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

UI in the News

November 2008

See UI in the New Archive Index

Investigative report cites UI study (Times of Malta, Nov. 30)
An investigate report on drinking water found that water advertised as safe often contained potentially dangerous levels of chemicals, including nitrates. "A UNIVERSITY OF IOWA study that probed cancer incidence among nearly 22,000 women suggests that even low level exposures to nitrate over many years could be problematic with certain types of cancer," a story on the report said.

Kidder attended the UI (Sacramento Bee, Nov. 30)
A feature about Pulitzer Prize-winning author Tracy Kidder notes that he studied writing at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA.

Wroblewski identifies favorite books (Newsweek, Nov. 29)
UNIVERSITY OF IOWA MFA graduate David Wroblewski, author of the acclaimed novel "The Story of David Sawtelle," identifies his "five most important books."

Organist attended the UI (HULIQ News, Nov. 29)
A preview of a performance by the Seattle Symphony Chorale notes that resident organist Joseph Adam received undergraduate and graduate degrees at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA. HULIQ news originates in North Carolina.

UI poetry alumna wins award (Daily Gleaner, Nov. 29)
Sharon McCartney, author of the collection "The Love Song of Laura Ingalls Wilder," won the 2008 Acorn-Plantos Award for People's Poetry. McCartney has an MFA in poetry from the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA WRITERS' WORKSHOP. The Daily Gleaner is published in Canada.

UI cited in story on 'vehicle miles traveled' tax (ENC Today, Nov. 29)
A state committee looking into meeting the transportation demands of a growing North Carolina has tentatively approved a plan that could provide more than $1 billion a year for highways and transit programs. The proposal includes increasing adding a new tax called the vehicle miles traveled (VMT) tax. The VMT tax is not currently used anywhere in the United States, although the federal government and a handful of states are considering it. Jim Reed, transportation program director for the National Council of State Legislatures. Said that in addition to North Carolina, Colorado, Oregon and Idaho are talking about the proposed tax, and the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA is considering pilot programs in a number of cities.

Sioson is battling cancer (KGO-TV, Nov. 28)
Miya Rodolfo-Sioson, who was paralyzed from the neck down during the Gang Lu shooting rampage at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA, is battling cancer. Sioson has become well known in the San Francisco Bay area for her disabled-rights advocacy.

UI Press book is reviewed (International Herald Tribune, Nov. 28)
"7 Wheelchairs," published by the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA PRESS, is reviewed as an "extraordinary memoir."

Appeals court rules against UI (Chicago Tribune, Nov. 28)
A request by the Iowa Board of Regents and the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA seeking to prevent a former university doctor from working in the area has been denied. The Iowa Court of Appeals denied the request for an injunction in a ruling issued this week.,0,1922650.story

UI sexual harassment cases cited (Chronicle of Higher Ed, Nov. 28)
In this commentary, it's noted that several recent incidents have brought national attention to issues involving male professors and sexual-harassment policies on campuses. Mark Weiger, a professor of oboe at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA, died by suicide this month. According to the news coverage, in the week before, a former graduate student had named him as a defendant, along with the university, in a sexual-harassment lawsuit. The allegations against him included making inappropriate comments in class and having an affair with a different student. In August, a political science professor at the same university, Arthur Miller, died by suicide shortly after being arrested on charges that he bribed female students with higher grades in exchange for the opportunity to fondle them.

Ponseti Method of clubfoot treatment helps baby (Geelong Advertiser, Nov. 27)
A 3-month-old from Bali was born with clubfoot, a condition which turns a child's feet inwards. Unhappy with the treatment he was receiving, the baby's parents traveled to Australia, where they found a surgeon trained in the Ponseti Method, developed by DR. IGNACIO PONSETI in the 1940s at the University of Iowa. The technique minimizes invasive foot surgery and has a remarkable success rate. By the time he's 4, the boy will be able to run, skip and jump like other kids his age. THE ADVERTISER is based in Australia.

Poet reflects on World War II experiences (Scarborough Evening News, Nov. 26)
Poet Christopher Wiseman, who attended the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA on a writing scholarship, has published a book of poems based on his World War II experiences. The Scarborough Evening News originates in the UK.

Poll: Iowans back recognition for same-sex couples (Chicago Tribune, Nov. 26)
A poll indicates that nearly 60 percent of Iowans support some form of legal recognition for same-sex couples. The Big Ten Battleground Poll finds that about 28 percent support gay marriage and 30 percent oppose gay marriage but favor civil unions. About 32 percent oppose giving same-sex couples the right to marriage or unions. The poll of 586 registered Iowa voters was conducted Oct. 19-22 by the University of Wisconsin with help from the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA.,0,6184712.story

Johnson comments on Biden, Cheney similarities (Washington Times, Nov. 25)
They both have white hair, a tendency to curse, and more years of experience than the presidents for whom they serve -- but the few similarities shared by Vice President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Vice President Dick Cheney are far outshined by their stark differences. Mr. Biden, most notably, gets in trouble for talking -- and talking -- while Mr. Cheney has a reputation for being tight-lipped. "I can't offhand think of any similarities," said University of Iowa law professor NICHOLAS JOHNSON.

Regents schools asked to make cuts (Chicago Tribune, Nov. 25)
The head of the Iowa Board of Regents says the state's public universities will be asked to make about $7 million in cuts. Regents President David Miles says the cuts will have to be made by June 30, 2009 -- the end of the fiscal year. He says the reductions are part of a broader plan to slash the statewide budget by $40 million. Miles says the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA will be asked to trim $3.04 million.,0,4864827.story

Murry comments on prices in recession (Reliable Plant Magazine, Nov. 24)
Should prices on premium brands be lowered in a recession? A University of Iowa marketing professor thinks it might be a mistake for businesses to cut prices, particularly if they have high-end images. "If you have what the public perceives to be a premium brand, you might be doing long-term damage to that brand by lowering your prices," said JOHN MURRY, a professor of marketing in the Tippie College of Business and an expert in retailing and branding. "Building premium brands requires years of work and investment to convince customers that price is less important than premium performance or features. This perception can be quickly undone when marketers begin to tell customers to buy their products because the price is cheap."

