Neither liberal nor conservative, the initiative transcends the current political debate about personal responsibility, Mr. Lim Miller said.
“Our work falls between the arguments that are being had between the right and the left,” Mr. Lim Miller said. “The argument that people don’t take personal responsibility is wrong. But the argument that they should take personal responsibility is right.”
MacArthur winner Elissa Hallem is studying how parasitic worms find hosts through their sense of smell. Threadworms, attracted by carbon dioxide, can enter a person’s body through the soles of the feet, for example. Ms. Hallem’s work someday may prevent parasites from harming humans and improve the efficiency of good parasites that infect crop-killing insects.
“I didn’t manage to say much other than, ‘Wow’ and ‘Thank you,’” Ms. Hallem said about the “genius grant” call, which came as she was working in the microscope room at the University of California at Los Angeles. “I feel very honored that they recognized my work in this way and are making this investment in my research.”
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