News highlights for March 2, 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.

Exercise cuts bowel cancer risk


Regular exercise reduces the risk of developing polyps, which can lead to bowel cancer, according to a study led by Kathleen Wolin of the Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis. The study shows a clear link between exercise and a reduced risk of bowel cancer but it is not yet clear exactly why that link exists. “There are a number of likely pathways, but we don’t know exactly,” Wolin says. 
See also Daily Mail (UK), Times of India, The Independent (UK), The News Mail (Australia), Agence France Presse, Singapore Straits Times, United Arab Emirates 24/7, Ghana News Now 

Related news release

The Wall Street Journal

Turn off the ringing sound

While many sufferers are told there is no cure for their tinnitus, treatment options are proliferating. And brain-imaging studies are shedding new light on how some peoples’ brains are wired with unusual connections to the auditory cortex that governs hearing. “We have always wondered why some people find tinnitus so distressing. Now we can see it,” says Jay Piccirillo, an otolaryngologist at Washington University in St. Louis who is studying a new treatment for tinnitus that targets magnetic pulses at patients’ brains to redirect abnormal connections. Link to Article


Investigation questions WUSTL use of stimulus funds for research

President Obama sold the $800 billion stimulus plan as a way to create jobs, so why would we spend $18 billion on academic research that creates few jobs? Washington University received $152 million in stimulus funds and has spent $74 million to create 115 jobs and retain 242 jobs, which amounts to a cost of about $207,000 per job. In a statement, Washington University said the stimulus funding has a significant impact on the St. Louis region and that it may lead to new ways to diagnose, treat or even prevent cancer. The stimulus also creates jobs for businesses off campus, but Wash U doesn’t get credit for producing that work. Link to Broadcast

The Scientist

Sequence Analysis 101: A newbie’s guide to crunching next-generation sequencing data

Next-generation DNA sequencing is all the rage. The rule of thumb in the genomics community is that every dollar spent on sequencing hardware must be matched by a comparable investment in informatics. Whole-human-genome–sequencing projects, including the raw sequences, alignments, and variant calls, can run into the hundreds of gigabytes per sample, says David Dooling, assistant director of informatics at the Genome Center at Washington University in St. Louis. 

Link to Article

MSN Canada

5 new rules for a healthy heart

Science has produced some nearly surefire strategies for not only treating a stricken ticker but also avoiding heart trouble. Among new health rules: Banish the blues. Stress can kill, but so can depression. After studying twins with genetic predispositions for depression and heart disease, researchers at Washington University in St. Louis concluded that depression — past or present — raises a man’s risk of heart disease more than genetic or environmental factors do. Link to Article

Publishing Archaeology

Pascal Boyer asks, “Why is most cultural anthropology largely irrelevant?”

Science, erudition and salient connections are the three “modes of thought” that characterize modern anthropology, argues WUSTL anthropologist Pascal Boyer in a paper suggesting most cultural anthropology is largely irrelevant. The paper is the written version of a “highly entertaining” talk Boyer gave a year or two ago at a session on integrating the sciences and the humanities at the University of British Columbia. Link to Article

The Planetary Society

Mars Exploration Rovers update: Efforts to recover Spirit expand, opportunity wraps at Santa Maria

The Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission is embarking on its 86th month on the Red Planet. The Opportunity rover is on the move, but the Spirit rover remains largely unresponsive. “It’s very business-like and we’re just continuing to look at how best to listen and get signals out,” said the team’s stoic Swede, Ray Arvidson, deputy principal investigator for rover science, of Washington University St. Louis. Link to Article

The Questionmark Blog

Professor Roddy Roediger on applying the retrieval practice effect to creating and administering assessments

In the first part of this interview, blogger John Kleeman asked WUSTL psychology professor Roddy Roediger to explain how quizzes and tests give retrieval practice that helps you learn. In part two of this series, Roediger moves on to giving some practical advice on how to use this effectively when creating and administering assessments. Link to Article

Daily Californian

Students petition to stop bottled water sales

UC Berkeley senior Rose Whitson wanted to end the sale of bottled water on campus. But getting the petition on the ballot may prove harder than expected. Over the past few years, colleges across the

nation — including Washington University in St. Louis and Seattle

University — have increasingly placed restrictions on bottled water in an effort to reduce the plastic waste generated on campuses and lessen the environmental impact of plastic water bottle production. Link to Article

Saint Louis Beacon

From school to work to school again: the changing face of graduate education

To accommodate a higher population of working-adult students of all ages, many universities are offering new programs. The MBA program at Wash U recently created platforms, or areas of study aligning with particular career purposes. The average age of an MBA student at Washington University is 27. Most students work about four years full-time before entering the MBA program. Evan Bouffides, assistant dean of the MBA program, said increases in MBA applications may be due in part to the economy. Link to Article

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Whistle-blowing doctor getting award from the FBI

Steven J. Bander, a doctor who helped the U.S. attorney’s office win a $350 million fraud settlement is being recognized with a national award for his “courage and integrity as a whistle-blower” and his subsequent work promoting ethical business practices. Bander, who received $56 million for his contributions to the whistleblower case, put 22 percent of his net gain into a foundation to fund work in business and medical ethics, including donations supporting programs at both St. Louis University and Washington University. Link to Article

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
After over 30 years as president of the Loop Special Business District, Joe Edwards passes the torch

Joe Edwards, urban visionary, businessman and creative force behind rebirth of the Delmar Loop near Washington University, has passed the torch of leadership to a newly elected chair of the Loop Special Business District. Edwards helped transform The Loop into one of the most vibrant restaurant, shopping, arts & entertainment districts in the United States. He received an honorary degree (Doctor of Laws) from Washington University in 2004. 
Link to Article

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Clayton foundation raising money to highlight the city’s centennial

Gearing up for the city’s centennial in 2013, the Clayton Century Foundation has announced plans to raise $20 million from private sources to invest in the city. A gift from Brown Shoe Co. will finance a much-expanded recreational and fitness trail in Shaw Park. Two other gifts — from Washington University and the Smith Moore and Co. brokerage — will pay for publishing a Clayton Centennial history book. Link to Article

News in Higher Education

New York Times

More college graduates take public service jobs
In 2009, as job hunts became tough after the economic crisis, more young college graduates took public service jobs. And a Labor Department survey shows that the share of educated young people in these jobs continued to rise last year. Link to Article

USA Today

Our view: Guns on campus could harm more than protect
Could the answer to the problem of campus shootings be … more guns? That’s what legislators in Texas and several other states are arguing as they push ill-conceived laws to allow concealed handguns on public college campuses, even if college officials are adamantly opposed. Link to Article See also USA Today, Huffington Post

ABC News

Tyler Clementi’s suicide prompts Rutgers to offer gender neutral housing

In reaction to the suicide of a gay student earlier this year, Rutgers University has decided to let students choose the gender of their dorm mates, giving male and female students the option of living together. 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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