Whelan writes on weight loss (USA Today, Nov. 24)
UI sociology faculty member CHRISTINE B. WHELAN wrote a guest column about weight loss challenges during the holiday season.

Story chronicles UI 'chain of grief' (New York Times, Nov. 22)
A story chronicles the series of sad events that have occurred at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA.

UI helps Iowa City become City of Literature (The Scotsman, Nov. 22)
Iowa City has linked up with Edinburgh and Melbourne after being named the world's third City of Literature. Since 1955 graduates of the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA have won more than 25 Pulitzer Prizes.

UI Press book is cited (Middle-East Online, Nov. 22)
A feature about the Guantanamo detainees cites "Poems from Guantanamo," published by the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA PRESS.

Commentator discusses IEM (Minnesota Public Radio, Nov. 21)
Commentator Chris Farell notes that traders on the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA's Iowa Electronic Markets (IEM) predicted from the start that the Democratic nominee for president would be the likely winner of the 2008 popular vote."

Fired UI administrator files open records request (KAAL-TV, Nov. 20)
A former UNIVERSITY OF IOWA vice president who was fired in the aftermath of a sexual assault investigation has filed an open records request with his former employer. Phillip Jones was dismissed in September. This AP story was picked up by KAAL-TV, the ABC affiliated based in Austin, Minn.

UI professor comments on $3.4 million library fine (The Record, Nov. 20)
The Stockton-San Joaquin County Public Library is owed some $3.4 million in unpaid fines, more than five times more than it said last year it was owed, according to a city audit report released this week. The fines date from 1984 to 2007. About $491,000 was billed in the last year included in the report, ending June 30, 2007, the report said. JENNNIFER BUREK PIERCE, a University of Iowa professor who has written about fines, said that after hearing that the Stockton-San Joaquin County Public Library was owed $3.4 million, she told her students, "This is a situation you, as someone planning to manage a public library, you don't want to be in." THE RECORD is based in Stockton, Calif.

Philbert: genetics link to alcoholism risk (U.S.News & World Report, Nov. 20)
Variations in the genetic makeup of alcoholics may affect how much they drink, a new study suggests. And the key might be the brain's control of serotonin, a mood-influencing neurological chemical. The research could potentially help doctors understand who might be at highest risk of becoming an alcoholic, and then treat that person, said study co-author Ming D. Li, head of neurobiology at the University of Virginia. The genetic blueprint that people inherit from their parents accounts for an estimated 40 percent to 50 percent of a person's risk of becoming alcoholic, said Dr. ROBERT PHILIBERT, director of the Laboratory of Psychiatric Genetics at the University of Iowa.

Holl noted as UI art building architect (, Nov. 19)
For three decades architect Steven Holl, who designed the award-winning art school at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA, has used watercolors -- drawn each morning, before the deadlines kick in -- as a springboard toward the creation of architecture. The magazine is based in New York City.

Wilgenbusch: bullying peaks in early adolescence (UPI, Nov. 19)
Bullying can start at any age but increases and then peaks in early adolescence, between sixth and ninth grades, according to TAMMY WILGENBUSCH, a clinical psychologist with University of Iowa Children's Hospital. Wilgenbusch said that at this age, children are developing their personalities and independence so they may be more likely to take their insecurities out on or try to wield power over others. By later adolescence, they have a better sense of self and are less likely to take insecurities out on others, she said.

Loh looks at limiting faculty online course load (Inside Higher Ed, Nov. 18)
A story about staffing online courses notes that at the University of Iowa, some faculty members taught an unusually large number of extra courses and earned lots of overtime pay. Usually, said WALLACE LOH, the university's provost, he has the opposite problem -- trying to persuade faculty members to give time and effort to develop and teach online courses. He's now considering ways to make those incentives work, starting with instituting rules that will limit so-called overload pay by allowing only one extra course (online or not) per semester and capping enrollment in online courses to 36. "I don't think you can do justice to your students and your classes if you're teaching that much, even if your sections have a relatively few number of students," he said.

Lie research uncovered backdating scandal (The American, Nov. 18)
Academic researchers typically work in obscurity, but in a growing number of celebrated cases their relentless sleuthing is prying the lid off industry-wide financial fraud and improprieties that manage to elude the watchful eye of regulators. A professor at the University of Iowa, ERIK LIE, found that corporate executives were backdating option grants. His study, published in 2005, showed that when companies reported stock options the same day they were granted, no pattern of rising share prices resulted. The story was much different, however, among firms that delayed reporting options. In these cases, he found that Yermack's pattern intensified. Lie did not mention any companies by name. But after his study appeared, The Wall Street Journal published an article in March 2006 that used its own analysis to identify six companies with suspicious options-backdating practices. The case caught the eye of the media and blossomed into a backdating scandal in which more than 130 companies came under federal investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Internal Revenue Service, and more than 40 executives stepped down under pressure or were fired. At last count, about 80 cases remained open.

