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May 30, 2006

The DaVinci Code

Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene, they had children together, and their descendants still walk the earth today. That is the premise of Dan Brown's best-selling novel and now hit movie "The DaVinci Code." Jeanne Kilde with the U's Institute for Advanced Study says Brown's narrative is based upon legends developed in the early medieval ages.

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Posted by jfalk at 4:40 PM

May 29, 2006

Support for Veterans

Tony Richter, a Carlson School junior majoring in finance, has never served in the military. But that hasn’t stopped him from serving veterans who are students at the university. The idea came to him while he was out running.

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Posted by jfalk at 5:15 PM

May 24, 2006

Better Hearing and Speech Month

May is Better Hearing and Speech Month, a time to raise public awareness, knowledge, and understanding of the various forms of communication impairments. Mark DeRuiter, director of clinical education in the U’s department of Speech Language Hearing Sciences, says more than 40 million people in the United States suffer from a speech, voice, language, or hearing impairment.

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Posted by jfalk at 4:56 PM

May 23, 2006

The Third Crop Initiative

Joining forces with U researchers, the Blue Earth River Basin Initiative’s Third Crop Initiative recently received the prestigious Minnesota Environmental Initiative award in the Land Use category. Dean Current, program director for the U’s Center for Integrated Natural Resources and Agricultural Management, says the Third Crop Initiative promotes diversified land-use systems, benefiting farmers and the environment.

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Posted by jfalk at 8:45 AM

May 22, 2006

Organic Lawn Care and Gardening

It’s lawn care season in Minnesota, and many people are turning to fertilizers to help grow greener grass as well as vibrant plants and flowers. Dave Tilman, a U of M professor of ecology, says the chemical fertilizers one can buy at the local lawn-and-garden store certainly help grass and plants grow, but they cause severe negative effects on the environment.

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Posted by jfalk at 5:14 PM

May 19, 2006

Minnesota BioBlitz 2006

Armed with sonar detectors, bug lights, live traps and laptops, volunteers, under the leadership of professional researchers and biologists, will explore the urban landscape—including the lawns of participating homeowners—in Minnesota Bioblitz 2006, a 24-hour event beginning at 5 p.m. today in St. Paul’s Falcon Heights neighborhood. Jennifer Menken, a naturalist at the U of M’s Bell Museum of Natural History and co-coordinator of Bioblitz, says Bioblitz aims to increase the public’s awareness of an area’s biological diversity.

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Posted by jfalk at 5:03 PM

May 18, 2006

Ride Your Bike to Work Day

Communities across Minnesota will be participating in Ride Your Bike to Work Day on Friday, May 19. Ken Krizek, an assistant professor in the U’s Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, says an active bicycling population is an indicator of a community’s livability.

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Posted by jfalk at 9:29 AM

May 17, 2006

Clean Energy Resource Teams

The Minnesota Environmental Initiative recently announced the winners of the 2006 Environmental Initiative Awards. The U’s Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships’ Clean Energy Resource Teams project, CERTs in short, received the top honor, the Partnership of the Year award. Lissa Pawlisch, CERTs coordinator, says the program is unique in that it helps communities address environmental issues at the local level.

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Posted by jfalk at 3:55 PM

May 16, 2006

Glensheen Shoreline Preservation

Five staff members of the U of M Duluth (UMD) were named recipients of the 2006 Governor’s Minnesota Government Reaching Environmental Achievements Together Award. Erik Larson, an engineer with UMD Facilities Management, says the award recognizes the low impact development and shoreline bank stabilization projects constructed over the last two years at UMD’s Glensheen Historic Estate.

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Posted by jfalk at 2:12 PM

May 12, 2006

2006 Fishing Opener

Minnesota’s fishing enthusiasts have reason to celebrate this weekend: the 2006 Governor’s Fishing Opener takes place on Rainy Lake, officially kicking off this year’s fishing season. Ingrid Schneider, director of the U’s Tourism Center, says fishing has a major economic impact on Minnesota’s tourism industry.

