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Latest Brown University Stories

Progress Towards Developing Plants That Accommodate Climate Change
2011-10-07 08:47:21

The genetic basis of a plant's adaptability to climate is identified The ability to promote agricultural and conservation successes in the face of rapid environmental change will partly hinge on scientists' understanding of how plants adapt to local climate. To improve scientists' understanding of this phenomenon, a study in the Oct. 7, 2011 issue of Science helps define the genetic bases of plant adaptations to local climate. The National Science Foundation partly funded the study,...

Southern California's Tectonic Plates Revealed In Detail
2011-10-07 03:52:56

Rifting is one of the fundamental geological forces that have shaped our planet. Were it not for the stretching of continents and the oceans that filled those newly created basins, Earth would be a far different place. Yet because rifting involves areas deep below the Earth's surface, scientists have been unable to understand fully how it occurs. What is known is that with rifting, the center of the action lies in the lithosphere, which makes up the tectonic plates and includes the crust...

2011-10-06 11:26:25

Researchers at Brown University and Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island have developed a way to extract information about gene expression from fertile human egg cells without hurting them. Expendable ℠polar bodies´ in the cells reflect much the same information as the eggs themselves, researchers have determined. Given the stakes of in vitro fertilization, prospective parents and their doctors need the best information they can get about the eggs they will extract,...

2011-10-05 22:15:14

Blacks refuse shots more often, are offered shots less often At the beginning of the 2011-12 flu season, a new study finds that the proportion of nursing home patients who get a shot remains lower than a national public health goal and that the rate is lower for blacks than for whites. The disparity persists even within individual nursing homes, said researchers at Brown University, who investigated the disparity and some of the reasons behind it. "One reason you would potentially see a...

Image 1 - Mercury Has Widespread Flood Volcanism
2011-09-29 13:23:32

NASA announced on Thursday that its MESSENGER spacecraft has found new evidence that flood volcanism has been widespread on Mercury. New data from the spacecraft reveals that 6 percent of Mercury's total surface is covered by volcanic plains. "Analysis of the size of buried ℠ghost' craters in these deposits shows that the lavas are locally as thick as 2 kilometers" (or 1.2 miles), James Head of Brown University, the lead author of one of the reports published in Science, said in a...

2011-09-29 10:18:28

Species' ability to overcome adversity goes beyond Darwin's survival of the fittest. Climate change has made sure of that. In a new study based on simulations examining species and their projected range, researchers at Brown University argue that whether an animal can make it to a final, climate-friendly destination isn't a simple matter of being able to travel a long way. It's the extent to which the creatures can withstand rapid fluctuations in climate along the way that will determine...

2011-09-29 09:33:23

Often needless relocations affect 1 in 5 in nursing homes A new study in the Sept. 29, 2011, edition of the New England Journal of Medicine reports that nearly one in five nursing home residents with advanced dementia experiences burdensome transitions in the last 90 days of life, such as moving to a different facility in the last three days of life or repeat hospitalizations for expected complications of dementia in the last 90 days of life. "Such patterns of transitions are...

Image 1 - Tendons Absorb Shocks That Muscles Can't Handle
2011-09-28 04:40:30

Anyone who has hiked down a mountain knows the soreness that comes a day or two after means the leg muscles have endured a serious workout. While the pain is real, it's not well understood how leg muscles cope with the force from such movement. Now researchers at Brown University have documented how muscles and tendons work in concert first to store and then to rid themselves of energy and heat. They found that tendons take on the role of shock absorbers at the time of impact. About a...

Crabs Put The Pinch On Marshlands
2011-09-26 10:58:40

   Hungry purple marsh crabs threaten Cape Cod salt marshes [ Watch the Video ] If you take a quick glance at the marsh next to Saquatucket Harbor in Harwich Port, Mass., you will notice right away that some of the grass is missing. The cordgrass there, and all around Cape Cod, has been slowly disappearing for decades. "The cordgrass that's being destroyed here is the foundation species that builds salt marshes," explains marine ecologist Mark Bertness of Brown...

FIGURE 3_DBS EEG_v2
2011-09-25 15:19:20

Some people who receive deep brain stimulation for Parkinson´s disease behave impulsively, making quick, often bad, decisions. New research published in Nature Neuroscience explains why, and shows that under normal circumstances key parts of the brain collaborate to buy time for careful consideration of difficult decisions. Take your time. Hold your horses. Sleep on it. When people must decide between arguably equal choices, they need time to deliberate. In the case of people...