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Washington University

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

A new national report says more should be done to promote the safe use of chemicals at universities.

Washington University Provost Holden Thorp chaired the committee that wrote the National Research Council report.

He said the group sought to take lessons learned from safety incidents in fields such as health care, aviation and manufacturing, and apply them to academic chemistry research.

(provided by Carla Pearson Alexander)

Updated June 25th with vote results

The Preservation Board voted unanimously Monday to approve the city landmark designation. It still requires action by the Board of Aldermen.

Our original story

The St. Louis Preservation Board will vote tonight on whether to make the site of a north St. Louis grocery store a city landmark.

Bradley Schlaggar

  

Most people have heard about the undesirable side effects that chemotherapy has on the body of people suffering from cancer. There's balding, fatigue and loss of appetite, to name a few.

Until recently, however, chemotherapy’s effects on the brain weren’t widely recognized. The cognitive side effects – a  fuzzy memory and poor attention span – were usually dismissed by physicians, scientists and even some cancer patients.

The symptoms have a name: Post-chemotherapy cognitive impairment, or “chemobrain,” among those who suffer from it.

Rabiul Hasan, International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research

New research out of Washington University could help explain why malnourished children suffer long-term health effects, even after medical treatment.

As young children develop, the community of bacteria and other microbes in their intestines develops with them. In healthy children, the community reaches maturity about the time a child turns two years old.

Washington University microbiologist Jeff Gordon calls those tens of trillions of intestinal microbes “an organ within an organ,” because of the key role they play in helping people digest food and absorb its nutrients.

via Flckr/Caleb Cherry

In an era where high-stakes tests have increased concern over test anxiety and introduced debate over the merits of teaching to the test, it may seem odd to promote a teaching method called “test-enhanced learning.”

But according to research conducted by psychologists at Washington University in St. Louis, the best way to improve learning may be taking more tests, not fewer. The researchers studying memory have found that incorporating quizzes and self-tests into the learning process increase the amount of material students are able to remember long-term.

Washington University archives

Mention “ROTC” and “Washington University” to people of a certain age, and images immediately arise of Quonset huts blazing away in the dead of night, at the height of protests over the war in Vietnam.

In the wake of the 1970 fires, the ability of Washington University students to earn academic credit for ROTC courses also went up in smoke.

(Washington University Students Against Peabody)

Seven students at Washington University in St. Louis were arrested Friday after attempting to enter an administration building on the Danforth campus where a board of trustees meeting was being held. The students were among a group of 100 protestors rallying against the school’s connection to Peabody Energy.

Caroline Burney, a Washington University senior, said the protestors were trying to deliver a letter of resignation to Peabody's chief executive officer Greg Boyce, who is also a university trustee.

Washington University Student Protest Continues

Apr 13, 2014
UPI.

Monday marks the seventh day that a group of students at Washington University has conducted a sit-in on campus to protest the school’s relationship with Peabody Energy.

The coal company’s president and CEO, Greg Boyce, sits on the university’s board of trustees. Peabody and other companies help fund research at the college’s Consortium for Clean Coal Utilization.

Student Jamal Sadrud-Din says Peabody’s activities harm both the environment and vulnerable communities.

Students protest environmental issues at Washington University's Brookings Arch in 2014.
Jason Rosenbaum/St. Louis Public Radio

Nicholas Curry's sleeping arrangement has changed a bit over the last couple of days.

Curry, a junior at Washington University, has been camping out in a tent near Brookings Hall. It's part of a "sit-in" to get Washington University to cut ties with Peabody Energy, a large coal company that's headquartered in St. Louis. 

"I slept out here with my dog Max," Curry said. "So, we spent the night here last night, and we'll be here tonight."

Washington University's Brookings Hall
Washington University | Flickr

After failing to make the grade with professors at Washington University, Semester Online is going offline for good.

The consortium was designed to let students at Washington U. and other schools in the group — universities such as Emory, Northwestern and Notre Dame — take online courses in areas that their home school does not offer. It began this school year, and the universities and Semester Online’s parent company, 2U, had high hopes that it could be a pioneer for online learning.

Washington University's Brookings Hall
Washington University | Flickr

Depending on who is telling the story, Washington University dropped its sociology department in 1991 because it was filled with radical thinkers or because it was not strong enough academically.

Or maybe it was a little of both.

Either way, the university announced this week that it will be bringing the department back, with some classes in the field possibly offered as early as this fall.

Daylight Saving Time: More Trouble Than It's Worth?

Mar 9, 2014
(via Flickr/the Italian voice)

If you’re feeling tired due to the daylight savings shift, you’re not alone. One researcher at Washington University says the time change may cause more problems than it solves.

Erik Herzog studies the biological clocks of mammals. He says several studies have shown that daylight saving is hard on us humans, especially the “spring ahead.” Effects like sleep deprivation result in increased traffic accidents for three days after the time change.

Herzog says the effect in the fall is the opposite – there are fewer traffic accidents – but that effect lasts only one day.

Jane Ades, NHGRI

Originally published on Wednesday, February 26, 2014. Updated to include audio from St. Louis on the Air.

Provost Holden Thorp
Washington University

Seated in his office on the second floor of Brookings Hall on the eastern edge of the Washington University campus, Provost Holden Thorp has a pretty good metaphor for what his job entails compared with that of university Chancellor Mark Wrighton.

“You can see the chancellor’s office is across the hall,” Thorp said in a recent interview. “His office faces the park and the Arch and downtown. My office is on this side and faces out to the old quad.

(Via Flickr/InspiredHomeFitness)

Obesity has increased dramatically in the United States over the past several decades.

In Missouri, almost two-thirds of adults ― and more than a quarter of children and teens ― are either overweight or obese.

(via Wikimedia Commons/Blausen Medical)

Research led by Washington University confirms that medication and lifestyle changes are safer and more effective at preventing certain strokes than surgery.

Most strokes are caused by a reduction in blood flow to the brain ― usually from a blocked artery in the heart or neck. In about a tenth of cases, a narrowed brain artery is to blame.

The professor and students can see each other, participate in chat and see course materials at the same time.
Screenshot from promotional video

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Bill Lowry considers himself to be a “pretty low-tech guy – no iPhone, no apps, any of that stuff” – so he thought it was pretty ironic that he is teaching the first class at Washington University’s entry into the growing field of internet education.

Dubbed Semester Online, the program joins Washington U. with other schools, including Emory, Northwestern and Notre Dame, for online instruction that is less open, less massive than the so-called MOOCs – massive online open courses -- that have been popping up all over in recent years.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Lots of teachers tell students to stay away from Wikipedia. At Washington University, Joan Strassmann has her students write articles for it.

Her undergraduate course in behavioral ecology is an officially designated Wikipedia course, where students learn not only about subjects like social insects but also about how to translate their scientific knowledge into terms the Wikipedia-using public can understand.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Collaboration and cooperation are common buzzwords on campus these days, but Washington University and the University of Missouri at St. Louis engineered their own special partnership back in 1993.

That’s when they began a program in which aspiring engineers could take their basic science and math courses at UMSL, then get their upper-level engineering training at Washington U.

(via Flickr/NWABR)

A multi-disciplinary study released today finds that in relation to school dropout rates, health plays a bigger role than one might think.

The study is part of ‘For The Sake of All,’ a five part series from Washington University and Saint Louis University that focuses on the health of African Americans in the St. Louis region.

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