Mars volcanic deposit tells of warm and wet environment

Planetary scientists led by Brown University have found a volcanic deposit on Mars that would have been a promising wellspring for life. The silica deposit clearly shows the presence of water and heat. It was formed at a time when Mars’ climate turned dry and chilly, which could mark it as one of the most recent habitable microenvironments on the red planet. The finding is published in <em>Nature Geoscience.</em>

NASA-engineered collision spills new Moon secrets

Researchers at Brown University have produced the first detailed description of what happened when a NASA mission slammed a rocket into the moon’s south pole last October. The collision threw debris into sunlight more than a half mile above the surface. They discovered that the soil below the surface at the moon’s poles harbors water and an assortment of other compounds, including carbon dioxide, ammonia, free sodium, and, surprisingly, silver. Results are published in <em>Science.</em>
Alcohol Research Center on HIV

$7.5M grant to fund research on interaction of drinking and HIV infection

Individually, HIV and excessive alcohol consumption are international health crises, but when they intersect they can be uniquely troubling. Scientists at the Brown Alcohol Research Center on HIV, a new federally funded center, will explore physiological and behavioral questions raised by the combination, ranging from effects on the brain to the efficacy of interventions.

Deadly virus reveals a potential weakness

A new study of the JC polyomavirus, a devastating pathogen that attacks brain cells in patients with compromised immune systems, has revealed how it binds to its targets, providing a basis for developing drugs to interrupt that process.
News and Media Advisory

Taubman Center to host mayoral debate Thursday, Oct. 21

Two candidates for mayor of Providence — Democrat Angel Taveras and Independent Jonathan Scott — will take part in a debate at 7&#160;p.m. Thursday, Oct. 21, 2010, on the Brown campus. The Taubman Center for Public Policy will host; Taubman Director Marion Orr will moderate.

Research team identifies new mechanism with suspected role in cancer

Researchers at Brown University and Rhode Island Hospital have identified a process in which prolactin receptors can be drawn together and begin working in pairs called dimers. Overexpression of prolactin receptors in patients has been linked to cancer.
Prenatal care

Researchers report two advances against preeclampsia

Preeclampsia, a sudden-onset and sometimes fatal prenatal disease, may strike up to 8 percent of pregnant women worldwide. Researchers have now developed a dependable pregnancy-specific animal model for laboratory testing and may have a predictive test that would allow early intervention. The studies are reported in <em>The American Journal of Pathology.</em>
News and Media Advisory

Taubman Center to host gubernatorial debate Thursday, Oct. 14

Four gubernatorial candidates — Moderate Ken Block, Democrat Frank Caprio, Independent Lincoln Chafee, and Republican John Robitaille — will take part in a debate Thursday, Oct. 14, 2010, on the Brown campus. The Taubman Center for Public Policy will host; Taubman Director Marion Orr will moderate.

Kay Warren named director of Pembroke Center

Anthropologist Kay Warren has been appointed director of the Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women. The Pembroke Center, celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2011, is expanding its support of path-breaking research that spans the humanities, social sciences, and creative arts.

Brown University chemists simplify biodiesel conversion

Two chemists at Brown University have streamlined the conversion of waste vegetable oil into biodiesel, eliminating the need for corrosive chemicals to perform the reactions. Writing in the journal <em>Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry,</em> the chemists were able to pull off the waste vegetable oil-to-biodiesel conversion in a single reaction vessel using environmentally friendly catalysts and making the conversion six times faster than current methods.