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Today's News [Weekend Edition]: Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Administration

U of M eyes greater funding for repairs
As Minnesota's public universities [including the U of M] appeal to state legislators for facilities money, they are stressing the least splashy part of their wish lists: funds for repairs and maintenance. Those funds -- known as Higher Education Asset Preservation and Renewal, or HEAPR -- make up the bulk of the University of Minnesota's and the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system's capital requests. But, some U regents said earlier this month, the university needs to do a better job of selling legislators on its request.
Pioneer Press
http://www.twincities.com/localnews/ci_22251077/university-minnesota-eyes-greater-funding-repairs

UMR embraces double helix as its brand symbol
One of biology's most universally recognized structures — the twisting corkscrew of the DNA strand — is at the heart of a new branding campaign that the University of Minnesota-Rochester plans to roll out over the next six months.
Post Bulletin
http://www.postbulletin.com/news/stories/display.php?id=1518960

Research

Study: Global crop production shows some signs of stagnating
After decades of rapidly growing global agricultural output, production of four of the world’s most important crops could be stagnating or even slowing in some regions, according to a new study published in Nature, a top scientific journal. The study, by the University of Minnesota’s Deepak Ray and four others, examined millions of census reports from the last half century to gather their data.
Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2012/12/24/is-production-of-key-global-crops-stagnating/

Lab gets upgrade help to fight Asian carp
The University of Minnesota lab charged with finding ways to fight Asian carp and other invasive species is about to get a makeover. The Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species center needs better plumbing, a new well, and controls to ensure no organisms can escape.
MPR
http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2012/12/24/environment/asian-carp-lab-renovation/

Add environmental benefits to conservation equation
If you factor in less-obvious benefits of conservation, such as fewer chemicals in the water and better wildlife habitat, it's economically feasible to have more conservation programs, a study [by U of M researchers] has found. But the study authors said it's not clear who would pay landowners who change their operations for better conservation.
Post Bulletin
http://www.postbulletin.com/news/stories/display.php?id=1518866

Business and Politics

MCTC, U forge science tie
A new partnership recently announced will allow MCTC biotechnology students with a 3.5 grade point average or higher to enroll at the U's College of Biological Sciences, one of its most prestigious schools.
Star Tribune
http://www.startribune.com/business/184720931.html?refer=y
Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal
http://www.bizjournals.com/twincities/morning_roundup/2012/12/u-of-m-mctc-partner-on-biotech.html

MN political expert: Gay marriage bill probably won't pass
Defeat of the proposed Constitutional Amendment banning gay marriage might not signal easy sailing for legislation to legalize gay marriage in Minnesota. That's the opinion, at least, of one political expert - University of Minnesota [professor and] political analyst, Larry Jacobs.
KSTP-TV
To Watch: http://kstp.com/news/stories/S2876535.shtml?cat=1

People and Lifestyle

Yes, Virginia, Minnesota really is nice
Researchers not only have proven that Minnesota Nice exists, they've quantified it. ...In rankings of states and metropolitan areas, Minnesota and the Twin Cities fare extremely well in a survey of nearly 82,000 Americans about everything from their involvement in the PTA to how often they do favors for their neighbors. The results of the study, "Civic Life in America: Key Findings on the Civic Health of the Nation," didn't surprise Mark Snyder, a psychology professor at the University of Minnesota and director of its Center for the Study of the Individual and Society.
Star Tribune
http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/184723611.html?refer=y

Is it better to give or to receive?
University of Minnesota economist Dr. Joel Waldfogel, a professor in the Carlson School of Management and author of “Scroogenomics: Why you shouldn’t buy presents for the holidays," helps answer this age-old question.
WCCO-TV
To Watch: http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2012/12/24/good-question-is-it-better-to-give-or-to-receive/

Lottery tickets fill need as last-minute stocking stuffer
Ken Winters, Medical School psychiatry professor said lottery ticket gifts don't produce a spike in gambling abuse.
Star Tribune
http://www.startribune.com/business/184513251.html

Psychology of overeating
A soundbite from an interview with Dr. Allen Levine, Dean of the U of M's College of Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resources is used in this story on why human beings often over-eat during the holidays.
KFDA-TV
To Watch: http://www.newschannel10.com/story/20423693/psychology-of-overeating

No sugar plums here: The dark, romantic roots of 'The Nutcracker'
Retired University of Minnesota German professor Jack Zipes discusses the life and work of E.T.A Hoffmann, the original author of 'The Nutcracker.'
NPR
http://www.npr.org/2012/12/25/167732828/no-sugar-plums-here-the-dark-romantic-roots-of-the-nutcracker

Commentary and Opinion

What you may not know about bed rails
Dr. Steven Miles, Center for Bioethics, addresses the problem with bedrails.
Public News Service
To Listen: http://www.publicnewsservice.org/index.php?/content/article/29840-1

Updates and Events

Dental therapists aim to fill dental-care gap
Minnesota leads in using mid-level providers such as dental therapists to reach more people in need. Megan Meyer, one of the first U of M School of Dentistry's Dental Therapy program grads in 2011, and Karl Self, School of Dentistry, share.
USA Today
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2012/12/21/dental-therapists-minnesota/1731979/

Minnesota is missing its moose
The state's iconic population has been mysteriously declining for years — some point to climate change, parasites and predators — and efforts are being made to get them back. ..."It's not a worry they are going to disappear yet. It's more, 'Let's do what we can to get them back,'" said Ron Moen, a wildlife biologist with the University of Minnesota, Duluth.
Los Angeles Times
http://articles.latimes.com/2012/dec/22/nation/la-na-moose-minnesota-20121223

News Releases and Multimedia

Combatting holiday stress
Catherine Solheim, family social science expert, shares tips for a relaxing holiday season.
Health Talk
To Watch: http://www.health.umn.edu/healthtalk/2012/12/21/combating-holiday-stress/