Second Wife of Playwright Eugene O’Neill is the Subject of
a New Book
In her 1958 memoir Part of a Long Story — Eugene O’Neill as a Young Man in Love, second wife Agnes Boulton describes the early years of her tumultuous marriage to the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright. Wed in 1918, the couple divorced in 1929, when O’Neill abandoned Boulton for his third wife, Carlotta Monterey.
In Another Part of a Long Story — Literary Traces of Eugene O’Neill & Agnes Boulton (The University of Michigan Press, 2010), William Davies King, a professor of theater arts, uses Boulton’s work as a starting point to turn the spotlight on her as a successful writer in her own right, and tell the story of a woman trying to define herself in the early 20th century.
The Secret of Life May Be as Simple as What Happens Between the Mica Sheets
That age-old question, “where did life on Earth start?” now has a new answer. If the life between the mica sheets hypothesis is correct, life would have originated between sheets of mica that were layered like the pages in a book.
The so-called “life between the sheets” mica hypothesis was developed by Helen Hansma, a retired research scientist in the physics department, with funding from the National Science Foundation. It was originally introduced by Hansma at the 2007 annual meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology, and was fully described by her in a recent issue of the Journal of Theoretical Biology.
According to Hansma’s mica hypothesis, structured compartments that commonly form between layers of mica –– a common mineral that cleaves into smooth sheets –– may have sheltered molecules that were the progenitors to cells.
Research Questions Accuracy of Maya Calendar Correlation, Historic Dates
For nearly half a century, Maya scholars have relied on a fixed numerical value called the GMT constant as a means of correlating the dates on the ancient Maya calendar with those on the Gregorian — or modern — calendar.
Now, however, research conducted by Gerardo Aldana, associate professor of Chicana and Chicano Studies, suggests that the GMT constant — which has never actually been proved conclusively — could be inaccurate by 50 to 100 years or more. Aldana’s findings challenge the accepted Gregorian dates of all Classic Mayan historical events, as well as the end-of-the-world 2012 prophecies. His research is included in “Calendars and Years II: Astronomy and Time in the Ancient and Medieval World” (Oxbow Books, 2010), the second in a series edited by John Steele, associate professor of Egyptology and Ancient West Asian Studies at Brown University.
Physicists Help Biologists
Understand Protein Folding
Physicists have created a microscopic device to assist biologists in making very fast molecular measurements that aid the understanding of protein folding. This development may help elucidate biological processes associated with diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Using a microfabricated fluid mixing device built in the campus’s nanofabrication facility, UCSB physicists and their collaborators from the University of Zurich have made the first sub-second, single-molecule measurements of an essential biological molecule known as a chaperonin. The results appeared in a recent online issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“The genes encoded in DNA contain chemical sequences for proteins, which, once they have been synthesized in the cell, fold into molecular machines that perform the basic functions of living things,” said Everett Lipman, co-author and assistant professor of physics.
Worms Point to a Link Between
Cellular Glue and Cancer Growth
A group of scientists that includes Joel H. Rothman, biology professor and chair of the Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, has discovered that a protein that helps make cells stick together also keeps them from dividing excessively, a hallmark of cancer progression. The discovery could lead to new ways to control cancer. Their research was described in a recent issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Developments in Nanobiotechnology Point to Medical Applications
||Kirill A. Afonin, Cody Geary, and Luc Jaeger
Two new groundbreaking scientific papers by UCSB researchers demonstrate the synthesis of nanosize biological particles with the potential to fight cancer and other illnesses. The studies introduce new approaches that are considered “green” nanobiotechnology because they use no artificial compounds.
According to Luc Jaeger, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry, nothing short of a revolution is taking place in all areas of biochemistry, and particularly in his specialty of nanobiotechnology. The revolution involves understanding the role of RNA in cells.
Jaeger’s team is putting together complex three-dimensional RNA molecules — nanosize polyhedrons that could be used to fight disease. The molecules self-assemble into the new shapes.
Enlightenment Considered an Event in the History of Mediation
Debates about the nature of the Enlightenment date to the 18th century, when philosopher Immanual Kant himself addressed the question, “What is Enlightenment?” A new book edited by William Warner and Clifford Siskin offers a paradigm-shifting answer to that now-famous query: Enlightenment is an event in the history of mediation.
In This Is Enlightenment (The University of Chicago Press, 2010), Warner, a professor of English, and Siskin, the Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Professor of English and American Literature at New York University, establish mediation as the condition of possibility for enlightenment.