Welcome to LabBook, our weekly roundup of University of Chicago Medicine & Biological Sciences research news from around campus and the internet. Each Friday, LabBook will recap the week on the blog, link to news stories about our faculty and studies, and briefly summarize a handful of recent publications by our researchers.
THIS WEEK ON THE BLOG
Think you know about your genetic history? This week we spoke to Jonathan Pritchard, who uses genetics to study how human populations change over time. He developed a software tool that can use modern DNA to show how different groups of people (and dogs) have split apart and mixed over time, and found some surprising combinations.
University of Chicago’s resident rockstar evolutionary biologist Neil Shubin released a new book this week: “The Universe Within: Discovering the Common History of Rocks, Planets, and People” is about how humans are connected to the history of the universe, the solar system and the planet. And as if that weren’t enough, he also made his second appearance on Comedy’s Central’s The Colbert Report.
RESEARCH IN THE NEWS
Researchers from the Kovler Diabetes Center participated in a study that discovered a mechanism insulin uses to bind with cells. This could lead to potential insulin medications for diabetics that don’t require injections. The study was covered by Reuters.
And finally, the flu outbreak in Chicago and around the country has been a doozy this year. UChicago infectious disease experts Allison Bartlett and Emily Landon were all over the news this week—including the Chicago Tribune, CBS 2 Chicago, WGN TV and Bloomberg—talking about the flu vaccine, how it works and what you can do to feel better if you happen to get sick.