National service informs teaching
In 1996 President Clinton appointed President Shapiro to
chair the newly created National Bioethics Advisory
Commission; this fall he is teaching a freshman seminar,
Historical and Contemporary Issues in Bioethics.
"The experience of leading the
commission, which focuses on the intersection of ethics,
biology and public policy, has had a big impact on my
teaching in this particular class," Shapiro said. "I hope I
can bring to it a sense of immediacy, relevance and focus.
The students are enormously animated. It's not unusual for
them to stay around talking after the class has ended, and I
usually get a great deal of e-mail traffic between classes."
Icahns give $20 million for new genomics lab
The Icahn Family Foundation has made a gift of $20
million to construct a state-of-the-art building on campus,
the Carl C. Icahn Laboratory, which will be home to the new
interdisciplinary Institute for Integrative Genomics.
Its facilities will be designed to
support pioneering research on genomics, the study of genes
and their function, and related biological studies. Icahn,
founder and president of the foundation, is a member of the
Class of 1957. [>>more]
HR to redesign biweekly classification system
The Office of Human Resources has launched a study to
redesign the University's classification system for office
support staff (biweekly B non-union employees). The new
system will include updated job descriptions,
classifications and a new pay structure, and will reflect
changes in the skills and competencies required for office
support positions. [>>more]
In the news
Rethinking the brain
In a new challenge to the longstanding belief that adults
never generate new brain cells, [scientists] at
Princeton University have found that thousands of freshly
born neurons arrive each day in the cerebral cortex, the
outer rind of the brain where higher intellectual functions
and personality are centered.
Though based on research in monkeys, the
finding is likely to prove true of people, too. If so,
several experts said, it may overturn ideas about how the
human brain works and open new possibilities for treating
degenerative brain diseases.
In addition, if the brains's cells are in
constant turnover, as new finding suggests, physicians may
discover ways to use the brain's natural regeneration system
for replacing cells that are lost in diseases of aging.
The discovery, by Dr. Elizabeth Gould
[assistant professor of psychology] and Dr. Charles
G. Gross [professor of psychology], is reported in
today's issue of the journal Science.
The belief that the adult brain does not
make new cells rested on careful, well known studies by Dr.
Pasko Rakic of Yale University, who looked for the formation
of new neurons in the monkey brain and found none.
But the Princeton work is likely to be
convincing, because it builds on previous reports of brain
cell turnover, notably by Dr. Fernando Nottebohm of
Rockefeller University, who showed that canaries grow new
neurons to learn new songs, and recent studies showing that
new cells are formed in the hippocampus, a brain region
where initial memories of faces and places are formed.
from "Brain May Grow New Cells Daily," by
Nicholas Wade, New York Times, October 15
Cross country. The men finished first at IC4A
Championships October 15. (3-1, 0-0 Ivy)
Football. Princeton beat Lafayette 22-10October
16.(2-3, 0-2 Ivy)
Soccer. The men defeated Loyola 2-1 October 13 and
American 2-0 October 16. The women won against Rider 4-0
October 11, Lehigh 9-0 October 13 and Colgate 3-1 October
17. (Men: 7-3, 3-1 Ivy; women: 9-2-1, 3-0-1 Ivy)
Tennis. The women finished first at ECAC
Championship, defeating James Madison, Penn, Harvard and
Virginia. (4-0, 0-0 Ivy)