Lucy's Hominid Forebears Were Upright Walkers

Kadanuumuu. Photo:
Yohannes Haile-Selassie,
Liz Russell, Cleve. Museum
of Natural History. Used with
permission from Proceedings
of the Natl. Academy of Sciences

The famous hominid fossil Lucy has family. An announcement Monday in the early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS) says the relative — although 400,000 years older — was, like Lucy, an advanced upright walker.

Three Case Western Reserve University researchers, Yohannes Haile-Selassie, Bruce Latimer and Beverly Saylor, were among an international team of scientists who reported the most complete skeleton so far of a 3.6 million-year-old Lucy species, Australopithecus afarensis.

Other researchers were from the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Kent State University, Addis Ababa University and Berkeley Geochronology Center, and researchers from Sweden and France.

Latimer, interim director of the CWRU Center for Human Origins — a component center of the Institute for the Science of Origins — and an adjunct professor of anatomy at the School of Medicine, co-directed the Woranso-Mille Paleontological Project with Haile-Selassie, the lead investigator of the study reported in PNAS.

The finding is nicknamed "Kadanuumuu," which means big man, because of his height, determined to range from 5 feet to 5 feet 6 inches tall. In comparison, Lucy, found in 1974, was determined to be a small female about 40 inches tall. Read more.

Campus News

The Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Center at Case Western Reserve University will have representatives marching in the 2010 Cleveland Pride Parade on Saturday, June 26. The parade steps off from West 3rd in downtown Cleveland at noon. Contact Hollie McGivern if interested in marching. The parade is part of the annual Pride Festival, which will take place in Voinovich Park from noon to 8 p.m. This year's theme is Unity Through Diversity. Go online for more information.

Case Western Reserve's 1-2-1 Fitness Center is offering a summer special. Campus members who join by July 13 will receive 10 free Recovery Zone shakes. Enjoy over 50 group exercise classes, free towel and locker service, four free personal training sessions and over 28,000 sq. ft of top equipment – all free with membership. There are no contracts, and CaseCash is accepted. 1-2-1 Fitness is celebrating 23 years of service. Go online for more information.

For Faculty and Staff

There's still time to participate in the 2009-10 Faculty and Staff Campaign. Faculty and staff can still make annual fund gifts by June 30 to be counted in this year's fundraising effort. Gifts of any size are encouraged and appreciated. Faculty and staff can choose to designate their gift to the school of their choice or to any number of university funds that support diverse areas of interest, including the Staff Educational Enhancement Fund. Gifts can be made through automatic payroll deductions, online, by cash or check or by contacting the Office of Annual Giving at 368-5288 or by email at In addition, there are other ways to make contributions. Learn more.

For Students

This section will be updated occasionally during the summer. Refer to the "Campus News" section for general information.


Wade Oval Wednesdays
Photo courtesy of UCI website

WOW!: Wade Oval Wednesdays, an evening of free concerts in University Circle, takes place from 6 to 9 p.m. each Wednesday through August 25. This evening's event will feature the Irish folk and Celtic sounds of the New BarleyCorn. WOW! also features food from local restaurants and artwork by local artisans.

The views and opinions of those invited to speak on campus do not necessarily reflect the views of the university administration or any other segment of the university community.

Et al.

The Case Western Reserve University Interfraternity Congress (IFC) and Panhellenic Council (PHC) recognized 11 outstanding members of the Greek community in the areas of leadership, academics, community involvement, athletics, and creative arts at the annual Greek Leadership Awards Ceremony in late spring.

The Leadership All-Stars were Minh-Tri Nguyen of Beta Theta Pi, Lillian Zamecnik of Delta Gamma and Brittany English of Sigma Psi.

The Academic All Stars were Jon Weis of Beta Theta Pi and Jennifer Mitch of Alpha Chi Omega.

The Creative Arts All Stars were Steve Stumphauzer of Phi Kappa Tau, Roshni Rao of Phi Mu and Celia Gendler of Delta Gamma.

The Athletic All-Star was Obinna Nwanna of Phi Kappa Psi.

The Community Involvement All-Stars were Sheri Morgan of Delta Gamma and Peter Yoon of Phi Delta Theta.

Each year, IFC and PHC pick outstanding students to be All-Stars in each area who not only set themselves apart from the rest of the Greek community, but from the entire campus community.

June 23, 2010

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In the News

Research focuses on MRSA infections and links to cystic fibrosis deaths

The Plain Dealer June 22, 2010
A team of researchers from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine analyzed data on 19,833 cystic fibrosis (CF) patients taken from the United States Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Patient Registry. Survival analyses showed patients with a MRSA infection of the respiratory tract were 1.27 times more likely to die than patients without a MRSA infection, after adjusting for factors such as age, socioeconomic status and other co-infections.

Electronic health records could give rise to more liability risk

RedOrbit June 22, 2010
Electronic health record systems likely will soon become a fixture in medical settings. Advocates claim they will reduce health care costs and improve medical outcomes, which could be critical since the new health care reform law increases access for millions of Americans. Although benefits of bringing information technology to health records can be substantial, EHR systems also give rise to increased liability risks for health care providers due to possible software or hardware problems or user errors. Two Case Western Reserve University professors, in a scholarly article published in the Berkeley Technology Law Journal, shed light on liability concerns and electronic health records systems. The authors are Sharona Hoffman, professor of law and bioethics and co-director of Case Western Reserve's Law-Medicine Center, and Andy Podgurski, professor of computer science at the Case School of Engineering.

Hospital comparison data does not reflect surgical infection risk

MedCity News June 22, 2010
Hospital comparison data reported to the public by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services does a poor job of predicting a patient's risk for developing an infection after surgery, according to a study by investigators at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine published in this week's Journal of the American Medical Association. Jonah J. Stulberg is a recent graduate of the medical school and lead author of the study.

Higher Ed News

New grilling of for-profits could turn up the heat for all of higher education

Chronicle of Higher Education June 22, 2010
Congress plans to put for-profit colleges under the microscope on Thursday, asking whether a higher-education model that consumes more than double its proportionate share of federal student aid is an innovation worthy of duplication or a recipe for long-term economic disaster.