Skip to main content

UNC biologist Bob Goldstein wrote this piece for Nautilus on the life and ground-breaking discoveries of Rita Levi-Montalcini, who discovered how the nervous system is wired while sheltered in her bedroom during World War II. Goldstein traced the steps Levi-Montalcini and her family took during WWII in Turin, Italy. As bombs fell, they fled into the cellar beneath their apartment. Levi-Montalcini often brought her microscope and slides with her.