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Today's News: Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Research shows decrease in math and reading from students who are homeless or move frequently
In a study conducted by the University of Minnesota, the Minneapolis Public Schools, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Iowa, and Hong Kong Sue Yan University, researchers found that children who are homeless or move frequently have chronically lower math and reading skills than other low-income students who don’t move as much. The study looked at more than 26,000 students in Minneapolis Public Schools, a large, urban district, to examine whether homelessness and frequent moving over a six-year period are related to learning, beyond the risk of poverty.
Science Blog (blog)

Business and Politics

Marriage amendment opponents rally at U of M
Opponents of Minnesota’s constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage are pushing to get out the vote as the race enters its pivotal final week. Hundreds rallied for Minnesotans United for All Families at the U of M yesterday, including speakers Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, as well as Vikings punter Chris Kluwe. Minnesotans United hopes to reach a million voters in the next week, urging them to go to the polls.

People and Lifestyle

School of dentistry offers tips to dodge tooth-decaying for Halloween
Just in time for Halloween, Dr. Dan Shaw of the University of Minnesota’s Pediatric Dental Clinics explains the effect that eating candy has on teeth and offers some tips for reducing the tooth-decaying impacts of the annual October sugar-rush.
Minn Post
To Watch:
Yahoo! News

Commentary and Opinion

U’s director of distributed education discusses MOOCs
In an article published by Minnesota Public Radio, Bob Rubinyi, directory of distributed education, discusses with a reporter the pros and cons of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).

Professor comments on why research proving the negative side of smoking is in the news now
Four new studies offer powerful evidence of the dangers of smoking and the health benefits of quitting or not being exposed to secondhand smoke. Professor Rachel Huxley, of the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota, commented on why these publications are coming out now.

Expert at the U of M says the risk from stun guns is ‘extremely low’
University of Minnesota emergency medicine researcher Jeffrey Ho, who is also Taser International’s medical director, was at an Australasian stun gun conference today. At the conference, Ho said that the risk of a stun gun causing a cardiac arrest was extremely low, as his peer-reviewed research showed. The use of stun guns is raising questions in Australia after Brazilian student Robert Laudisio Curti, 21, died in March after police shot him with a stun gun when he was suspected of shoplifting.
The New Zealand Herald

Author of CIDRAP flu vaccine report says public health officials shouldn’t over sell flu vaccine
Michael Osterholm, senior author of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) flu vaccine report, believes public health officials need to be careful not to over sell flu vaccine. Osterholm added, “I fully support the vaccination of health-care workers. But we must be held to a standard of science that we expect anyone who opposes vaccination to also be held to.”
Calgary Herald

Updates and Events

Bill Clinton to speak on behalf of President Obama at U today
As Hurricane Sandy curtails campaigning by President Obama and Governor Romney, former President Bill Clinton spoke at a campaign event for the Democratic ticket held at the McNamara Alumni Center on the campus of the University of Minnesota this morning. A live feed was also available as state Democrats also urged voters to “get out and vote.”
Golden Valley Patch

U of M exploring more online course offerings
In the past year, some of the nation’s most prominent colleges and universities, like Stanford and Harvard Universities, have begun offering online courses in a way that could transform higher education. Online education isn’t new, but it could soon begin to replace the traditional classroom setting for many. Provost Karen Hanson says the University of Minnesota is exploring the courses’ potential, but has no immediate plans to create any.

U of M Raptor Center to conduct work in Galapagos Islands
University of Minnesota Raptor Center workers will be heading to the Galapagos Islands to help restore the Giant Tortoise population. The animal is currently listed as extinct in the wild by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Scientists are trying to destroy the invasive black rats that are endangering the tortoise by eating eggs and hatchlings. The trip will be recorded through a series of journal entries on the Raptor Center’s blog.

Two U of M veterinary medicine doctors author article on Mycoplasma pneumonia in swine
Maria Pieters, DVM, and Albert Rovira, DVM, both from the University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, authored an article in the National Hog Farmer on the Mycoplasma pneumonia (MHP) prevalence at weaning in swine at the farm level. With so much talk going on about the importance for management of MHP at the farm level, Pieters and Rovira saw it necessary to clear the confusion among farmers.
National Hog Farmer

University recreational center could open in 2015
After securing a $17 million grant, plans for a recreation center on the University of Minnesota’s West Bank are in the pre-design stage. The project has received support from administration and students, garnering a grant for the first of its two phases and a resolution in favor of the project from the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly. The U plans to build two buildings in what’s currently a parking lot on Riverside Avenue near the Regis Center for Art.
Minnesota Daily

U of M remains silent in affirmative action case
Though the U.S. Supreme Court isn’t expected to decide Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin until July, individuals and institutions across the U.S. have taken public stances to support affirmative action in the college admission process. Among these are 10 public research universities – including more than half of the Big Ten – which together filed an amicus brief in support of the University of Texas. Though the University of Minnesota uses affirmative action as a factor in admissions, it has not taken an official stance.
Minnesota Daily