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.”

Virtual crowds produce real behavior insights

William Warren’s research group is advancing virtual reality technology in the service of studying the science of the swarm: how patterns of crowd movement emerge from individual behaviors. He described his work June 29 in a keynote address to a conference in Vancouver.

Brown to host outdoor summer movie series

Brown University will host its fourth outdoor summer movie series on three Tuesday evenings throughout the summer. The event is free and open to the public and popcorn will be provided.

Dodging dots helps explain brain circuitry

In a new study, Brown University neuroscientists looked cell-by-cell at the brain circuitry that tadpoles, and possibly other animals, use to avoid collisions. The study produced a model of how individual inhibitory and excitatory neurons can work together to control a simple behavior.

Grant supports migraine research

Four Brown Institute for Brain Science faculty members who study pain recently earned a $100,000 award to study the physiology and mechanisms of migraines.

Sustaining today's resources for future users

With sustainability a constant and global concern, the present-day users of both non-renewable and potentially renewable resources must take into account what will be left over for future generations. In a study in the July 11 issue of Nature, researchers devise an 'Intergenerational Goods Game' to determine what mechanisms can maintain cooperation with the future. Louis Putterman, chair and professor of economics, explains the study in a “News and Views” column in that issue. He spoke with Courtney Coelho about the research and its implications.

Stem cell type resists chemo drug

In lab tests, Brown University researchers have found that adipose-derived stem cells, which can generate bone tissue, appear resistant to the toxicity of the chemotherapy drug methotrexate, which degrades bone in patients such as kids suffering from acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The newly published findings are preliminary but more tests are planned.

R.I. lead law effective, often ignored

Only one in five properties in Central Falls, Pawtucket, Providence, and Woonsocket that are covered by Rhode Island’s lead hazard mitigation law were in compliance with the statute more than four years after it took effect, according to a study by a local team of academic, government, and nonprofit researchers. Many exempt dwellings also seem likely to harbor hazards. But where landlords have complied, the data show that children have benefitted.