News in Brief

Speakers to Come for MSU’s Israeli Apartheid Week

From May 10 to May 13, the Muslim Student Union (MSU) will be hosting the Israeli Apartheid Week: A Call to Boycott, Divest and Sanction Israel.

The week-long event will feature seven different speakers: Dr. Norman Finkelstein, an independent scholar with a Ph.D. from Princeton University; Hedy Epstein, Holocaust survivor and peace activist; Dr. Hateman Bazian, senior lecturer in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at UC Berkeley; Dr. William Robinson, professor of sociology at UC Santa Barbara; Omar Shakir, graduate student in Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service; Alison Weir, activist and founder of IfAmericansKnew.org; and Amir Abdel Malik Ali, an activist and Oakland community leader.

Topics of discussion will include: “The Root of the Conflict,” “The Gaza Invasion” and “Death to the Apartheid,” among others. Events will be taking part at the Student Center, Flagpoles and Cross Cultural Center. Visit http://www.msu-uci.com/ for more information regarding the Israeli Apartheid Week.

Study of Maternal Care Details Infant Development

Tallie Barum, M.D., Ph.D. and professor at UC Irvine’s School of Medicine in Anatomy and Neurobiology, Pediatrics and Neurology, has recently discovered that sensory inputs trigger activity in the developing brain of an infant. This kind of activity can lead to better cognitive functions and resilience to stress.

Her study found how maternal care can decrease the expression of stress hormone corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH). Sensory input causes the DNA in brain cells to activate a neuron-restrictive silencer factor that in turn limits CRH.

Her findings have helped contribute to epigenetics, the study of how environmental factors can alter gene expression. One of the most important messages to take home is that, contrary to what was believed about the brain being hardwired, it might actually not be as predestined to be a certain way as was once previously believed.