UI fertility study cited (Chicago Tribune, Nov. 18)
Babies born to couples who rely on medical technology to become pregnant have much higher rates of certain birth defects, according to a study published online Monday in the journal Human Reproduction. The report from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found these infants have twice as many heart defects and cleft lips and nearly four times as many gastrointestinal defects as those conceived without technological interventions. The report cites a 2005 study in Fertility and Sterility by researchers at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA that found that IVF babies have a 6.2 percent risk of having a birth defect, compared with a 4.4 percent risk for naturally conceived infants. The same story was published on the Web sites of the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, ST. LOUIS POST DISPATCH, LEXINGTON HERALD LEADER, and several other news organizations.,0,1659343.story

The study was also addressed by a Chicago Tribune blogger:

Hanley comments on transportation funding study (WNCN-TV, Nov. 17)
A story about new ways to pay for public transportation costs notes that one idea is to charge drivers based upon how far they travel, at what time of day and what kind of road you drive on. And, just like an electric or cable bill, drivers could get a transportation bill in the mail every month. He sees it eventually replacing the gas tax. A scaled down version of the concept simply measuring mileage, is being tested in the Triangle area of North Carolina. PAUL HANLEY, the director of Transportation Policy Research at the Public Policy Center at the University of Iowa, is heading up the study. "Testing the feasibility of switching from the fuel tax, pay at the pump, to having a mileage charge," Hanley said. It's a five-year, $12 million study that Hanley said Congress asked them to conduct. It's taking place in six locations across the country including the Triangle. Starting this week, 200 Triangle participants will have "onboard computers" or "microchips" installed in their cars. Those devices Handley said, will record the number of miles traveled. "As a study team we do have a concern that this system isn't Big Brother watching where we go, when we go and how we go, so that's the design of it, is only looking at mileage," Hanley said. WNCN is based in Raleigh, NC.

Hope Lodge cares for Holden cancer patients (Chicago Tribune, Nov. 17)
A story about the Russell and Ann Gerdin American Cancer Society Hope Lodge notes that the lodge, nestled in a wooded area near the Ronald McDonald House and Carver Hawkeye Arena, opened this fall. The building, with 28 guest rooms and several shared lounge areas, offers a free place for patients and their caregiver to stay while undergoing treatment at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA's Holden Comprehensive Cancer Treatment Center. Though there is no cost to stay at the lodge, patients must be referred for the service by their doctor.,0,7427624.story

Zavazava comments on stem-cell ban (USA Today, Nov. 17)
President-elect Barack Obama could reignite an emotional national debate over the promise and the perils of medical research using cells taken from human embryos. "Current policy has depressed the field" of research and caused an exodus of scientists from the United States to other countries where such research is flourishing," University of Iowa researcher NICHOLAS ZAVAZAVA says.

Andreasen discusses brain, creativity and thinking (The Sunday Times, Nov. 16)
In an article on brain function, University of Iowa expert NANCY ANDREASEN notes no one has yet done a study to show that "brain games" such as sudoku produce cognitive improvements. Andreasen offers four suggestions to benefit the brain, best practiced 30 minutes each day: choose a new and unfamiliar area of knowledge and explore it in depth, spend some time meditating or just thinking, practice observing and describing things, and practice imagining. The story also references Andreasen's study of participants in the Iowa Writers' Workshop, which found a high percentage of mood disorders among the students. THE TIMES is based in London.

UI winters are 'serious affairs' (Napa Valley Register, Nov. 16)
Writing about "snappy" November mornings in northern California, columnist Kevin Courtney writes, "I've been talking to my son in Iowa City, where winters are serious affairs. Dennis walked home from campus last week in a swirl of snowflakes. Night temps are below freezing. The chipmunks have retreated to their burrows. When winter locks Iowa City in its vice, things happen that could never happen in Napa. For one thing, the Iowa River freezes. So said Napa Valley Register wine writer Jack Heeger, a UNIVERSITY OF IOWA grad, who remembers winters of more than a half-century ago when he would walk across ice to get from his fraternity house to classes.

Resident artist has UI MFA (El Paso Times, Nov. 16)
A feature about new Border Arts resident artist Alice Leora Briggs notes that she has a Master of Fine Arts degree from the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA.

Dance was created at the UI (Winston Salem Journal, Nov. 16)
Diego Carrasco Schoch, the newest member of the faculty at the University North Carolina School of the Arts, is staging a new production of "Migration," which he created in 2004 when he was a graduate student at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA.

UI holds memorial concert (Chicago Tribune, Nov. 15)
A memorial concert was held for a UNIVERSITY OF IOWA music professor who committed suicide this week.,0,5087906.story

Columnist experiences Hawkeye tailgating (Chicago Tribune, Nov. 15)
Columnist Barbara Brotman writes, "One minute, my only connection to college football was a vague awareness that it existed. The next minute I was standing outside a stadium with a Hawkeye temporary tattoo on my cheek and a Big Ass Turkey Leg in my hand. My daughter, a UNIVERSITY OF IOWA student, beamed. "This is Iowa football," she said proudly as I tried to wipe barbecue sauce from my other cheek without letting go of my meal, an Iowa football delicacy that looked like haunch of brontosaurus.,0,6021752.column

Blumberg publishes 'Freaks of Nature' (Chronicle of Higher Ed, Nov. 14)
, professor of behavioral and cognitive neuroscience and developmental science at the University of Iowa, is the author of "Freaks of Nature: What Anomalies Tell Us About Development and Evolution" (Oxford University Press). The new book examines various kinds of disfigurement that occur in both human beings and animals (like elephants, snakes and minnows), includes diagrams and photographs, and questions our assumptions about the abnormally developed. Blumberg urges us to consider how our ideas of what is natural can and should expand to include the anomalies among us.

UI will get FEMA flood money (Chicago Tribune, Nov. 14)
State officials say more than $23 million will soon be available to fund three flood repair projects at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is in the final stages of approving the funding, which will cover 90 percent of the project costs.,0,5967442.story

Security breach leads to firing and suspensions (Chicago Tribune, Nov. 14)
One employee at UNIVERSITY OF IOWA HOSPITALS has been fired and seven others suspended for allegedly looking at private patient information.,0,911933.story

UI studies driving habits (, Nov. 14)
A federally funded study being conducted by the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA will pay drivers $895 to keep track of their driving habits by installing a GPS device on their cars. The Department of Transportation wants to use the Iowa study to determine if a fixed, pay-per-mile system would serve as a more reliable source of funds than the gas tax.

