Questions for Abrar Qureshi and Shaowei Wu

Eat a lot of citrus? Be careful in the sun

: Citrus fruits contain compounds that make skin more light-sensitive. A large new study finds that white people who consumed a lot of grapefruits or orange juice had a small but significantly higher 25-year risk of malignant melanoma. Citrus is a healthy food, but the study authors suggest extra sunscreen or cover might be prudent for a few days after consuming a lot of it.

Undergrad’s study questions states’ Hep C policies

Though she’s just 19, rising public health junior Soumitri Barua is the lead author of a study showing that most states in 2013 were rationing hepatitis C treatment against the recommendations of doctors and possibly against federal law. Dr. Lynn E. Taylor, her mentor, calls her efforts “stellar.”

Bass use body’s swimming muscles to suck in food

Bass are strong swimmers but they can’t capture prey without also exerting a powerful suction into their mouths. A new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that the power to form that vacuum comes from the very same muscles they use to swim.
Questions for James Budarz

'Molecular movie' captures ultrafast chemical reaction

Brown University chemists working with scientists at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have used ultrafast X-ray pulses to image the stages of a key chemical reaction as it happens.

New strategies against rare, fatal lung syndrome

People with certain forms of the rare genetic disorder Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome face the specter of untreatable, progressive and ultimately fatal pulmonary fibrosis in their 30s or 40s. A new study in humans and mice identifies how the disease appears to work and demonstrates in mice two potential ways to affect its course.

Study suggests active volcanism on Venus

Planetary scientists know that volcanoes have crackled on the surface of Venus for much of the planet's history. Now, using data from the Venus Express spacecraft, an international team of researchers has found new evidence that some of those Venusian volcanoes may still be active today.

Martian glass:
Window into possible past life?

Brown University researchers have found large deposits of glass formed by impactors on the surface of Mars. On Earth, impact glasses have been shown to sometimes preserve signatures of ancient life. That makes these deposits potentially interesting places to look for signs of past life on the Red Planet.
Questions for Steven Opal

Do statins offer hope vs. Ebola?
Paper shows a blurry glimmer

In September 2014 two Sierra Leone hospitals tried a controversial idea: providing statins to patients with Ebola. The results, described in a new paper in the journal mBio, appear encouraging but anecdotal. A proper clinical trial proved too difficult during the Ebola emergency.

Using Minecraft to unboggle the robot mind

A human can make intuitive choices about what actions to take in order to achieve a goal. Robots have a far more difficult time choosing from of a universe of possible actions. Researchers at Brown University are developing an algorithm that can learn that skill from a video game environment.
Regional tectonics and evolution

Paleo study shows how elevation may affect evolution

About 34 million years ago, global temperatures took a dive, causing a sudden wave of extinctions among European mammals. In North America, however, life went on largely unscathed. A new study explains why: The rise of the Rocky Mountains had forced North American mammals to adapt to a colder, drier world.