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Latest Brown University Stories

Risk Can Be Chronic For Basal Cell Carcinoma
2012-07-25 13:42:58

A new analysis of factors that predict basal cell carcinoma recurrence in high-risk people finds that for many people it´s more of a chronic disease. High sun exposure before the age of 30 was a major predictor, as was a history of eczema. In the powerful sunlight of July, newly published results from a large study of people at high risk for basal cell carcinoma support the emerging view of the nation´s most common cancer as a chronic ailment that often repeatedly afflicts older...

Immune Cell DNA Used In Diagnostic Technique
2012-07-09 17:16:37

By looking at signature chemical differences in the DNA of various immune cells called leukocytes, scientists have developed a way to determine their relative abundance in blood samples. The relative abundance turns out to correlate with specific cancers and other diseases, making the technique, described in two recent papers, potentially valuable not only for research but also for diagnostics and treatment monitoring. When a person is sick, there is a tell-tale sign in their blood: a...

Laparoscopy Improved With Multiple Perspectives
2012-07-02 09:14:34

Surgeons given their own view of a laparoscopic task, rather than a shared one, can work more efficiently and accurately, a small new study suggests. Findings from “proof of concept” experiments appear in the Journal of Laparoendoscopic and Advanced Surgical Techniques. What makes laparoscopic surgery “minimally invasive” – instruments enter the patient through narrow tubes – also makes it visually constraining. As they work on different tasks, surgeons...

2012-06-21 20:47:37

A coating of selenium nanoparticles significantly reduces the growth of Staphylococcus aureus on polycarbonate, a material common in implanted devices such as catheters and endotracheal tubes, engineers at Brown University report in a new study. Selenium is an inexpensive element that naturally belongs in the body. It is also known to combat bacteria. Still, it had not been tried as an antibiotic coating on a medical device material. In a new study, Brown University engineers report that...

2012-06-18 11:24:22

Tiny, transient loops of genetic material, detected and studied by the hundreds for the first time at Brown University, are providing new insights into how the body transcribes DNA and splices (or missplices) those transcripts into the instructions needed for making proteins. The lasso-shaped genetic snippets – they are called lariats – that the Brown team reports studying in the June 17 edition of Nature Structural & Molecular Biology are byproducts of gene transcription....

2012-05-22 02:46:55

Brown researchers have discovered mechanical properties of stem cells can foretell what they will become To become better healers, tissue engineering need a timely and reliable way to obtain enough raw materials: cells that either already are or can become the tissue they need to build. In a new study, Brown University biomedical engineers show that the stiffness, viscosity, and other mechanical properties of adult stem cells derived from fat, such as liposuction waste, can predict whether...

How Flowers Pollinate With Precision
2012-05-17 11:25:35

Next Mother's Day, say it with an evolved model of logistical efficiency – a flower. A new discovery about how nature's icons of romance manage the distribution of sperm among female gametes with industrial precision helps explain why the delicate beauties have reproduced prolifically enough to dominate the earth. In pollination, hundreds of sperm-carrying pollen grains stick to the stigma suspended in the middle of a flower and quickly grow a tube down a long shaft called a style...

2012-05-17 09:14:36

The public health community has long struggled with how best to reduce HIV infection rates among black Americans, which is seven times that of whites. In a new paper in the journal PLoS ONE, a team of physicians and public health researchers report that African-American clergy say they are ready to join the fight against the disease by focusing on HIV testing, treatment, and social justice, a strategy that is compatible with religious teaching. "We in public health have done a poor job of...

5-Limbed Brittle Stars Move Bilaterally, Like People
2012-05-10 04:47:57

Brainless organisms choose a central arm and head that way It appears that the brittle star, the humble, five-limbed dragnet of the seabed, moves very similarly to us. In a series of first-time experiments, Brown University evolutionary biologist Henry Astley discovered that brittle stars, despite having no brain, move in a very coordinated fashion, choosing a central arm to chart direction and then designating other limbs to propel it along. Yet when the brittle star wants to change...

Single Nanomaterial Yields Many Laser Colors
2012-04-30 07:46:35

Engineers at Brown University and QD Vision Inc. have created nanoscale single crystals that can produce the red, green, or blue laser light needed in digital displays. The size determines color, but all the pyramid-shaped quantum dots are made the same way of the same elements. In experiments, light amplification required much less power than previous attempts at the technology. The team´s prototypes are the first lasers of their kind. Red, green, and blue lasers have become small...