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University of Kansas

Courtesy: KU Athletics

University of Kansas freshman Andrew Wiggins announced Monday he’s declaring for the NBA draft.

The 6' 8'' player was the top high school recruit in 2013 - and this season Wiggins scored 597 points, more than any freshman in KU's history, including a high of 29 points in one game.

The draft takes place in June – and Wiggins is expected to be a first-round draft selection, if not the first. He says that’s where he wants to be.

Alex Smith / KCUR

At the University of Kansas, some chemical engineers study petroleum, others work on solvents. Then there’s Professor Stevin Gehrke. He casts his scientific lens downward, looking for the future of medicine in things that scurry underfoot.

“What’s different about a bug that goes ‘squish’ when you step on it and a bug that goes ‘crunch’ when you step on it?” Gehrke describes his work.

Alyson Raletz/KCUR

 The line between individual social media activity and employment status isn’t a clear one, according to feedback we received this week from listeners.

When we asked “Should your boss be able to fire you for what you tweet?” on the air and online, the responses showed the issue of social media and the workplace as a divisive one in Kansas City.  

We received many emphatic yeses, citing personal responsibility.

KU basketball had a different sort of atmosphere back in the 1950s. In addition to some Phog, one of the things that changed the weather there was a certain player called Wilt Chamberlain.

On Friday's Up to Date, we talk with local filmmaker Kevin Willmott about his newest movie, Jayhawkers, that takes a look at the Chamberlain era and how it changed KU forever. 

Guest:

Should lawmakers withhold funding from the University of Kansas if the school doesn’t fire a professor over a highly controversial tweet? Professor David Guth blasted the National Rifle Association on Twitter in the wake of the Navy Yard shooting on Twitter, and now many are calling for accountability.

In the first part of Tuesday's Up to Date, we discuss just how far employers can go when their employees make charged statements on social media.  

  Guests:

Biking, Bamboo Style

Sep 10, 2013
Lance Rake

When you think of getting a bicycle, finding one made of bamboo isn't usually your first thought.

In the second part of Wednesday's Up to Date, we talk with University of Kansas design professor Lance Rake about how he took an underused Alabama crop and turned it into an economic stimulus for the town of Greensboro, Ala.

Guest:

Fatty Acids In Baby Formula Show Lasting Benefits

Aug 14, 2013
Wikimedia -- Creative Commons

Researchers at the University of Kansas say fatty acids added to baby formula produce lasting gains in intelligence and performance.

Infant formula has been enriched with fatty acids since 2001, based in part on research done by University of Kansas scientists John Colombo and Susan Carlson.  The new findings by Colombo and Carlson are based on 81 babies who were tested every six months over a span of six years. 

Supreme Court Says Human Genes Can't Be Patented

Jun 14, 2013
Wikimedia -- Creative Commons

The U.S. Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that segments of naturally-occurring human genes cannot be patented. The ruling may change the focus of genomic research, but it won't stop it.

Professor Andrew Torrance specializes in biotechnology patent law at the University of Kansas. He says the ruling falls hardest on companies that have invested billions of dollars, hoping to profit from patents on human gene fragments like those that help reveal a person’s risk for breast cancer.

University leadership from around the state met with the Kansas Board of Regents today to discuss how to adjust to nearly $49 million in cuts from the state’s higher education budget.

The move was approved by lawmakers over the weekend, and include cuts to the state’s six universities in addition to community colleges, technical colleges and Washburn University. Cuts were also made to student financial assistance programs, the Board of Regents Office, and adult education programs Board Spokesperson Vanessa Lamoreaux said.

The first Kansas legislative session since 1861 to extend into June is over.  But the budget plan passed early Sunday is a frustration for a number of agencies and institutions; one is the Kansas University Medical Center.

Officials aren’t yet sure what the new budget will mean; in a speech this spring, KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little worried about a projected cut and the wide reach, particularly on the university’s satellite operations.

Top Of The Morning News: June 3, 2013

Jun 3, 2013

Kansas Legislature passes budget; KU unsure what state budget cuts will mean for the university; Smithsonian to create exhibit around farm themes.

