Money Matters - Simplified

Harvard University

IPO decision makes Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook smile

It’s time for Facebook put up a big grin today, after all the stocks of the social network is looking up constantly. Initial reports said that Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, was against making the company go public last year. But the rising stocks of the internet’s famous social network changed his mind!

'The Social Network': unleashing the real Zuckerberg?

Was Mark Zuckerberg really a back-stabbing, arrogant, and clever guy during his Harvard days? Well, you might wonder this after watching 'The Social Network,' a movie touted to be based on real-life events of Facebook's co-founder.

Harvard dealing with research fallout

Cambridge, Mass. -- Harvard University professors say they're doing damage control to deal with the aftermath of a scientific misconduct case against one of their colleagues.

A month after Harvard found psychology Professor Marc Hauser guilty of eight academic infractions involving three published papers and other work, faculty at the university are considering how to respond, The Boston Globe reported Monday.

In popular books, news stories, and television programs, Hauser talked about his studies that suggested monkeys, which seem far removed from humans, share some of the same basic cognitive abilities -- studies that have since been retracted by the journals in which they appeared.

'Love Story' author Erich Segal dies at 72

London, January 20 -- “Love Story” author Erich Segal breathed his last at his home in London on Sunday. He was 72.

Basic shift in growing cells created

Cambridge, Mass. -- Harvard University researchers say they have produced a new technology that will cause a fundamental shift in how biologists grow and study cells.

Ratmir Derda, a postdoctoral student co-mentored by Professors George Whitesides and Don Ingber, discovered growing cells on several sheets of uncoated paper solved a problem that has bedeviled biologists for years: how to easily grow and study cells that mimic the three-dimensionality of real tissue.

The scientists said the achievement will simplify creation of realistic, three-dimensional models of normal or cancerous tissue -- potentially making it faster and easier to find drugs that fight cancer and other diseases.

Study: Brains can be energy efficient

Frankfurt, Germany -- German scientists say they've discovered human brains have the ability to be energy efficient.

Scientists said brain cells generate and propagate nerve impulses by controlling the flow of sodium and potassium ions -- an action requiring energy. The amount of energy was previously estimated using a giant nerve cell from a squid.

But now a study by researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt, Germany, shows squid cell studies overestimated the amount of energy necessary to generate an action potential by nearly a factor of four. That, said the researchers, suggests human brains also have the same potential to be energy efficient.

Harvard acquires Updike papers

Boston, Oct. 7 -- Harvard University says its Houghton Library will house the late U.S. author John Updike's manuscripts, photos and correspondence.

The two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, who was a member of the Harvard class of 1954, is said to have conducted much of the research for his fiction on the university's campus. He died of lung cancer in January at age 76.

The Boston Globe reported university officials declined to say how much was paid for the books and papers that will establish the library as the center for studies on Updike's life and work.

Updike's novels include "Rabbit, Run," and "The Witches of Eastwick" and the Pulitzer Prize winners "Rabbit At Rest" and "Rabbit Is Rich."

Ig Nobel Prizes honor unusual science

Cambridge, Mass. -- The mock Noble Prizes given out at a Massachusetts ceremony included an award for determining why pregnant women don't tip over.

The 19th annual Ig Noble Prize ceremony Thursday at Harvard University saw tongue-in-cheek honors given to scientists who studied the ability of pregnant women to remain upright, chemists who used tequila to create diamonds and a Swiss team that investigated whether it is safer to be hit on the head with a full bottle or an empty one, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

Study finds why plants are carnivorous

Cambridge, Mass. -- U.S. scientists say they've discovered why some plants are carnivorous, relying on animal prey such as flies or other insects for sustenance.

Harvard University researchers Jim Karagatzides and Aaron Ellison discovered such plants generally appear in environments that have few nutrients.

"Carnivory allows these plants to capture nutrients 'on the wing'," said Ellison.

"But if it's so good to be a carnivorous plant in these kinds of environments, why aren't there more carnivorous plants? Knowing how much it 'costs' a carnivorous plant to make a trap is a key piece of information needed to understand why there aren't more carnivorous plants."

Harvard to manage more of endowment fund

Cambridge, Mass. -- Harvard University's new endowment chief says she's moving to manage more funds internally rather than investing in private equity firms and hedge funds.

Jane Mendillo is moving to reposition Harvard's investment strategy after projecting a negative return of as much as 30 percent for the fiscal year that ended in June, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

"We are looking to have a greater portion of our assets managed internally over the next few years," Mendillo, 50, told the newspaper. "That will allow us to be more nimble, have better transparency into the portfolio and have more liquidity."