The University of Iowa
University News Services
Archives Services Contact Us A-Z Search

UI in the News

February 2008

See UI in the New Archive Index

UI studied chicken genes (Mother Earth News, February/March 2008)
Java chickens were once among the most popular farm birds, but the pressures of industrial agriculture pushed them near extinction. Now a genetic study by the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA has confirmed that a small contemporary flock is descended from the stock of the last-known commercial supplier, offering hope that the breed can be reestablished.

Berg discusses Iowa Electronic Markets (BusinessWeek, undated)
The University of Iowa's JOYCE BERG, director of the Iowa Electronic Markets, discusses how business schools are using the tool for research and teaching.

UI studies Blissful Ignorance Effect (Media Post Publications, Feb. 29)
Researchers at the University of Iowa recently announced new research suggesting that people who have only a little information about a product are happier with that product than people who have more information. They dubbed this counterintuitive notion the Blissful Ignorance Effect. DHANANJAY NAYAKANKUPPAM, a UI marketing professor, said: "We found that once people commit to buying or consuming something, there's a kind of wishful thinking that happens and they want to like what they've bought. The less you know about a product, the easier it is to engage in wishful thinking. But the more information you have, the harder it is to kid yourself." Variations of this story are running widely.

'VOOM Portraits' is reviewed (Chronicle, Feb. 29)
The exhibition of Robert Wilson's "VOOM Portraits" at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA MUSEUM OF ART is reviewed.

UI contributed to cancer research (, Feb. 28)
A protein that stimulates blood vessel growth worsens ovarian cancer, but its production can be stifled by a tiny bit of RNA wrapped in a fatty nanoparticle, according to new research. The researchers analyzed tumors from 102 patients diagnosed and treated between 1988 and 2006 at the University of Texas and the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA.

UI partners in blood-safety research (, Feb. 28)
Radio frequency identification technology, or RFID, has inspired many novel applications of late, including efforts to study magazine reader patterns, access restricted areas, locate stolen vehicles and track luggage at major airports. The UNIVERSITY OF IOWA will be a partner in a new investigation of the use of this technology to ensure the safety of the blood supply. is a portal for news about health and medical research and is based in the United Kingdom.

Foerstner discusses Van Allen bio (Astronomy, Feb. 28)
In this podcast author Abigail Foerstner discusses her book "James Van Allen: The First Eight Billion Miles" from the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA PRESS.

Barkan: Kenyan political settlement shows promise (Voice of America, Feb. 28)
The United States has welcomed the power-sharing agreement between Kenya's leaders, calling it an "important and positive step" toward ending the country's political crisis. JOEL BARKAN, senior associate in the Africa program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, says that both sides made key concessions to secure Thursday's power-sharing deal. Barkan, University of Iowa political science professor emeritus, credits Kenyan civil society, the Kenyan press for recent editorials, and the business community, which was losing an estimated 500 million dollars a week in commerce, for bringing pressure to conclude a power-sharing deal. VOICE OF AMERICA, based in Washington, D.C., is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. government that broadcasts news worldwide.

UI study cited in sidebar on water quality story (Science Daily, Feb. 28)
A UNIVERISITY OF IOWA study that looked at cancer incidence among nearly 22,000 Iowa women was cited in a sidebar to an article about the nitrate levels in Central Illinois in the 2008 Journal of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Education. Kenneth Smiciklas, associate professor of agronomy, Illinois State University, along with a team of colleagues, presented the article. According to Smiciklas, "Drinking water contaminated with nitrate concentrations exceeding the maximum contaminant level established by the USEPA can cause health effects in humans and animals."

Kuwana helps author article on new drug class (Red Orbit, Feb. 28)
A new compound that blocks an early step in cell death could lead to a novel class of drugs for treating heart attacks and stroke. When cells are deprived of oxygen -- during a heart attack, for example -- they start to die through a tidy process called apoptosis or programmed cell death. Early in apoptosis, the mitochondria -- complex structures that supply energy to the cell -- divide into pieces, holes appear in their membranes, and proteins such as cytochrome c leak out. These events trigger other processes, ending in cell death. "Mitochondria divide like crazy during apoptosis," said Jodi Nunnari, professor of molecular and cellular biology at U.C. Davis and senior author on the paper. Nunnari's lab has been studying the fundamental processes of mitochondrial division for several years. TOMOMI KUWANA from the University of Iowa is one of the other authors of the paper. RedOrbit, headquartered in Texas, reports on news about space, science, health, and technology.

Workshop alum is state's first poet laureate (St. Paul Pioneer Press, Feb. 28)
Robert Bly, who studied at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA WRITERS' WORKSHOP, was named Minnesota's first official poet laureate. He is the author of 19 poetry collections, seven anthologies, 13 translations and seven works of nonfiction. He won the National Book Award for "The Light Around the Body" (1967), and his book "Iron John" was a best-seller.

Breder founded art school's intermedia program (New York Sun, Feb. 28)
A story about the exhibition "Converge: Works by Ana Mendieta and Hans Breder, 1970-1980" notes that Breder started the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA'S highly respected intermedia program and that Mendieta entered the program in 1972, finishing her M.F.A. in 1977. Intermedia was a revolutionary program. Breder brought in the period's most groundbreaking artists and writers to participate: Vito Acconci, Mary Beth Edelson, Hans Haacke, Lucy Lippard, and Robert Wilson, among others, all of whom were innovating in the artistic realms of body and performance art.

Baldus: death penalty case 'unusual and important' (Hartford Courant, Feb. 28)
In what some capital punishment experts are calling a landmark decision, a state Superior Court judge ruled Wednesday that seven death row inmates can pursue their claim that Connecticut's death penalty is racially and geographically biased. It appears that only one other state court -- New Jersey -- has agreed to hear such claims in the past 20 years, experts said. "Connecticut is not closing its eyes to this claim as most state courts have done," said DAVID BALDUS, a professor at the University of Iowa College of Law who has studied bias in the death penalty in four states and in the city of Philadelphia. "So that's why this is an unusual case. Unusual and important.",0,7990906.story

Blumberg comments on animal-rights violence (Chronicle, Feb. 27)
Some people have claimed that animal-rights violence is driving students from research. MARK S. BLUMBERG, a psychology professor at the University of Iowa, has personally seen the opposite effect. In 2004 extremists broke into a research facility where he works and destroyed experiments and equipment. After that, he said, "I didn't have a single student who ever said, 'Oh my god, what am I doing in this business?' In fact, it was the opposite. It emboldened them."

Company licenses patent from UI Research Foundation (Forbes, Feb. 27)
Napo Pharmaceuticals Inc said it has licensed a patent from the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA Research Foundation to treat secretory diarrhea. The non-exclusive, royalty free patent licenses the use of Sulfonylureas and other potassium channel regulators to treat secretory diarrhea.

UI built walkway to remember shooting victims (WQAD, Feb. 27)
A story about the governor of Illinois wanting to tear down the site of the Northern Illinois University shootings notes that two buildings where five victims were shot at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA still stand. The UI decided to remember the victims not by tearing down the buildings, but by creating the T. Anne Cleary walkway. WQAD is based in Moline, Ill.