Kansas Legislature Passes Budget In Final Hours Of Session

Brownback Calls For Sales Tax Extension For Higher Ed

May 8, 2013
Bryan Thompson / KPR

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback wants lawmakers to extend a temporary sales tax hike as a way to fund the state's universities.

The governor says cuts to higher education would be a momentum-killer at a time when he thinks a lot of positive things are happening in Kansas. Lawmakers are hesitant to extend the sales tax hike, which was approved in 2010 on the condition that it would expire July 1 of this year.

Following a tour of the University of Kansas School of Medicine in Salina, Brownback called the facility a great place to invest.

$2.5 million Gift for Patient Support at KU Hospital

Apr 30, 2013

A Leawood couple has donated $2.5 million to expand a patient-support program at the University of Kansas Cancer Center.

A cancer diagnosis can be a bewildering event.  Having a trained professional to guide the way can make a huge difference.  That’s why Tom and Teresa Walsh are putting up the money to fund five, experienced nurse navigators at the KU Cancer Center.

“You have somebody with you to hold your hand, kind of help you along the way.  There’s so many questions, and you’re so scared in the beginning,” says Teresa Walsh.

Elana Gordon / KCUR

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has been on an all-out tour of state universities this week, calling on lawmakers to extend a sales tax and maintain funding for higher education in the coming budget.

Kansas governor Sam Brownback has signed a bill that will establish a stem cell research center at the University of Kansas Medical Center.

Susan B. Wilson / KCUR

Blacks and Jews have historically had a complicated relationship in the United States.  And it’s perhaps the most evident when they claim the same religion, or historical ancestry. The development of Black Israelite or Black Jewish faith has its roots in Kansas, according to the book The Chosen People: The Rise of American Black Israelite Religions by University of Kansas history and American studies professor, Jacob Dorman.

Big 12 Tournament Set

Mar 11, 2013

The Big 12 brackets are set for the men's tournament in Kansas City.

From Poetry To History

Jan 25, 2013

It's not often a state poet laureate turns her pen to write a non-fiction tale, but Kansas Poet Laureate Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg has done just that.

University of Kansas

When researchers submit proposals to the National Institutes of Health to get funding, they don’t indicate their race or ethnicity. But black researchers are a third less likely than other equally-qualified researchers to receive NIH funding.

Lidor / Flickr

The federal government and the University of Kansas are partnering to make it easier for veterans to receive health care.

Gift of the artist, 2006.0102 / Spencer Museum of Art

What images best convey the meaning of politics in America? An exhibition at the Spencer Museum of Art in Lawrence explores this idea through photography, prints, paintings, archival political ads, and a poodle skirt. 

Museo del Prado, Madrid

We crave its taste but not its look.  What’s up with our love-hate relationship with fat?

Elana Gordon / KCUR

KU Cancer Center has obtained a National Cancer Institute designation. Officially.

Elana Gordon / KCUR

Leaders from the University of Kansas, politicians and health officials, including U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, will gather at the University of Kansas Medical Center this afternoon to formally announce KU Cancer Center becoming a National Cancer Institute designation.

Balancing Competition And Fun In Youth Sports

Jun 25, 2012
Zack Lewandowski / KCUR

More than 52 million young people around the country participate in organized sports, according to the National Council of Youth Sports. 

That Wyandotte County is grappling with some major health issues is no secret.  It’s ranked one of the least healthy regions in Kansas, and findings from a recent health assessment reaffirm the challenges:

flightsaber / Flickr

According to a KU professor, we have evidence that periodic changes in marine biodiversity are tied to uplifting continents.

A new exhibition at the Spencer Museum of Art at KU, entitled Cryptograph, celebrates Alan Turing, a visionary British mathematician whose work formed the conceptual basis for the modern computers that we use today.

Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

Floods leave mark on farmlands.  Kobach pushes for state lawmakers to finish redistricting.  KU Hospital restarts heart transplant program.  It’s a daily digest of headlines from KCUR.

In the history of men’s college basketball, only Kentucky has won more games than the University of Kansas. 

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