Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Giuseppe Levi

100 years old RLM and she is kicking (April 25, 2009)

 

            Rita Levi-Montalcini (RLM) received Nobel Prize in 1986 for discovering “Nerve Growth Factor, NGF”.  RLM is 100 years old and still coming to work and running the non-profit neuroscience research center called the European Brain Research Institute (EBRI) in Rome. The Italian President Ciampi named her Senator for life in 2001.

            In 2001, RLM had wondered “In what scientific domain has Italy always been the best?” Galvani and Volta discovered animal electricity; Golgi invented cell nerve coloring; Vittorio Erspamer isolated serotonin and other neurotransmitters; Giuseppe Levi (her professor) was among the first to experiment with in-vitro culture.  Consequently, RLM research center would be dedicated to neurosciences.

            RLM is writing another book; she had published “Praise to Imperfection” and “The Ancestors”.  In “Ancestors” RLM described 70 bright women thinkers.  She likes to remind the new generation that human brain is of two parts: the tiny archaic or limbic brain that is 3 millions years old in evolution and that is identical to mammals and which control our emotions (positive and negative) and the newer cognitive brain, the neocortex, which has been in development for only 150,000 years as man invented language. The old brain saved man from the ferocious animals when he descended from trees but then it will destroy man by using the mass destructive weapons.  She believes that the end of humanity is soon because the old brain will activate the lethal weapons.

            RLM hires mostly brilliant women researchers because women were denied education for centuries.  She said: “Only hungry people enjoy eating”.  There are no genetic differences between man and women; there are voluntary epigenetic (development) differences exercised by patriarchal cultures.  RLM distributed 6,700 educational grants in Africa since 2001 because she wants to tend to analphabetism, a disease far worst than leper, cholera, and tuberculosis combined.  Her hero feminine scientist and thinker is Hypatia.  Hypatia lived in Alexandria in the 4th century AC; she invented the astrolabe, the planisphere and taught philosophy in the street. Bishop Cyril got jealous of her intellectual fame and harangued zealot Christians to tear her to pieces; Hypatia flesh was burned afterward in the public square.

            RLM has demonstrated that NGF is present in the ovocyte and the sperm and it can cure Alzheimer, Parkinson, and lateral sclerosis amyotrophic patients.  Her eyesight and hearing are almost gone but she claims that her thinking is much more active than when she was 20 years old.  RLM only vanity is luxury dresses.

            RLM has the attitude of turning catastrophes into opportunities.  When the Mussolini regime issued laws in 1938 that restricted RLM horizons she installed a laboratory in her apartment and then moved on to doing research at the University of Washington in Saint Louis in 1960.  After the Israeli massacres in the Palestinian camps of Sabra and Chatila in Beirut (Lebanon) in 1982, RLM lead a demonstration to Israel’s Embassy in Rome and carrying the banner that read: “Sabra and Chatila are part of our struggle” for human dignity and defending human rights.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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