News

The University of Chicago News Office
Updated: 32 min 37 sec ago

Smart Museum exhibition crowd-sources blankets for art-based activism

Fri, 08/11/2017 - 14:00
Boxes of blankets began pouring into the Smart Museum of Art over the summer, hundreds a week, bearing postmarks from Ohio, Arizona, Washington, Massachusetts and beyond. They arrived as part of Welcome Blanket, a project from designer and artist Jayna Zweiman that recasts the roughly 2,000-mile distance of the proposed border wall between the United States and Mexico into handmade blankets. Representing the distance of the wall in lengths of yarn—over 3,000 blankets to be knit from 3,500,640...

Regional support for rebel groups can increase violence, study shows

Tue, 08/01/2017 - 14:45
The news is filled with stories about insurgencies—about terrorist attacks, the groups perpetrating them and the steps taken to defeat their fighters. However, there’s a tendency to look at just one country at a time when trying to find solutions, not at the relationship of the country attacked with those that surround it, and little is known about trans-national insurgent activities. Luis R. Martinez, assistant professor at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, shows in a...

Studying lists of last names reveal hiring practices in higher education

Mon, 07/03/2017 - 03:30
Using lists of names collected from publicly available websites, two University of Chicago researchers have revealed distinctive patterns in higher education systems, ranging from ethnic representation and gender imbalance in the sciences, to the presence of academic couples, and even the illegal hiring of relatives in Italian universities. “This study was an exercise in exploiting bare-bones techniques,” said author Stefano Allesina, professor of ecology and evolution and a member of the...

University statement on climate and the environment

Thu, 06/08/2017 - 11:45
Understanding the scale and nature of the scientific, environmental, economic, policy and public health aspects of climate change demands evidence-based research in an environment of free and open inquiry. The University of Chicago and affiliated laboratories such as the Marine Biological Laboratory remain deeply committed to supporting faculty, students and researchers addressing these important issues from diverse perspectives. These efforts include, but are not limited to,...

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...