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Washington University

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.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 21, 2010 - When Luis Zayas hears of a professor he thinks would be a good candidate to join him on the Washington University faculty, he begins planning his serenade.

Wipe those images of a strumming guitar and a fair maiden on a balcony out of your mind. This serenade is one of the many efforts the university is making to try to improve a less-than-satisfactory record of diversity on campus.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 19, 2010 - In late August last year, a healthy number of St. Louisans who’d not put eyes to Publius Ovidius Naso’s “Metamorphoses” since college, if ever, came to the Pulitzer Foundation in Grand Center to participate in a marathon reading of this glorious poetic account of the doings of the gods and mortals of classical antiquity. The experience had special reverberations, bringing as it did an added dimension to the foundation’s show of old master paintings and drawings. These pictures were arranged in small groups, the better to establish thematic relationships, both obvious and subtle, between the various individual works of art on show.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 11, 2010 - The first anniversary of the $787 billion federal stimulus program, in mid-February, set off lots of arguments, pro and con, about its worth. But among officials at the area's major universities, there has been no debate about the value of the program. They all say the funding has made a big difference in starting up or continuing important research that benefits everyone.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 2, 2010 - The excitement was palpable when four Washington University faculty members got together to explain just why it is so important to go back to the moon and gather new rocks to analyze.

"The moon is like a storage locker of early solar system history," explained Paul Carpenter, director of the microprobe laboratory in earth sciences. "The youngest rock on the moon is older than almost all the rocks on Earth."

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 28, 2009 - U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-St. Louis, says he has asked the federal Justice Department  "to conduct a swift inquiry into an alleged incident of racial discrimination against six Washington University students at a Chicago restaurant/nightclub last week."

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 27, 2009 - Alexandria Lee and Lizzy Burns, two sophomores at Saint Louis University, took part in a conference for college students over the weekend that got them thinking about how to generate interest -– both on and off campus -– in programs planned by their chapter of Student United Way.

One session at the second annual United Way Worldwide Student United Way Leadership Retreat, held in St. Louis, dealt with just that issue -– how to use guerilla marketing and other media techniques to create buzz around an event.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 17, 2009 - Twentieth century art and design are enjoying well-deserved re-appreciation and critical re-examinations nowadays, and this rekindling of serious interest in work from such a dynamic period in our recent history is gratifying.

The 20th century was, after all, a period of cataclysmic change, characterized both by dizzying innovation and unspeakable horror. In the course of its spooling out, manifestations of all sorts of radical, transformative thinking about design, building, painting, sculpture, music, architecture -- what have you -- gained universal currency and popularity.

'Nanobees' deal death sting to cancer in mice

Sep 1, 2009

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 1, 2009 - Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have designed a new way to kill cancer cells with a toxin found in bee venom.

The fact that the toxin, melittin, can kill cancer cells is no surprise. As an anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial peptide that bees use to defend the hive, melittin has evolved to kill everything. The breakthrough is in the delivery system, said Samuel Wickline, head of the Siteman Center of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence at Washington University.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 7, 2009 - President Barack Obama has appointed Barbara Schaal, distinguished professor of biology at Washington University in St. Louis, to the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. An expert in plant evolutionary biology, she is concerned with conserving earth's delicate ecosystems, improving the world's agricultural crops, and mentoring students here and abroad.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 4, 2009 - A second surgeon at the Washington University School of Medicine is the target of inquiries from Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, over his financial arrangements with the manufacturer of medical equipment.

The latest questions came in a letter from Grassley, the ranking GOP member on the Senate Finance Committee, about payments to Dr. Daniel Riew from the company Medtronic Inc. The letter was sent by Grassley to Washington U. Chancellor Mark Wrighton on May 21.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 16, 2009 - Dawn Gray, 19, estimates that she will owe about $30,000 in student loans by the time she completes her bachelor's degree in international relations at Webster University.

Gray, a junior from Belleville, says she is not overly concerned about her financial obligation at this time, but she will be "thoroughly in debt" when she graduates.

Washington University scientists explore the bottom of the world

Apr 16, 2009

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 16, 2009 - The concept of summer camp carries a different connotation for Washington University professor Douglas Wiens.

To be sure, Wiens slept in a bunk bed - a rickety one at that. And he spent his days exploring a mountain range, though with instruments instead of on foot. The temperatures were relatively balmy, too, if you consider 20 degrees below zero (Fahrenheit) comfortable.

An early early decision

Apr 8, 2009

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 9, 2009 - Like clockwork, articles will roll in this spring about how the economy is affecting college enrollment decisions. Expect plenty of interviews with admissions officers and financial aid directors plus maybe a few quotes from students talking about how they decided to pass on the pricey college and head to State School U.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: November 19, 2008 - Washington University Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton warned students and faculty to expect a "significant reduction" in spending during the next fiscal year due to deteriorating economic conditions. The expected spending cuts will affect capital projects, staff positions, and pay raises, he said.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 7, 2008 - The assault on the corporate independence of Anheuser-Busch calls to mind the shifting winds of power and influence in the metropolitan area and its possible connection to articulating a future vision and mission for St. Louis.

The era in which August Busch partnered with downtown bankers and other corporate moguls to organize Civic Progress as the priority setter and weathervane for St. Louis appears to be waning. In addition to the absence of home-owned big banks, the corporate stage is less local and more national or even global. Thus the erstwhile focus on the local community among the large corporate chiefs is far less intense.

These tiny books are less than one inch.
Provided by Washington University

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Most people are well aware that size has nothing to do with worth. Treasure can be made up of small, but precious objects. For all too many St. Louisans, it will take a bit of a treasure hunt to find a marvelous new exhibit that shows off tiny masterpieces.