UI professor commits suicide (Chronicle of Higher Ed, Nov. 14)
A UNIVERSITY OF IOWA music professor who was accused in a federal lawsuit last week of sexually harassing one of his students killed himself on Wednesday, Nov. 12, according to news reports. Mark O. Weiger, who had taught oboe and chamber music at the university since 1988, was found dead in his car in his garage, the Des Moines Register reported. The professor left suicide notes, and an autopsy confirmed the cause of death as carbon monoxide poisoning, police officials in Iowa City told the newspaper. Mr. Weiger's death follows that of a political-science professor, Arthur H. Miller, who was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound less than three months ago after he was accused of offering better grades to female students in exchange for sexual favors.

O'Hara comments on suicides (Inside Higher Ed, Nov. 14)
For the second time this year, a professor at the University of Iowa has taken his own life after being accused of sexual harassment. On Wednesday, Nov. 12, just a week after he was accused of sexual harassment in a lawsuit, Mark Weiger killed himself. He was a professor of music known for his oboe performances and teaching. In August, UI professor Arthur H. Miller was arrested on bribery charges and accused of telling female students that he would give them higher grades if they let him fondle their breasts. He then shot himself in a local park. MICHAEL W. O'HARA, president of the Faculty Senate at Iowa and a professor of psychology, called the two deaths "a horrible coincidence." He added that "sometimes in the great big wide world, events converge that are totally coincidental yet you begin to wonder if there is a pattern, and my view is that this is like having our 500-year flood. It seems inexplicable but it happened."

Commentary on campus violence mentions UI (The Chronicle of Higher Ed, Nov. 14)
An opinion piece on campus violence notes that the majority of shooting incidents on college campuses in the past two decades involved current or former graduate students. The author asserts that students in graduate and professional programs often lack healthy balance in their personal lives and in some cases their lives and sense of worth may revolve around academic achievement. He writes that intense pressure to be the best was what caused the physics student Gang Lu at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA to react in such an extreme way after finishing second in the competition for a coveted prize awarded for the most outstanding doctoral dissertation. In 1991, Lu executed five people before turning the gun on himself.

Police confirm professor's death (KHQA-TV, Nov. 13)
Iowa City police say a UNIVERSITY OF IOWA music professor named in a sexual harassment lawsuit is dead, apparently of suicide.  Sgt. Troy Kelsay confirmed the death of Mark Weiger on Thursday, Nov. 13. Kelsay said police were called to Weiger's home in Iowa City on Wednesday, where they found him dead in his car in his garage. The TV station is based in Quincy, Ill. The story also appeared on the Web site of KTTC in Rochester, Minn.

UI graduate noted for volunteer efforts (CNN, Nov. 13)
Brian Gallagher, president and CEO of United Way, was asked to name a volunteer in his organization whom he considers a hero. "Mike Brooks is a great example of an inspiring and entrepreneurial young leader. As a student at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA, Mike was highly active in efforts to mobilize student volunteers. He created the 10,000 Hours Show, a campus-based volunteer outreach program that culminates in a free concert for volunteers. Mike is now working with United Way to spread the 10,000 Hours Show, Student United Ways, Alternative Spring Break and the United Way Challenge on Facebook Causes to campuses across the country," Gallager said.

Gronbeck discusses Republicans' visits to Iowa (, Nov. 13)
Republicans appear to be gearing up for the 2012 presidential race before Barack Obama has even moved into the White House. Two high-profile Republicans have scheduled campaign-like stops in Iowa next week as party leaders are still trying to recover from devastating losses to Democrats in the Nov. 4 election. Oftentimes, potential presidential candidates don't begin to make appearances in Iowa until about two years before the race, said BRUCE GRONBECK, director of the University of Iowa's Center for Media Studies and Political Culture. It's likely that the Iowa visits are, in part, a way for Republican Party candidates to begin to reconnect with voters and draw support from their base as well as from independent voters, Gronbeck said.

'Mad Money' visits UI campus (CNBC, Nov. 13)
No matter which area of the market is hurting, "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer said during Wednesday's show at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA, it all comes back to housing. Cramer was in the Hawkeye State for his latest Back to School Tour stop at Iowa's Henry B. Tippie College of Business.*tag*&par=RSS

Related video: Cramer gives students from the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA's Henry and Krause investment funds a chance to pitch stocks to him.

Polgreen comments on Google Flu Trends (New York Times, Nov. 12)
Ailing Americans are entering phrases like "flu symptoms" into Google and other search engines before they call their doctors. This has given rise to a new early warning system for fast-spreading flu outbreaks, called Google Flu Trends. Tests of the new Web tool from, the company's philanthropic unit, suggest that it may be able to detect regional outbreaks of the flu a week to 10 days before they are reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The premise behind Google Flu Trends has been supported by an unrelated study indicating that the data collected by Yahoo, Google's rival in Internet search, can also help with early detection of the flu. "In theory, we could use this stream of information to learn about other disease trends as well," said Dr. PHILIP POLGREEN, a University of Iowa assistant professor of medicine and epidemiology and an author of the study based on Yahoo's data. The story also appeared in several other publications, including the AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN in Texas, SEATTLE TIMES, ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH and the BOSTON GLOBE.

Carver College of Medicine noted in opinion piece (Idaho Statesman, Nov. 12)
In a guest editorial about the need for a new Idaho medical school, it's noted that the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA CARVER COLLEGE OF MEDICINE "is now a premier medical education and research institution. But the University of Iowa's medical education program did not start yesterday. It began in 1870 with the opening of the first co-educational medical school in the country." The writer also adds, "What started over 130 years ago has become the pride of the state of Iowa, a recognized leader in medical technology and education and an economic engine that has spawned a community of medical and biotechnology industries and opportunities."

