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February 28, 2006

Minnesota's Water

Minnesota prides itself on being the “Land of 10,000 Lakes.� But how healthy are our water sources? Deborah Swackhamer, co-director of the U of M’s Water Resources Center and a professor of environmental chemistry in the School of Public Health, says the percentage of impaired or unhealthy water sources in Minnesota is surprisingly high – and nothing to be proud of.

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Posted by jfalk at 5:21 PM

February 24, 2006

Dentistry Technology

The 3M Foundation has contributed $1 million to the University of Minnesota to renovate 30-year-old teaching labs for beginning dentistry students. Patrick Lloyd, dean of the School of Dentistry, says that the gift puts the school closer to its project goal of raising $10.5 million.

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Posted by jfalk at 5:18 PM

February 22, 2006

Scholarship Opportunities

This month the U of M announced a major expansion of its Founders Opportunity Scholarship program. The Founders program will help more than 4,500 low- and moderate-income undergraduates each year, providing aid to nearly every student coming from families earning less than $50,000 a year. Christina Fairbanks, a freshman from St. Paul, is one of the many students at the U who benefits from scholarship opportunities. She says the U’s financial aid package was a major draw.

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Posted by jfalk at 5:02 PM

February 21, 2006

Diabetes Research

Researchers at the University of Minnesota have successfully reversed diabetes in monkeys using transplanted islet cells from pigs. Such cells produce and secrete insulin. Dr. Bernhard Hering, the study’s lead researcher, says the results suggest it is possible to use pig islet cells to treat people with type 1, and possibly type 2, diabetes.

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Posted by jfalk at 5:00 PM

February 20, 2006

Tax Tips

It’s that time of the year again: tax season. Rosemary Heins, a regional educator in family resource management with the U of M Extension Service, says too many Minnesotans miss out on important federal and state tax benefits because they’re unaware they qualify or don’t know how to claim them. She makes it her business to keep Minnesotans updated on the latest benefits, such as the earned income tax credit.

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Posted by jfalk at 4:56 PM

February 17, 2006

Vital Aging

Healthy, active, and mobile older adults, most commonly referred to as seniors, make up a new and rapidly growing part of our population. Jan Hively, founder of the U’s Vital Aging Network, says it’s important and rewarding for people as they grow older to stay physically and mentally fit.

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Posted by jfalk at 12:21 PM

February 16, 2006

Teasing and Eating Disorders

Kids who are teased about being overweight are more likely to become binge eaters or engage in unhealthy dieting, according to public health researchers at the University of Minnesota. In her study, researcher Jess Haines says her team surveyed more than 4,700 middle- and high-school age children in 31 Minnesota schools.

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Posted by jfalk at 12:18 PM

February 15, 2006

uSuits

A group of undergraduate students at the U’s Carlson School of Management have joined forces in a new class to launch a profitable business entity: uSuits, which are university-licensed protective coverings for iPod products. Nick VanWagner, a Carlson School senior who manages uSuits’ business development, says the Carlson class provided students with the know-how on building a business from the ground up.

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Posted by jfalk at 12:15 PM

February 14, 2006

Black History Month

Every February, Americans celebrate Black History Month, an opportunity to reflect on and learn about black history. Keith Mayes, assistant professor of African American and African Studies, sheds some light on the contributions of African-Americans, in particular soldiers returning home from WWII, who he says were the force that led to the civil rights movement.

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Posted by jfalk at 12:12 PM

February 13, 2006

MySpace.com Phenomenon

Since its creation in 2003, MySpace.com has become a widely popular online meeting place for teens and young adults. To date, more than 50 million people worldwide have posted a profile on the site. Laura Gurak, professor for rhetoric and director of the U of M’s Internet Studies Center, says this electronic communications phenomenon is nothing new to the World Wide Web.

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Posted by jfalk at 6:59 PM

February 10, 2006

Pet Dental Health

February is National Pet Dental Health Month and a reminder for owners that oral disease is the most common health problem in dogs and cats today. Dr. Gary Goldstein, a veterinary dentist with the U’s Veterinary Clinical Sciences department, says dental problems in pets go way beyond bad breath.

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Posted by jfalk at 5:37 PM

February 9, 2006

Hearing Aid Implant

In 1985 Dr. Samuel Levine started work on the concept of an implantable hearing aid. More than 20 years later, Levine implanted the first Minnesota patient with a completely internal hearing aid as part of a national clinical research trial.

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Posted by jfalk at 5:35 PM

February 8, 2006

Minnesota Pork Industry Ambassador

Justin Morris, an agricultural business major at the University of Minnesota, St. Paul, will serve as this year’s Minnesota Pork Industry Ambassador. Morris, a native of Albert Lea, completed a rigorous selection process before being named Pork Ambassador in late January.

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Posted by jfalk at 5:33 PM

February 7, 2006

New York Times Crossword Puzzle

U of M Chemistry Professor George Barany is a classical music buff who enjoys spending his Sunday mornings solving the New York Times crossword puzzle. When a friend urged him to collaborate on designing a crossword puzzle in honor of Mozart’s 250th birthday for the Times, Barany was up for the challenge. Just in time for the big birthday, the Times ran the puzzle, titled “The Sound of Music,� on January 22. Barany says creativity and an entertainer’s eye are key requisites for aspiring crossword puzzle designers.

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Posted by jfalk at 5:30 PM

February 6, 2006

Homegrown Renewable Energy

In his State of the Union address last week, President Bush declared that America must break it long dependence on imported oil and boost its homegrown fuels. Robert Elde, chair of the university’s Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment and dean of the College of Biological Sciences, says Minnesota is well positioned to take on the president’s challenge.

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Posted by jfalk at 5:27 PM

February 3, 2006

Pet Shrink

Dr. Petra Mertens with the College of Veterinary Medicine in St. Paul is a rare breed of expert. Mertens, a veterinary animal behaviorist, helps dog owners battling with unruly behavior – a pet shrink so to speak. Mertens says aggression is the most common form of canine misbehavior.

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Posted by jfalk at 5:33 PM

February 2, 2006

Groundhog Day

Today is Groundhog Day, a day on which the emergence of the hibernating groundhog is believed to predict the arrival of springtime. Professor Mark Seeley, a meteorologist and climatologist with the University of Minnesota Extension, says the day has its roots in ancient European traditions, which where brought to America by German immigrants in the 18th century.

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Posted by jfalk at 5:30 PM

February 1, 2006

Compulsive Gambling Treatment

There’s hope for pathological gamblers in the form of a new treatment. In a University of Minnesota study, nearly 60 percent of those who took the drug nalmefene reported significant reductions in their gambling urges, thoughts, and behaviors, according to Dr. Jon Grant, a researcher in the Medical School’s Department of Psychiatry.

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Posted by jfalk at 5:25 PM