Jones comments on voting machines (Cleveland Free Times, Feb. 27)
The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections has sent $20 million worth of Diebold touch-screen voting machines off for indefinite storage, and is now scrambling to replace them with an optical scan system, an electronic voting system that requires voters to fill in ovals on paper ballots that are fed into scanners. DOUG JONES, a University of Iowa computer science professor, comments on the machines. The FREE TIMES is a weekly news and entertainment publication in Ohio.

Protein studied in ovarian cancer treatment (Cambodian Times, Feb. 27)
A bit of RNA wrapped in a fatty nano-particle can shut down production of a protein that worsens ovarian cancer, a new study led by an Indian American has found. "The protein interleukin-8 (IL-8) is a potential therapeutic target in ovarian cancer," said Anil Sood of the M.D. Anderson Cancer Centre and co-author of the study. To examine IL-8's role, Sood and his colleagues analyzed tumors from 102 patients diagnosed and treated between 1988 and 2006 at MDACC and the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA. Of those, 43 had tumors with high levels of IL-8, 59 had low levels. The median survival of the first group was 1.62 years, compared with 3.79 years for those with low concentration of the protein. The article also appeared in YAHOO! INDIA, INNOVATIONS REPORT, and several other publications.

UI has recently armed campus police (Chronicle, Feb. 26)
Not only are college campuses safer than they used to be but they also have less crime than the country at large does, according to a report released last week by the U.S. Department of Justice. More campus agencies are now armed than the report's three-year-old data indicate. In the past year several institutions, including the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA and Worcester State College, have opted to arm their officers.

Nixon comments on beet juice de-icer (National Public Radio, Feb. 26)
In Ohio, sugar beet juice is being used for melting snow and ice in combination with other de-icers. Experts insist that liquid de-icing is the future. WILFRID NIXON, a University of Iowa civil engineering professor who has studied snow and ice removal methods for 20 years, says it's the best approach out there now. "What it gives you operationally is something that is valued by the operators and by the agencies that have to keep the roads clear. There's persistence on the road. There's reduction of corrosion. These are real benefits. And because of that, I expect we're going to see more and more usage of it."

Iowa Electronic Markets traders prefer Obama (Reuters, Feb. 26)
Traders on the IOWA ELECTRONIC MARKETS, a real-money exchange run by professors at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA, gave Barack Obama an 80.4 percent chance of winning the Democratic presidential nomination, compared to 18 percent for Hillary Clinton, trading data showed. Prediction exchanges give traders an opportunity to buy and sell contracts on the likelihood of future events. The story also appeared in DEEPIKA GLOBAL in India.

UI collaborates in balance disorder study (Bangor Daily News, Feb. 26)
Researchers say a genetic defect that causes a severe immune deficiency in humans may also be to blame for certain balance disorders. Research scientist David Bergstrom of the Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor said Monday that the findings, based on mouse studies at the Jackson Laboratory, the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA and East Carolina University, could guide future diagnosis and treatment of disorders related to balance and dizziness in humans. The newspaper is published in Maine.

UI researchers help develop music assessment test (ABC News, Feb. 26)
In a story about a new test that measures music perception in cochlear-implant users, it's noted that most people with normal hearing can tell the difference between pitches that are 1.1 semitones apart. (A semitone is the smallest pitch interval in Western music.) But a 2002 study at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA found that most implant users can only distinguish pitches when they are at least 7.6 semitones apart. Jay Rubinstein, an otolaryngologist and cochlear-implant researcher at the University of Washington, and team of researchers at the University of Iowa and the University of Washington have developed a computerized test called the Clinical Assessment of Music Perception, which strips down music to three basic components -- pitch, timbre, and melody -- and systematically assesses how well users perceive each.

Lin-Dyken: "Big kid" bed is a big thing (Pittsburgh Tribune Review, Feb. 26)
The transition from a crib to a bed is becoming a milestone in a child's life. "Getting a 'big boy bed' or 'big girl bed' . . . I think it's a big thing," says Dr. DEBORAH LIN-DYKEN. She is a clinical associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Iowa's Children's Hospital in Iowa City, and a pediatric sleep disorders specialist. "It's like a developmental milestone for families."

Redlawsk comments on GOP support of Obama (South Coast Today, Feb. 26)
The 2008 campaign has produced Obamacans (members of the GOP who support Democratic candidate Barack Obama), a surprising development. "Even in this day and age, partisanship carries a lot of weight," said DAVID REDLAWSK, a University of Iowa political scientist whose polling last summer picked up early signs of Obama's Republican appeal. South Coast Today is published in New Bedford, Mass.

UI studied medical complications (Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Feb. 26)
A recent UNIVERSITY OF IOWA study of tens of thousands of Medicare patients found that complication rates (bleeding, infections or death) are 40 percent lower for hip and knee surgeries at specialty hospitals than at big community hospitals.

Story cites UI hypnosis study (Detroit Free Press, Feb. 26)
A story about hypnosis as a form of therapy notes that researchers at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA used functional MRIs to show that hypnosis alters brain activity in a way that relieves pain. The brain scans showed that different areas of the brain "lit up" when pain was inflicted on the patients who were under hypnosis, resulting in significant pain reduction.

Oscar-winner Cody is UI alumna (Chicago Sun Times, Feb. 26)
A story about Oscar-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody notes that she is a graduate of the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA.,CST-NWS-oscar26.article

Study: patient involvement may not improve outcome (Washington Post, Feb. 25)
Patients with chronic health problems who play a major role in their medical treatment may have poorer outcomes than patients who defer to their doctors, suggests a U.S. study that tracked 189 hypertension patients for 12 months. The UNIVERSITY OF IOWA study found that patients who were more highly involved in their care had higher blood pressure and cholesterol than passive patients.

Sindt comments on post-LASIK surgery depression (Chicago Tribune, Feb. 25)
Patients who undergo vision-correcting laser eye surgery sign a release form with an extensive list of risks, but some researchers and former patients say a potential complication is not mentioned: depression that can lead to suicide. CHRISTINE SINDT, an optometrist and associate professor of clinical ophthalmology at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, has encountered the psychological effects that patients experience when they have trouble seeing. "Depression is a problem for any patient with a chronic vision problem," she said. But in the case of post-LASIK patients, she said, the depression is compounded by remorse. "It's not just that they lose vision," she said. "They paid somebody [who] took their vision away." The same story appeared on the Web site of A.M. NEW YORK,0,5777703.story

Author received M.B.A. from UI (Cincinnati Enquirer, Feb. 25)
A story about Ohio author Alan Drew, author of "Gardens of Water," notes that he earned his M.B.A. from the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA.

Students fill classes on sex (KTPM-TV, Feb. 25)
University of Iowa students are filling up dozens of classes on sex. The university has 35 courses with the word "sex" in the title. Professor RENEE GOETHE says if the word is in the class title students tend to sign up. The classes explore health and philosophy of sex and sexuality. There also classes at Iowa State and University of Northern Iowa that explore similar issues. KTPM is based in Omaha, NE. Versions of this story also appeared on the Web sites of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE and KHQA-TV (Hannibal, Mo.).