Students invent salt dispenser (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Nov. 11)
Matt Moran and Sam Hipple, two seventh-grade students from Davenport, Iowa, built a rock salt dispenser that mounts under the handlebars of an Ariens snow thrower and spreads salt along the machine's path, allowing the user to clear snow and melt ice in one pass. Called the Mega Melter, it will be developed and sold by Ariens. Matt and Sam will receive a cash royalty for each of the salt spreaders that Ariens sells. They got their idea when they entered an invention competition called Invent Iowa sponsored by the engineering colleges at the University of Iowa and Iowa State University. The program encourages students in grades K-12 to seek and solve problems. "There's some type of engineering involved in every one of these projects," said CLAR BALDUS, Invent Iowa state convention coordinator and a University of Iowa administrator. "We did a survey of the inventions once, and it pretty much ran the gamut of what you would find at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office." The article also appeared in the PRESS OF ATLANTIC CITY in New Jersey, FRESNO BEE in California, the BELLINGHAM HERALD in Washington, and other publications.

UI biologist falsified figures (The Scientist, Nov. 11)
Former University of Iowa molecular biologist, Jusan Yang, falsified several figures in an unpublished manuscript and at two scientific meetings, the U.S. Public Health Service's Office of Research Integrity (ORI) reported last week. The University of Iowa launched an inquiry into Yang's findings in March 2005 when "the leadership of the laboratory identified some anomalies, and were very concerned about the irreproducibility of some of the results," said RICHARD HICHWA, associate vice president for research at the University of Iowa and the former research integrity officer who oversaw Yang's investigation. None of the falsified data were ever published in peer-review journals, and no problems were found with Yang's previous results. Yang voluntarily left the University of Iowa in August 2005 after the university's July 2005 inquiry report.

Polgreen comments on drug-resistant intestinal bug (Bloomberg, Nov. 11)
Deadly, diarrhea-causing germs are making hospital patients sick at an accelerating rate. About 13 of every 1,000 hospital patients are infected with or are carrying the potentially fatal bug, called Clostridium difficile, on any one day, said William Jarvis, a researcher who led the study for the Association of Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, at the group's annual conference. Federal health officials said that rate is consistent with estimates that infections have risen to about half a million people this year, and suggests that hospital infections increased by nearly one-third since 2004. More than half of patients with the disease, 54 percent, had been in the hospital for less than 48 hours, the study found. That suggests that many patients may have acquired the infection before being hospitalized, said PHILIP POLGREEN, a University of Iowa infectious disease specialist in Iowa City. "Historically that would be very unusual, because C. difficile is something you usually get in the hospital," he said yesterday in a telephone interview. "We need to start thinking about C. difficile at the time of admission, before it can spread to other patients."

Whelan article discusses mindfulness (Washington Post, Nov. 11)
CHRISTINE B. WHELAN, a sociology professor at the University of Iowa, writes about the Buddhist concept of mindfulness, the awareness that emerges from focusing on the present and the ability to perceive -- but not judge -- your own emotions with detachment; it enables you to choose helpful responses to difficult situations rather than reacting out of habit. While Western thought separates religion and science, she writes that Buddhists see mindfulness as both a spiritual and psychological force.

Tippie student Cullen brings CNBC's Mad Money to UI (Boston Globe, Nov. 11)
UNIVERSITY OF IOWA senior Alex Cullen walked by a television set as his older brother was watching a noisy guy bounce around on the screen, decapitating bobbleheads and talking about the stock market. It attracted his attention and he started watching Jim Cramer's "Mad Money" on CNBC. Three years later, when Cullen sent Cramer a video he posted on YouTube asking him to bring his "Mad Money Back to School Tour" to Iowa City, Cramer said, "Yes." Cramer will speak to a few classes on Nov. 12. A show will be taped in the Iowa Memorial Union for broadcast at 6 p.m. CST. The same article appeared on the Web sites of the WASHINGTON POST and CHICAGO TRIBUNE.

Novelist Rhodes is Workshop alumnus (St. Paul Pioneer Press, Nov. 11)
A profile of David Rhodes, author of the novel "Driftless," notes that he is a graduate of the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA Writers' Workshop.

Jones comments on Minnesota voting machines (The Public Record, Nov. 10)
Votes are still being counted in the Senate race in Minnesota between incumbent Republican Norm Coleman and Democratic challenger Al Franken, with Coleman having a 206-vote lead as of Monday, Nov. 10. Some undervoting has been noted, and the type of voting machine used in nearly all of the counties in Minnesota have been found to have failed accuracy tests. University of Iowa computer scientist DOUGLAS JONES, one of the leading experts on optical scan voting machines, told the technology magazine Ars Technica last week that the M-100 voting machines have "been pretty good" when he tested them. But "it's not uncommon in the studies I've seen for 4 percent of ballots in absentee voting to need to be seen by human eyes," Jones said. "Even in precinct voting, you'd expect to have to look at 1 or 2 percent of ballots directly. Overvotes should get caught right there on the spot, but undervotes may not be."

Kearney discusses flood evacuation (WKOW-TV, Nov. 10)
University of Iowa Associate Dean of Arts JOE KEARNEY's memories of the summer flood are still fresh in his mind. "It was pretty chaotic," he says. Thousands of pieces of art, costumes and ten grand pianos were saved. Campus officials learned that many of the items thought to be gone forever had been moved to areas where they were out of water's reach. As for the pieces missing, including the ceramic sculptures valued at an estimated $70,000, Kearney says there's a small chance they still could turn up. WKOW is based in Madison, Wisc.

