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David Bricker
IU Media Relations

Last modified: Thursday, August 9, 2007

Indiana Science Monthly flag

Vol. 4, no. 11
August 9, 2007

Indiana Science Monthly is a selection of recent news stories about Indiana University scientists and their research. Comments or questions about this newsletter may be directed to David Bricker, Office of Media Relations (812-856-9035 or

July science news:
* Einhorn's testicular cancer treatment has a high cure rate
* The psychology of shyness: a first blush
* David Brooks innervates Douglas Hofstadter's brain

* NSF Institutional Cost Share Rescinded

July science news

"Cure for Metastatic Testicular Cancer" (MEDICINE)
July 27, 2007

EXCERPT: Testicular cancer patients who do not respond to traditional therapy can be cured with high-dose chemotherapy and stem cells, says a U.S. study.

* "This review confirms that high-dose chemotherapy combined with a stem cell transplant can provide a cure for a group of patients with relapsed testicular cancer," said Rafat Abonour, associate professor of medicine in the division of hematology/oncology and associate dean for clinical research at the IU School of Medicine. The treatment course was first developed by oncologist Lawrence Einhorn.

IUSM press release:


"Protecting Privacy in a Web-Searching World" (INFORMATION SCIENCE)
National Public Radio
July 27, 2007

EXCERPT: With the online world becoming ever more important in day-to-day life, how will people be able to better manage the flood of information available on the Internet? Experts discuss search engine technology, and the challenge of protecting personal information in a search engine age.

* School of Library and Information Science Professor Javed Mostafa tells NPR reporter Joe Palca, "... every time we use our card for whatever transactions, that information could be quite personal also. The point is, these businesses I believe are very, very careful in terms of insuring that they don't, in some ways, pass that line where, you know, their customers would turn around and say, hey, you're misusing the service that I'm paying for."


"Friends may be key factor in weight gain" (PSYCHOLOGY/MATHEMATICS)
Associated Press, New York Times, Washington Post, etc.
July 26, 2007

EXCERPT: Your friends may be more important than your genes in determining whether you gain weight... A new study, which followed a large group of Americans for more than three decades, was the first to demonstrate that obesity -- and perhaps other health problems that involve behavior or lifestyle -- spreads through social networks.

* The article about a study of Framington, Mass., residents was cobbled together from various wire reports. We are told Indiana University statistician Stan Wasserman thinks that "while the study was clever, it had its limitations because it excluded relationships" beyond the microcosm of Framington.


"Connecting the Dots to Make a Difference" (MEDICINE)
Vol. 298, no. 4
July 25, 2007

EXCERPT: It has been 16 years since I first put on the gray laboratory coat of an anatomy teacher. In recent years, I have come to the philosophy that students should not assign names to their cadaver donors. They are real people, who gave to all in service and in death. To give them names that are not their own seems disrespectful and diminishes their dignity.

* Indiana University School of Medicine (IU Northwest) anatomy experts Ernest Talarico and Andrew Prather discuss hyperostosis frontalis interna, which causes bony structures to form on the inside of a human being's skull case.
(Access may require a subscription)


"CT, MRI Scans Offer New Tools for Autopsy" (MEDICINE)
Vol. 298, no. 4
July 25, 2007

EXCERPT: The latest versions of imaging devices could play a part in autopsy, but costs may ultimately limit their acceptance in the general health care community... Pathologists have traditionally used x-ray imaging before autopsy to focus their explorations. But lately researchers have published findings suggesting that "virtual autopsy" using multidetector computed tomography (MSCT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be an even better tool to help determine death.

* Imaging will likely never replace traditional autopsy, but Joseph Prahlow , IU School of Medicine pathologist and president of the National Association of Medical Examiners, tells JAMA reporter Mike Mitka, "While we can do that at autopsy, having the ability to look at it before we take out the bone saws can be very helpful."
(Access may require a subscription)


"Why we are shy" (PSYCHOLOGY)
Times of London
July 24, 2007

EXCERPT: If your child confidently breezes into a roomful of strangers without a second thought, there's a good chance he or she is an Israeli. If they are gripped by paralysing fear at the thought of attending a party they are likely to be from Japan or Taiwan.

