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Today's News: Thursday, April 19, 2012


Attention tunes the mind's ear
The brain’s power to focus can make a single voice seem like the only sound in a room full of chatter, a new study shows. The results help explain how people can pick out a speaker from a jumbled stream of incoming sounds…“I think this is a truly outstanding study, which has deep implications for the way we think about the auditory brain,” says auditory neuroscientist Christophe Micheyl of the University of Minnesota, who was not involved in the new research.
Science News

On campus beat: Penguin census captures big count
A new census from space shows that Antarctica is home to twice as many emperor penguins than the scientific world previously thought. The new 595,000-bird count was coauthored by researchers from the University of Minnesota Polar Geospatial Center.
Star Tribune

Good Question: What Good Do Ticks Do?
The warm spring has meant an early visit from Minnesota’s blood-sucking, disease-carrying insect: the tick…“I would say we could probably come up with some things,” said University of Minnesota Extension entomologist Jeff Hahn.
To watch:

Dr. Jon Hallberg: New ideas on migraine research
About 10 percent of people suffer from migraine headaches at some time in their life, according to the Migraine Research Foundation. But women are more than three-times more likely to suffer from migraines than men. MPR's medical analyst Dr. Jon Hallberg discussed the mysterious world of migraines with Tom Crann of All Things Considered on Wednesday. Hallberg is a physician in family medicine at the University of Minnesota and medical director of the Mill City Clinic.
Minnesota Public Radio
To listen:

Business and Politics

Pulitzer Prize picture highlights ethics debate
It is a picture of pure horror that is difficult to look at…ournalists have long debated the use of graphic and violent images which can offend readers and sometimes inflict more trauma on victims and their families, says Jane Kirtley, director of the Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics and Law at the University of Minnesota.
Sun Daily

U technology to help in green energy generation project
The University of Minnesota says it has licensed a technology to a South Dakota startup that plans to inject carbon dioxide deep underground to tap thermal energy and generate electricity.
Pioneer Press

People and Lifestyle

Guthrie's 2012 lineup starts diversity debate
The Guthrie on Monday announced 11 plays for its two main stages next season. Within minutes, social media lit up with protest…"It caught my attention," said Lisa Channer, artistic director of Theatre Novi Most and a professor of directing at the University of Minnesota.
Star Tribune

UMD Student Athletes want you to quit Texting and Driving
Student athletes at the University of Minnesota Duluth are stepping up to prevent distracted driving in the Northland. UMD athletes have joined forces with members of the Minnesota state patrol and Duluth Police to emphasize to dangerous of texting and driving.
Northland NewsCenter

When it's tough to be first
Parents, teachers and the media have hammered home the message for decades: To succeed in life, you need an education…Students often find themselves torn. Rashne, an assistant professor in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota, says that these students are forced to negotiate with multiple worlds.
Chicago Tribune

'Everyone needs an Anna DeGraff in their life'
That's what Grammy-winner librettist Herschel Garfein says, and here she is, consulting with University of Minnesota school of music assistant conductor Christopher Owen during a recent rehearsal for "Parables" in a very fine photo snapped last week by my MPR colleague Jeff Thompson. You can hear about the U's production tonight in my story on MPR's All Things Considered.
Minnesota Public Radio

Commentary and Opinion

Stop blaming teachers
As someone who attended the Minneapolis public schools for 13 years, who teaches for them now, and who is a proud parent of two MPS students, it truly saddens me that Lynnell Mickelsen's latest article brings more negative attention not only to the profession of teaching but to the schools…The fact is the Twin Cities area's 30,000 charter-school students score 7.5 percentage points lower on math testing and 4.4 percent lower on reading tests than do students at traditional public schools, according to a report from the University of Minnesota Law School's Institute on Race and Poverty.
Star Tribune

Why Chimpanzees Kill
Chimpanzees are mostly peaceable creatures, spending much of their time foraging for food and grooming each other. But occasionally they kill their own kind…Michael Wilson of the University of Minnesota and his colleagues amassed data on chimps in 17 communities at 10 sites in west, central and east Africa whose members had long been observed by researchers.
Scientific American

Updates and Events

Central Minnesota 2035
Residents of five counties in central Minnesota are trying to determine what they want their region to look like two decades from now – what industries might thrive, what the lakes might be like, how transportation, housing and land use policies might change…The Region 5 Development Commission is spearheading the project, officially known as the Central Minnesota Sustainable Development Plan, and the University of Minnesota and the Initiative Foundation have been heavily involved.
Minnesota Public Radio

The reviews are in for UofM/Latte Da's 'Spring Awakening'
Rave reviews abound for "Spring Awakening," a high-energy musical that pairs Theater Latte Da's direction with U of MN students and Carl Fink's choreography.
Minnesota Public Radio

2012 Schubert Club Student Scholarship Winners
Each year, the Schubert Club awards over $50,000 in awards and scholarship money to student musicians…Five scholarship winners recorded their winning performances in MPR's Maud Moon Weyerhauser Studio and are featured on the air on Classical MPR this week.
Minnesota Public Radio

2 Road Closures Impact U of M Area
Those driving around the University of Minnesota the next few weeks will notice two road closures that will significantly impact the campus.

Expo focuses on green living
You can pet a yak, get a massage, sample locally produced food, recycle your old computer and bring home a bucket of compost. St. Cloud’s second annual Sustainability Expo is aiming to provide something for everyone interested in learning about ways to make their lives a little greener…Other speakers include David Abazs, a sustainable farmer and senior fellow in agriculture at University of Minnesota-Duluth, who will talk about growing renewable energy and food.
St. Cloud Times

News Releases and Multimedia

Deaf rapper Signmark to perform at the U May 2-3

Environmentalist Paul Hawken to keynote University of Minnesota Solutions Summit 2012

Jane Smiley to headline Friends of the U of M Libraries annual dinner

University of Minnesota startup offers game-changing energy solutions that reduce CO2 emissions

U of M experts available to discuss Earth Day and ways to live a greener lifestyle