Professor accused of harassment (Chicago Tribune, Nov. 10)
A former UNIVERSITY OF IOWA student has filed a lawsuit claiming she was sexually harassed by a music professor.,0,7657665.story

New Orleans nurses reached out to the UI (, Nov. 10)
In June, after the Mississippi River breached its banks in Iowa, a group of nurses from New Orleans reached out to RNs in Cedar Rapids and Iowa City. Iowa disaster team nurses joined the New Orleans nurses as they set up their black kettles in a park near the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA HOSPITALS AND CLINICS, where the Iowa River flooded, and fed 250 people who worked at the hospital and lived in the community.

UI limits online courses (Chronicle of Higher Ed, Nov. 9)
After paying $1.76-million in "overload" bonuses last year to professors who taught online courses in addition to their regular duties, the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA has limited the number of such courses that faculty members may teach and capped student enrollments in the courses.

Some items believed looted have been found (Chicago Tribune, Nov. 7)
UNIVERSITY OF IOWA officials say a variety of items that were thought to have been looted in the aftermath of widespread flooding this summer have been found. However, others are still missing and believed stolen. Officials say many of the items that were found, including musical instruments, had been moved to different locations to prevent damage.,0,5782315.story

Jones comments on voting scanner (Arts Technica, Nov. 7)
If the Minnesota senate race flips in a few weeks, will the M-100 scanner, manufactured by Election Systems & Software, be to blame? University of Iowa computer scientist DOUGLAS JONES, a leading expert on optical scan voting systems, said, "In the testing I've done on the M-100, it's been pretty good," said Jones. "It tended to count as a vote the things I naively thought it should count, and it tended not to count the things I thought it shouldn't count." But the same machines failed accuracy tests recently in Michigan. "The more you look at it, the more fish you smell," Jones said. "The county says the machines haven't seen preventative maintenance in two years. You've got to at the very least blow the dust out of them. If you don't do that you end up scanning dust instead of scanning ballots."

Iowa means writers (York Daily Record, Nov. 7)
A tailgating feature begins: "When thoughts turn to Iowa, you probably think of corn and farms and flat earth. We think of writers. (We're partial to writers here, for some reason). And the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA is the place to go to get schooled in the written word, in all fashions. Start with how the university's creative writing program is considered the best in the nation. Its well-known prestigious Writers' Workshop also is billed as the first of its kind in the world. The international writing program at Iowa? The only one of its kind in the world." The York Daily Record is published in Pennsylvania.

UI article cites numbers on child exposure to TV sex (Bedford Bulletin, Nov. 7)
There really shouldn't be any surprise at this: Teens who watch "Sex in the City," and similar shows, are more likely to get pregnant. That headline hit the national newspapers this week to some fanfare but, unfortunately, no call to arms. Teens spend an average of three hours a day watching television and that's only in addition to the time spent playing explicit video games or surfing the Internet. An article posted by the Department of Pediatrics UNIVERSITY OF IOWA Children's Hospital Web site states that during an average year, it is estimated that American youth are exposed to more than 14,000 sexual references and jokes, between 1,000 and 2,000 beer and wine commercials, more than 1,000 murders, rapes, assaults, and armed robberies, and nearly 20,000 commercials. The newspaper is published in Bedford, Va.

Weston launches 'Lawyers for 9/11 Truth' (OpEd News, Nov. 6)
BURNS H. WESTON, the Bessie Dutton Murray Distinguished Professor of Law Emeritus and Director of the Center for Human Rights at the University of Iowa, is one of the founders of "Lawyers for 9/11 Truth." Their petition states, "Many lawyers have concluded that the 9/11 Commission and other government examinations were wholly inadequate, and did not follow proper rules of evidence or procedure. We are demanding an end to the 9/11 cover-up, and a full investigation by unbiased people with subpoena power . . . and the courage to demand that the Constitution and rule of law are followed, and all guilty persons held accountable for their actions." OpEd News originates in Pennsylvania.

Ferentz is highest-paid Iowa employee (Chronicle of Higher Ed, Nov. 6)
University of Iowa football coach KIRK FERENTZ was the highest-paid state employee in Iowa during the 2008 fiscal year, earning a base salary of $2.9 million.

UI's Dickson notes teamwork in life-saving campaign (The Californian, Nov. 6)
Twenty-four hospitals from Monterey, San Benito, Santa Cruz and Santa Clara counties -- including Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System and Natividad Medical Center -- are taking part in the 5 Million Lives Campaign, a voluntary initiative to protect patients from 5 million incidents of medical harm. The campaign, led by the Institute of Healthcare Improvement, ends in December, and the institute held one of eight statewide meetings in Monterey on Thursday to help local hospitals improve patient care. "Everyone is working together," said Dr. ERIC DICKSON, an institute faculty member and head of the department of emergency medicine at the University of Iowa. The CALIFORNIAN is published in Salinas, Calif.

Book review praises Robinson's 'Gilead' (, Nov. 6)
Author MARILYNNE ROBINSON has always been known as a good writer. But with her Pulitzer Prize-winning work, "Gilead," she has become one of America's best writers, along with Cormac McCarthy and Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison. "Gilead," which was written 24 years after Robinson's acclaimed novel, "Housekeeping," is simply a perfect book. Robinson, who also teaches at the University of Iowa's Writer's Workshop, has created a work that transcends the constructs of race, gender and age. THESTARPRESS.COM is an online news source that serves east central Indiana.

IEM cited as success in tracking election outcomes (Biz Yahoo!, Nov. 5)
The IOWA ELECTRONIC MARKETS was cited among different types of prognosticators that tried to forecast the outcome of this year's elections. This included economics models, smart polls and prediction markets with predication markets like IEM coming out as the winners.

Hovenkamp comments on proposed Google-Yahoo partnership (New York Times, Nov. 5)
Google offered its rival Yahoo a marriage of convenience this past summer: an advertising partnership that gave Yahoo an alternative to selling all or part of itself to Microsoft. That proposed marriage fell apart Wednesday in the face of opposition from government antitrust regulators. HERBERT HOVENKAMP, a law professor at the University of Iowa, said a market in which Google and Yahoo compete for ads looked better to the Justice Department than one in which they cooperate.

