Washington University

Washington University in St. Louis, named for the first American president, announced this President’s Day, the discovery of a tie to another president.

The university recently learned that its libraries have a collection of books originally owned by Thomas Jefferson.

The 28 titles, including 74 volumes, were donated to Washington University in 1880, with no mention of their provenance.

  • Former U.S. Senator Jim Talent has announced that he will not challenge Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill in 2012. Instead he plans to continue his private-sector work on national security policies and hopes to aid former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney if he decides to run for president. Talent's decision opens the way for several other Republicans to throw their hat in the ring. Former Missouri Treasurer Sarah Steelman has already announced that she will run.

An international team of researchers has sequenced the genomes of two species of orangutan.

Lead researcher Devin Locke of the Genome Center at Washington University said a primary motivation for studying the genes of orangutans is their close evolutionary relationship to humans.

“The lessons you learn from studying these species can be applied to understanding of our own evolution and the evolution of the human population as well,” Locke said.

(via Flickr/kennedy22)

Steven Powell wants to change the way health care providers charge for their product.

Powell, a factory worker, filed suit Friday challenging a billing practice known as balance billing.

From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

This year produced promising medical advances in the battle against Alzheimer's disease. First came word that scientists had come up with a new test for making more precise diagnoses of the disease. That news was followed this month by the announcement of a discovery of a relationship between an abnormal level of a plaque-forming substance in the brain and Alzheimer's.

Both developments are said to be important to long-term efforts to diagnose and treat Alzheimer's with new drugs even before the disease's symptoms become apparent in patients.

New 2010 U.S. Census figures will be released tomorrow.  And that could be bad news for the St. Louis region.

Curran | Flickr

Ventilation systems failed to remove nicotine from smoke-filled air in restaurants and bars in the area, according to a study released Wednesday by Washington University researchers.

University representatives used the results of the study on Wednesday to argue that ventilation systems are ineffective at removing nicotine, putting customers and workers at risk for health problems that include cancer and cardiovascular disease. And they cited the research as the first objective study in St. Louis lending support to comprehensive smoking ban legislation.

Although as a kid it was anathema to proclaim my delight in the first day of school, I was thrilled when Labor Day finally rolled around. It meant summer vacation was finally over.

A federal judge's ruling striking down the Obama administration's policy on embryonic stem cell research could result in an immediate halt for now in this kind of medical work in Missouri and nationally, according to some local and national proponents of the research.

That view was reinforced late yesterday by news that the National Institutes of Health has imposed a nationwide freeze on grants in the pipeline. That decision could affect research underway at both Washington University and the University of Missouri at Columbia.