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Indiana University Front Page News

July 9, 2007

Front Page News at IU delivers top headlines of the day from the campuses of Indiana University. It comes to you courtesy of IU University Communications in the Office of University Relations.

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Divorce and children: Genes at the root of some problems
Indiana Office of Technology partners with IU for IT disaster recovery site
This week on Sound Medicine
When schoolwork becomes a pain
Binge drinking on college campuses: A matter of fear, not freedom
A "tragic" health hazard
Passwords are a piece of cake -- for cybercrooks
Antiwar divisions could hurt Democrats in 2008
IU Bloomington Scoreboard

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Divorce and children: Genes at the root of some problems -- It's no secret that divorce can be hard on children but explaining why -- while it may be "easy" for the x-inlaws -- is not so simple. In one of the first studies to examine genetic roots to children's problems, Indiana University psychology professor Brian D'Onofrio found that some of the answers do, indeed, lie in the genes. Read the complete story.

Indiana Office of Technology partners with IU for IT disaster recovery site -- The Indiana Office of Technology and Indiana University have signed an agreement for IU to provide backup data center space and network connectivity to the state. The partnership takes advantage of IU's information technology staff and its IT infrastructure -- the I-Light high-speed network and the data center at IU Bloomington -- to provide critical redundancy and save money for the state. It also serves as a basis for further partnership and collaboration between the state and IU. Read the complete story.

This week on Sound Medicine: Tuberculosis; Morgellon's Syndrome; Smoking: So Hard to Quit; and Sleep On It-Big Picture Decisions -- This weekend (July 7 and 8), Sound Medicine discussed the recent case of a Georgia man who made news when he traveled to Europe and back while infected with what experts believed was highly drug-resistant tuberculosis. TB is a potentially deadly disease re-emerging as a major world pandemic that is threatening poorer populations among whom it can be difficult to manage. Read the complete story.

When schoolwork becomes a pain -- Heavy backpacks and bags have been known to cause pain and fatigue in children and adults. While these conditions should be a concern for parents and students alike, healthcare professionals increasingly are concerned about the role these bags play in the development of more serious conditions, such as chronic back pain and functional scoliosis, which is caused when the spine becomes twisted because one shoulder muscle is stronger than the other. "A load of books or materials, distributed improperly or unevenly, day after day, is indeed going to cause stress to a growing spinal column and back," said Kevin Slates, an occupational and environmental health expert at Indiana University Bloomington. Read the complete story.

Binge drinking on college campuses: A matter of fear, not freedom -- Teaching assistants, typically graduate students hired to help undergrads with their courses, are staples on college campuses. Indiana University shyness expert Bernardo J. Carducci said social assistants, people hired to help new students with their conversation IQ and social skills, should become staples, as well. New students, said Carducci, director of the Shyness Research Institute at IU Southeast, are no different than the estimated 40 percent of the population that is shy. The transition to college, however, can exacerbate this vulnerability, so students turn to an easy conversation-maker -- booze. Read the complete story.

A "tragic" health hazard -- Pesticides in schools are a pervasive, unnecessary health hazard, said Marc Lame, an entomologist and professor in Indiana University's School of Public and Environmental Affairs. "Over 80 percent of schools in America are applying pesticides on a regular basis, whether they have a pest problem or not," he said. "This is tragic not only because of the well-documented link between pesticides and health problems in children, such as asthma and neurological disorders, but also because pesticides generally do not work in a preventive manner in the school environment. Applying pesticides does not prevent pests from coming in, so using them when pests are not present does nothing other than expose children and staff to toxic chemicals." Read the complete story.

Passwords are a piece of cake -- for cybercrooks -- Choosing a good password is one of the many choices students make as they head to college, and it's a decision that should not be taken lightly, says David Ripley, researcher at the Pervasive Technology Labs' Advanced Network Management Lab at Indiana University Bloomington. What really makes a password difficult -- or easy -- for someone else to figure out? A computer cracker or identity thief will never know the name of your favorite great-aunt's cousin's dog -- so that's a good password, right? "Sadly, that's not true," said Ripley. Read the complete story.

