Bats bolster brain hypothesis, maybe technology, too

: Decades of research on how bats use echolocation to keep a focus on their targets not only lends support to a long debated neuroscience hypothesis about vision but also could lead to smarter sonar and radar technologies.

Intimacy a strong motivator for PrEP HIV prevention

Many HIV-negative gay or bisexual men in steady relationships with other HIV-negative men don’t always use condoms out of a desire for intimacy. That same desire, according to a new study, makes such men more inclined to use antiretroviral medications to prevent getting HIV, a practice known as PrEP.

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.

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.

Microchip reveals how tumor cells transition to invasion

A microscopic obstacle course of carefully spaced pillars enables researchers to observe cancer cells directly as they break away from a tumor mass and move more rapidly across the microchip. The device could be useful for testing cancer drugs and further research on the mechanics of metastasis.

Elusive viral ‘machine’ architecture finally rendered

Biologists have worked with the lambda virus as a model system for more than 50 years but they’ve never had an overarching picture of the molecular machines that allow it to insert or remove DNA from the cells that it infects. Now they can, thanks to an advance that highlights the intriguingly intricate way the virus accomplishes its genetic manipulations.

Photo editing algorithm changes weather, seasons automatically

A computer algorithm being developed by Brown University researchers enables users to instantly change the weather, time of day, season, or other features in outdoor photos with simple text commands. Machine learning and a clever database make it possible. A paper describing the work will be presented at SIGGRAPH 2014.
At the Bell Gallery

Audible Spaces: Tristan Perich, Zarouhie Abdlian, and [The User]

The David Winton Bell Gallery presents Audible Spaces: Tristan Perich, Zarouhie Abdlian, and [The User], an exhibition of contemporary sound art, on view at the Bell Gallery Saturday, Aug. 30, to Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014, and at the Cohen Gallery in the Perry and Marty Granoff Center for Creative Arts, Saturday, Aug. 23 to Sunday, Oct. 12.

Copper foam turns CO2 into useful chemicals

Scientists at Brown University’s Center for Capture and Conversion of CO2 have discovered that copper foam could provide a new way of converting excess CO2 into useful industrial chemicals, including formic acid.

Ceremony honors anatomy donors and families

This year for the first time, Alpert Medical School invited family members of those who donated their bodies to medical education to join them in commemorating and reflecting on that generosity. At the ceremony Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014, medical students shared the gratitude, knowledge, and inspiration they felt.