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A Berlin wall still stands
In Divided in Unity: Identity, Germany, and the Berlin Police (University of Chicago Press), Andreas Glaeser , an assistant professor in sociology, provides firsthand accounts of persistent divisions between east and west Germans as he accompanies Berlin police officers on their daily patrols. His examples of mutual distrust include easterners' fears that their western counterparts are bent on taking away their leadership positions. Attempting to explain the "wall in the heads of people," he says he chose the Berlin police force as his subject because it represented one of the few institutions where, riding alongside each other in patrol cars, westerners and easterners have to relate to one another as peers.

Too much of a good thing?
A U of C study published in the April 11 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences raises questions about the generally accepted health benefits of bioflavonoids, water-soluble plant pigments found in soybeans, fruits, root vegetables, herbs, and some dietary supplements. Janet Rowley, PhB'45, SB'46, MD'48, the Blum-Riese distinguished service professor in medicine, molecular genetics & cell biology, and human genetics, reported molecular evidence that bioflavonoids can cause breaks in DNA that could trigger the onset of infant leukemia. She notes that though the public-health message from the study is not yet clear, the results suggest that pregnant women should be especially careful about eating a diet or taking supplements high in bioflavonoids.

Genetic hide-and-seek
Also in the April 11 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, San Ming Wang, an assistant professor in medicine, reported that researchers at the U of C and Johns Hopkins have developed a technique to speed the search for unknown human genes. The technique--called "Screening poly (dA/dT)-cDNAs for Gene Identification"--is expected to play a critical role in identifying the remaining third of the estimated 140,000 genes now being catalogued in the Human Genome Project. Essentially, the new technique allows scientists to more easily move already identified genes out of the way so that they can see the less common ones.

The morality of Henry James
In his new book, Henry James and Modern Moral Life (Cambridge University Press), Robert Pippin, chair of the Committee on Social Thought, presents his thoughts on James's understandings of morality and motivation. He shows how James eschews skepticism to sensitively portray the precarious and extremely confusing nature of modern morality, offering new interpretations of The Portrait of a Lady, The Wings of the Dove, The Ambassadors, The Golden Bowl, and several of James's short stories.

Targeting tumors
Intensive treatment combining radiation and chemotherapy can locally control advanced head and neck cancers, improve survival, and in most cases eliminate the need for surgery, report Chicago and Northwestern researchers in the April 14 Journal of Clinical Oncology. Study director and U of C Duchossois professor in medicine Everett Vokes reported that the combined-therapy approach locally controlled the cancer for 92 percent of the 72 patients treated by the researchers between 1993 and 1996 and increased long-term survival to 55 percent.

Global links
In Ruling the World: Power Politics and the Rise of Supranational Institutions (Princeton University Press), Lloyd Gruber, an assistant professor in the Harris School, explores questions of why and how nations cooperate on political matters. Looking at the political origins and structures of the new European monetary system and the North American Free Trade Agreement, he discusses not only issues of finance and trade but also security cooperation, environmental politics, and nation-building.

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  JUNE 2000

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Hyde Park revisited
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Hugo Sonnenschein
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Pan-Asian persuasion

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