Thu 24 Mar | Chalkbeat New York

School conditions matter for student achievement, new research confirms

Matthew Kraft, assistant professor of education, commented on the findings of a recent study linking school conditions to student achievements. “The status quo has really focused on policies directed at individual teachers,” said Kraft, lead author of the study. The authors argue that "efforts to measure and strengthen individual teacher effectiveness are unlikely to produce desired results” if a school has an ineffective principle or unclear disciplinary codes.
Wed 23 Mar | RI NPR

The West Should Prepare For Future Attacks

Following the terrorist attacks in Brussels, Watson Institute senior fellow Stephen Kinzer warns of future attacks and the possible goals ISIS hopes to accomplish. "This can’t be the last one, and I think there has to be some recognition in the minds of Europeans and Americans that we can be thrown into a panic every time something like this happens,” said Kinzer. “This is exactly what the attackers are hoping for.”
Wed 23 Mar | Shape

Are There *Really* Health Benefits to Sunbathing?

Stuart Spitalnic, clinical assistant professor of emergency medicine, commented on a recent study about sunbathing and lower mortality rates. The findings "could have dangerous repercussions," Spitalnic said of the study, which suggests more sunbathing lowers mortality rates. He asserts the results could be skewed since women who sunbathe are likelier to come from upper class households, a group that tends to be healthier to begin with.
Wed 23 Mar | Haaretz

Have We Forgotten the Jewish Poor?

As the Jewish community celebrated the Purim holiday on Wednesday, Brown undergraduate Jared Samilow reminded Haaretz readers that giving to the poor should benefit people from all groups including the Jewish poor.
Wed 23 Mar | DoctorsLounge

Report of Bone Marrow/Liver Pathology Caused by Syphilis

Kalyan C. Mantripragada, teaching fellow in medicine, co-authored a report published on March 22 describing a case of acquired syphilis leading to the involvement of bone marrow and liver resulting in anemia and other abnormalities.
Wed 23 Mar | MedPage Today

Imaging Predicts TIA, Minor Stroke Recurrence

Shadi Yaghi, assistant professor of neurology, co-authored a study that found vessel imaging and neuroimaging predicted early recurrent cerebrovascular events following transient ischemic attack and minor stroke. "Our findings demonstrate the importance of using imaging parameters to risk stratify patients with TIA and stroke (TIA-S), and these findings were confirmed in two independent, ethnically different and diverse patient cohorts," the researchers wrote.
Wed 23 Mar | Valley Breeze

R.I. Child Advocate appoints team to investigate child deaths

Adam Pallant, associate professor of pediatrics, is among a group of people appointed to a Rhode Island Child Advocate's multidisciplinary team to review the deaths of several children in Rhode Island since October 2015. The team will comprehensively analyze three infant deaths and determine any preventative measures that could have been taken, according to a news release.
Wed 23 Mar | The Active Times

The 15 Most Hipster Colleges Around the World

With a bevy of unique eateries, Brown University is included in the Active Times' listing of the 15 most hipster colleges around the world. "They also have a student-run coffee shop which puts them into uncharted hipster territory," the publication notes.
Wed 23 Mar | CBS

San Bernardino iPhone Case Likely To Bolster Encryption

Brown computer scientist Anna Lysyanskaya comments on the continuing legal battle between Apple and the FBI. “If I were them, I would use any means possible to avoid having to answer these information requests,” said Lysyanskaya, a cryptography expert. “It’s bad for their business, and not just in the United States but in other countries where law enforcement cannot be trusted to follow the law.”
Tue 22 Mar | The Providence Journal

R.I. hearing on bill to let terminally ill end own lives

Richard Besdine, professor of medicine, comments on a proposed bill that would allow terminally ill patients to end their life with medication obtained by a doctor. "The fundamental question is do we as human beings own our lives?" said Besdine. "Do we have the right to end a life, that, in the absence of mental illness, is so painful physically or emotionally that it's no longer worth living?"
Tue 22 Mar | Mic

5 Horrifying Heroin Effects You Didn't Know About

Barry Lester, professor of psychiatry and pediatrics, comments on one of the effects of heroin use that may go under the radar. Among five of the not-well-known side effects, one is that pregnant opiate users can birth babies that are already addicted. "This is not only true for a woman who has used heroin during pregnancy, but it could also apply to any opiate drug, such as a mother who has been taking methadone or prescription opiates," Lester told LiveScience.
Mon 21 Mar | Providence Business News

Five Questions With: Joseph Braun

Joseph Braun, assistant professor of epidemiology, answered five questions about a research initiative that is examining the association between perfluorooctanoic acid and the pace of body fat gain in children during the first eight years of life.
Mon 21 Mar | The New York Times

Sharing Knowledge, for a Price

Michael Satlow, professor of Judaic and religious studies, writes a letter to the editor in response to Kate Murphy's article about accessing publicly funded research and the price academic journals charge to access it. Satlow offered an alternative model to the current process that would "put additional pressure on journals to lower their prices as authors sought the venues that would give them maximum exposure.
Mon 21 Mar | The Detroit News

