Choice bias: A quirky byproduct of learning from reward

: Many people value rewards they choose themselves more than rewards they merely receive, even when the rewards are actually equivalent. A new study in Neuron provides evidence that this long-observed quirk of behavior is a byproduct of how the brain reinforces learning from reward.

Jailed family member increases risks for kids’ adult health

People whose childhood included a member of the household becoming imprisoned have a 18-percent greater risk of reporting lower overall health quality in adulthood, a new study finds. The risk is independent of other childhood adversity.

Bacteria swim with bodies and flagella

Using a new technique to track the swimming motion of a single bacterium, researchers have discovered that the movement of the bacterium’s body — not just thrust from the flagellum — allow movement through fluids. The finding could shed new light on the evolution of cell body shape.

KieranTimberlake to design new engineering building

The architecture firm KieranTimberlake will design a new building for Brown's School of Engineering. The facility will provide new lab space for the School's expanding research efforts. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2015.

Children's book explores Really Big Numbers

A new children’s book written and illustrated by Brown mathematics professor Richard Schwartz takes readers on a visual journey through the infinite number system. Schwartz hopes Really Big Numbers will help inspire a love of math in young readers.

Students relish Solar Decathlon experience

The 2014 Solar Decathlon has drawn to a close. The RISD/Brown/Erfurt team brought home top ten finishes in four events, along with an experience they’ll never forget. Techstyle Haus, their one-of-a-kind solar home, now heads for its final stop — an arts retreat in France where it will serve as housing for visiting artists.

Camp stokes girls’ math interest

From Thomas Jefferson’s own cipher to the algorithms that enable digital image editing, math offers an almost limitless menu of experience. Thirty-one 10th- and 11th-grade girls plunged in at GirlsGetMath@ICERM camp this month.
Commentary: Dr. Josiah Rich

Federal law enforcement personnel to carry naloxone

Dr. Josiah Rich of the Alpert Medical School, the School of Public Health and the Miriam Hospital, an expert on the epidemic of heroin overdose, praised U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder's announcement that federal law enforcement officials will begin to carry naloxone, which can save the life of someone undergoing a heroin or opioid overdose.

Universities renew call to support research funding

On July 31, 2013, more than 160 university leaders including Brown University president Christina Paxson called for Congress and the President to support federal research funding. Today, one year later, they renewed that call.

Researchers discover boron “buckyball”

The discovery of buckyballs — soccer-ball-shaped molecules of carbon — helped usher in the nanotechnology era. Now, Lai-Sheng Wang’s research group and colleagues from China have shown that boron, carbon’s neighbor on the periodic table, can form a cage-like molecule similar to the buckyball. Until now, such a boron structure had only been a theoretical speculation. The researchers dubbed their newfound nanostructure “borospherene.”