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Volume 96, Issue 2


Code reader
After revolutionizing methods of studying genetics, Wen-Hsiung Li reads deep into DNA sequences to unravel molecular mysteries.
At 61, Wen-Hsiung Li thought he was too young to win a Balzan Prize, often referred to as the Italian Nobel. The prize, given to four winners each year, two in scientific disciplines and two in humanities, had been awarded previously in Li’s field, genetics and evolution, but only to octo- and nonagenarians.
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Doulas aid young mothers

When Tracy Wilhoite was 16 she gave birth to the first of eight children. The young woman’s life changed completely—even more than most mothers—because of the emotional and social challenges unique to being a teenager. “I felt undervalued and underrespected,” Wilhoite says 21 years later. “That’s something I seek never to do to the mothers I work with. I teach them to gain respect.”
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Scholars of solitude

In the gospels Jesus “goes into the wilderness and is tested by Satan, and he comes back to be who he’s going to be.” This condensed biblical narrative, explains W. Clark Gilpin, the Margaret E. Burton professor in the Divinity School, provides a model of self and spirituality for a trio of American writers: Jonathan Edwards, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Emily Dickinson. In his forthcoming book, Alone with the Alone: Solitude in American Religious and Literary History, Gilpin argues that those authors chronicle a break from religious traditions, embracing solitude and nature as a way to carve a new space for encountering divinity and critiquing society’s distracting, consuming, and volatile bustle.
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Is there a plot in this plat?

Students in Kathleen N. Conzen’s urban-history colloquium take a questioning look at the old neighborhood.
History 296, Colloquium: Chicago and the South Side, meets in JRL 130, a windowless seminar room in the Special Collections wing of the Joseph Regenstein Library. The room assignment makes logistical sense. One goal of Kathleen Neils Conzen’s course is to “introduce students to the methods and sources of historical research.” Proximity to the Reg’s resources means that field trips—to the University archives, for example—are quick commutes.
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