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.

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.

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.

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.

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.
Mathematical framework

How a wrinkle becomes a crease

Kyung-Suk Kim and Mazen Diab have worked out the mathematics of how wrinkles form in solid materials under compression — and how, under more compression, those wrinkles can become creases. The mathematics of wrinkles and creases could help in the design of flexible electronic circuits, artificial skin, and soft robotic grips and may help explain brain injuries due to compression.

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.

Emergence of bacterial vortex explained

Bacteria in a drop of water spontaneously form a bi-directional vortex, with bacteria near the center of the drop swimming in the opposite direction of bacteria swimming near the edge. New computer simulations, confirmed by a novel experiment, explain how that vortex comes to be.