Fish Brain Maps

New maps hint at how electric fish got their big brains

Washington University researchers have mapped the regions of the brain in mormyrid fish in extremely high detail. In a study published in the Nov. 15 issue of Current Biology, they report that the part of the brain called the cerebellum is bigger in members of this fish family compared to related fish — and this may be associated with their use of weak electric discharges to locate prey and to communicate with one another.

What a deep dive into the deep blue sea is teaching us

Slow-motion collisions of tectonic plates under the ocean drag about three times more water down into the deep Earth than previously estimated, according to a first-of-its-kind seismic study that spans the Mariana Trench. The work has important implications for the global water cycle, according to Douglas A. Wiens in Arts & Sciences.

WashU Expert: Death of a salesman — Stan Lee

“Stan Lee was a man of contradictions,” says comics scholar Peter Coogan, “self-aggrandizing and self-deprecating; a great collaborator and someone who took credit for others’ work; hugely successful except when his endeavors crashed in failure. But unlike the superheroes, neither side was secret.”

‘A big, huge, self-destructive mistake’

Hiro is young and successful in New York, a world away from her old Kentucky home. But when her little sister decides to marry — at age 22, to a born-again Christian she just met — Hiro responds, determined to stop the wedding. Washington University’s Ron Himes will direct “Kentucky” Nov. 15-18 in the A.E. Hotchner Studio Theatre.
Keith Hengen

Hengen named 2018 Allen Institute Next Generation Leader

Keith Hengen, assistant professor of biology in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, was selected by the Allen Institute as a 2018 Next Generation Leader. Hengen is one of six early-career neuroscientists who will participate in a special advisory council for the Allen Institute for Brain Science.

Replaying the tape of life: Is it possible?

A review published in the Nov. 9 issue of Science explores the complexity of evolution’s predictability in extraordinary detail. Jonathan Losos of Arts & Sciences takes on a classic question posed by Stephen Jay Gould in an effort to fully interrogate ideas about contingency’s role in evolution.

McGlothlin, Walke organize ‘Lessons and Legacies’ conference

Erin McGlothlin, associate professor of German, and Anika Walke, assistant professor of history, both in Arts & Sciences, served as conference hosts for “Lessons and Legacies,” the premier intellectual gathering in Holocaust studies.
MEarth telescopes

Inhabited exoplanets topic of 2018 Walker Distinguished Lecture

David Charbonneau, professor of astronomy at Harvard University, will deliver the annual Robert M. Walker Distinguished Lecture at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15, in Whitaker Hall, Room 100, on the Danforth Campus of Washington University in St. Louis. The talk, titled “How to Find an Inhabited Exoplanet,” is free and open to the public.