Tippie College of Business to host CNBC's 'Mad Money' Nov. 12 (CNBC, Nov. 5)
When the Hawkeyes speak, Jim Cramer listens. From a wildly creative "pitch" on YouTube to an overzealous Cramer look-alike roaming the campus, the Iowa City locale got the attention of CNBC's hit "Mad Money w/Jim Cramer" and has been selected to host a broadcast of the program. Cramer will bring his 2008 "Mad Money Back to School Tour" to the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA on Wednesday, Nov. 12. His live broadcast is hosted by the Henry B. Tippie College of Business.

UI to restore Art Building West (Chicago Tribune, Nov. 5)
Despite the risk that the Iowa River could overflow its banks again, the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA will restore a flood-damaged art building. Officials say that's because the need for space outweighs the risk that the Art Building West will flood again before protections are put in place. Record flooding in June caused $12 million in damage to the $21.5 million building. The university's flood mitigation task force recommended the building be restored because of the space needs of the art and art history programs. The ASSOCIATED PRESS story appeared on several other news Web sites.,0,2035288.story

Scientists to study Kansas river environment (Kansas City Infozine, Nov. 5)
The impact of evaporation and how thirsty plants draw water out of river environments on Kansas water resources is being studied by water specialists at the Kansas Geological Survey, based at the University of Kansas, with a grant from the National Science Foundation. The specialists are working with researchers from the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA and University of Colorado.

Redlawsk comments on youth turnout (Politico, Nov. 4)
Going against the stereotype of the apathetic college kid, youth have been more involved in this election than any in recent memory -- and experts think they will show up at the polls. Experts attribute the jump in interest to an increase in digital-based communication from campaigns, Democratic nominee Barack Obama's appeal to the generation, and increased outreach from the candidates. Obama "specifically reached out to younger voters," said University of Iowa professor DAVID REDLAWSK. "The evidence is that any group of voters, if they're targeted, tends to respond."

Colleges report voter turnout  (Politico, Nov. 4)
On Election Day, campuses around the country were reporting a huge voter turnout and, for the moment, few problems or instances of voter intimidation. Early voting in Iowa City smashed past records with 43 percent of Johnson County's registered voters having voted by Monday, compared with 37 percent in 2004, according to the Daily Iowan, the student newspaper of the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA. Today's anticipated large turnout was expected to cause long lines at some polling places there, since Iowa -- along with Wisconsin and Minnesota -- allows same-day registration.

Kirby comments on predatory bacteria (Scientific Technology, Nov. 4)
Like something from a horror movie, the swarm of bacteria ripples purposefully toward its prey, devours it and moves on. Despite its deadly role in the bacterial world, Myxococcus xanthus is harmless to humans and might be used beneficially to destroy harmful bacteria on surfaces or in human infections. The bacterium lives in a multi-cellular unit that can change its structure and behavior in response to changing availability of prey. Commonly found in soil, it preys on other bacteria. "It may be that we can modify this predator-prey relationship or apply it to medically relevant situations," said JOHN KIRBY, Ph.D., associate professor of microbiology at the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine. "It would be amazing if we could adapt its predatory ability to get rid of harmful bacteria that reside in places we don't want them, including in hospitals or on medical implants."

Use of kids' medications on the increase (WXVT-TV, Nov. 3)
Medication use among children across the United States is dramatically increasing as more kids are being treated for diabetes, asthma and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), researchers report. Increased prescribing may be due in large part to increasing obesity among children and the health consequences of that trend, researchers say. Dr. MICHAEL ARTMAN, head of the department of pediatrics at the University of Iowa, is concerned that children with chronic health problems who have private health insurance are getting better care than similar children who rely on government programs or who have no health insurance. "I can imagine that the need is as great or even greater among disadvantaged children," Artman said. "We know the prevalence of those chronic conditions in disadvantaged socioeconomic classes is greater. This is kind of the tip of the iceberg in children's prescribing." The TV station is based in Greenville, Miss.

Kirby, Berleman study bacteria movement (New York Times, Nov. 3)
Bacteria move in mysterious ways. Myxococcus xanthus, for example, a harmless soil microbe, forms rippling swarms by the millions as it devours other microbes as prey. This organized back-and-forth behavior "was thought to occur particularly in response to starvation," said Dr. JOHN R. KIRBY, a microbiologist at the University of Iowa. But Kirby, JAMES E. BERLEMAN and others at Iowa report in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that M. xanthus acts this way in response to food, and uses chemical sensing and signaling pathways to do so.

Marshall discusses children's soda consumption (The Pakistan Post, Nov. 3)
A story about consumption of soft drinks by children quotes Dr. TERESA MARSHALL of the University of Iowa, who has conducted several studies on the effect of beverages on health, also believes it has something to do with the way drinks are consumed. Foods are eaten at once and washed down. Children often have sweet drinks between meals while doing other things. "If you're carrying around a beverage for a period of time, you have a constant exposure to the sugar," Marshall said. Experts note than any of these health problems have complex roots. People are gaining weight because they are consuming more calories than they used to and aren't burning them off before they are stored on hips, waists and thighs. This is not solely the fault of sugar.

IEM traders bullish on Obama (Agence France Presse, Nov. 3)
Wall Street may be a mess, but in the final hours before Tuesday's U.S. election one share just keeps rising: Barack Obama. The IOWA ELECTRONIC MARKETS predict Obama 91.5 percent likely to get in and McCain 8.6 percent. The markets, which are run by the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA as a research project, found in a study that it had beaten the polls 74 percent of the time over 20 years. This story also appeared on the Web site of THE PENINSULA (Qatar), ABC-TV (Australia), YAHOO! CANADA, and numerous other news organizations.

