Duke Digest — February 21, 2014

In Today’s Issue:

  • Public Policy Prof. to Testify Before Senate Committee Feb. 26
  • RESEARCH: Gene Therapy Might Grow Replacement Tissue Inside the Body
  • Teen Prescription Drug Abuse: NIH Study Measures Success, Cost-Effectiveness of Prevention Efforts
  • COLLEGE COSTS: NPR’S Planet Money Takes a Close Look at Duke Tuition Costs, Expenditures
  • COMMENTARY: Law Prof. Analyzes FCC Chair’s Statement on Recent Court Decision
  • COMMENTARY: Environment Dean Gives Administration Failing Grade on Coal Ash 

PUBLIC POLICY PROF. TO TESTIFY BEFORE SENATE COMMITTEE FEB. 26
Dr. Jane Costello, Associate Director of Research at the Center for Child and Family Policy at the Sanford School of Public Policy, will appear before the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs on Wednesday, February 26. Dr. Costello will provide testimony at the hearing entitled “Early Childhood Development and Education in Indian Country: Building a Foundation for Success.” The hearing will take place in 628 Dirksen at 2:30pm. It will be live-streamed here.

Read More:
What Happens When the Poor Receive a Stipend? (NY Times)

RESEARCH: GENE THERAPY MIGHT GROW REPLACEMENT TISSUE INSIDE HUMAN BODY
By combining a synthetic scaffolding material with gene delivery techniques, researchers at the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University are getting closer to being able to generate replacement cartilage where it’s needed in the body. While the current study focused on cartilage regeneration, researchers say that the technique could be applied to many kinds of tissues, especially orthopaedic tissues such as tendons, ligaments and bones. And because the platform comes ready to use with any stem cell, it presents an important step toward commercialization. The study was funded, in part, through grants from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.

Read More:
Gene Therapy Might Grow Replacement Tissue Inside the Body (pratt.duke.edu)

TEEN PRESCRIPTION DRUG ABUSE: NIH STUDY MEASURES SUCCESS, COST-EFFECTIVENESS OF PREVENTION EFFORTS
Programs that aim to curb teen prescription drug abuse have vastly differing effectiveness,  ranging from big drops in drug abuse to no measurable effect, according to a new study of 11,000 teenagers by researchers at Duke and Pennsylvania State universities. The six-year study, funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health,  is among the first to measure the success and cost-effectiveness of prescription drug abuse prevention efforts.

“Policymakers and other leaders are actively searching for efficient ways to curb prescription drug abuse,”  said Max Crowley, an NIH Research Fellow at Duke’s Center for Child and Family Policy. “These results give policymakers options regarding how to handle this growing epidemic.”

Read More:
In Fight Against Teen Prescription Drug Abuse, One-Two Punch Wins (today.duke.edu)

COLLEGE COSTS: NPR’S PLANET MONEY TAKES CLOSE LOOK AT DUKE TUITION COSTS, EXPENDITURE’S
Jim Roberts, executive vice provost at Duke University, and Michael Schoenfeld, the vice president for public affairs, spoke to National Public Radio’s “Planet Money” about the breakdown of tuition costs and budget expenditures at Duke University.

Listen to the full story here.

COMMENTARY: LAW PROF. ANALYZES FCC CHAIR STATEMENT ON RECENT COURT DECISION
Dr. Stuart Benjamin, the Douglas B. Maggs Professor of Law, writes in the Washington Post, that “FCC Chair Tom Wheeler just issued a statement outlining how he plans to respond to the D.C. Circuit’s Verizon v. FCC decision vacating key portions of the FCC’s net neutrality rules,” which he says can be seen as the  “FCC’s plan going forward.”

Read More:
On net neutrality, the FCC says it has heard enough from the Courts, for now (Washington Post)

COMMENTARY: ENVIRONMENT DEAN GIVES ADMINISTRATION FAILING GRADE ON COAL ASH
Dr. Bill Chamedies, Dean of the Nicholas School of the Environment, evaluates the state of coal ash regulations by the Obama administration in the latest post of “The GreenGrok.” After comparing action promised versus action taken, Dr. Chameides concludes “let’s be charitable and give the administration a grade of poor instead of failing.”

Read More:
Obama Administration Grade on Coal Ash: Failing (nicholas.duke.edu)