St. Louis University Under Fire for Work with Doctor Who Infected AIDS Patients with Malaria

Wilson Delgado
With the support of a National Institutes of Health grant, Saint Louis University is partnering with a controversial Chinese doctor who once infected AIDS patients with malaria as part of a widely criticized practice.

The doctor in question is Xiaoping Chen of China's Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health (GIBH), which is partnering with the Center for World Health and Medicine at Saint Louis University to develop treatments for malaria. This collaboration is now facing scrutiny after Peter Heimlich -- son of the man behind the "Heimlich maneuver" -- began raising questions about Chen's past.

Heimlich, in a letter to SLU, outlines in detail Chen's "experiments" on AIDS patients that involved inducing high malarial fevers, and asks the university to reevaluate its partnership.

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St. Louis Science Center Deflates Exploradome To Make Way For Expansion (VIDEO)

Deflation video below!
It took exactly nine minutes and 47 seconds this morning for the Saint Louis Science Center to deflate its Exploradome, the air-supported structure that first opened in 1997.

In 2011, the Science Center opened Boeing Hall, the special exhibition and event facility to replace the aging Exploradome, which the center says lasted sixteen years -- twice as long as originally planned.

And it took apparently just ten minutes to deflate the whole thing. But who has ten minutes to spare, these days! Check out below a fun time-lapse video posted today.

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St. Louis Tech Startup Scene Has Gone Through "Explosive Growth," Report Says

The St. Louis region is increasingly becoming a breeding ground for successful tech startup companies with major new investments and growth over the last year. So says a report from the St. Louis IT Entrepreneur Network, or ITEN, a nonprofit group that provides venture development services for startup technology businesses.

"There are a lot of creative, innovative people in this town who have just been under-appreciated and under-celebrated," Jim Brasunas, executive director of ITEN, tells Daily RFT. "There's...a center of gravity for IT talent in St. Louis."

The local nonprofit group today released a report on the state of regional startups based on data from more than 250 companies that it tracks. By several measures, the group says, the St. Louis tech startup scene is expanding rapidly.

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St. Louis' Richard Wilson Named "Hottest Researcher" In World, Wash. U. Scores Big

Richard Wilson, a.k.a. the hottest researcher in the world.
Washington University's Richard Wilson is the hottest researcher on Planet Earth.

So says Thomson Reuters, which today released its ranking of, well, "Hottest Researchers," based on some metrics that apparently do not actually involve physical appearance.

The company says it tracks researchers whose recently published papers had notably high levels of citations over the last year. You know, typical "hot" stuff!

Wilson, an expert in molecular genetics and large-scale DNA sequence analysis, also happens to work in the "Hottest Field of Study," according to the rankings.

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Washington University Physicists Fly The St. Louis Flag...In Antarctica (VIDEO)

Courtesy of Richard Bose.
St. Louis Antarctica.
St. Louis pride apparently extends as far as Antarctica.

Today, Richard Bose, an electrical engineer at Washington University's physics department, is presenting Mayor Francis Slay with a St. Louis flag that has been to Antarctica and back.

Bose is part of a high-energy astrophysics team at Wash. U. that built a cosmic ray detector called Super-TIGER and went to Antarctica this past winter. His team broke the official NASA record for the "longest heavy-lift balloon flight."

They also made a point to rep St. Louis on their trip.

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Parents of Twitter Co-Founder Jack Dorsey, St. Louis Native, Launch Campaign to Get Verified

jack dorsey wash. u.jpg
Jon Gitchoff / RFT Slideshow
Twitter cofounder Jack Dorsey in St. Louis.
St. Louis residents Marcia and Tim Dorsey would like to get "verified" on Twitter through the website's official badge of authenticity (that little blue check next to a user's name).

Twitter generally reserves those verifications for well-known movie stars, politicians, athletes, etc. -- but these two are arguably quite deserving.

After all, they're the grandparents of Twitter.

That's right: Marcia and Tim, the parents of Twitter cofounder and St. Louis native Jack Dorsey, would like the site to verify their accounts.

And they're tweeting up a storm to promote the cause!

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Video: Twitter Founder Jack Dorsey, St. Louis Native, Talks Childhood On 60 Minutes

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Jack Dorsey, future mayor of...
We can thank the St. Louis emergency dispatch center for Twitter.

The national spotlight was on St. Louis last night with a 60 Minutes interview, full video on view below, of Jack Dorsey, the co-founder of Twitter who grew up here and who apparently got his inspiration for Twitter by listening to the local police scanner when he was young.

"They're always talking about where they're going, what they're doing and where they currently are and that is where the idea for Twitter came," he told CBS' Lara Logan. "Now, we all have these cell phones. We had text messaging, and suddenly we can update where I was, what I'm doing, where I'm going, how I feel. And then it would go out to the entire world."

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University of Central Missouri Mathematician Discovers Largest Prime Number

Curtis Cooper, a math professor at the University of Central Missouri, has discovered the world's largest prime number.

Wait a minute, you say. Aren't numbers eternal and always sort of...there?

Well, yes, but primes are special. As you may recall from basic math, they're numbers that have no factors besides themselves and one. One is a prime. And two. And three. And seven. And eleven. And thirteen. But as numbers get higher, primes are fewer and farther between.

This prime, for instance, is 17,425,170 digits long. Specifically, it's


It begins 58188726623224644217 and ends 46141988071724285951 with several million numbers in between.

No, we're not exactly sure how you would say that.

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Rick Brattin, Who Wants Anti-Evolution Lessons In Missouri Schools: "I'm A Science Enthusiast"

Rep Rick Brattin.jpg
via Facebook
Representative Rick Brattin wants proof of evolution.
Missouri Representative Rick Brattin, a Republican, has introduced a bill that would mandate schools across the state give "equal treatment" to the theory of evolution and so-called "intelligent design," which is similar to creationism.


"I'm a science enthusiast," he tells Daily RFT. "I'm a huge science buff."

He's not, however, much of a Darwin fan.

See Also:
- Akin: Evolution is "Not Even A Matter of Science"
- Evolution T-Shirts on Trial in Missouri Town

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[UPDATE] Wash. U. Physicists to Set to Break Ballooning Record...In Antarctica

image via
Even though it comes from NASA, this balloon flight trophy looks suspiciously repurposed.
Update January 22: Super-TIGER has broken the official NASA balloon record. And yes, there's a trophy for that. Which has already reached the team in Antarctica. (Yet it takes a week for UPS to deliver a simple package within the continental United States. What is up with that? But we digress.)

Currently Super-TIGER has been circling Antarctica for 45 days, handily shattering the old record of 42 days, set back in the winter of 2004-2005. And it's not done yet: The Super-TIGER research team, based at McMurdo Station in Antarctica, believes the balloon has another eight to ten days to go before it circles back to McMurdo, whereupon the scientists will bring the sucker down and retrieve the two tons of scientific equipment aboard.

Original post from January 15 after the jump.

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