Stories about the IEM also appeared on the Web sites of the STRAITS TIMES of Malaysia:


Cassell comments on happiness in tough times (Hartford Courant, Nov. 3)
It takes strong character to find happiness in the face of adversity, but scientists often have found that aspect too vague a topic to study. Understanding how the brain processes raw feelings of desire and pleasure is far easier. Most creatures seek pleasure in some way. Pleasure motivates us to seek food, sex and a multitude of things that ensure the survival of an individual or species. "There's an enormous evolutionary advantage to getting pleasure from these things," said MARTIN CASSELL, a professor at the University of Iowa. "The more long-term aspects of what causes happiness are much less well understood." Cassell said he believes a key brain area for both pleasure and long-term happiness is the insular cortex, a region buried under the flaps and folds toward the front of the brain.,0,3236649.story

Columnist cites UI poll (Kansas City Star, Nov. 3)
Columnist Bill Tammeus writes, "It's impossible to understand American politics -- including our national election this Tuesday -- without understanding the influence of religion... A recent UNIVERSITY OF IOWA HAWKEYE POLL said that more than 8 percent of registered American voters think Sen. Barack Obama is a Muslim. Stunning, eh? Is this an understandable case of mistaken identity? No. It's a case of willfully deceitful propaganda having an effect."

Jones talks about voting scandals (, Nov. 3)
DOUGLAS JONES, voting technology expert at the University of Iowa, says most voting scandals involve ballot design, not technology flaws. From Florida's butterfly ballot in 2000 to this election's straight-ticket issues in Texas, design flaws cause more mis-votes than anything directly related to the machines themselves. The ideal voting machine would use touchscreen technology -- it can present selections more clearly and break down contests into separate screens that voters can scroll through, ensuring that you've made a choice before moving to the next screen. DVICE is a Web site of the SciFi Channel.

Artman discusses medication gap (US News, Nov. 3)
Medication use among children across the United States is dramatically increasing. MICHAEL ARTMAN, head of the department of pediatrics at the University of Iowa, is concerned that children with chronic health problems who have private health insurance are getting better care than similar children who rely on government programs or who have no health insurance. Artman said, "We know the prevalence of those chronic conditions in disadvantaged socioeconomic classes is greater. This is kind of the tip of the iceberg in children's prescribing."

UI writing MFA cited (Media for Freedom, Nov. 3)
Anna Clark wrote in Bitch Magazine, "The first Master of Fine Arts program was founded at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA in 1936. Over time, women writers nurtured their ambitions there and at other programs around the country. Today, women writers dominate MFA programs and journalism schools, reveling in a space for their work that once didn't exist. Their ambitions are encouraged, and often funded." Media for Freedom originates in Nepal.

IWP participant writes about UI experience (New Zealand Herald, Nov. 2)
New Zealand writer Gordon McLauchlan, who participated in the International Writing Program, refers to his experience at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA: "At the University of Iowa a few years ago, I heard Thomas Friedman, the top New York Times foreign affairs columnist, repeatedly refer in a speech to the death in war of civilians as 'collateral damage'."

IEM predictions cited (Wall Street Journal MarketWatch, Nov. 2)
If you want to pooh-pooh the pundits and polls and get the real scoop on the likely outcome of Tuesday's presidential election, it's worth taking a look at the political-futures markets. The Iowa Electronic Markets, which opened in 1988, boasts a prediction rate of "closer than the polls 75 percent of the time," said JOYCE BERG, director of IEM and a professor of accounting at the University of Iowa.

UI breast cancer research cited (Food Consumer, Nov. 2)
A study led by ADITYA BARDIA and colleagues at the University of Iowa and presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology found that an active lifestyle was linked to a 10 percent reduced risk of developing breast cancer in postmenopausal women. Food Consumer originates in Illinois.

UI Press book is cited (Daily Gazette, Nov. 2)
Columnist Kathryn McCary writes that the Guantánamo prisoners have lost everything. "Some of them have written poetry, some of which has been published ("Poems of Guantánamo: The Detainees Speak," edited by Marc Falkoff, UNIVERSITY OF IOWA PRESS, 2007); other than that, it is hard to see any good that has come -- to them or to anyone else -- out of their extended captivity." The Daily Gazette originates in Schenectady, N.Y.

IMU reopens (Chicago Tribune, Nov. 1)
The UNIVERSITY OF IOWA's Memorial Union is officially reopening after summer floods damaged it, though some areas remain off-limits.,0,6478018.story

IEM odds are cited (North Jersey Record, Nov. 1)
Columnist Joseph Ax writes that a McCain victory will make winners of those who go against the odds in prediction markets. "Some experts believe that online exchanges, like or the IOWA ELECTRONIC MARKETS at the University of Iowa, are the most accurate predictors of what will happen on Election Day, thanks to the power of free markets." A $1.67 investment in the IEM would pay $10 if McCain won. The column is appearing widely.

Writer will be in residence at UI (Post Star, Nov. 1)
Chinese/Indonesian Xu Xi will be the Bedell Distinguished Visiting Writer at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA in its nonfiction program next year. The Post Star is published in Glens Falls, N.Y.

Morrell wrote 'First Blood' at UI (Calgary Herald, Nov. 1)
A feature about author David Morrell notes that he wrote "First Blood" while he was an English faculty member at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA. He is guest of honor at the World Fantasy Convention.

Jones discusses troubled electronic voting machines (Nature, November 2008)
DOUGLAS JONES, computer science professor at the University of Iowa, discusses the impact on voting of the many problems affecting electronic voting machines.

SJSU president is former UI leader (San Jose Magazine, November 2008)
A story about Jon Whitmore, president of San Jose State University, notes that he is a former provost at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA and his son, Ian, is currently a student at UI.







The University of Iowa All rights reserved copyright 2006