View online or view text only version. Subscribe to VUToday

  Wednesday, July 23, 2014 Compiled 1:09 PM CDT  
 VU in the News 
 VU in the News

National Public Radio: On immigration, America’s concerns are fiery but fleeting
Americans today are most likely to name immigration the nation’s biggest problem, but polling history suggests the alarm may have a limited shelf life. In a Gallup survey released last week, 17 percent volunteered immigration as America’s most pressing issue, narrowly topping concerns that weigh more consistently on the nation’s mindset, like jobs and political leadership. Efrén Pérez, assistant professor of political science, is quoted.

Forbes: Opinion: Halbig court opinion: A victory for the rule of law, but merely a speed bump for Obamacare
In a case called Halbig v. Burwell, a federal court in D.C. dealt a “lethal blow” to Obamacare, by limiting the flow of the health law’s insurance subsidies. The D.C. court made the right call, based on a strict reading of the law. But the probability that this ruling leads to the collapse of Obamacare is somewhere between zero and zero, writes Avik Roy, in this opinion piece. James Blumstein, University Professor of Constitutional Law and Health Law and Policy, is mentioned as having identified the problem three years ago.

Time: MERS could be airborne, research Indicates
Findings from a scientific paper published Tuesday indicated that Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) may be able to spread through the air. Mark Dennison, Craig-Weaver Professor of Pediatrics and professor of pathology, microbiology and immunology, is quoted.

HealthDay News: Parents of children with autism need help, too
Most therapies for autism focus on the child, but new research suggests the child’s stressed-out parents could benefit from treatments designed specifically for them. Mothers of autistic children who took part in a coping skills program found they connected better with their child and felt less stress, anxiety and depression, report researchers at Vanderbilt. Elisabeth Dykens, Annette Schaffer Eskind Professor in the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, is quoted.

Daily Beast: Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s twisted anti-vaxx history
Despite multiple studies showing no link between vaccines and autism, RFK Jr. continues to use his position to spread that lie. What will it take to make him stop? William Schaffner, professor of preventive medicine and health policy, is quoted.

LiveScience: Chinese officials seal off ‘Plague’ City, puzzling U.S. experts
A city in China has reportedly been sealed off after one resident died from bubonic plague, but this way of trying to contain the disease is puzzling to infectious disease experts, who say the response seems extreme given the information released about the case. William Schaffner, professor of preventive medicine and health policy, is quoted.

BrightSurf: Vanderbilt discovery may advance colorectal cancer diagnosis and treatment
A Vanderbilt University-led research team has identified protein “signatures” of genetic mutations that drive colorectal cancer, the nation’s second leading cause of cancer deaths after lung cancer. The technological tour de force, described in the current issue of the journal Nature as the first integrated “proteogenomic” characterization of human cancer, “will enable new advances” in diagnosing and treating the disease, the scientists concluded. Daniel Liebler, Ingram Professor of Cancer Research and professor of biochemistry, is quoted

Science Codex: Vanderbilt study shows therapeutic bacteria prevent obesity in mice
A probiotic that prevents obesity could be on the horizon. Bacteria that produce a therapeutic compound in the gut inhibit weight gain, insulin resistance and other adverse effects of a high-fat diet in mice, Vanderbilt University investigators have discovered. Sean Davies, assistant professor of pharmacology, is quoted. The story was also reported by ANI News.

The Tennessean: Local doctors ‘extremely nervous’ about blood shortage
The threat of a nationwide blood shortage led the American Red Cross to put out an urgent call to donors Tuesday, and a local expert said doctors are “extremely nervous.” Rick Miller, professor of surgery, is quoted.

Nashville Public Radio: Why politicians shy away from the phrase ‘I endorse’
Semantics always plays a part in political campaigns. This year, politicians seemingly support each other without using the phrase “I endorse.” But to voters, the semantics probably doesn’t make a difference. Cindy Kam, professor of political science and psychology, is quoted.

Chattanooga Times-Free Press: Tax subsidies helped 300,000 in tri-state area get health insurance
More than 120,000 Tennesseans who bought health insurance plans off the new federal marketplace this year — 80 percent of those who bought such plans — made the purchase with the help of federal tax credits. Now, as the long-term validity of those subsidies is called into question by dueling federal court rulings issued Tuesday, health experts said the impact on states like Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama will remain unclear until a higher resolution is reached — likely through the Supreme Court. James F. Blumstein, University Professor of Constitutional Law and Health Law and Policy, is quoted.

Nashville Business Journal: Vanderbilt Center for Technology Transfer and Commercialization crushes previous transaction total
Vanderbilt’s Center for Technology Transfer and Commercialization closed 101 transactions during fiscal year 2014, according to a news release, a new milestone for the program. Alan Bentley, assistant vice chancellor for technology transfer and enterprise development, and Jeff Balser, vice chancellor for health affairs, are quoted.

 VU on the Air 
 VU on the Air

KXJB (Fargo, North Dakota) reported on a Vanderbilt Kennedy Center study showing that mothers of children with disabilities can benefit substantially from mindfulness therapy to help manage their anxiety and stress. The story ran on NBC, ABC, CBS and Fox affiliates nationwide.

KMOV (St. Louis, Missouri) reported that the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus or MERS may be airborne. Mark Dennison, Craig-Weaver Professor of Pediatrics and professor of pathology, microbiology and immunology is quoted. The story ran on NBC, ABC, CBS and Fox affiliates nationwide.

 VU Athletics 
 VU Athletics

Vanderbilt rebuilds secondary

Rule keeps Vandy commit out of all-star game

New Whitecaps reliever Adam Ravenelle describes thrill of getting final out in College World Series

Sonny Gray stands tall vs. doubters

 VUCast Highlights 
 VUCast Highlights

VUCast Extra: Vanderbilt advances ‘organ-on-a-chip’ research
Have you or someone you know had a bad reaction to medicine? Ever wonder if chemicals in your dry cleaning or bathroom sprays are really safe? A team of Vanderbilt researchers is working on a radical new way to test drugs and toxins. It all starts with an organ on a chip!

 Higher Ed in the News 
 Higher Ed in the News

The Atlantic: On campus, young veterans are learning how to be Millennials
Millennial veterans tend to get trapped between two stereotypes. Either they’re aimless, privileged youth, or they’re psychologically scarred warriors struggling to reintegrate into society. Today’s emerging adults are less motivated by profit, and more by purpose, than previous generations. And yet now that they’ve returned from their service, transformed by war, they’re confronting the same basic questions their peers are facing: Now what?

Associated Press: Historically black colleges face uncertain future
Facing often steep declines in enrollment, historically black colleges are struggling to survive. In the last 20 years, five historically black colleges and universities — or HBCU’s — have shut down and about a dozen have dealt with accreditation issues. Now that black students have a much wider choice of schools, only 11 percent of African-American college students choose a historically black college or university.

New Republic: Opinion: Don’t send your kid to the Ivy League
Elite schools like to boast that they teach their students how to think, but all they mean is that they train them in the analytic and rhetorical skills that are necessary for success in business and the professions. However, colleges four levels down on the academic totem pole, enrolling students whose SAT scores are hundreds of points lower than theirs, deliver a better education, in the highest sense of the word.

  For more Vanderbilt news, visit  

VUToday is a daily summary of Vanderbilt media coverage and is published on weekdays by Vanderbilt News and Communications.

If you would like to SUBSCRIBE, send an email to with subscribe eclips in the body of the email.

To UNSUBSCRIBE, send an email to with signoff eclips in the body of the email.