Banfi: Research may find cause of balance disorders (WMTW-TV, Feb. 25)
Researchers said a genetic defect that causes a severe immune deficiency in humans may also produce balance disorders. The study examined a specialized strain of Jackson Lab mice that eliminates production a protein called p22phox. Disruption of that protein causes a severe immune deficiency in humans. Dr. BOTOND BANFI, the senior author from the University of Iowa, said it could open the door to further study of the consequences of the loss of balance. WMTW is based on Portland, Maine. The same story appeared on the Web site of the LEWISTON (Maine) SUN JOURNAL and the BANGOR (Maine) DAILY NEWS.

UI to renovate dental building (The Chronicle of Higher Education, Feb. 25)
A brief notes the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA will renovate its 200,000-square-foot College of Dentistry building, which was constructed in 1973. The plan is to increase classroom and student spaces, and upgrade research facilities.

UI study: involved patients not always healthier (CBC, Feb. 25)
Patients who choose to be highly involved in their medical treatment actually fare less well with chronic health problems than patients who defer to their doctors, a new study finds. UNIVERSITY OF IOWA researchers tracked 189 veterans with high blood pressure over a 12-month period in 2004. They compared those patients who wanted an "active" role in their treatment -- one in which they made more decisions about the drug and lifestyle changes they made -- and those patients who wanted a less active role. Researchers found that those patients who were more active in their approach had higher blood pressure and cholesterol in the year of study than the more passive participants. They had an average blood pressure of 141 over 70 and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol of 122. In contrast, the more passive participants had a lower blood pressure score of 137 over 72 and a cholesterol level of 92. The same story appeared on the Web site of WQAD-TV (Moline, Ill.)

Segre finds more depression in poor moms (UPI, Feb. 25)
A study of 4,332 new mothers in Iowa found 40 percent with a household income less than $20,000 suffered from significant post-partum depression. However, University of Iowa psychologist LISA SEGRE said 13 percent of new mothers with a household income of $80,000 or more were considered clinically depressed.

UI study: Patient involvement doesn't always help (Medical News Today, Feb. 25)
Patients who prefer to be highly involved in their treatment don't necessarily have better luck managing chronic health conditions, a new study suggests. A research team based at the Veterans Affairs (VA) Iowa City Health Care System and the University of Iowa surveyed 189 veterans with high blood pressure to determine the patients' preferences for involvement in their health care. They discovered those who wanted an active role in their treatment had higher blood pressure and cholesterol over a 12-month span than those who wanted a less active role. AUSTIN BALDWIN, an adjunct assistant professor of psychology in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, led the study.

Redlawsk comments on GOP support of Obama (Los Angeles Times, Feb. 25)
The 2008 campaign has produced Obamacans (members of the GOP who support Democratic candidate Barack Obama), a surprising development. "Even in this day and age, partisanship carries a lot of weight," said DAVID REDLAWSK, a University of Iowa political scientist whose polling last summer picked up early signs of Obama's Republican appeal.,1,5240515.story?track=rss&ctrack=2&cset=true

Cody one of hot young talents (Atlanta Journal Constitution, Feb. 25)
Among the Academy Award nominees are several hot young talents, including Diablo Cody, who earned a media studies degree from the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA and came to fame after she chronicled her yearlong stint working in strip clubs in her 2006 memoir, "Candy Girl: A Year in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper."

Kramer writes about 'water cure' torture (New Yorker, Feb. 25)
In this "Annals Of American History" feature about the use of the "water cure" by American soldiers when interrogating prisoners during the Philippine-American war of 1899-1902, University of Iowa professor PAUL KRAMER, an associate professor of history at the UI, discusses the causes of the conflict in the Philippines, which grew out of the Spanish-American War.

Cody attended UI (Herald-News, Feb. 24)
Pam and Greg Busey reacted Sunday night to the excitement of having their daughter Brook -- better known as Diablo Cody -- in the Oscar race. At the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA, Cody began as a Russian studies major but graduated with a degree in media studies. She was also was a disc jockey at the student radio station. The Herald-News originates in Joliet, Ill.,4_1_JO24_DIABLO_S1.article

Covington comments on Obama (Guardian, Feb. 24)
Barack Obama has gotten mostly positive press, but now that he has pulled into the lead in the Democratic race for the presidential nomination, he has come under attack in the press. "He is a unique candidate. He is a path breaker. That makes it harder for reporters to treat him like a normal candidate," said CARY COVINGTON, a political scientist at the University of Iowa. The Guardian originates in the UK.

Goldbarth attended UI (Lawrence Journal-World, Feb. 24)
A feature about poet Albert Goldbarth notes that he received a Master of Fine Arts degree from the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA.

Droege attended UI (South Bend Tribune, Feb. 24)
A feature about Indiana-South Bend emeritus art professor Anthony Droege notes that he earned a master's degree from the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA.

Writers' Workshop alumnus touts journaling (News-Gazette, Feb. 24)
At 71, writer Mark Costello still jots notes on the spot. A notebook is a writer's best friend, and that's exactly what Costello taught his students in creative writing classes at the UI from 1967 until his retirement in 2002. Costello is a graduate of the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA WRITERS' WORKSHOP. The News-Gazette is published in Champaign, Ill.

UI study cited (Treasure Coast Palm, Feb. 24)
An editorial about gifted education cites the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA study, "A Nation Deceived: How Schools Hold Back America's Brightest Students." The paper covers Florida's Treasure Coast and Palm Beach.

Genetic defect may cause balance disorders (, Feb. 24)
A genetic defect that causes a severe immune deficiency in humans may also produce balance disorders, according to a new study by researchers at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA.

Reagan called UI sports (Intersportswire, Feb. 23)
An article about U.S. presidents who played college football notes that Ronald Reagan did play-by-play of UNIVERSITY OF IOWA games. Intersportswire originates in Canada.

Berg explains prediction markets (, undated)
A video features JOYCE BERG of the Iowa Electronic Markets discussing prediction markets. Portfolio is a magazine about business and finance produced by Condé Nast.

Frantz: nursing faculty shortage 'a crisis' (Omaha World-Herald, Feb. 22)
A story about Iowa's nursing shortage notes that the University of Iowa, the state's largest four-year nursing program, turns away about 63 percent of its applicants annually. RITA FRANTZ, the school's dean, said she can't boost enrollment until she finds qualified teachers to fill about 10 positions, most of which have been vacant for several years. In all, Iowa has about 100 nursing faculty vacancies, according to the Iowa Nurses' Association. "We have a crisis, literally, in the area of faculty shortage," Frantz said. And the real trouble may be yet to come. The university's nursing faculty, like many others across the country, is made up mostly of 50- and 60-year-olds nearing retirement.

Coffman: senior bands benefit older musicians (CNN, Feb. 22)
A story about the New Horizons International Music Association, which sponsors senior bands and orchestras in the United States and Canada, notes that University of Iowa professor DON COFFMAN created his own senior band and conducts research into how music can benefit older musicians. His findings: Benefits include social, emotional, physical and even spiritual growth. In part, Coffman found, seniors benefit from being part of a group that works together toward a significant goal. Other plusses can include better ability to focus, increased lung capacity and improved fine motor skills.

Alum develops White House hopefuls' Web sites (Akron Beacon Journal, Feb. 22)
alumnus Mike Connell founded New Media Communications, a small Ohio-based Web design company with some high-profile customers. His team helped develop the John McCain for President Web site, and the campaign Web sites for the last two Bush presidential races.

