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Welcome to the JANUARY/08 issue of UCHICAGO.EDU, a monthly e-bulletin bringing you online news about the University of Chicago and its larger community of alumni and friends.

The JAN-FEB/08 University of Chicago Magazine is almost in the mail—and it’s also online at:

Here’s a sampling from the issue:

* Long Way Homephoto: Kittles
Chicago geneticist Rick Kittles stirs controversy and hope with a DNA database designed to help African Americans unearth their roots:

* Fish Out of Water
Hernias, hiccups, and snores—oh, my! It’s been 3.5 billion years, and the human body’s past still plays a role in our lives and health:

* Winning Formula
Daniel Biss, an assistant professor in mathematics, is an unlikely candidate for a seat in the Illinois House of Representatives:

News from Chicago

* New Charter School Campus to Open This Fall
The newest campus of the University of Chicago Charter School will open in the fall. Like the charter school’s other three campuses, the Bronzeville middle school will have an academic program designed to prepare students for success in four-year colleges. It will be named for Carter G. Woodson, AB 1908, AM 1908, who founded Black History Week, which in 1976 became Black History Month:

* Banking on It: GSB’s Newest Chair is Also Its Largest
The Graduate School of Business has created its largest endowed professorship in the name of former LaSalle Bank Corp. Chairman Norman Bobins, MBA’67. Funded with $3 million from Bank of America Corp. and others, the GSB’s 43rd endowed professorship will provide salary and research support for a finance, economics, or banking scholar:

* Dedicated to the Arts
When the Reva and David Logan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts opens in 2011, the structure, designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, will incorporate the University's landmark Midway Studios—where the new center was dedicated on Wednesday:

Research at Chicago

* How Well You Sleep May Stave Off Diabetes
In the first study to link poor sleep quality to increased diabetes risk, a University of Chicago Medical Center team has found suppressing deep, or slow-wave, sleep in healthy young adults significantly decreases their ability to regulate blood-sugar levels and increases the risk of type 2 diabetes. Published online December 31 ine the “Early Edition” of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, the study found that after only three nights without restorative slow-wave sleep, subjects became less sensitive to insulin—a decrease comparable to that caused by gaining 20 to 30 pounds:

* I Say Tomato, You See Potato…
But what do you hear? In conversation, humans recognize words primarily from the sounds they hear. But because speech doesn’t offer as clear a signal as the printed page, the brain constructs its own interpretation, factoring in both sights and sounds. When the acoustic patterns of speech don’t match the visual images of the speaker’s mouth moving, humans sometimes “hear” a syllable that is not physically present in either sight or sound. Using magnetic resonance imaging, a group of University neurologists have identified areas of the brain involved in this process:

* Science in a Cold Climate: Looking for Dark Energy
Controlled remotely by University astronomers, the $19.2 million South Pole Telescope has begun to search the southern polar heavens for dark energy—the powerful force believed to make up 70 percent of the universe’s mass:,1,7328872.story

Today @ UChiBLOGo

* My grandmother could do that
photo: magazine contest
The Magazine's Web log takes a look at the Renaissance Society's latest exhibit.

Do You Work Better Under Pressure?

* If So, It’s Time to Enter the Magazine’s Reader Contest
The deadline: January 18. The task: Take one of the College’s famously quirky application essay questions, add the Graduate School of Business’s new requirement that applicants supplement their essays with a PowerPoint presentation, and concoct your entry. The prize: $500. The details:

From the University of Chicago Alumni Association

* A New Year of Alumni Events
Did you know that Chicago faculty travel all over the country, bringing their lectures to alumni? Regional alumni clubs sponsor these lectures as well as myriad activities and ways to interact with fellow alumni, including ice-skating, champagne-tasting, volunteering to teach at-risk youth, and the opportunity to discuss everything from literature to business strategies. Check the searchable calendar for programs near you. Be sure to check back regularly as new activities are planned through the winter and spring:

* Resolve to Volunteer
Do you want to help choose the next generation of Chicago students? Give career advice to current students who are interested in your profession? Organize alumni events in your city? Can you use a smart young person as an intern in your company? Do you have some innovative ideas for your next reunion? Chicago has many volunteer opportunities that will bring you in contact with students and alumni and take advantage of your special talents. To see what’s available:

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