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Originally published Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 6:56 AM

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Nobel scientist Levi-Montalcini dies in Rome, 103

Rome's mayor says biologist Rita Levi-Montalcini, who conducted underground research in defiance of Fascist persecution, and went on to win a Nobel Prize for helping unlock the mysteries of the cell, has died at her home in the city. She was 103.

The Associated Press

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ROME —

Rome's mayor says biologist Rita Levi-Montalcini, who conducted underground research in defiance of Fascist persecution, and went on to win a Nobel Prize for helping unlock the mysteries of the cell, has died at her home in the city. She was 103.

Italy's so-called "Lady of the Cells," who died on Sunday, lived through anti-Semitic discrimination and Nazi invasion, becoming one of her country's leading scientists and sharing the medicine prize for her groundbreaking research in the United States.

Her research increased the understanding of many conditions, including tumors, developmental malformations, and senile dementia.

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