Schnoor: ethanol is 'clearly not sustainable' (Newsweek, Feb. 21)
A story about how corn grown for ethanol has contributed to water shortages in eastern Colorado quotes JERALD SCHNOOR, a professor of engineering at the University of Iowa and co-chairman of an October 2007 National Research Council study for Congress that was critical of ethanol. Collectively, "[ethanol] is clearly not sustainable," he says. "Production will have serious impacts in water-stressed regions." Schnoor calls ethanol simply "a bridge fuel" to undiscovered and truly environmentally friendly technology.

Croft: districts shortchange gifted education (Providence Journal, Feb. 21)
A Rhode Island school district is facing budget cuts that may cause it to eliminate its gifted education program. LAURIE CROFT, administrator for professional development with the Belin-Blank Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development at the University of Iowa, said school districts are increasingly shortchanging gifted programs since passage of the federal No Child Left Behind law, which places an emphasis on lifting test scores for the lowest-achieving students. And without adequate challenges, she said, gifted students can begin to under-perform and "equate giftedness with not having to exert themselves." THE PROVIDENCE JOURNAL is based in Rhode Island.

Story notes animal liberation incident at UI (Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 21)
A story about UCLA going on the offensive against animal liberationists notes that a few years ago, activists broke into a UNIVERSITY OF IOWA laboratory, poured acid on the floor and let loose some 300 rodents. The story describes former UI president David Skorton's Senate testimony on the issue.

UI study: poor moms at greater risk for baby blues (Medical News Today, Feb. 21)
A study by the University of Iowa published in the journal Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology reports that low-income women in Iowa are much more likely to suffer from postpartum depression than wealthier women. UI psychologist LISA SEGRE and colleagues also studied the link between post-natal depression and race among Iowans. She found that compared to white mothers, African-American mothers are more likely to experience depressed moods after having a baby, but Latina mothers are less likely to experience depressed moods.

UI alumna is nominated for Oscar (Salt Lake Tribune, Feb. 20)
A story about Oscar nominees notes that Diablo Cody, who is up for best original screenplay for the film "Juno," earned a degree from the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA. Cody came to fame after she chronicled her yearlong stint working in strip clubs and peep shows in Minneapolis in her 2006 memoir, "Candy Girl: A Year in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper."

Gruca comments on consumer satisfaction (Forbes, Feb. 20)
The University of Michigan's year-end 2007 customer satisfaction survey shows a flat year for customer happiness. When the economy hits some turbulence, as it's done lately, company owners need to try a little bit harder to get customers back in the door. But by and large, companies haven't turned to customer service to do it. "If people are spending less, then they are really going to be thinking more about where they will go," says TOM GRUCA, a University of Iowa marketing professor who has studied correlations between customer satisfaction and cash flow. Customers have long memories, and tend to resent the brush off when things are slow. "People aren't stupid," Gruca says. "The question is where you want to be positioned when things come back."

Town examines rental booms issues (Ambler Gazette, Feb. 19)
The Ambler Borough Council held a special meeting Feb. 13 to address borough rental property issues. Rentals now constitute more than 50 percent of Ambler. The council plans to "tailor the ordinance to the problem," borrowing from the same logic used in a U.S. Supreme Court case at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA and arguing that Ambler has the same level of density and non-single family dwelling issues as a college town, not necessarily with students, but with large groups of certain renters. The newspaper is published in Fort Washington, Penn.

Obama speech at UI noted (Midland Daily News, Feb. 19)
In a column about universal health care, the writer notes that Sen. Barack Obama said "The time has come for affordable, universal health care in America," during a speech at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA on May 29, 2007. The newspaper is published in Midland, Mich.

Teen recalls heart surgery (Quincy Herald Whig, Feb. 19)
When Karyn Spory cut her finger while making lemon shake-ups in the fall of 2006, it likely saved her life. The Wayland teen remembers fainting when the bleeding didn't stop, and she was taken to Keokuk (Iowa) Area Hospital to get checked out. Tests revealed a more serious problem -- she had been born with a large hole in her heart. She underwent a cardiac catheterization procedure to close the hole in her heart at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA HOSPITALS AND CLINICS in Iowa City, Iowa. She has since recovered after the November 2006 surgery. The newspaper is published in Illinois.

Story notes UI hypnosis study (Akron Beacon Journal, Feb. 19)
A story about the effectiveness of hypnosis notes that researchers at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA used functional MRIs to show that hypnosis alters brain activity in a way that relieves pain. The brain scans showed that different areas of the brain "lit up" when pain was inflicted on the patients who were under hypnosis, resulting in significant pain reduction. Hypnosis reduced pain in all 12 patients, from an average score of 8 out of 10, down to less than 3 out of 10 and even no pain in some.

UI study examined decision-making in elderly (St. Petersburg Times, Feb. 19)
Why do so many older people fall for deception? One researcher has found that aging in the front of the brain may be the real cause, at least in some cases. Dr. NATALIE DENBURG, a neuroscientist at the University of Iowa, tested her hypothesis by creating two groups of 40 people. One group consisted of people ages 56-85; the other of people 26-55. Tests showed all were free of dementia or other neurological problems. Denburg had them play a card game that involves selecting cards from four decks. Almost all younger players quickly figured out that drawing from certain decks led to greater rewards, but nearly 40 percent of the older group continued to make poor choices throughout the game.

Copeland discusses Hunter syndrome screening (Monterey County Herald, Feb. 18)
A story about a baby suffering from a life-threatening genetic disorder called Hunter syndrome quotes SARA COPELAND, a genetics expert at the University of Iowa Children's Hospital. She sees good reasons for newborn screening for Hunter syndrome. A very accurate blood test is available. And getting an early diagnosis provides the opportunity to test infants for problems related to Hunter syndrome, such as hearing loss or heart ailments. But because of the cost of Elaprase, a new drug used to fight the syndrome, Copeland is cautious about encouraging its early use. THE MONTEREY COUNTY HERALD is based in California.

Cancer-bacterial connection has UI connection (LA Times, Feb. 18)
New studies are revealing that certain cancers may be reduced by exposure to disease-causing bacteria and viruses, and pharmaceutical companies are testing anticancer treatments that capitalize on the concept by using bacterial elements to boost the body's natural immunity. Dr. Arthur Krieg, chief scientific officer of the Boston-based Coley Pharmaceutical Group, was at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA in 1995, working with strands of DNA created in the lab, hoping to find a way to turn off genes involved in the autoimmune disease lupus. To his surprise, this DNA stimulated the immune cells he was studying in lab dishes. "I got interested, and I got puzzled," he says.,1,162154.story?track=rss&ctrack=1&cset=true

'Dark Matter' will be released (The First Post, Feb. 18)
The release of a new Meryl Streep movie about a campus killing spree, which was postponed last year after the shooting of 32 people at Virginia Tech, will not be delayed again -- despite the recent spate of campus killings, including the gunning down of five students in a classroom at Northern Illinois University on St Valentine's Day. 'Dark Matter' is based on the true story of Gang Lu, a Chinese graduate student at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA who shot and killed five people and paralyzed another before killing himself in 1991. First Post originates in the UK.,688,streeps-campus-massacre-film-to-go-ahead,17835

Christensen comments on drug non-compliance (Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 18)
Among the very few early clues dropped by law enforcement officials in answer to the "why" behind Thursday's deadly shootings at Northern Illinois University: The killer, Steven Kazmierczak, had recently gone off his medication, becoming "erratic." Discontinuing medication can have many sources, including fears of dependence, the symptoms of the diseases themselves, side effects and peer pressure. "The risky period," said ALAN CHRISTENSEN, a professor of psychology at the University of Iowa who has studied compliance, "clearly is late adolescence, middle-to-late adolescence. Certainly that would in part include the early college years. If you think about the multitude of changes that are going on during that period I think all of them explain part of the risk."

