Senior Scientists Grace Their Ages

Photos: Erica P. Johnson  Britton Chance Padding around his laboratory in gray wool socks, Britton Chance glances at the clock and notices the hour is approaching noon. On Saturday, that's quitting time for the 89-year-old University of Pennsylvania biophysics professor emeritus. But first he has E-mails to answer and a lab to close for the day. Chance moves slowly but sure-footedly. Time has bowed his lean frame ever so slightly, and he remains a spare man with big brown glasses and wisp

Bob Calandra
Oct 13, 2002
Photos: Erica P. Johnson
 Britton Chance

Padding around his laboratory in gray wool socks, Britton Chance glances at the clock and notices the hour is approaching noon. On Saturday, that's quitting time for the 89-year-old University of Pennsylvania biophysics professor emeritus. But first he has E-mails to answer and a lab to close for the day. Chance moves slowly but sure-footedly. Time has bowed his lean frame ever so slightly, and he remains a spare man with big brown glasses and wispy white hair. But he has a strong handshake and a solid grip on his studies of the relation between the brain, muscles, and cancer. He also examines how the brain reacts when people lie.

"Most brains work harder when lying than when they are not lying," says Chance, idly fiddling with a scissors and a piece of paper. "I don't know how it's going to work with poker...

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