LUX dark matter results confirmed

A new calibration of the Large Underground Xenon (LUX) dark matter detector brought a 10-fold increase in calibration accuracy, confirming findings announced last October from the instrument’s first 90-day run. If low-mass “WIMP” particles had passed through the detector, LUX would have found them.

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Forest model predicts canopy competition
The forest is taller, but why?:

Scientists use measurements from airborne lasers to gauge changes in the height of trees in the forest. Tree height tells them things like how much carbon is being stored. But what accounts for height changes over time — vertical growth or overtopping by a taller tree? A new statistical model helps researchers figure out what’s really happening on the ground.

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In Chile, rival barnacles keep competition cool
In Chile, it’s not always about the temperature	:

A lot of research shows that temperature can strongly influence species interactions and sometimes shape the appearance and functioning of biological communities. That’s why a newly published finding that changes in temperature did not alter the competitive balance of power between two rival species of Chilean barnacles is an ecological surprise.

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Women with bipolar disorder
Specialized psychosocial intervention:

Women with bipolar disorder often struggle with the illness during and after pregnancy. A new study finds that they were significantly more likely to face important psychiatric and childrearing challenges compared to women who were seeking treatment for other psychiatric disorders.

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Samoan obesity: Global harbinger?
How did all this happen?:

Solving the mystery of how the population of the Samoan archipelago developed one of the world’s highest rates of obesity is important not only for addressing the problem but also possibly for predicting the course of obesity in other parts of the developing world. Brown University epidemiologist Stephen McGarvey, who has been studying the Samoan pandemic for years, spoke at the AAAS annual meeting Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014, in Chicago.

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Moore wins Brain Research Foundation Grant
Christopher Moore:

Associate Professor of Neuroscience Christopher Moore is one of three investigators to win a Brain Research Scientific Innovation Award for 2014. Moore will use the $150,000 grant to conduct neurological research on how neurons communicate in the brain. The results may potentially lead to a better understanding and treatments for diseases such as Parkinson's and epilepsy.

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Longevity mutation found in flies far and wide
Beyond the lab: Worldwide Indy mutation:

To date, evidence that mutations in a gene called Indy could increase life span in flies and mimic calorie restriction in mammals has come only from experiments in the lab. A new study finds that the same benefit is present in naturally Indy-mutated flies descended from flies collected in the wild all over the world and going back decades.

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NAS report: Make childbirth safer in Indonesia
Eli Y. Adashi:

A joint report by U.S. and Indonesian experts, including Dr. Eli Y. Adashi, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Brown University, provides recommendations to improve the survival of mothers and newborns in Indonesia. That nation, a rising power, must invest in medical infrastructure including facilities and transportation, according to the report sponsored by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

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Bipolar patients have high Rx burden
Complex polypharmacy:

A new study of patients with bipolar disorder finds that 36 percent of those who were admitted to a Rhode Island psychiatric hospital  in 2010 were receiving “complex polypharmacy” — four or more psychotropic medications — from their community providers. The polypharmacy rate was significantly higher for women. Including prescriptions for other conditions the patients may have had, the average patient was on six medications.

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Research Resilience Disappointing Alzheimer’s trial yields new ideas
Bapineuzumab and placebo:

A new study in the New England Journal of Medicine documents the high-profile failure of a promising drug, bapineuzumab, to slow cognitive decline in dementia patients. Dr. Stephen Salloway, the study’s lead author, says researchers have learned key lessons that they are eager to apply in new attempts to find effective treatments for Alzheimer’s disease.

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Teno wins award for hospice study

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has awarded gerontologist Dr. Joan Teno, professor of health services, policy and practice in the Brown University School of Public Health, an Investigator Award through its Health Policy Research program. Teno is one of 11 scholars nationwide to win the honor, which comes with $335,000 in support for her work. “We are eager to support these new investments in cutting-edge research, especially at a time when the health care landscape is rapidly changing and the way Americans care for their health is changing with it,” said Alan B.

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Study: Phoenicians sacrificed infants

A new paper co-authored by Peter van Dommelen, the Joukowsky Family Professor of Archaeology and professor of anthropology, attempts to put to rest a long-standing mystery about infant bones found in Phoenician cemeteries in modern Tunisia and Italy. Experts have long been conflicted over whether the bones, found packed in urns and buried under tombstones, were the result of ritualistic sacrifices or simply carefully buried remains of children who died before or soon after birth.

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New boron nanomaterial may be possible
Unlocking the secrets of the B36 cluster:

Graphene, a sheet of carbon one atom thick, may soon have a new nanomaterial partner. In the lab and on supercomputers, chemists have determined that a unique arrangement of 36 boron atoms in a flat disc with a hexagonal hole in the middle may be the preferred building blocks for “borophene.” Findings are reported in Nature Communications.

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