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?
If not the Higgs, then
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.
Pop starlings and their
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
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
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.
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.