Scientists Unveil Remains of Hominid
in Transition from Four-Legged Climber
to Upright Walker

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Scientists from Northeast Ohio are helping rewrite the book on human evolution.

In 11 papers being published in the journal Science, Friday, Oct. 2, researchers describe the oldest hominid skeleton discovered to date—a possible human ancestor in the midst of changing from climbing on all fours to walking upright.

The hominid, named Ardipithecus ramidus, or Ardi for short, is far different from the chimpanzees so often thought to be the model of our forebears.

"It looks, in many ways, more like a modern human," said Paleontologist Scott W. Simpson, associate professor of anatomy at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and research associate at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.

"It's completely different from what we predicted," said Simpson, a co-author of three of the papers. "This changes not only the way we think about human ancestors, but chimpanzees and monkeys, too. Read more.

Campus News

The Department of Ophthalmology is conducting an Extended Wear Contact Lens Research Study. The study is enrolling healthy contact lens candidates, especially of Asian ethnicity, to wear daily contact lenses. This is a one-year study, and candidates must live locally. All study visits and contact lenses will be provided. Call (216) 844-8552 for information.

Campus community members interested in learning to fly, as well as current pilots, former pilots looking to get back to flying and pilots looking to upgrade their certifications are invited to learn more about the possible formation of a flying club. Contact Mark Murray for details.

The Mandel Center for Nonprofit Organizations will host an open house from 5:30 to 7 p.m. this evening at its building. Employees can take advantage of the university's tuition waiver benefit for the master's degree. Refreshments will be served. Call 368-6025 or go online for details.

For Faculty and Staff

As Phase I of a complete review of contract processes, the "Contract Approval Form," as part of the Contract Approval Policy at the Business Policy Web site, has been discontinued effective today for all Procurement related contracts. The Contract Approval Form will remain in effect for non-Procurement related contracts (real estate transfers, licensing agreements, etc.). All Procurement related contracts and bid documents should be forwarded to Procurement Services in conjunction with an executed and approved requisition in PeopleSoft. Additional contract process modifications designed to enhance the customer's experience will be announced in the near future. Contact the Customer Care Team at customercareteam-pds@case.edu.

The Steps 4 Staff Walk and Wellness Expo planned for Friday, Oct. 9, has been postponed until June 2010. The new date will coincide with the 20th anniversary of the Staff Advisory Council.

For Students

Hindu YUVA (Youth for Unity, Virtues and Action), led by students Sai Kolluru, Sagnik De, Ricky Patel and Rekha Iyer, announces the formation of the Bhutanese Refugee Empowerment Project (BRE). Hindu YUVA members visit Bhutanese Refugees in Cleveland to help them adjust to American society. In addition to BRE, the organization has developed several other community projects. Hindu YUVA will host Professor Indranil Basu-Ray on the topic of curing cardiovascular diseases using yoga and meditation on Saturday, Oct. 10. Contact the organization for information.

The Multicultural Business Student Association is sponsoring an introductory workshop and team practice session of Dragon Boat Paddling from 2 to 4 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 3, at the Cleveland Rowing Foundation. Learn more.

"WIL-Power: A Summit for Women in Leadership," is a three-day institute held during fall break (October 17-19) for women with junior or senior standing. The program is dedicated to the accomplishments and leadership development of participants beyond their undergraduate experience. The cost is $25, which includes transportation, food, lodging and other associated costs. Women from all majors are encouraged to attend. Register online by Friday, Oct. 2.

Events

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The next University Community Hour event will feature a special performance by IMPROVment, the university's improvisational comedy troupe, from 12:30 to 2 p.m., Friday, Oct. 2. Go online for a complete schedule of upcoming Community Hour events.

The next Friday Public Affairs Discussion Group will feature the topic "Burning River Reborn? The State of the Cuyahoga." Michael Scott of The Plain Dealer will lead the talk beginning at 12:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 2, at the Inamori Center.

David Singer, Department of Mathematics, will deliver the "The Cleveland Geometry Topology Seminar" at 4 p.m., Monday, Oct. 5, at John Carroll University, Math Commons Room. In addition, Alan D. Levine, School of Medicine, will discuss "A New Model for HIV Infection," from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., the same day, on campus in Yost Hall 300. Learn more about these and other upcoming mathematics events.

The Global Medical Initiative (GMI) will host its "Sixth Annual Acapella 4 Africa Benefit Concert," at 8 p.m. tonight at The Spot. The concert will feature several campus groups. GMI is raising funds to send medical supplies to underserved regions of the world. The concert is free, but donations are welcome.

The views and opinions of those invited to speak on campus do not necessarily reflect the views of the university administration or any other segment of the university community.

October 1, 2009

A daily newsletter published by the Office of Marketing & Communications, Case Western Reserve University. Submit items for inclusion to: case-daily@case.edu.

Case in the News

Cleveland researchers say fossil find overturns thinking on human evolution

The Plain Dealer, Oct. 1, 2009
An international team composed prominently of researchers from or with ties to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Case Western Reserve University and Kent State University unveiled this morning an extraordinary addition to humanity's history. The partial skeleton, representing a 4.4 million-year-old species known as Ardipithecus ramidus, is prompting researchers to reconsider much of what they had presumed about the origin of modern humans and the development of upright walking. Scott Simpson, associate professor of anatomy, and Bruce Latimer, adjunct professor of anatomy, anthropology and cognitive science, were part of the team. Related article.

Case Western Reserve's Green Initiative' spans scooters to food

WKYC.com, Sept. 29, 2009
Case Western Reserve University's sustainability initiatives—everything from composting to electric police scooters—are highlighted. Linda Robson, sustainability coordinator, and Mark Chavis, university police officer, discuss green strategies. Bon Appetit Management Company, the university's dining services provider, also is featured. A video is included with the story.

Decoding Jackson Pollock

Smithsonian.com, Oct. 2009
Did the Abstract Expressionist hide his name amid the swirls and torrents of a legendary 1943 mural? Henry Adams, professor of art history at Case Western Reserve University , makes the case for a signature gesture.

Consensus elusive on risky behavior and health benefits

90.3 WCPN, Sept. 30, 2009
A study published in the The New England Journal of Medicine shows that our behavior is the main determinant of our health. But defining exactly what bad behavior is and how that should factor into health insurance costs is tricky. Jessica Berg, professor of law and bioethics at Case Western Reserve University, comments.

Behind the facade

Multifamily Executive, Aug. 2009
The failed public housing movement left dozens of cities riddled with pockets of crime and poverty. For a decade and counting, developers have hailed the mixed-income housing model as the perfect solution to clean up neighborhoods and improve living conditions. But just how perfect is it? Mark Joseph, assistant professor at the Center for Urban Poverty and Community Development at Case Western Reserve University, offers insight.

Higher Ed News

Avoiding the next Brandeis

Inside Higher Ed, Oct. 1, 2009
Several arts groups are sponsoring a task force that will look for ways to strengthen the ties between colleges and universities and their museums.