The spring issue of Rice Magazine is out and blossoming with stories:
Breaking cancer’s social network
Eshel Ben-Jacob is taking cues from the collective intelligence of bacteria to learn how to interrupt communication between cancer cells. The physicist and senior scientist at Rice’s Center for Theoretical Biological Physics tells how this strategy could turn the disease against itself. The creativity in Ben-Jacob’s groundbreaking approach to cancer research has its corollary in the “bacterial art” he creates — beautiful and intricate images of the very bacterial strains he studies.
Ora et Canta
When Martina Snell ’99 became a Benedictine nun, she left behind a life as a professional musician, or so she thought. God had different plans. Today, Snell, now known as Mother Cecilia, presides over a small group of nuns whose recording of sacred hymns and chants have landed them atop the Billboard Classical Charts.
A bird’s-eye view
Earth scientist and master birder Cin-Ty Lee arrives on campus before dawn. He does not head straight to his office, nor does he stop at the gym. Instead, for an hour or so, he can be seen slowly walking the grounds, peering through a set of large, black binoculars. Lee is looking for birds, and for the last 12 years, he has been meticulously noting every species that has touched down on Rice’s campus.