UAB Theatre Student Performs Shakespeare at Sloss Furnaces
By Charles Buchanan
UAB theatre student Hannah Hughes experienced her own midsummer night’s dream when she portrayed mischief-maker Puck in William Shakespeare’s play of the same name. But it was no ordinary performance; for one thing, the oft-told tale was reimagined as a Bollywood fantasy. And it came to life amid a forest of smokestacks at Birmingham’s Sloss Furnaces. In this slideshow, Hughes describes the challenges and thrills of modernizing a magical classic.
See a video clip of Hughes performing as Puck in a dress rehearsal for A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Exploring the Marketplace of the Mind
By Jo Lynn Orr
It turns out that you may have a mind for economics—even if you can’t tell a Laffer curve from a bump in the road. Today many scientists are trying to understand how people make choices by viewing the human brain as a sort of marketplace, where each decision comes with a price tag reflecting its risks and rewards. This field of study is known as neuroeconomics, and it could help shed light on everything from consumer preferences to substance abuse.
Don Ross, Ph.D., is applying neuroeconomics to another form of addiction: gambling. Ross, a professor of economics and philosophy at UAB and professor of economics at the University of Cape Town in South Africa, explains that gambling can provide the truest model of addiction because it doesn’t involve a substance introduced from outside the brain. Most people who gamble don’t become addicted, of course, but some people find the experience so “rewarding” that it becomes obsessive. Ross and his research team are trying to find out what makes those addicted minds tick. “We’re interested in understanding how—independently of the whole person—that part of the brain that auto-processes reward stimuli does the computations that it does,” he says.
New Life After Cancer
By Josh Till
Advanced procedures now available at UAB can help women and men preserve or restore their ability to start a family after cancer treatment, says G. Wright Bates Jr., director of UAB's Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility.
When patients are diagnosed with cancer, they suddenly face a lot of questions about a lot of issues—treatment options, insurance concerns, sick time from work, and many others. But there is one question many patients often don’t think about: Will cancer affect my ability to have children?
For some, the answer is yes. The number of individuals facing cancer during their reproductive years is significant—about 800,000 men and women. Depending on the type of cancer and the treatments involved, the chances for survivors to conceive after treatment can be low.
But UAB’s Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Services Clinic is working to increase those chances. The clinic offers patients several options to preserve or restore their fertility to start a family after they complete their cancer treatment.
“Today UAB offers several advanced procedures for preserving fertility, especially for women,” says G. Wright Bates Jr., M.D., director of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. “We want to raise awareness among men and women going through chemotherapy and radiation about their options and encourage discussion of reproductive issues with their oncologist.”