* Bernardo Carducci, IU Southeast psychologist and director of the Shyness Research Institute, tells Times reporter Anjana Ahuja, "Shyness is characterised by three major features: excessive self-consciousness, excessive negative self-evaluation and excessive negative self-preoccupation. All three characteristic features of shyness involve a sense of self. And the sense of self does not develop until approximately 18 months of age. Since individuals are not born with a sense of self, they cannot be born shy."


"Teaching The Blind And Visually Impaired Is Not A One-Size-Fits-All Endeavor" (SCIENCE EDUCATION)
Chemical & Engineering News
Vol. 85, no. 30
July 23, 2007

EXCERPT: Professors who teach blind and visually impaired students "sometimes assume they know what the students need instead of asking them what they need. Or they assume they know what the students can achieve based on their assumptions about the students' special situation," says Provi Mayo, who will become an assistant chemistry professor at Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne, in August.

* Mayo is working to improve science education materials for students who have different kinds of blindness.
(Access may require a subscription)


"A Partnership of Minds" (COGNITIVE SCIENCE)
New York Times
July 20, 2007

EXCERPT: Douglas Hofstadter was a happily married man. After dinner parties, his wife Carol and he would wash the dishes together and relive the highlights of the conversation they'd just enjoyed. But then, when Carol was 42 and their children were 5 and 2, Carol died of a brain tumor. A few months later, Hofstadter was looking at a picture of Carol. He describes what he felt in his recent book, ''I Am A Strange Loop'' ...

* IU Bloomington cognitive scientist Douglas Hofstadter tells New York Times columnist David Brooks, ''I looked at her face and looked so deeply that I felt I was behind her eyes and all at once I found myself saying, as tears flowed, 'That's me. That's me!'"
(Access to the full article requires a subscription)


"Weeds shown to feed on rising carbon" (BIOLOGY)
Los Angeles Times
July 18, 2007

EXCERPT: Rapidly rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are driving noxious poison ivy and those annoying patches of dandelion to grow taller, lusher and more resilient, according to two new studies.

* IUPUI biologist Xianzhong Wang has shown increased CO2 levels disproportionately benefit dandelions. He tells L.A. Times reporter Jia-Rui Chong, "In the future, we think humans will have to spray lawns more often or they may need to increase the dosage of the herbicides to kill the dandelions." A segment about Xianzhong's research also aired on National Public Radio.,1,4471675.story?ctrack=1&cset=true


"Gary Wiggins Wins Patterson-Crane Award" (CHEMISTRY/INFORMATICS)
Chemical & Engineering News
Vol. 85, no. 29
July 16, 2007

EXCERPT: GARY D. WIGGINS, director of the chemical informatics program in the School of Informatics at Indiana University, is the 2007 recipient of the Patterson-Crane Award of the ACS Columbus and Dayton Sections. Presented biennially, the award recognizes outstanding contributions in chemical information theory or practice.

* Wiggins' melding of information science and chemistry has yielded numerous online tools of relevance to both scientists and students. C&E News tells us that Wiggins' efforts have "ensured that the Indiana University Chemistry Library has one of the finest collections of print and electronic materials available in any academic library."
(Access may require a subscription)


NSF Institutional Cost Share Rescinded
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has removed the requirement for 1% institutional cost share effective June 1, 2007. Previously, the NSF required that each grantee institution share in the cost of research projects resulting from unsolicited proposals. The Congressional appropriations providing funds to NSF no longer contains this language and therefore, the statutory cost sharing requirement of 1% is eliminated. For more information, please e-mail


* * * * Do you have an important and/or interesting paper in press? A major event or presentation coming up? Please contact IU Office of Media Relations science writers David Bricker at 812-856-9035,, or Hal Kibbey at 812-855-0074,

Indiana Science Monthly is produced for internal use only. If you have received this eMail in error, or do not wish not to receive this monthly eMail, or if you have a news item for the next edition of ISM, please contact David Bricker at 812-856-9035,