Some autism behaviors linked to altered gene

Scientists have identified a genetic mutation that may underlie common behaviors seen in some people with autism, such as difficulty communicating and resistance to change. The mutation disrupts levels of serotonin, a chemical messenger produced by a limited number of neurons (red) in the brain.

Will Pres. Obama stay connected with his YouTube generation supporters?

Olin Business School professor Jackson Nickerson says, “ChangeCasting” is the best way for presidents and CEOs to build trust, create understanding and enact change with all of their constituents and employees. Nickerson’s ChangeCasting is a new web-based approach to communication that allows executives to lead and accelerate change within their organizations. It opens up a two-way street between the corner office and employees at every level of a company.

After a toy recall, a company must over-communicate to correct sometimes conflicting public perceptions

After what seems like a never-ending cycle of firms recalling their products, Congress jumped into the ring with an oversight hearing to determine what is going on. But the complexity of sending an effective message to assure the public the products are safe is made all the more difficult when an executive speaks to a congressional committee. The verdict is out on the credibility of Mattel’s message.
When college kids come home for the winter break, stress and tension can mount

When college kids come home for the winter break, stress and tension can mount

Students may come home exhausted from the stress of final exams.When college students return home for their winter break, it can be an adjustment for the entire family. While parents may have preconceived ideas about how the family will spend the holidays, students are anxious to try out their newfound independence. “The winter break is the first extended time at home for most freshmen since they left for college in the summer,” says Karen Levin Coburn, associate vice chancellor for students and dean of the freshman transition at Washington University in St. Louis. “The first semester at college may have been their first glimpse of freedom. They wonder if it is possible to go home and still maintain their newfound independence.” More…

Cell phones on college campuses make ‘letting go’ a challenge

Photo by David Kilper / WUSTL PhotoMore than half of college students now own a cell phone, according to the authors of *Letting Go*.The author of a book offering advice to parents sending a child off to college says that the ubiquitous cell phone makes it easier for parents and students to keep in touch, but it also offers a challenge to the “letting-go” process. Karen Levin Coburn, assistant vice chancellor for students and associate dean for the freshman transition at Washington University in St. Louis, is co-author of Letting Go: A Parents’ Guide to Understanding the College Years, which provides a comprehensive, down-to-earth guide for parents experiencing the varying emotions of parenting a college student. The book, now in its newly released fourth edition, has sold more than 300,000 copies since first being released in 1988. “When we wrote our 1997 edition, very few people used cell phones. They just weren’t an issue,” Coburn says. “Now the majority of students have a cell phone and they’ve made a huge difference, pro and con, in the communication patterns between parents and students.”