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Latest Brown University Stories

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...

2011-09-22 13:39:36

Male mice whose mothers were exposed to either moderate or high levels of bisphenol A while pregnant did not grow up to show any adverse effects to their reproductive systems by several measures, according to a new study. Data on female mice is still forthcoming but less encouraging. Bisphenol A (BPA), a common component of plastic used in many consumer products, has recently become infamous – and banned in some places – because it can mimic natural estrogen in the body. A new...

2011-09-19 22:04:39

Researchers at Brown University and Stanford University have pieced together ancient human migration in North and South America. Writing in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, the authors find that technology spread more slowly in the Americas than in Eurasia. Population groups in the Americas have less frequent exchanges than groups that fanned out over  Europe and Asia. How modern-day humans dispersed on the planet and the pace of civilization-changing technologies that...

Why Carbon Nanotubes Spell Trouble For Cells
2011-09-19 04:10:52

  [ View the Video ] It's been long known that asbestos spells trouble for human cells. Scientists have seen cells stabbed with spiky, long asbestos fibers, and the image is gory: Part of the fiber is protruding from the cell, like a quivering arrow that's found its mark. But scientists had been unable to understand why cells would be interested in asbestos fibers and other materials at the nanoscale that are too long to be fully ingested. Now a group of researchers at Brown...

2011-08-23 18:29:47

All the excitement about nanotechnology comes down to this: Structures of materials at the scale of billionths of a meter take on unusual properties. Technologists often focus on the happier among these newfound capabilities, but new research by an interdisciplinary team of scientists at Brown University finds that nanoparticles of nickel activate a cellular pathway that contributes to cancer in human lung cells. "Nanotechnology has tremendous potential and promise for many applications,"...

2011-08-02 15:15:30

The risk of coronary heart disease in middle age is moderately higher for men and women who grew up in adverse family settings, according to a new analysis of medical records and surveys of more than 3,500 people. For all the ills that result from bad parenting, new evidence from an epidemiological study of thousands of people suggests coronary heart disease (CHD) might be added to that list. "We often think about how the early family psychosocial environment influences the mental health of...


Word of the Day
omphalos
  • The navel or umbilicus.
  • In Greek archaeology: A central boss, as on a shield, a bowl, etc.
  • A sacred stone in the temple of Apollo at Delphi, believed by the Greeks to mark the 'navel' or exact center-point of the earth.
'Omphalos' comes from the ancient Greek.
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