Playwright Blessing attended UI (Louisville Courier-Journal, Feb. 17)
A review of "Great Falls," Lee Blessing's new play at the Humana Festival, notes that he holds graduate degrees in both playwriting and poetry from the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA.

Meyer studied voice at UI (Twin Cities Daily Planet, Feb. 17)
A feature about rockabilly balladeer Barbara Meyer notes that she studied voice at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA.

UI sends guest chef to University of Massachusetts (Roanoke Times, Feb. 17)
The UNIVERSITY OF IOWA is one of four schools whose strong dining program led to sending a guest chef to the University of Massachusetts.

Story on Florida seniors cites UI study (Herald Tribune, Feb. 17)
A story about a southwest Florida couple that lost their savings in a securities fraud cites a UNIVERSITY OF IOWA study showing that neurological "deficits" in some older adults -- even those who appear unimpaired -- leads to an increased vulnerability to fraud. The paper covers southwest Florida.

Porter mortgage study cited (New Hampshire Union Leader, Feb. 17)
A story about the mortgage travails of a New Hampshire family, and its implications, cites the study by KATHERINE PORTER, an associate professor of law at the University of Iowa, "Misbehavior and Mistake in Bankruptcy Mortgage Claims."

Stem cells may treat leukemia (Omaha World-Herald, Feb. 17)
University of Iowa researchers say leukemia patients may soon have another way to boost their immune systems -- embryonic stem cells. "Embryonic stem cell therapies are no longer distant," said Dr. NICHOLAS ZAVAZAVA, the director of UI transplant research. Zavazava said the study, which lasted about three years, did not violate Iowa's former law that prohibited forms of stem cell research because only mice were used. Variations of this story are running worldwide.

Campo weight-loss study cited (NewsRx, Feb. 17)
Magazines catering to African-Americans may be falling short in their efforts to educate readers about weight loss, a new University of Iowa study suggests. African-American women's magazines are more likely to encourage fad diets and reliance on faith to lose weight, while mainstream women's magazines focus more on evidence-based diet strategies, according to the study by UI researcher SHELLY CAMPO. NewsRx is a weekly health information providers which, in addition to its Web site, publishes 103 titles, and in its history, has produced over a half million articles in those publications.

NIU shooting stir memories of UI spree (Pantagraph, Feb. 17)
Many stories about the shootings at Northern Illinois University recalled the 1991 killing spree of Gang Lu at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA. The Pantagraph is a daily newspaper that serves eight counties and more than 60 communities in Central Illinois and is based in Bloomington, Ill.

Lynch explains cancer etiology (WQAD, Feb. 16)
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the closing of a radioactive waste dump in Bureau county. Now some people who grew up in the area claim the dump is to blame for what they believe is an outbreak of cancer. "It's the lifestyle factors that are the primary risk factors for disease," said Dr. CHARLES LYNCH, who studies cancer clusters at the University of Iowa. He says lifestyle is far away the biggest cause of cancer, but it's not where people usually look. "I very seldom if ever have had someone call me up and say, 'We have a lot of cancer in our area and the reason why we have it is because people smoke too damn much. In general, in these potential cancer cluster investigations, they very seldom yield a cause." WQAD-TV is based in Moline, Ill.

NIU professor recalls Gang Lu shootings (Morris Daily Herald, Feb. 15)
The shootings at Northern Illinois University were all too familiar to Kendall Thu, an associate professor of anthropology at the university. In 1991, while a graduate student at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA, he was on campus when a student opened fire in the physics building, killing five people and himself. Thu's experience there kept the possibility of a shooting in the back of his mind, but he said it's impossible to ever truly expect something so terrible to happen. The MORRIS DAILY HERALD is based in Morris, Illinois.

Commonwealth Prize winner attended UI (Trinidad and Tobago Newsday, Feb. 15)
Commonwealth Prize winner Earl Lovelace, who is both a playwright and a novelist, spent a year at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA on a Guggenheim Fellowship.,73339.html

UI participated in glaucoma research (, Feb. 15)
Researchers have found that a gene and a related signaling pathway play a role in the development of glaucoma, which is a common cause of visual impairment and blindness worldwide. The team included investigators from the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA. Bright Surf is a science-information Web site.

Ceramicist attended UI (Houston Villager, Feb. 14)
Jake Alee, whose pottery is the focus of a current exhibition in Texas, received his degree in ceramics from the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA.

Levy: bottled water could hurt oral health (U.S.News & World Report, Feb. 14)
When government scientists reported last spring that rates of childhood tooth decay had risen slightly over the past two decades, some dental professionals proposed a possible explanation: those children might not be getting enough fluoride, a chemical that binds to tooth enamel and makes it resistant to decay. While the theory remains to be proved, the finding underscores the need for kids to get some fluoride -- but not too much. Tap water in most of the country has been fluoridated for decades, but bottled water often isn't. So parents who rely on brands like Dasani and Aquafina could be putting their own and their children's oral health at risk, say experts like STEVEN LEVY, a professor of dental public health at the University of Iowa in Iowa City.

UI's Stone shares insights on impact of transaction (Reuters, Feb. 14)
Some investors are wondering whether the chemistry is still right for Hexion Specialty Chemicals' $6.5 billion takeover of Huntsman Corp. Investors have taken some comfort from a seemingly airtight agreement between epoxy makers Hexion and Huntsman. But the financing commitment between Hexion and its banks is not public, so it's not exactly clear what's being committed -- and that could be a worry. "Legally speaking, it looks fairly clear that Huntsman will be able to force consummation of this transaction," said ETHAN STONE, a business law professor at the University of Iowa College of Law. "But practically speaking, Hexion's ability to perform may be limited by availability of the commitment."

UI on list of deadly campus shootings (Minneapolis Star Tribune, Feb. 14)
The UNIVERSITY OF IOWA is included in a list of other deadly campus shootings because of the 1991 shootings by Gang Lu. This is a sidebar to an article about the gunman who killed six people in a Northern Illinois University lecture hall before committing suicide Feb. 14.

Prybil: 'room for improvement' in governing structures (, Feb. 14)
According to a report on CEO perspectives released today, most nonprofit community health systems' governing structures and practices are consistent with established benchmarks of good governance. "But there's also room for improvement," said lead author LAWRENCE PRYBIL, professor of health management at the University of Iowa and a former member of the AHA Board of Trustees. is a daily report published by the American Hospital Association for health care executives.

Facebook helped UI students find love (Chicago Tribune, Feb. 14)
A story about how social networking sites impact dating by indicating users' relationship status notes that J.V. Loperfido received a Facebook greeting from a fellow graduate student at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA. Months of casual messages led to a dinner date; two and a half years later, they're still together.,1,640881.story

UI student suffered from frostbite (KPTM, Feb. 14)
Iowa City police say a UNIVERSITY OF IOWA student who passed out in an alley while walking home from the bars has lost fingers and toes to frostbite. Police believe he'd been in the alley for about six hours. It was 4 degrees when he was found. KPTM is a Fox affiliate in Omaha.

