A new tool to understand volcanic supereruptions

: Giant volcanic supereruptions that spew magma across large areas of a continent have not occurred in human history, but they remain a possibility. A new “geobarometer” helps understand how supereruptions could occur.

Brown admits 2,580 to Class of 2019

Brown University has made 2,580 offers of admission for the Class of 2019. The offers made today to 1,970 students in Brown’s regular decision pool, combined with the more than 600 students offered admission in Brown’s early decision program, represent 8.5 percent of this year’s 30,397 applicants. The admitted Class of 2019 includes students from all 50 states and 85 nations, who attend nearly 1,650 high schools. See reactions on Storify

Ancient Martian lake system records two water-related events

Current and former graduate students at Brown University combined images from NASA’s CTX instrument with mineralogical data from NASA’s CRISM orbiting spectrometer to create a geologic history of flowing water on the surface of Mars nearly 4 billion years ago.

Score! Video gamers may learn visual tasks more quickly

Video games not only sharpen the visual processing skills of frequent players, they might also improve the brain’s ability to learn those skills, according to a new study. Gamers showed faster consolidation of learning when moving from one visual task to the next than did non-gamers.

Researchers find promising new biomarkers for concussion

A panel of four readily detectable blood proteins can accurately indicate concussion, even helping distinguishing it from other injuries, according to a new study. Researchers at Brown University and Lifespan found the panel by employing the unusual strategy of looking at the body’s inflammatory response to trauma, which might also be a therapeutic target.

Researchers develop ‘visual Turing test’

Computers are able to recognize objects in in photographs and other images, but how well can they “understand” the relationships or implied activities between objects? Researchers have devised a method of evaluating how well computers perform at that task.
Silicon telluride

Brown chemists make new silicon-based nanomaterials

A new process developed by researchers at Brown University uses silicon telluride to produce multilayered two-dimensional semiconductor materials in a variety of shapes and orientations.

Early sip of alcohol linked to more drinking later

A new study by researchers in Brown University’s Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies finds that children given a sip of alcohol before sixth grade were more likely to have had a full drink or have gotten drunk by ninth grade than those who didn’t get a sip. But the study reveals only an association, not proof of a cause, the researchers caution.

Mutation may cause early loss of sperm supply

Problems in a gene responsible for producing the protein TAF4b leave mice — and maybe men — unable to sustain sperm production. As embryos, mice lacking the protein failed to develop an adequate number of key cells in the sperm production process and as adults they quickly lost their initial fertility.