Future cloudy for troubled EAA

Kenneth Wong, chair of the Department of Education, comments on the future of Education Achievement Authority, a new system of public schools aimed at improving the worst-performing schools in Michigan. "There are a lot of unanswered questions,” Wong said. “The EAA problems show the challenge of implementing reform at scale. While the design features may seem coherent, EAA has difficulty in gaining credibility due to mismanagement and mixed results in ensuring schooling quality.”
Mon 21 Mar | The Providence Journal

'Downton' plays fast and loose with medicine

Herbert Rakatansky, clinical professor emeritus of medicine, writes an op-ed about the unresolved and lingering medical issues characters faced in the television show Downton Abbey. "An understanding of the medical issues of those times, even if occasionally erroneously described, enhances the narrative that has captivated so many viewers," wrote Rakatansky.
Mon 21 Mar | The Providence Journal

Brown graduate students create a window on the working world

Hundreds of people with careers ranging from archaeology to astrophysics have shared their stories on Inventing Heron, a website developed by a group of Brown University graduate students. The website aims to help young people explore possible careers.
Mon 21 Mar | Providence Business News

Morrissey, Gohh co-winners of Milton Hamolsky Outstanding Physician Award

Paul Morrissey, associate professor of surgery, was named as a joint-winner of the 2015 Milton Hamolsky Outstanding Physician Award. He along with colleague Dr. Reginald Gohh were recognized for contributions in developing and ensuring the success of kidney transplant procedures. "I was thrilled and surprised when I learned that Gohh and I were considered for this award,” said Morrissey. “There are hundreds of physicians at Rhode Island Hospital and to be singled out is a great honor.”
Sat 19 Mar | The Providence Journal

Brain Fair at Brown opens young minds to neuroscience

More than 500 people attended the inaugural Brain Fair at Brown University's Sayles Hall on Saturday afternoon. Part of Brain Week, the event was designed to teach children ages 5 to 18 about neuroscience. "One of our goals is to instill an understanding and a love of neuroscience at the very young ages," said Victoria Heimer-McGinn, a postdoctoral neuroscientist at Brown and an event organizer.
Sat 19 Mar | Forbes

It's Time To Retire 'Theistic Evolution'

Kenneth Miller, professor of biology, comments on an article about "Theistic Evolutionists," a term referring to Christian scientists who accept evolution. "In the minds of most people who use the term, it implies that a god had to pre-ordain the outcome of the evolutionary process or at the very least guide it along to produce the world of today, including human beings his chosen creatures. I don’t believe that at all. Evolution is a fully-independent natural process driven by chance and necessity,” Miller said in an email.
Sat 19 Mar | Malay Mail Online

The mystery of almond boneless chicken

John Eng-Wong, a visting scholar in ethic studies, comments on the elusive Michigan Chinese dish, almond boneless chicken. “Almond boneless chicken seems to be well known and appreciated in Michigan, but it seems to have a foothold in many other places from Canada to Florida,” said Eng-Wong, who has been working on a blog post that tells the stories of Chinese people in America through food.
Sat 19 Mar | The Providence Journal

Local HIV expert named to U.S. panel

Rami Kantor, associate professor of medicine, has been appointed to an influential federal panel that helps sets policy for HIV/AIDS medications.
Fri 18 Mar | Bloomberg

Turns Out a 'Lie' Lurked Beneath the Bookends of the BRICS

Mark Blyth, professor of political science, commented on an article about the corruption scandals threatening to end the political careers of Brazil and South Africa's leaders, Dilma Rousseff and Jacob Zuma. During periods of sustained growth, “you don’t notice the corruption,” Blyth said.
Fri 18 Mar | The Boston Globe

Vote Sanders. Everyone else will send your kids to war

Stephen Kinzer, senior fellow at the Watson Institute, wrote an op-ed about the presidential candidates' interventional leanings on American foreign policy and Bernie Sander's unorthodox position. "Rather than cheer every show of American force, Sanders reminds us of the parlous consequences of past assaults on other countries," Kinzer wrote. Unfortunately, he says, candidates who urge restraint rarely thrive.
Fri 18 Mar | Scientific American

Why a Machine Defeating a Human Does Not Signal the Apocalypse

Michael Littman, professor of computer science, writes a blog about the inevitability of artificial intelligence beating humans at single purpose tasks. "The fact is—and this may sound gloomy—machines will likely replace us in any well-defined task," Littman wrote. However, the key to remaining valuable is that "human intelligence is constantly redefining and extending itself."
Thu 17 Mar | The New York Times

Brother, Sister, Roommate, Neighbor

John Logan, a professor of sociology, commented on an article about adult siblings in New York choosing to live in close proximity to one another. “Family relationships are the strongest part of most people’s social networks. So it makes sense that those who don’t already have a family setting in the neighborhood where they live might want to create it. This is what people do all around the world,” Logan said.
Thu 17 Mar | Princeton University Press

The Supreme Court and the battle for the U.S. Senate

Wendy J. Schiller, associate professor of political science and public policy, writes an article about the vacancy left behind by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and the battle for the U.S. Senate.