News briefs

Tarzan vs. Jane

Men as Tarzans and women as Janes may not be too far off the mark. New findings from the Departments of Psychiatry and Epidemiology suggest that there may be a neurological basis for the cliché that men are more aggressive than women. In experiments using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, Penn scientists found that the relative size of the sections of the brain responsible for regulating aggression and monitoring behavior is larger in women than in men.

DNA by CD-ROM

More than a million people die of malaria each year. Thanks to Penn researchers, scientists worldwide will now have access to a new database cataloging the genome of Plasmodium falciparum, the parasite responsible for the majority of the world’s malaria deaths. The database, which will be distributed via a CD-ROM inserted in an upcoming issue of Nature, will give scientists a better understanding of the parasite’s genetic makeup and thus speed their search for new drugs and vaccines. David Roos, who co-heads the Plasmodium database effort with Chris Stoeckert, said the project allows “researchers [to] filter the overwhelming number of sequences in the genome down to a few genes suitable for experimental analysis.”

More on energy

Don’t let winter chills numb you to your duty as a steward of limited resources. Penn’s energy saving plans include small measures that can make a huge difference. Simple adjustments include shutting off lights, space heaters and computers in unoccupied spaces; lowering thermostat settings to 68 degrees for occupied spaces and 65 for unoccupied spaces (about 5 percent is saved for each degree lowered); and closing doors and windows to keep out cold air. If you notice excessive drafts around windows or doors or observe buildings or large spaces that are unoccupied or out of service, call Facilities Services at 215-898-7208.

Originally published on October 31, 2002