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Latest Brown University Stories

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2010-11-17 13:52:49

On the rocks just beneath the tides, the faster the water is moving in an area, the greater the variety of invertebrate creatures that will live there. Understanding that water flow is a strong predictor of diversity could be a huge boon to efforts to manage coastal ecosystems. One of biggest factors promoting the diversity of coastal ocean life is how fast the water flows, according to new research by ecologists at Brown University. Experiments and observation in Palau, Alaska, and Maine...

2010-11-12 01:42:59

The website of the Nobel Prize shows a cat resting in a graphene hammock. Although fictitious, the image captures the excitement around graphene, which, at one atom thick, is the among the thinnest and strongest materials ever produced. A significant obstacle to realizing graphene's potential lies in creating a surface large enough to support a theoretical sleeping cat. For now, material scientists stitch individual graphene sheets together to create sheets that are large enough to...

2010-11-10 17:53:08

Films of bacteria that form around foreign materials in the body can be very difficult to defeat with drugs, but research led by Brown University biologists has identified a couple proteins that play a key role in building these "biofilms." This pair could prove to be a very important target for developing new antibiotics to fight infections. When a foreign object such as a catheter enters the body, bacteria may not only invade it but also organize into a slick coating "” a biofilm...

2010-11-04 18:06:15

A national study of more than 53,000 current and former heavy smokers has demonstrated that helical CT scanning reduced lung cancer deaths by 20 percent compared to using chest X-rays. Constantine Gatsonis and colleagues at Brown's Center for Statistical Sciences contributed methodologic expertise and leadership throughout the study, which began in August 2002. In a major new study announced today by the National Cancer Institute, researchers including Brown University biostatistian...

2010-10-28 23:03:53

Mad Cow disease and its human variant Creutzfeldt"”Jakob disease, which are incurable and fatal, have been on a welcome hiatus from the news for years, but because mammals remain as vulnerable as ever to infectious diseases caused by enigmatic proteins called prions, scientists have taken no respite of their own. In the Oct. 29 edition of the journal Science, researchers at Brown University report a key new insight into how prion proteins "” the infectious agents "” become...

2010-10-25 16:13:00

Fertility procedures such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) require a couple and the doctor to place the risky bet that the multiple eggs they choose to fertilize will produce an embryo that will thrive in the uterus. Researchers cannot biopsy eggs directly because that would destroy them, but a new discovery by professors at Brown University and Women & Infants Hospital could lead to new insights about how eggs develop and ultimately inform judgments about how the embryos they produce will...

2010-10-20 20:04:56

The JC polyomavirus doesn't strike very often, but it's a mean bug that preys on people with weakened immune systems, including people with AIDS, and almost always kills them. Now an international team of scientists at Brown University, the University of Tbingen in Germany, and Imperial College in London has found a potential Achilles Heel and painted a target on it: The virus must bind to a very specific sugar molecule dangling from the side of the brain cells it attacks. Like the rebel...

2010-10-19 12:54:56

If women had no prolactin receptors on cells in their mammary glands, they would not produce milk when they were nursing. Prolactin receptors are also found in other organs including the lung and the colon. The only problem is that these receptors are sort of like cellular wiring, and when the wrong conditions bring them together, the resulting short circuit can produce cancer. In new research published online Oct. 18, 2010, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, a team led by...

2010-10-12 07:30:00

NEW YORK, Oct. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- The Princeton Review -- known for its college rankings based on how students rate their schools -- today released the 2011 editions of its annual law and business school guidebooks, which also feature rankings uniquely based on student surveys. "The Best 172 Law Schools" and "The Best 300 Business Schools" (Random House / Princeton Review, $22.99 each, on sale October 12) each have 11 ranking lists of top 10 schools in various categories. The...

2010-10-08 02:09:20

A study has detected a correlation between childhood adversity and exaggerated inflammatory response to stress among seemingly healthy people. It may shed light on risk for depression, other illnesses later in life. Seemingly healthy adults, if they were abused or neglected during childhood, may suffer physiological consequences decades later. In research published online last week by the journal Neuropsychopharmacology,  a team led by psychiatrists at Brown University and Butler...