Archive | December 2011

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Year in Review: UChicago Research 2011

As another year comes to a close we’d like to look back at the fascinating research breakthroughs and inspiring patient stories from 2011. ScienceLife ran 168 posts this year, and while we wish we could highlight all of them, here are a handful of our favorites from each month. January Patrick Wilson found out that […]

Marking the Way to Predict the Spread of Cancer

Molecular markers found in cancer cells that have spread from a primary tumor to a limited number of distant sites can help physicians predict which patients with metastatic cancer will benefit from aggressive, targeted radiation therapy. In a study published online Dec. 13, 2011, in the journal PloS One, researchers from the University of Chicago […]

Amping Up Effort

By Matt Wood Each day people make decisions about how much effort they’re willing to put into various tasks. The decision about how much effort to invest in an activity is influenced by the reward for doing something and the probability of actually getting it. You might be willing to work hard at your job […]

Confronting Brain Surgery with Open Eyes

By Rob Mitchum A surgical procedure is a daunting experience for any patient, though thanks to general anesthesia, it’s not typically a memorable one. That’s not the case for patients who go through an awake craniotomy — a unique procedure that allows surgeons to react based on feedback from the patient during removal of a […]

Complexity and the Language of Proteins

All of the animal life on Earth, including human beings, can be traced back to a unicellular ancestor somewhat similar to the modern-day protozoa. In one sense, the hundreds of millions of years of evolution is the story of how organisms became more and more complex, growing from a single cell to trillions of highly […]

Helping Your Fellow Rat

If you called someone a rat, they probably wouldn’t take it as a compliment. But in a clever new study published today in Science, a team of University of Chicago neurobiologists show that rodents could serve as role models for how humans should behave. Rats were given a difficult choice between heart and stomach: either […]

Turning the Page on Celiac Education

By Matt Wood Celiac disease, an auto-immune disorder that prevents the digestion of gluten in the small intestine and inhibits absorption of nutrients, is gaining awareness in the United States. Gluten-free options are popping up on restaurant menus, television stars such as Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Jennifer Esposito are going public with their diagnoses, and major […]

The Helpful Pacifism of Bacterial Cheaters

Have you ever cheated on a test by glancing over at someone else’s work? Or relied on a fellow student to carry the load on a group project while you coast along with minimal effort? While few will admit to these forms of cheating, they have long been fixtures of the classroom. However, a lazy […]

The Gut’s Tenants and Food Allergies

If you are an avid reader of food packaging materials or a parent of an elementary school student, you might get the feeling that food allergies are on the rise. Statistics back up this notion, with the CDC reporting an 18 percent increase [pdf] in child food allergies between 1997 or 2007. That puts current […]

Glitter and Glam for World AIDS Day

By Dianna Douglas The goal of World AIDS Day 2011 is not to make the public aware of the disease. That was the goal in 1988, back when the international health threat was still new, infections were rising every year, and there was no hope of a treatment in sight. This year, World AIDS Day […]


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