UI student leads Student Veterans of America (Army Times, Feb. 14)
Advocates for a new GI Bill believe a swarm of veterans visiting congressional offices in the past two weeks -- including representatives from a new organization of student-veterans -- may be helping to turn the tide toward passing a modern education benefits program that provides full tuition plus a stipend. John Mikelson, a UNIVERSITY OF IOWA student who is chairman of the group's board, said the main purpose of Student Veterans of America is to push for improvements in local, state and federal laws and policies to make it easier for veterans to receive a college education.

Student notes inconsistent credit transfers (Christian Science Monitor, Feb. 14)
In Iraq and Afghanistan they've battled insurgents and built schools. But when it comes to enrolling in school themselves, many of today's veterans are facing an unexpected fight to stay afloat amid mounting college costs. It's time for a revamped GI Bill, say veterans' organizations and scores of U.S. legislators. Money isn't the only barrier. One problem is inconsistency in schools' willingness to transfer credits from other schools or military experience, says John Mikelson of Student Veterans of America and a student at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA.

Clemens faces congressional committee (Buffalo News, Feb. 13)
Today, before a congressional committee looking into the use of performance-enhancing substances, seven-time Cy Young winner Roger Clemens appears ready to talk at length about his past and the recent charges that he used steroids and human growth hormone. "Showtime" is what Clemens' Texas lawyer, Rusty Hardin, called the showdown before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. And who can argue otherwise? "The Clemens story morphed into bizarro-world about six weeks ago," said Dr. GARY GAFFNEY, a University of Iowa doctor and the author of Steroid Nation, an online blog about the use and abuse of steroids. "It continues to become ridiculously strange. Jean-Paul Sartre couldn't determine truth in this reality."

Obama leads in IEM (Wall Street Journal, Feb. 13)
Barack Obama was trading at $7.12 a share, down one cent, in prediction markets yesterday, but still well ahead of Hillary Clinton, who was down a penny at $2.91. Opinion polls show a tight race between the two candidates for the Democratic nomination. But in the prediction markets, where investors stake their money on the candidate they believe will win -- and face a loss if they are wrong -- Sen. Obama is far ahead. On the IOWA ELECTRONIC MARKETS, operated by the University of Iowa, Sen. Obama pulled ahead of Sen. Clinton in trading last week after Super Tuesday.

IEM traders favor Obama (New York Post, Feb. 12)
Traders on the IOWA ELECTRONIC MARKETS, a nonprofit exchange run by researchers at the University of Iowa, had expectations similar to those using other prediction markets, giving Barack Obama a 70 percent chance of winning the nomination and Hillary Clinton about a 27 percent chance. As recently as Jan. 1 traders were giving Clinton about a 70 percent chance.

IEM odds now favor Obama (Reuters, Feb. 12)
Traders wagering on the outcome of the U.S. presidential vote were overwhelmingly betting on Monday that Illinois Sen. Barack Obama will defeat former first lady Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination and ultimately win the presidency. Traders on the Iowa Electronic Markets, a nonprofit exchange run by researchers at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA, gave Obama a 70 percent chance of winning the nomination and Clinton about a 27 percent chance. The story was published on the Web sites of the NEW YORK TIMES, WASHINGTON POST, NEW ZEALAND HERALD, MSNBC, NEW YORK POST and ARAB TIMES (KUWAIT).

NC donor gives money for Ponseti education (Chicago Tribune, Feb. 12)
An anonymous donor from North Carolina has given the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA $500,000 to help cure clubfoot disease in children. The money will be used to help doctors from the university and elsewhere train local health care workers in 10 countries in the Ponseti method of treatment clubfoot, a method developed by University of Iowa emeritus Dr. IGNACIO PONSETI in the 1950s. The donor was a North Carolina philanthropist and business leader who supports global public health projects. The same story appeared on the Web site of WRAL-TV (North Carolina).,0,4928115.story

UI retiree travels to Pennsylvania to dance (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Feb. 12)
On Saturday nights at the Stockdale fire hall in Washington County, Penn., young Romeos only had eyes for perky girls clad in form-fitting dresses or sweaters and skirts and bouffant hair. It was, after all, the age of Aqua Net hair spray. Fifty cents bought admission to the week's biggest social event, which often featured live performances by popular recording stars and, if you were lucky, a few smooches with your sweetie. This Saturday, about 1,000 people will pay $10 apiece to relive those magical nights as three different disc jockeys play music by the Five Satins, the Chiffons, the Shirelles, the Del Vikings and the Marcels, among many popular oldies. Plenty of locals are attending but lots of out-of-towners are coming, too, including Mr. McNulty and his wife, Darlene, who will travel from Iowa. "Guys always hung around the outside of the dance floor, especially on fast dances. We specialized in slow dances -- one step forward and two steps back. It was safer, plus you got to hold the girls closer," said Mr. McNulty, a retired UNIVERSITY OF IOWA professor of geography and earth sciences.

Article notes UI love research (MSN, Feb. 11)
A story about the health benefits of love notes that a new study from the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA found that ovarian cancer patients with a strong sense of connection to others and satisfying relationships had more vigorous "natural killer" cell activity at the site of their tumors than those who didn't have those social ties. (These desirable white blood cells kill cancerous cells as part of the body's immune system.)

Rietz comments on futures markets (Investment News, Feb. 11)
During the past five presidential elections, the Iowa Electronic Markets has been closer to predicting the ultimate winner, 74 percent of the time, than nearly 1,000 independent polls. "These exchanges were designed to create accuracy, because we're asking people to predict not how they feel but what will happen, which means people have to take things into account other than their personal opinion," said THOMAS RIETZ, associate professor of finance at the University of Iowa. Investment News originates in New York.

UI journaling study cited (Chatham Daily News, Feb. 11)
Keeping a journal is good for mental health. A study from the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA that was published in the 2002 issue of Annals of Behavioral Medicine indicated that the key to journal writing is to try to make sense of your emotions and learn from them. Benefits of journaling, according to the study, include greater personal strength, improved relationships and spiritual development and growth. The Chatham Daily News is published in Canada.

Kochanska studies family relationships (UPI, Feb. 10)
Children who have close, reciprocal relationships with their parents do better in preschool, a University of Iowa study found. "Most parents know that when they interact with their infant and young toddler, they are laying important foundations for the child's future development," lead study author GRAZYNA KOCHANSKA of the UI said in a statement. "Now we have a better understanding of what that really means. Your investment in building a mutually responsive, positive, close relationship early on will generate considerable payoff several years later." The findings were published in Child Development.

Ott attended International Writing Program (Washington Post, Feb. 10)
Venezuelan playwright Gustavo Ott, whose "Your Molotov Kisses" is playing in Washington, D.C., attended the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA INTERNATIONAL WRITING PROGRAM in 1993. (EDITORS NOTE: The article mistakenly says Ott attended the UI Writers' Workshop.)

