Wed 4 Nov | Tech Insider

Robots will lead to mass unemployment

Michael Littman, professor of computer science, comments on an article about artificial intelligence taking automated jobs away from middle class workers. "My biggest concern at the moment is that we as a society find a way of valuing people not just for the work they do," Littman said. "Otherwise these intelligent systems will get out there and people will become valueless, and society falls apart. We need to value each other first and foremost."
Wed 4 Nov | Science News

Blood exerts a powerful influence on the brain

Christopher Moore, associate professor of neuroscience, comments on the complexity of blood and growing research indicating that the red liquid does more than simply carry nutrients and oxygen. “The blood has exquisite access to where we stand,” Moore says. Replete with hormones, sugar and other signals, the blood contains an accurate readout of what the body needs and various implications for the brain.
Wed 4 Nov | The Huffington Post

Brown Among Top 5 Colleges for Sexual Health

Brown University ranked No. 5 in a national 2015 Sexual Health Report Card. The methodology is based on numerous factors including on-site HIV testing, outreach programs, contraceptive availability, and the quality of sexual health information available.
Tue 3 Nov | Christian Science Monitor

Smog on Mars? How acidic fog melted Martian rocks

Ralph Milliken, assistant professor of earth, environmental and planetary sciences, commented on a new theory that explains the lumpy appearance of some of the rocks on Mars. "What I really like about Shoshanna's work is that it's a nice integration of all the instruments," Milliken told Discovery. "It's exactly what a geologist would do today if they went out in the field."
Tue 3 Nov | Rhode Island Monthly

Letters: Respecting Patients' Wishes, Mushroom Memories

Felicia Nimue Ackerman, professor of philosophy, wrote a letter to the editor in response to "Excellence in Nursing: Award Recipients,” which praised a nurse for her approach to end-of-life care. "It is important to realize that this is not what all sick old people want. Some sick old people want to be kept alive as long as possible even if they cannot be restored to health," Ackerman wrote.
Mon 2 Nov | The Providence Journal

Brown's Watson Institute to expand with $50 million gift

Brown University announced Monday that is has received a $50-million gift from a consortium of donors to fund construction of a new building and hire new faculty to expand the Thomas J. Watson Jr. Institute for International and Public Affairs.
Mon 2 Nov | Providence Business News

Five Questions With: Peter Belenky

Peter Belenky, assistant professor molecular microbiology and immunology and lead author of the study, answered five questions about the complexity of antibiotic functionality.
Fri 30 Oct | Huffington Post

EU Calls On Member States To Protect Snowden

Timothy Edgar, senior fellow at the Watson Institute, took part in a Google Hangouts discussion on the ramifications of the the European Union's vote to protect Edward Snowden from extradition.
Thu 29 Oct | New York Magazine

Investment in Weight Watchers smart because it doesn't work

An article about long-term weight loss and Weight Watchers mentions a study led by Rena Wing, professor of psychology and human behavior. According to surveys conducted by Wing, people who successfully kept weight off for several years were far more likely to make weight loss a singular focus on their life.
Thu 29 Oct | The Daily Beast

Now Kids Are Being Trained to Stop Heroin Overdoses

Dr. Traci Green, associate professor of emergency medicine, commented on the possibility of teaching children how to administer the drug naloxone in an effort to reduce the death toll of opioid abuse. A child’s ability to use a naloxone auto-injector depends on the child’s age, hand strength, and ability to recognize symptoms, Green says. She is among other medical professionals who support raising awareness about naloxone among children, even if they cannot administer the drug yet.
Thu 29 Oct | ABC6

Brown scientists create new kind of mini-brains

Scientists at Brown University have come up with a cheap and simple way to create brains about the size of a pencil dot. "The mini brain is a three dimensional ball of cells and we basically take all the cells that are in the brain of a rat and take all the cells apart and re-form them into little balls of cells,” said Molly Boutin, the lead co-author of the study.
Thu 29 Oct | The New York Times

Ivy League Embraces Friday Night Football, in Small Doses

A feature on how moving Ivy League football games to Friday nights is drawing larger attendance and gaining momentum on cable as part of a television strategy. "Saturday midday is just tough for people because of family obligations," said Eric Allen, a former Brown defensive back who is now a member of the Brown Football Association's executive committee. The Bears, like other league teams, regularly draw bigger crowds at night, but they must install temporary lights for such games because they are one of the two Ivy teams whose stadiums do not have them.
Thu 29 Oct | Post Crescent

We're incredibly susceptible to marketing

An article about the purchasing preferences of over-the-counter medicine cites a paper co-authored by Brown University researchers that found medical professionals were more likely to buy store brands instead of highly advertised national brands. “So in the context of headache remedies, about 92 percent of the headache remedies pharmacists buy are store brand. And we see that very consistently across other health care occupations — nurses, doctors, and so on — they’re all buying way more store brand than the rest of us,” said study researcher Jesse Shapiro at the time.
Thu 29 Oct | MSN

11 Weird Things Sugar Does To Your Body

A listing of 11 weird things sugar does to the body mentions a study by Brown University researchers that found a link between insulin resistance and high-fat diets and Alzheimer's disease.
Wed 28 Oct | The Detroit News

Detroit math, reading scores lowest among big cities

Kenneth Wong, chair of the Department of Education, commented on the national test results of Detroit's public school system.“City leaders in Detroit may consider lessons on reform strategies from other cities. Equally important, policy makers in Detroit should examine the effectiveness of their current practices,” Wong said. “In identifying programs that work, school leaders can move toward scaling up these more successful programs."
Wed 28 Oct | New York Daily News

5 bizarre conditions you've never heard of

A listing of unusual afflictions mentions a study by the Department of Cognitive, Linguistic and Psychological Sciences that asserts strokes, brain tumors and physical trauma are to blame for people suffering from Foreign Accent Syndrome.
Wed 28 Oct | Business Insider

Tiny New Hampshire communities guard midnight voting tradition

Wendy Schiller, professor and chair of political science, comments on a small New Hampshire town's 100-year-old tradition of voting for presidential nominees at the stroke of midnight. "It's the foundation of democracy," Schiller said. "Being able to vote at midnight, being able to be the first people voting for a new president, I think that still represents the ideal version of democracy."
Tue 27 Oct | The Providence Journal

What's wrong with 'respect your elders'?

Felicia Ackerman, professor of philosophy, explains why respect should be mutual between adults and children. “Respect your elders” is asymmetric; it tells you to respect your elders in a way they aren’t told to respect you," writes Ackerman. "Children get criticized for being 'impertinent' and 'talking back' to adults, but these expressions don't get applied in the opposite direction."
Tue 27 Oct | The Providence Journal

Round table on African Americans in R.I. performing arts

The Department of Africana Studies and Rites and Reason Theatre at Brown University, in conjunction with Stages of Freedom, will present a round table, "Rhode Island African Americans Working in the Performing Arts," Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. at Rites and Reason, 155 Angell St.
Tue 27 Oct | The Boston Globe

In Syria, the US has nothing but bad options

Stephen Kinzer, a senior fellow at the Watson Institute, examines the situation in Syria and proposes three options the U.S. has left if it wants to reduce human suffering in the area. "It is past time to emerge from our cocoon of delusion," Kinzer wrote. "The option of a Syrian regime including Assad or some of his associates is bad, but the others are worse."