treatments, and has discovered what he believes is a new family of antioxidants.

“Just used as an extract, it seems to be effective,” says Fares, who besides hunting for the next plant-based drug, is also a director of Modigene, a company he created while doing post-doctoral work at Washington University. Link to Article

Clayton Richmond Heights Patch

Clayton to examine 2010 census figures following population discrepancy in 2000

A discrepancy in census data makes Clayton’s population appear to have risen over a 10-year period when in fact it has remained stable, according to a city news release issued Friday. Clayton successfully challenged the 12,825 population figure from 2000 census because it didn’t include 2,000 students living in dormitories on Washington University’s South 40 Campus. Link to Article

News in Higher Education

The California Report

Court to decide on ownership of university patents


Stanford University faces off against the pharmaceutical company Roche this week before the U.S. Supreme Court. The case addresses the question of who owns the rights to university research funded by the federal government. Link to Article

Deseret News

Pulling the plug — A perfect storm is brewing that could change higher education

With budgets being slashed across the nation, a higher push for students to go to college and enrollment numbers climbing, this has created a perfect storm that many say will change the way public higher education is funded forever. Link to Article

Wall Street Journal

College cries foul over a copycat

The website of a fictitious school called the University of Redwood features a faculty directory and photographs of a campus — most of which in fact belong to Reed College in Portland. Officials at Reed suspect the site is part of a scam to collect application fees from prospective students in Asia and are struggling to stop the fraud. 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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