Covington talks about Democratic endgame (The Guardian/Observer, Feb. 10)
The endgame of the Democratic contest for the presidential nomination is unprecedented. "We are now into uncharted territory," said CARY COVINGTON, a professor of political science at the University of Iowa. The Guardian is published in the UK.

Hagle comments on super delegates (Boston Herald, Feb. 9)
In a close race for the Democratic presidential nomination, the outcome for the "grassroots party" could be determined by the convention's super delegates, elected by officeholders and party officials. "It's a little hypocritical," said University of Iowa professor TIM HAGLE. "These so-called super delegates are not chosen by voters and could end up determining the nominee."

Porter: Companies lack incentive to help homeowners (ABC News, Feb. 8)
In a story explaining why mortgage companies do so little to help homeowners who are having problems paying their mortgages, KATHERINE PORTER, a University of Iowa law professor, said mortgage service company employees are poorly trained, and that companies earn millions of dollars in revenue on late fees and penalties.

Porter study cited in lawsuit (St. Paul Pioneer-Press, Feb. 8)
A group of homeowners is suing Homecomings Financial, a Bloomington, Minn.-based loan servicer handling nearly 800,000 mortgages, accusing it of charging dubious fees as it processes homeowners' monthly payments. The complaint cites a 2007 study by University of Iowa law professor KATHERINE PORTER, who examined 1,700 mortgages in recent bankruptcy cases and found that questionable fees were added to nearly half the home loans.

Mujkic studied post-war violence in Croatia (Medical News Today, Feb. 8)
A recent article in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine finds that the 1991 to 1995 Homeland War in Croatia led to an increase in weapon-related deaths of children during and five years after the end of the war. The study, performed by AIDA MUJKIC of the University of Iowa and colleagues, notes that most Croatian children were not exposed to explosives and firearms in their homes or communities from the end of World War II to the beginning of the Homeland War. But as the Homeland War, or Third Balkan War, moved into Croatian territory, citizens began buying grenades, firearms and other black market weapons. Rates of homicide and suicide with weapons more than tripled during the war, and those increases persisted for an additional five years. Medical News Today originates in the UK.

UI founders of ACT cited in article on nonprofit pay (L.A. Watts Times, Feb. 8)
The Iowa City-based nonprofit organization that develops ACT college entrance tests pays its Board and its top executive more than almost all other nonprofit organizations in the United States. ACT was founded in 1959 by two faculty members at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA who wanted to offer an alternative to the SAT, the college aptitude exam offered by the College Board Inc., a New York-based nonprofit. L.A. Watts Times is an African-American publication published in Los Angeles.

Redlawsk: white males swing votes (Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Feb. 7)
This year, for the first time, the Democratic Party will nominate a candidate for president who is not a white male. But the results from Super Tuesday contests coast to coast suggest that white males, like a sovereign who gets to name his successor, may be the decisive swing vote in this historic battle between a black man and a white woman. Indeed, white males "are holding the balance of power in the Democratic primaries and caucuses," said DAVID REDLAWSK, a University of Iowa political scientist who was elected a John Edwards delegate in his state's caucuses and has written about the intersection of gender and politics.

Barkan serves on panel of experts discussing Kenya (, Feb. 7)
Dr. JOEL BARKAN, professor emeritus of political science at the University of Iowa and a senior associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. is one of several experts serving on a panel of nongovernmental witnesses who are offering additional perspectives on the underlying causes of the recent unrest and the potential impact of these events throughout Kenya and the region. This panel was mentioned in remarks prepared for delivery by U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations African Affairs Subcommittee, at a hearing he held Feb. 7, 2008 on Kenya. is part of a family of companies that distribute new from across African to millions of users. It is registered in Mauritius, with offices in Johannesburg, Dakar, Lagos and Washington, D.C.

UI study: close bonds lay foundation for child's future (ScienceDaily, Feb. 7)
Having close ties with parents is obviously good for preschoolers, but what does that really mean? It means that the preschoolers are better able to control their own behavior by showing patience, deliberation, restraint, and even maturity. That's the finding of a new study conducted by researchers at the University of Iowa. Most parents know that when they interact with their infant and young toddler, they are laying important foundations for the child's future development," according to GRAZYNA KOCHANSKA, Stuit Professor of Developmental Psychology at the University of Iowa and the lead author of the study. SCIENCEDAILY is an online magazine devoted to science, technology, and medicine.

UI study: parent-child bonds lead to better behavior (Daily Telegraph, Feb. 7)
A University of Iowa study published in the journal Child Development found children who form strong, close bonds with parents in their earliest years tend to be better behaved as they grow up. The study found that if the mother and baby bond was strong in the first two years, mothers did not need to resort to forceful discipline to get their children to do as they were told by time they were four and one-half years old. UI psychologist GRAZYNA KOCHANSKA was the lead author of the study. The TELEGRAPH is published in the United Kingdom.

Playwright visited UI as international writer (New Zealand Herald, Feb. 7)
A preview story about a play by award-winning playwright, author and poet Vivienne Plumb, notes that she held an international writing residency at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA in 2004. "The Cape," a story about four teenage men on a road trip, explores the way young men communicate, the importance of friendship in their lives and the transition to adulthood.

Redlawsk: Economy becoming top campaign issue (St. Louis Post Dispatch, Feb. 6)
The sagging economy trumped the war, health care, immigration and other issues in driving Missouri and Illinois voters to the polls on Tuesday, early exit surveys showed. "The trend we've seen all month, from state to state, is that the economy is coming to the forefront," said DAVID REDLAWSK, a professor of political science at the University of Iowa. "Often when it comes down to finally voting, people think about their pocketbook, and it's fed at the moment by objective measures."

Van Allen's Explorer I won space research race (San Jose Mercury News, Feb. 6)
Fifty years ago, the United States launched its first satellite, Explorer 1, into orbit. Its success may seem to be a footnote in space history, a second-place finish to the Soviet Union's Sputnik. After all, wasn't it Sputnik, launched four months earlier, that represented the real scientific breakthrough and sent Americans cowering in fear at the shiny Russian ball orbiting overhead? Not exactly. Sputnik, a "hey look at me" feat of engineering, did not throw the nation's scientists into a panic or prompt a mad scramble to match the Soviet demonstration of power. Instead, President Eisenhower, while prodding his team for results, kept an established national space program focused on the deliberate pursuit of scientific progress, and as a result, it was the runner-up that scored a more important breakthrough for pure research. Conceived by James Van Allen of the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA and built by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Explorer 1 carried with it instruments to detect radiation in near space and to send data back to Earth. This mission was an extension of a vast global project -- called the International Geophysical Year -- that involved thousands of scientists and technicians from almost every country.

Andrejevic: Viewers getting used to reality show gimmicks (Forbes, Feb. 5)
The reality show genre, which dates back to the pioneering "An American Family" on public television and later Fox's "Cops" and MTV's "Real World," has long been reliant on controversy to draw in viewers. Whether it's gross-out gimmickry (NBC's "Fear Factor") or make-over sensationalism (Fox's "The Swan"), the fare has set out to garner publicity and a subsequent viewer base. But if recent history is any indication, the strategy may be fading as a tool for grabbing eyeballs. CBS gave viewers a child-only community with Kid Nation. Fox put a swimsuit model at a news desk for Anchorwoman. And next, NBC will roll out the baby borrowers, for a series by the same name. If the reality television shows sound controversial in premise, that's because they are. And that's precisely the point. "The press and the population are becoming a bit inured to the kind of attention-grabbing gimmickry of reality shows," explains the University of Iowa's MARK ANDREJEVIC, author of "Reality TV: The Work of Being Watched." "But people aren't completely numb to it," he adds, "yet."