Antiwar divisions could hurt Democrats in 2008 -- Cooperation between the Democratic Party and antiwar activists helped Democrats in the 2006 congressional elections, say researchers at Indiana University and the University of Florida, but the upcoming presidential election could see this support wane because of divisions among the antiwar activists and the instability of the "Party in the Street." Read the complete story.

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Indiana University Bloomington Scoreboard

The Hoosiers will resume action in August. Keep track of upcoming games at the Indiana University Athletics Web site: http://iuhoosiers.cstv.com/

Action begins:

Women's Soccer: Aug. 21, Missouri, 7 p.m., Columbia, Mo.

Women's Volleyball: Aug. 24,Western Kentucky, 5 p.m., DeKalb, Ill.

Men's Soccer: Aug. 25, New Mexico, TBA, Fort Wayne, Ind.

Football: Sept. 1, Indiana State, 8 p.m., Bloomington

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IU in the news

Using a Robot to Teach Human Social Skills
Wired Magazine, July 9 -- Children with autism are often described as robotic: They are emotionless. They engage in obsessive, repetitive behavior and have trouble communicating and socializing. Now, a humanoid robot designed to teach autistic children social skills has begun testing in British schools. Known as KASPAR (Kinesics and Synchronisation in Personal Assistant Robotics), the $4.33 million bot smiles, simulates surprise and sadness, gesticulates and, the researchers hope, will encourage social interaction amongst autistic children. Relying on a robot to teach human social skills might seem counterintuitive, but autism presents a special case, said Dr. Cathy Pratt, director of the Indiana Resource Center for Autism at Indiana University. "Autistic kids often interact better with inanimate objects than with other people, so a project like this makes sense and might lead to a safe way for these kids to learn social skills," she said. Read the complete story.

Honors College bids farewell to dean as Hanson accepts position
Indiana Daily Student, July 9 -- As former Hutton Honors College Dean Karen Hanson moves on to her new position as IU-Bloomington provost, Honors College Assistant Dean Lynn Cochran said Hanson will be missed in her old position. "We are going to miss her so much," she said. "We all love her dearly." IU President Michael McRobbie appointed Hanson, who has been dean of the Honors College for the past five years of her 30-year career at IU, as provost on July 5. The appointment came after a summer-long search. Read the complete story.

Religious, secular celebrate luckiest day of year
District Chronicles, July 8 -- It comes only once a century. So for the host of religious traditions that see the number seven as the most sacred digit, 07/07/07 is looking like the perfect day for everything from weddings to worldwide activism. Or at least it's better than last year's eerie 06/06/06. Moira Smith, librarian for folklore at Indiana University, said three sevens don't carry nearly the symbolic punch of three consecutive sixes, which have long represented the Antichrist. Read the complete story.

Bloomington to host 15th annual GLBT college conference in 2009
Indiana Daily Student, July 9 -- Come February 2009, IU will become home for one weekend to more than 1,500 attendees of the 15th annual Midwest Bisexual, Lesbian, Gay, Transgender Ally College Conference. Doug Bauder, coordinator of the GLBT Student Support Services office, said he and six IU students, including Dunkel and Rob Decleene, director of tourism for the Conventions and Visitors Bureau, made a formal bid at last year's conference at the University of Minnesota at Twin Cities. Coordinators accepted the bid, allowing the group to begin preparation for the 2009 conference "Living Out Loud: Examining our Past to Enhance our Future." Read the complete story.

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Traveling to Bloomington? Check the weather in the vicinity by calling Weatherline at 812-334-1515. Or, go to the Bloomington Herald-Times' weather page at: http://www.heraldtimesonline.com/weather/.

For more information on Bloomington, Indiana, where to stay, where to eat and what to do, go to: http://www.visitbloomington.com/.

For more information on Indiana University, to arrange a tour or get a map, go to: http://www.indiana.edu/~iuvis/.

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