Executive masters student awarded for blood supply idea

For developing a way to overcome the geographic unevenness of the nation’s blood supply, Chris Godfrey, a student in Brown University’s Executive Masters in Healthcare Leadership program has won a share of $150,000 in a Harvard-sponsored contest.

Dr. David S. Greer, 89, former dean of medicine

Dr. David S. Greer, a gerontologist and former dean of medicine renowned for major contributions to the early development of the Alpert Medical School and the School of Public Health, died Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014. Among his accomplishments was a share of the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize.

‘Come Sit a Spell’ at the Providence Public Library

Public Humanities students have created “Come Sit a Spell,” an interactive installation on display at the Providence Public Library that tells the story of the former West Elmwood neighborhood of Providence. The installation will be on display through Jan. 18, 2015.

Many older brains have plasticity, but in a different place

Brain scientists have long believed that older people have less of the neural flexibility (plasticity) required to learn new things. A new study shows that older people learned a visual task just as well as younger ones, but the seniors who showed a strong degree of learning exhibited plasticity in a different part of the brain than younger learners did.

Paramecia need Newton for navigation

While single-celled paramecia have the ability to respond to certain external stimuli, they appear not to use that sensory system for simple navigation, new research finds. The work suggests that the ability of paramecia to navigate around flat surfaces is entirely governed by Newton’s Third Law of Motion and not by active behavior. The finding, reported in Physical Review Letters, raises interesting evolutionary questions.

Warmth and flowing water on early Mars were episodic

How to reconcile indisputable evidence of flowing water on Mars with severely low temperatures? New research shows volcanism and greenhouse gas could have warmed the planet sufficiently, but only for tens or hundreds of years at a time.

Liu wins AHA research award for diabetes, heart disease

Dr. Simin Liu is among the first scientists funded by the American Heart Association to work on its new Cardiovascular Genome-Phenome initiative. He will now have access to three major resources for a deep investigation of gene-diet interactions in cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes across different ethnic groups.

With rewards, we remember more than we should

To prevent confusion between facts we’ve made a point of learning and closely related facts we haven’t, the brain employs “retrieval-induced forgetting.” In a new experiment, Brown University brain scientists show that reward during learning can undo that helpful mechanism.

HIV risks high in Mexico City’s male sex trade

The prevalence of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, and risky behavior are high among Mexico City’s male sex workers, a new study reports. Among the findings is that sex workers can make 34.5 percent more money for forgoing condoms. The researchers hope to counteract that incentive with one of their own.
Adventures in research

Rich studies microbes 2,500 meters down on the sea floor

On Nov. 8, 2014, biologist Jeremy Rich cruised in the submersible Alvin through a “dream-like aquarium” of exotic life and lava formations on the Pacific sea floor. Rich and 54 colleagues are aboard a research vessel west of Costa Rica, studying the ecosystems of hydrothermal vents.

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Brown-Tougaloo

Nearly 200 alumni, students, faculty, staff, and community members from both Brown and Tougaloo College gathered at Brown Nov. 7-8, 2014, for a weekend of events celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Brown-Tougaloo Partnership.
Questions for Peter Schultz

What can we learn by landing on a comet?

Brown geoscientist Peter Schultz, a veteran of three NASA missions to comets and asteroids, talks about the European Space Agency’s mission to land on a comet and what the scientific community hopes to learn about these orbiting bodies.