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Speech-mimicking orangutan speaks volumes

Speech-mimicking orangutan speaks volumes

February 2, 2015

Little is known about the evolution of speech from humanity’s distant past. However, one orangutan named Tilda at Germany’s Cologne Zoo has brought researchers closer to an understanding of these unkn...

iPhone Anxiety

iPhone separation anxiety found in college students

January 26, 2015

Being separated from a ringing iPhone can lead to symptoms of physiological anxiety , as well as decreased cognitive performance, according to a study published Jan. 7 in the Journal of Computer-Medi...

Clint Eastwood’s controversial new film “American Sniper” stars Bradly Cooper as sharpshooting Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle. The film has been nominated for a total of six 2015 Academy Awards, including “Best Picture,” “Best Original Screenplay” and “Best Actor,” Cooper’s third nomination. 

High-minded ‘American Sniper’ portrays war as a video game

January 26, 2015

In an early scene, the protagonist’s father talks about sheep, wolves and sheepdogs, setting up the metaphor for Chris Kyle’s character. The audience may view him as a sheep, blindly following ord...

Police Profiling: Transgender People

City Council approves new police profiling ordinance

January 26, 2015

The Chicago City Council voted Jan. 21 to expand Chicago’s preexisting ban on police profiling to include “gender identity” and “national origin,” a move aimed at protecting the city’s tra...

Eileen Vorbach (Left) and Jennifer Matthews (Right) are both cast members in Erasing the Distance’s new production, which discusses how depression affects families.

Nonprofit examines mental illness through theater

November 24, 2014

The impact of mental illness on a family will give audiences food for thought as Erasing the Distance, a Chicago-based arts nonprofit, prepares for its latest production, “Tell Me What You Remember.”The...

Bolstered brain research aims inward

By Assistant Sports & Health Editor

October 13, 2014

As a part of the first wave of new federal funding initiatives, research and development into novel technologies to better understand the brain will begin this year.“Most of what you will see in this remarkable set of [grant awards] are technological advances,” said Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, during a Sept. 30 press conference. “We are seriously tackling an understanding of the ...

Sexual Preferences

Research finds sexual preference varies among men and women

October 6, 2014

JAN ANTFOLK, A postdoctoral researcher in the department of psychology and logopedics at Abo Akademi University in Finland, along with other researchers conducted a study published Sept. 19 that shed mo...

Less sleep linked to lower grades

By Assistant Sports & Health Editor

October 6, 2014

A SEPT. 22 study from researchers at Uppsala University in Sweden found that students who sleep fewer than seven hours a night are at an increased risk of academic failure. Christian Benedict, an associ- ate professor in the Department of Neuroscience at Uppsala, along with other researchers, tested more than 20,000 students ages 12–19 and found that the reports of sleep disturbance and habitually sleeping for shorter periods of time were linked to a higher chance of students experiencing academic failures in school. Benedict said when students did not pass one subject in school, they were considered as having heightened risk of failure. But he said the team has not specified the particular subject in which the students failed. Benedict said previous studies have shown that sleep is integral to the ability to consolidate newly acquired memory. “[Sleep] plays an important role for your ability to gain [more] insight,” Benedict said. “If you expose yourself to a problem, it is quite effective to sleep afterwards because sleep promotes greater insight, [which] means [it] can help you to solve this problem.” Benedict said when people sleep, their brains can more easily filter out nonessential occurrences that happen during the day. “Sleep is an important piece when your brain has the chance to recover from all these daytime experiences that you have [been] exposed to,” Benedict said. “You recover from this, you downscale all the stuff [that] you [do] not really need that is not of relevance for your future behavior, and this allows you to also perform well the next day.” Benedict said youth today often use electronic devices, which cause major emotional engagement that reduces the ability to sleep. He said young people use smartphones to stay informed, but using the devices in their before-bed routines can impair their ability to fall asleep. Several Columbia students said they believe the lack of sleep negatively impacts students’ academic performance and more. Ibrahim Samra, a freshman journalism major, said he thinks it is vital that students get the proper amount of rest to ensure their academic performance will not be compromised. “[Students who] do not get enough sleep will be sleeping through their classes, and that will affect their focus, which will affect their grade,” Samra said. Samra said he has personally experienced the struggles that come with inadequate rest. During his sophomore year of high school, Samra said he did not get enough sleep, which was reflected in his academic performance. “I felt like the lack of sleep affected the way I performed, and when I had [good] sleep, I felt like I could perform well,” Samra said. “I was going through a tough moment, and [when] you can’t sleep and then [have to get up] the next day, it’s hard to perform because you don’t have that energy or the will.” Samra said he has learned to manage his schedule between school and work. “On school days, I usually try not to work,” Samra said. “I try to schedule to not have work on those days so I can stay focused and energized for the following day, but I usually work weekends.” Joseph Arenson, a freshman photography major, said he thinks adjusting to college right after high school is stressful. During this semester, Arenson said he missed the second day of his “Darkroom Dynamics” class because he did not get enough sleep the night before. He said if he gets the proper amount of rest throughout the night, then he is able to concentrate during school hours. Benedict said while the average person should sleep 7–8 hours, some people can still cope with less. “For the average person, you would say yes, they should sleep at least 7–8 hours, or if they are even slightly younger they should sleep 8–9 hours,” Benedict said. “But for an individual, it might even be that they can cope with shorter time periods.” He said that some people even can go to bed early in the evening and others tend to go to bed late in the evening based on their genetic background. “One issue is that school usually starts in the morning,” Benedict said. “So all those who have—based on their genetics—more late evening types of sleep habits have an issue because they have to get up in the morning and by this, you deprive them [of ] sleep.” Benedict said getting proper rest will help keep students focused and enable their brains to function properly. “A regular good night’s sleep will help you to keep memories and to keep your brain healthy,” he said. 

Freshman 15 proven a myth

The Freshman 15

By Assistant Sports & Health

September 22, 2014

AFTER DECADES OF speculation, research continues to mount that the “freshman 15”—a theory that college freshmen gain 15 pounds during their first year—may be false.A 2011 study by researchers at the ...

Research studies focusing on women should not be sexist

By Copy Chief

September 2, 2014

Women in the sciences have been breaking the glass ceiling wide open since Marie Curie changed medicine forever when she brought her findings about radiation forward 80 years ago, but the scales remain uneven for men and women in the sciences.A study published in the Proceedings of the National Association for the Advancement of the Sciences in August 2012 found academic institutions still prefer hiring males over females. ...

Navy Pier reimagined, redesigned

By Amanda Murphy

February 13, 2012

Chicago has long been known as a city that puts great stock in its architecture. The Navy Pier redesign plans released Jan. 30 propose to push Chicago further into the architectural spotlight, no matter how big or seemingly outrageous they might be.The proposed plans range from a glacier sculpture on the lake, off the east end of the pier, to a series of interlacing boardwalks extending over the water, to a public hot tub...

Monstrous staff cuts at Field Museum

By SpencerRoush

December 22, 2010

For more than 30 years Dave Willard has spearheaded an arguably morbid research project: Collecting birds that fall to their untimely death after flying full force into McCormick Place’s clear glass structure.At first glance this seemed like strange behavior or an odd collection to keep, but that wasn’t the case.Collecting these birds has allowed Willard and fellow Field Museum of Natural History researcher Doug Stotz to discover volumes of in...

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