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Volume 96, Issue 1

GRAPHIC:  ResearchInvestigations

Of mice and genes
Molecular biologist Brian Popko takes a close look at neurologically challenged mice—hoping to help humans with peripheral nerve diseases.
Every week or so Chicago molecular biologist Brian Popko goes mouse hunting on the Web. He scans the databases of a half-dozen mouse mutagenesis centers across the country, searching for lab mice with intriguing neurological problems—say, shaky hind legs or weak forepaws. When one catches his eye, Popko turns to his research team: is this a mouse worth studying?
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If not the Higgs, then what?
The headlines held an air of defeat: “Smallest Particles Are the Biggest Challenge,” lamented the Chicago Sun-Times; “No Sign of the Higgs Boson,” cried New Scientist; “Below-par Performance Hampers Fermilab Quest for Higgs Boson,” sighed Nature.
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Pop starlings and their melodies
Chicago researchers are peering inside the minds of European starlings to learn how they recognize songs—and in the process are providing insights into how the brain learns, recognizes, and remembers complex sounds at the cellular level.
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Why we’re not at war with Canada
In Reliable Partners: How Democracies Have Made a Separate Peace (Princeton University Press, 2003) political-science professor Charles Lipson explains the frequently noted but poorly understood phenomenon of democracies not warring against one another. The transparency of democratic governments, he argues, makes both their threats and their promises reliable, promoting stable contracts.
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Original Source
Music for the ages
These Jewish cabaret-music broadsides, sold for pittance on Vienna streets at the turn of the last century, were recovered from the city’s library archive by Philip Bohlman, professor in the Department of Music and the College.
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Not-so-random acts of kindness
People who regularly attend religious services perform more acts of altruism—such as talking with a friend, relative, neighbor, or acquaintance who is depressed, helping with housework, giving up a seat to a stranger, or donating money to charity—than those who don’t.
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