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The spider's web

In The Implied Spider: Politics and Theology in Myth (Columbia University Press), Wendy Doniger, a professor of religion and humanities, discusses Western and non-Western myths, including examples from the Bhagavad Gita and the Brothers Grimm's fairy tales. She argues that these and other world myths bind people together, regardless of race, culture, or religion, and shows how they give meaning and perspective to life's monumental events, from birth to death. Her title metaphor-the unseen spider-symbolizes the universality of human experience.

Happily ever after

In a recent report, U of C sociologist Linda Waite concluded that marriage is beneficial not only to men-as has been previously argued-but also to women. Using data from psychological assessments of 13,000 single, married, and divorced adults across the U.S., Waite found that in a five-year period, married couples reported less stress, better physical health, better sex lives, and higher incomes than singles. Her findings also suggest that married couples drink less alcohol and use less cocaine and marijuana.

Lawyers on trial

Criminal law professor Albert W. Alschuler says the O.J. Simpson murder trial, although atypical, shows how some defense lawyers are going too far to win. In an article in the October issue of the University of Pacific's McGeorge Law Review, he argues that lawyers "played the race card" and used the media to promote their best interests during the trial. He predicts such "Rambo" lawyering will flourish unless strong standards prevail.

The genes have it

A research team led by Judy Cho, assistant professor in gastroenterology, has narrowed the search for a genetic cause of inflammatory bowel disease. In the June 23 Proceedings of the National Academy of Scientists, the team identified the genes that they suspect trigger the incurable disease.-P.J.A.

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