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Dr. Rita Levi-Montalcini, Nobel Winner, Dies At 103 36

Posted by samzenpus
from the fare-thee-well dept.
SternisheFan writes "Nobel winner Dr. Rita Levi-Montalcini, who discovered chemical tools that the body uses to direct cell growth and build nerves, has died. She was 103. From the article: 'Dr. Rita Levi-Montalcini, a Nobel Prize-winning neurologist who discovered critical chemical tools that the body uses to direct cell growth and build nerve networks, opening the way for the study of how those processes can go wrong in diseases like dementia and cancer, died on Sunday at her home in Rome. She was 103. Her death was announced by Mayor Gianni Alemanno of Rome. "I don't use these words easily, but her work revolutionized the study of neural development, from how we think about it to how we intervene," said Dr. Gerald D. Fishbach, a neuroscientist and professor emeritus at Columbia. Scientists had virtually no idea how embryo cells built a latticework of intricate connections to other cells when Dr. Levi-Montalcini began studying chicken embryos in the bedroom of her house in Turin, Italy, during World War II. After years of obsessive study, much of it at Washington University in St. Louis with Dr. Viktor Hamburger, she found a protein that, when released by cells, attracted nerve growth from nearby developing cells.'"
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Dr. Rita Levi-Montalcini, Nobel Winner, Dies At 103

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  • by oursland (1898514) on Monday December 31, 2012 @08:42PM (#42438089)
    There have been studies into this. Normally studies to determine whether one genetically similar group (race, ethnicity, etc) has a predisposition towards advantages in intelligence, athletics, etc. has been looked down upon and stifled. But as studies into hereditary illnesses progressed, it turns out that some illnesses bring advantages. For example, sickle cell anemia brings a resistance to malaria. Another example is Tay-Sachs, a debilitating neurological disorder that usually brings about childhood death and is more common amongst Ashkenazi Jewish persons, however carriers of a Tay Sachs gene without the disease have an average of a couple IQ points bump.

    A couple IQ points is nothing tremendous, mind you. The average Tay-Sachs carrier is going to be just as average as everyone else, but on the high end of the normal curve, you'll find there will be an over-representation of Jews to the other ethnicities. This may explain in some part the effect you've seen. It should also be noted that there is a large many Jewish Nobel Prize Laureates and other persons of note who do not share the faith (Einstein, Feynman, Asimov, Edward Teller, etc), so conversion will only likely fill your mind with things that bring no value towards life successes.

    Here's a Wikipedia article on it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashkenazi_Jewish_intelligence [wikipedia.org]

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