Washington University

(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Kyle Steckler)

Soon after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, letters laced with anthrax started appearing in the U.S. mail, killing five people and sickening 17 others.

The incidents triggered a surge in research dedicated to preventing future bioterrorism attacks.

St. Louis Public Radio’s Véronique LaCapra spoke with Washington University virologist David Wang about his research on emerging infectious diseases, and how his work is helping to combat bioterrorism.

(via Flickr/Dani Lurie)

Washington University's Center for Obesity Prevention and Policy Research and the Missouri Foundation for Health have launched a "first-of-its-kind" website with information on obesity-related policy for organizations across the state.

The site, named "Policy Lift" has a variety of different functions, as an announcement about the site describes:

(Image courtesy of the Environmental Protection Agency)

The Environmental Protection Agency is fining Washington University for failing to tell tenants about lead paint hazards in some of its married student housing units. The violation will cost the university close to $28,000.

The civil settlement involves three rental apartments northeast of Washington University’s Danforth campus.

The consent agreement says that between 2008 and 2010, the university failed to tell student tenants about previous citations for lead paint violations from the City of St. Louis Health Department.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Mo. state senators meet today to examine natural disasters

A special Senate committee that was created this summer is scheduled to meet today in the state Capitol building. So far in 2011, Missouri has been hit by a historic blizzard, powerful tornadoes in Joplin, St. Louis and Sedalia and heavy flooding along the Missouri and Mississippi rivers. The Senate committee was created to recommend ways the Legislature can help with local recovery efforts.

(Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio)

Washington University is now home to one of the largest zebrafish research facilities in the world.

The one-inch long, striped tropical fish serve as models for studying human development and disease, from birth defects to heart disease to cancer.

(Washington University School of Medicine/ Matthew J. Ellis)

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine have shown that estrogen-lowering drugs can help reduce the need for mastectomy in some breast cancer patients.

Estrogen is known to increase tumor growth in the majority of breast cancer patients.

In a new study, post-menopausal women with large breast cancer tumors were given one of three estrogen-lowering drugs before surgery.

Study lead Dr. Matthew Ellis says all three drugs were equally effective in shrinking tumors and reducing the need for complete breast removal.

(via Neurology ®)

Workers exposed to the metal manganese in welding fumes may be at increased risk of developing Parkinson’s-like symptoms, including loss of motor control and tremors.

That’s the finding of researchers at Washington University School of Medicine, who compared brain scans of apparently healthy welders to those of Parkinson’s patients.

(via Flickr/Pete Wright)

Former NPR contributor Juan Williams used an availability with reports before a Monday event at Washington University to repeat his claim that the network would better serve its journalistic values if it gave up government funding.

NPR may be selective in the voices it uses to tell stories, Williams said, often excluding those with a more conservative point of view. But with the voices it uses, it produces quality journalism.

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.