Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Rita Levi-Montalcini Dies

This post has been updated to clarify that Rita Levi-Montalcini worked at Washington University in St. Louis.

Italian researcher Rita Levi-Montalcini, who won the 1986 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, has died, The New York Times reports. She was 103. Levi-Montalcini, a neurologist, studied differentiation, and shared the Nobel with her colleague Stanley Cohen at Washington University in St. Louis for their discovery of growth factors, notably of nerve growth factor.

"I don't use these words easily, but her work revolutionized the study of neural development, from how we think about it to how we intervene," Gerald Fischbach, a neuroscientist and professor emeritus at Columbia University, tells the Times.

Levi-Montalcini, who was born in 1909 in Turin, had to convince her strict Victorian father to let her enroll in medical school, which she graduated from in 1936. Two years later, though, Mussolini barred non-Aryan Italians from professional careers, but the Times notes that Levi-Montalcini continued her research in a makeshift lab at home. During the course of the war, she and her family left Turin for the countryside and then for Florence. Shortly after the war, she took up a position at WashU, intending to stay for a year, but remained there for about 30 years, the Los Angeles Times adds. Levi-Montalcini returned to Rome in 1977.

The Scan

Genome Sequences Reveal Range Mutations in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Researchers in Nature Genetics detect somatic mutation variation across iPSCs generated from blood or skin fibroblast cell sources, along with selection for BCOR gene mutations.

Researchers Reprogram Plant Roots With Synthetic Genetic Circuit Strategy

Root gene expression was altered with the help of genetic circuits built around a series of synthetic transcriptional regulators in the Nicotiana benthamiana plant in a Science paper.

Infectious Disease Tracking Study Compares Genome Sequencing Approaches

Researchers in BMC Genomics see advantages for capture-based Illumina sequencing and amplicon-based sequencing on the Nanopore instrument, depending on the situation or samples available.

LINE-1 Linked to Premature Aging Conditions

Researchers report in Science Translational Medicine that the accumulation of LINE-1 RNA contributes to premature aging conditions and that symptoms can be improved by targeting them.