Notes in the Margins: Patents, hackers and mental health

Patents, Not Just Politics, Create Obstacles to University Stem-Cell Research A new study indicates that overly complicated and restrictive patenting practices, and scientists who do not fully share information and materials, are creating a research bottleneck at the corporate level that could soon hinder work at dozens of universities. (

What Degrees Should Mean The push to set such standards at a national (and even federal) level has, in turn, led many college and faculty leaders to complain that a one-size-fits-all approach to defining student learning would result in greatly oversimplified definitions of learning. (Inside Higher Ed)

Hacker Offers Access to Higher-Education Web Sites A hacker is selling high-level access to university Web sites, which could include the ability to alter or delete content. The hacker is also offering “high value information,” such as personnel databases. (

For-profit schools on the move in slow office market Major for-profit colleges have been prowling the Twin Cities for new office space, despite rising concerns about heavy student debt loads and a pending government crackdown on the federal student aid on which the for-profit schools rely. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

Young inventors prompt colleges to revamp rules Who owns the patents and copyrights when a student creates something of value on campus, without a professor’s help? (Boston Globe)

Schools Find Good in Tragedy, but Will Loughner’s Former College Do the Same? Some of the best university programs — at Virginia Tech, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Western Kentucky University — have been spurred by some of the worst tragedies. So the question is: Will Pima Community College in Tucson — alma mater of Jared L. Loughner, the man charged with shooting to death six people this month — be the next to create something good from something so bad? (The New York Times)