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Stratt named ACS Fellow

Richard M. Stratt, the Newport Rogers Professor of Chemistry, has been selected as an American Chemical Society (ACS) Fellow for 2013. Stratt was recognized for developing powerful theoretical methods that provide ways to understand and analyze the ultrafast dynamics of collisions, solvation, and reaction in solution as well as his service to the public and the ACS. “This is an honor bestowed on members for their outstanding accomplishments in scientific research, education, and public service,” said Bassam Z. Shakhashiri, immediate past-president of the ACS.

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How sleep helps the brain learn motor tasks
Sleep Waves:

Sleep helps the brain consolidate what we've learned, but scientists have struggled to determine what goes on in the brain to make that happen for different kinds of learned tasks. In a new study, researchers pinpoint the brainwave frequencies and brain region associated with sleep-enhanced learning of a sequential finger tapping task akin to typing, or playing piano.

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Psychotherapy lags as evidence goes unheeded
Despite the evidence, a decline:

In a special issue of Clinical Psychology Review edited by two Brown University professors of psychiatry and human behavior, psychologists analyze why the use of psychotherapy has declined despite a strong evidence base for the efficacy of some psychosocial treatments. The problems, they find, lie within the profession as well as outside.

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High-angle helix helps bacteria swim
A really interesting fluid dynamics problem:

It’s counterintuitive but true: Some microorganisms that use flagella for locomotion are able to swim faster in gel-like fluids such as mucus. Research engineers at Brown University have figured out why. It's the angle of the coil that matters. Findings are reported in Physical Review Letters.

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Burkitt lymphoma survival improves for some
Three-year survival trends by age and race/ethnicity:

Treatment advances have helped improve patient survival of Burkitt lymphoma, a highly aggressive cancer, but not among the elderly, patients at a late stage, or blacks. A new study, reported in the journal Cancer, uses those findings to develop a risk score that will help doctors, patients, families, and researchers better understand prognosis.

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More intestinal cells can absorb larger particles
Safe passage:

A new study reports that the small intestine uses more cells than scientists had realized to absorb microspheres large enough to contain therapeutic protein drugs, such as insulin. The finding in rats, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is potentially good news for developing a means for oral delivery of such drugs.

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Big ice may explain Mars’ double-layer craters
An odd type of crater:

Brown planetary geologists have an explanation for the formation of more than 600 “double-layer ejecta” (DLE) craters on Mars. The Martian surface was covered with a thick sheet of ice at impact. Ejected material would later slide down steep crater sides and across the ice, forming a second layer.

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Feelings for fetus may vary smoking amount
Smoking and fetal attachment:

In a small new study in the Maternal and Child Health Journal, researchers report that pregnant smokers who felt less emotional attachment to their fetuses may have smoked more than women with greater feelings of attachment.

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U.S. universities call for renewed national commitment to research, education

Presidents and chancellors at 164 of the nation’s leading colleges and universities released an open letter to President Obama and members of the 113th Congress, urging them to address the nation’s growing “innovation deficit.” “Investments in research and education are not inconsistent with long-term deficit reduction,” the educators wrote, “they are vital to it.” Brown University President Christina Paxson joined colleagues nationwide in signing the letter.

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Fly study finds two new drivers of RNA editing
More complicated than anyone had guessed:

A new study in Nature Communications finds that RNA editing is not only regulated by sequences and structures near the editing sites but also by ones found much farther away. One newly discovered structure gives an editing enzyme an alternate docking site. The other appears to throttle competing splicing activity.

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Carbon Society Honors Robert Hurt
Hurt :

Robert Hurt, professor of engineering, has received the Charles E. Pettinos Award of the American Carbon Society. The award is given every three years to honor “outstanding research accomplishment of an individual or group in the science and/or technology of carbon materials.” The work for which Hurt was honored focused on liquid-crystal-derived carbon materials, graphene-based materials, and on the biological and environmental implications of carbon nanomaterials. Hurt accepted the award earlier this month at the Carbon2013 conference in Rio de Janeiro.

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Undergrads Present a Summer's Research
Time to explore research:

About 200 undergraduates — most but not all from Brown — are showing off their summer research projects at the annual Summer Research Symposium. Kevin Stacey speaks about the program with Oludurotimi Adetunji, assistant dean of the College, who is director of outreach for the Science Center.

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Stofan is NASA’s chief scientist
Ellen Stofan:

Ellen Stofan, who earned a Ph.D. in geological sciences from Brown, has been named NASA’s chief scientist, the agency has announced. Stofan will take over on August 25th as NASA Administrator Charles Bolden’s principal adviser on science programs and science-related strategic planning and investments.

 

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