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Your independent source for Harvard news since 1898

January-February 2010


Letters from our readers

The College Pump

Samuel Beer

What made Sam Beer and Charles Townsend Copeland great


A stained-glass window in Harvard's Memorial Hall

In this Issue

Chad Cowan

Stem cells are being used as tools in regenerative medicine and drug discovery.

Li prepares to dissect a pangolin, from a popular pamphlet, <i>Li Shizhen: Great Scholar of Medical Drugs</i> (1955).

Brief life of a pioneering pharmacologist: 1518-1593

In words and images, George M. Whitesides and Felice. C. Frankel explicate tools, concepts, and applications in nanoscience.

At the Merkers salt mines in central Germany, American GIs admire Édouard Manet’s <em>In the Conservatory,</em> one of the thousands of rare works and documents stored there by the Nazi regime late in World War II. Monuments Man George Stout (see next image), a Fogg Museum conservator turned U.S. Army lieutenant, supervised the rescue of 40 tons of art from the site in April 1945.

Harvard’s Monuments Men at war


Letters from our readers

Right Now

If it were not for an elegant design, your DNA might be a tangle of crossed lines and knots. Graduate student Erez Lieberman-Aiden was part of a team that discovered how the genome packs information accessibly into a tiny ball of hierarchical folds.

Harvard and UMass researchers elucidate DNA's ability to file data and fit into the nucleus.

Research on work-life balance casts the financial sector in a harsh light.

Researchers may have found the viruses' Achilles heel

Heather Paxson explores the anthropology of American artisanal cheese.

New England Regional

Kerr practices outside to “feel the sensations of the sun and wind and the ground beneath my feet.”

Researchers study the benefits of this mind-body exercise.

A scene from <em>Gatz,</em> a staged reading of <em>The Great Gatsby,</em> opening at the ART on January 7

Winter activities at and around Harvard

Above: Tupelo chef Rembs Layman prepares satisfying fare: here, fried catfish.

Tupelo, a new arrival, is a standout Southern restaurant in Inman Square, Cambridge.

John Harvard's Journal

Outside the Caspersen Room at the Harvard Law School Library: Ess Librarian and professor of law John G. Palfrey VII with University Library director and Pforzheimer University Professor Robert Darnton.

The University's financial crisis is exacerbating existing problems in expanding, coordinating, and technologically improving the collections.

Theresa McCulla

Meet the director of Harvard Dining Services’ Food Literacy Project.

Headlines from Harvard history

The Harvard University Financial Report for fiscal year 2009 documents losses not previously detailed.

Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Michael D. Smith presents his annual report.

The annual report of the Office of Faculty Development and Diversity shows gains for women, slow progress elsewhere

Jay O. Light

Short takes on recent Harvard news

Panelists at the tenth-anniversary symposium discuss how their time as Radcliffe Fellows helped them bridge boundaries between genres. From left to right: English professor Leah Price, painter Beverly McIver, filmmaker Jeanne Jordan, composer Tarik O’Regan, filmmaker Anne Makepeace, and lawyer Hauwa Ibrahim.

Harvard’s former sister college celebrates its first decade as an institute for advanced study.

Harvard undergraduates and the "great books" puzzle

Hard-skating brothers Danny, Alex, and Michael Biega (left to right) spray ice chips at Bright Hockey Center.

Alex, Mike, and Danny Biega, a talented trio of brothers, play ice hockey for Harvard.

The men's and women's squads lead the Ivy League.

Coach Murphy got a Powerade shower as time expired.

Yale saved its best for last. So did Harvard.

Ellen Kennelly ’85 has created a new glass sculpture for Weld Boathouse.

These views (above and below) of the Xenith football helmet show the disc-shaped shock absorbers that adapt to the magnitude and direction of the hit, adjusting the helmet’s compression accordingly.

Vin Ferrara ’95 manufactures the Xenith football helmet to protect players from concussions.


Carl Kassel (left), announcer for National Public Radio’s weekly <em>Wait, Wait...Don’t Tell Me!</em> clowns with its host, Peter Sagal.

Three Harvard graduates help create the weekly humor of NPR’s <em>Wait, Wait...Don’t Tell Me!</em>

An excerpt from A Hole in the Head: More Tales in the History of Neuroscience, by Charles Gross ’57

Editors with their product. Left to right, Keith Gessen, Mark Greif, and Chad Harbach of <i>n+1</i> at their Brooklyn office, with a bookcase full of past issues.

Three Harvard Advocate alumni helped found a highbrow literary periodical.

David Warsh reviews This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, by Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff.

Recent books with Harvard connections

Correspondence on not-so-famous lost words


Bruce V. Corsino

Bruce Corsino promotes "usable, efficient, and transparent" writing inside government and out.

The new <a href=""></a>

Harvard's alumni website has a new look and a new home.

The Harvard Alumni Association's plans a global public-service initiative

In Memorial Church, General George W. Casey Jr. views the plaque commemorating the Harvard dead of the Vietnam War, among them his father, George W. Casey ’45.

A plaque honoring Harvard’s Medal of Honor recipients is dedicated in Memorial Church.

Advocates for Harvard ROTC seek information on Harvard alumni who hold military awards for valor.

Jon and Margaret Richardson track down works of the Bloomsbury Group.

Rare-book dealers Jon and Margaret Richardson are fans of the Bloomsbury Group.

Sportscaster "J.B." Brown has written a guide to living life the right way.

Sportscaster J.B. Brown writes about his "Role of a Lifetime"

Jerusalem city councilor Laura Wharton

Jerusalem city councilor Laura Wharton seeks a more open and pluralistic city.

News from Shared Interest Groups

The College Pump

Samuel Beer

What made Sam Beer and Charles Townsend Copeland great


A stained-glass window in Harvard's Memorial Hall