Hay is finalist for University of Arizona provost position (Tucson Citizen, Feb. 5)
A story about a candidate interview for the open provost's position at the University of Arizona notes that one other finalist for the same position is MEREDITH HAY, vice president at the University of Iowa.

Folsom comments on Whitman notebooks (Leaders and Success/Yahoo, Feb. 4)
A story about poet Walt Whitman notes that to hang onto his impressions and ideas, Whitman usually carried around a pocket notebook and pencil to jot down images as they occurred to him. Later, they'd become material for his poetry. ED FOLSOM, an English professor at the University of Iowa and editor of the Walt Whitman Quarterly Review, said, "Those notebooks let him record unmediated thoughts and not restrict himself by trying to fit them into conventional rhyming schemes. When he saw his notebooks, he realized he had invented a new organic style that wasn't mechanical or cobbled together."

UI campus to go smoke-free (Chicago Tribune, Feb. 4)
The University of Iowa will ban smoking on campus by July 2009, UI President SALLY MASON said Monday. Mason said a smoke-free campus will provide a healthier environment and might help smokers kick the habit.,0,1670862.story

UI classes use clickers for student feedback (Chicago Tribune, Feb. 4)
Some UNIVERSITY OF IOWA classes are taking on a bit of a game show feel with the use of a new technology that allows instructors to poll students and receive instant feedback. Several classes, particularly large lectures, are using what the university calls personal response systems. An instructor asks a question, and students punch a button on individual, hand-held devices called clickers. This signals a receiver at the instructor station that spits out data. University officials like it because it promotes active learning, and they are less likely to have students napping in class.,0,4923452.story

Roth arrested for public intoxication in Iowa City (Palm Beach Post, Feb. 4)
Matt Roth, a former football player for the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA who now plays for the Miami Dolphins, was arrested over the weekend in Iowa City and charged with public intoxication. The same story appeared on the Web site of the FT. LAUDERDALE SUN SENTINEL.

IEM beats the polls (InfoWorld, Feb. 4)
It's generally illegal in the United States to bet real money in a predictive market. But the IOWA ELECTRONIC MARKETS was granted an exemption because it is widely used for academic research. The University of Iowa's business school recently audited the market and found that, since 1988, it beat the conventional polls' accuracy by an average of 74 percent.

UI downplays dental test (International Herald Tribune, Feb. 4)
The UNIVERSITY OF IOWA will offer dental students the Western Regional Examining Board test despite concerns it requires a score of only 55 percent on some sections. Nearby states like Kansas and Illinois dropped it for a more stringent licensing exam. Iowa officials say the best indicator of competency is how a student fares over years of study, not on a few testing days. The International Herald Tribune is published in France.

Story explains Iowa Electronic Markets (Huffington Post, Feb. 3)
The IOWA ELECTRONIC MARKETS, founded by the University of Iowa in 1988, are real-money markets that deal with predicting future events. More succinctly put, the IEM are futures markets. Within the IEM there are several different markets, and conceptually they work something like the Dow Jones stock market.

Copeland comments on Hunter syndrome (Hays Daily News, Feb. 3)
SARA COPELAND, a genetics expert at the University of Iowa Children's Hospital, sees good reasons for newborn screening for Hunter syndrome. A very accurate blood test is available, and getting an early diagnosis provides the opportunity to test infants for problems related to Hunter syndrome, such as hearing loss or heart ailments. The Hays Daily News is published in Kansas, where the case of an infant with the syndrome is being followed.

Sindt encounters lasik failures (Red Orbit, Feb. 3)
Failed lasik eye surgery has led to depression and even suicide. CHRISTINE SINDT, an optometrist and associate professor of clinical ophthalmology at the University of Iowa, has encountered the psychological effects that patients experience when they have trouble seeing. "Depression is a problem for any patient with a chronic vision problem," she said. But in the case of post-lasik patients, she said, the depression is compounded by remorse. "It's not just that they lose vision," she said. "They paid somebody [who] took their vision away." Red Orbit originates in Texas.

Denburg studies judgment of elderly (NewsRx, Feb. 3)
Recent work led by University of Iowa neuroscientist NATALIE DENBURG suggests that for a significant number of older adults, measurable neuropsychological deficits do seem to lead to poor decision-making and an increased vulnerability to fraud. "Our research suggests that elders who fall prey to fraudulent advertising are not simply gullible, depressed, lonely or less intelligent," Denburg said. "Rather, it is truly more of a medical or neurological problem." NewRx originates in Georgia.

Weinstein explains contributions (Chicago Tribune, Feb. 3)
About 56 percent of the money given so far by corporate America -- business-related PACs and individuals -- has gone to the Democrats. That's a near reversal of what happened during the last election cycle in 2006, according to figures compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington, D.C.-based research organization. The rationale behind the shift is "very, very simple," contends Dr. STUART WEINSTEIN, a physician at the University of Iowa Hospital and chairman of the political action committee for the American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons. "Our goal is to improve the health of Americans. The only way you can do that is to work with the leadership party and in this case it is the Democratic Party," said Weinstein.,0,7939102.story

Tippett is finally in the Hall of Fame (Telegram, Feb. 3)
Andre Tippett, a member of the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA sports hall of fame and a star for the New England Patriots, has finally been elected to the NFL Hall of Fame. The Telegram is published in Massachusetts. Stories about the Hall of Fame election have run throughout the country.

Whitmore will retire (Lubbock Avalanche Journal, Feb. 2)
Texas Tech President Jon Whitmore, who was previously provost and theater faculty member at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA, plans to retire in 2009.

Miller studies tardive dyskinesia (Omniomix, Feb. 1)
Tardive dyskinesia is a serious neurologic condition that can occur after prolonged use of antipsychotic drugs. Previous studies have suggested that so-called second-generation antipsychotics (like aripiprazole) have a lower propensity than the older first-generation agents (like haloperidol) to cause movement disorders. DEL D. MILLER from the University of Iowa and colleagues assessed the occurrence tardive dyskinesia during the long-term use of aripiprazole or haloperidol in nearly 1,200 patients with schizophrenia. Significantly fewer patients treated with aripiprazole (5.09 percent) than those treated with haloperidol (11.76 percent) developed dyskinesia during trial, the researchers found.

Van Allen's Explorer 1 beat Sputnik 50 years ago (Log Cabin Democrat, Feb. 1)
Fifty years ago Thursday, the United States launched its first satellite, Explorer 1, into orbit. Conceived by JAMES VAN ALLEN of the University of Iowa and built by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Canada Flintridge, Calif., Explorer 1 carried with it instruments to detect radiation in near space and to send data back to Earth. This mission was an extension of a vast global project called the International Geophysical Year that involved thousands of scientists and technicians from almost every country. This article examines how Explorer 1 was an even more important breakthrough than Sputnik for pure research. The paper is published in Conway, Ark.






The University of Iowa All rights reserved copyright 2006