News

The University of Chicago News Office
Updated: 1 hour 3 min ago

3.3 million-year-old fossil of young girl reveals origins of human spine

Mon, 05/22/2017 - 14:30
Analysis of a 3.3 million-year-old fossil skeleton reveals the most complete spinal column of any early human relative, including vertebrae, neck and rib cage. The findings, published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, indicate that portions of the human spinal structure that enable efficient walking motions were established millions of years earlier than previously thought. The fossil, known as “Selam,” is a nearly complete skeleton of a 2.5-year-old child...

World’s most sensitive dark matter detector releases first results

Thu, 05/18/2017 - 16:00
Scientists behind XENON1T, the largest dark matter experiment of its kind ever built, are encouraged by early results, describing them as the best so far in the search for dark matter. Dark matter is one of the basic constituents of the universe, five times more abundant than ordinary matter. Several astronomical measurements have corroborated the existence of dark matter, leading to an international effort to observe it directly. Scientists are trying to detect dark matter particle...

DNA fingerprinting reveals how malaria hides from immune system

Thu, 05/04/2017 - 16:15
A study involving more than 600 children living in southeast Gabon found that each infected child in one small African village had a different strain of the malaria parasite—and a distinctly different set of the up to 60 genes that the human immune system focuses on to detect and control this infection. The findings help explain why people can’t develop immunity to malaria and indicate that control programs should focus on the structure of the parasite’s diverse strains in addition to the...

DNA fingerprinting reveals how malaria hides from immune system

Thu, 05/04/2017 - 16:15
A study involving more than 600 children living in southeast Gabon found that each infected child in one small African village had a different strain of the malaria parasite—and a distinctly different set of the up to 60 genes that the human immune system focuses on to detect and control this infection. The findings help explain why people can’t develop immunity to malaria and indicate that control programs should focus on the structure of the parasite’s diverse strains in addition to the...

Innovation Fest to expand scope at UChicago and beyond

Fri, 04/21/2017 - 16:46
Throughout the month of May, members of the University of Chicago community and the public will get a unique look at the programs and individuals responsible for the ideas, ventures and science that may someday change the lives of millions. UChicago Innovation Fest 2017, a global celebration of entrepreneurship and discovery, will bring together the brightest minds in science, tech, the arts and business during a monthlong series of workshops, discussions, speaker events and competitions....

Virtual Earth-sized telescope aims to capture first image of a black hole

Fri, 04/21/2017 - 15:25
A powerful network of telescopes around the Earth is attempting to create the first image of a black hole, an elusive gravitational sinkhole that Albert Einstein first predicted in 1915. The UChicago-led South Pole Telescope is part of the Event Horizon Telescope, which combines eight observatories in six locations to create a virtual Earth-sized telescope so powerful it could spot a nickel on the surface of the moon. Scientists spent ten days in April gathering data on Sagittarius A*, a black...

NASA to launch telescope on super-pressure balloon in search for cosmic rays

Wed, 04/05/2017 - 14:00
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is preparing to use a super-pressure balloon to launch into near space a pioneering telescope designed to detect ultra-high-energy cosmic rays as they interact with the Earth’s atmosphere. “We’re searching for the most energetic cosmic particles that we’ve ever observed,” said Angela V. Olinto, the Homer J. Livingston Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago and principal investigator of the project, known as the Extreme...

Study examines public understanding of drug rationing amid AIDS epidemic

Wed, 03/29/2017 - 13:00
In Balaka, Malawi, HIV-AIDS has been an epidemic for so long that young adults have never known any other reality. Anti-retroviral drugs, which keep infected people healthy, are available, but there aren’t enough to treat everyone who needs them. So policymakers in the east African nation must prioritize. Rationing is complicated, and priorities have shifted many times over the years. Young adults in Balaka are often unaware about what the current distribution strategies actually are, despite...

Seven international artists explore intersection of creative practice and human rights

Thu, 03/23/2017 - 10:00
What is an artistic practice of human rights? That is the driving question of an upcoming UChicago summit, in which distinguished international artists will explore how the arts can address some of the world's most important human rights problems—from criminal justice to refugee crises. The summit, to be held on April 29 and May 1, will be a chance for a diverse group of artists to share their practices and frame new conversations around myriad human rights issues. It is co-presented by the...

Neubauer Collegium selects new faculty research projects

Tue, 02/07/2017 - 15:57
What are the social and ethical implications of machine-learning algorithms that can accurately predict crime in Chicago? How should we rethink the very meaning of a natural history museum to become better stewards of the art and artifacts of indigenous peoples? What can we learn from the language of an individual who lacks typical human senses to perceive the world? These are just some of the complex humanistic questions that will be addressed in the 13 collaborative research projects that...