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Posted by jfalk at 1:02 PM

May 11, 2006

Advocacy Leadership for Vital Aging

Spring brings graduation ceremonies and the hope that new alumni will go on to have successful careers and make a positive impact on society. Jan Hively, founder of the U of M’s Vital Aging Network, says having an impact on the community is a class requirement for students in the non-credit Advocacy Leadership for Vital Aging certificate program, ALVA in short, which attracts a diverse group of adult learners from around the state.

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Posted by jfalk at 1:39 PM

May 10, 2006

Symposium on Small Towns & Rural Summit

This June people from all over Minnesota will gather in Morris for the Symposium on Small Towns and Rural Summit. Ben Winchester with the U of M Morris’ Center for Small Towns says the symposium is a unique opportunity for small town community members and stakeholders to exchange ideas and find ways to work together on important issues.

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Posted by jfalk at 7:08 PM

May 9, 2006

Calories and Aging

Research on aging among mice or rats has long shown that caloric restriction, meaning the reduction of calories they take in, leads to the rodents living longer more healthy lives, delaying age-related diseases such as cancer. Huber Warner, associate dean for research at the U’s College of Biological Sciences, says researchers have now turned their attention to caloric restriction among monkeys, which could lead to interesting conclusions for humans.

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Posted by jfalk at 8:22 PM

May 8, 2006

Future Ag and Food Industry Leaders

The United States’s top federal agriculture official, USDA Secretary Mike Johanns, visited the Twin Cities yesterday to speak at the U’s College of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences graduation ceremony. Charles Muscoplat, vice president and dean of the college, says this year’s graduating class is the largest in almost 20 years, underscoring the college’s increasing appeal.

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Posted by jfalk at 4:18 PM

May 5, 2006

Spring Raptor Release

Every spring, the U of M’s Raptor Center hosts an annual tradition – the Spring Raptor Release, which celebrates the release of rehabilitated raptors back into the wild. Raptor is a general term for a group of predatory birds consisting of eagles, falcons, hawks and owls. Dr. Julia Ponder, associate director of the Raptor Center, encourages Minnesotans to attend this exciting event, and watch the birds as they soar into the sky.

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Posted by jfalk at 6:20 PM

May 4, 2006

Stress and Nicotine Addiction

Researchers at the University of Minnesota Duluth School of Medicine are taking a close look at the biological and behavioral mechanisms of stress that lead people to smoke. Dr. Mustafa al’Absi, an associate professor of behavioral medicine, says his research will help develop successful intervention and cessation programs, thus decreasing the relapse numbers among smokers wanting to kick their nicotine addiction.

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Posted by jfalk at 9:50 PM

May 3, 2006

Itasca Project

Minnesota’s business community can look back on a proud tradition of civic engagement and leadership. Jim Campbell, interim dean of the U’s Carlson School of Management and a former Wells Fargo CEO, is heading up an influential group of community leaders to ensure that the tradition lives on. The group is called the Itasca Project; at stake is Minnesota’s economic competitiveness.

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Posted by jfalk at 12:52 PM

May 2, 2006

Rebuilding New Orleans

More than seven months after the worst natural disaster in our country’s history, the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina are still visible in the neighborhoods, businesses, and livelihoods of millions of people touched by the storm. Judith Martin, a professor of geography and director of the U’s urban studies program, discussed the rebuilding of New Orleans with Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer, a national expert on creating livable urban communities, at a U of M Great Conversations event Monday evening.

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Posted by jfalk at 3:53 PM

May 1, 2006

Melanoma Monday

Free skin cancer screenings are available on Melanoma Monday, May 1, at the University of Minnesota. The event is designed to raise awareness of skin cancer, says Dr. Peter Lee, a University of Minnesota dermatologist. He says it’s important for people to avoid prolonged exposure to the sun during peak times of the summer, especially between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

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Posted by jfalk at 10:43 PM