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Bio-Med and Science News | Leadership NewsWriting & Media News | Entrepreneurship News

Bio-Med and Science News:

How bats save energy

A new Brown study finds that bats take advantage of their flexibility by folding in wings on the upstroke to save inertial energy.

The research suggests that engineers looking at flapping flight should account for wing mass and consider a folding design.

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Brown to host advanced materials conference

Brown University has organized a conference to explore the frontier of advanced materials. The all-day gathering on Thursday, March 29, 2012, features talks and discussions by leading innovators and scientists in industry, academia, and the federal government.

The meeting stems from a call by President Obama for American companies to develop advanced materials at twice the speed as currently possible and at a fraction of the cost.
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Protein ‘jailbreak’ helps cancer cells live

Researchers at Brown University and Hasbro Children’s Hospital have traced the molecular interactions that allow the protein survivin to escape the nucleus of a breast cancer cell and prolong the cell’s life.

The study may help in the development of better therapies and prognostics.
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Questions for Constantine Gatsonis: Better triage for chest pains

In a study in The New England Journal of Medicine, authors including biostatisticians from Brown report that coronary computed tomographic angiography (CCTA) is a safe way to screen patients coming to the ER with chest pains who are not at high risk for acute coronary syndrome.

Patients who got CCTA and tested negative were more likely to be discharged home and spend less time at the hospital.
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Newly found protein helps cells build tissues

Brown University biologists have found a new molecule in fruit flies that is key to the information exchange needed to build wings properly.

They have also uncovered evidence that an analogous protein may exist in people and may be associated with problems such as cleft lip, or premature ovarian failure
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‘Bed of Nails’ breast implant deters cancer cells

Researchers at Brown University have created an implant that appears to deter breast cancer cell regrowth.

Made from a common federally approved polymer, the implant is the first to be modified at the nanoscale in a way that causes a reduction in the blood-vessel architecture that breast cancer tumors depend upon, while also attracting healthy endothelial cells for breast tissue.

Results are published in Nanotechnology.
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Sleep guidance for kids and teens is based on sound science

Two recent papers disputing recommendations for children’s sleep have attracted some attention in the media. It’s important to avoid confusion on this point, writes sleep researchers Mary A. Carskadon and Judith Owens:

Current sleep recommendations are founded on solid science and decades of observation and research. This essay first appeared in the Huffington Post.
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Exposed to phthalates as fetuses, female mice have altered reproductive lives

Many environmental and public health officials are concerned about the potential health effects of phthalates, which are common chemicals used to make plastics softer and more pliable. In the first study to examine what effect in utero doses of phthalates have on the reproductive system of mice, Brown University toxicologists found that extremely high doses were associated with significant changes, such as a shortened reproductive lifespan and abnormal cell growth in mammary glands.
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Will a genetic mutation cause trouble? Ask Spliceman

New, free Web-based software described in the journal Bioinformatics analyzes DNA sequences to determine if mutations are likely to cause errors in splicing of messenger RNA. When gene splicing goes awry, a wide variety of diseases can result.
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Brown to establish Center for Evidence-Based Medicine

A prominent team of researchers is coming to Brown where they will advance methods for turning volumes of medical studies into knowledge that doctors can use to best treat patients. Such methods apply to other complex scientific questions too. (See statements about the center online.)
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Lecture or listen: When patients waver on meds

According to a new analysis of hundreds of recorded office visits, doctors and nurse practitioners typically issued orders and asked closed or leading questions when talking to their HIV-positive patients about adherence to antiretroviral therapy. Attempts at problem-solving with patients who had lapsed occurred in less than a quarter of visits.
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Leadership News:

Dr. Jim Yong Kim Nominated for World Bank

Dartmouth College President Jim Yong Kim is President Obama’s nominee to lead the World Bank, a 187-nation organization that focuses on fighting poverty and promoting development.

A 1982 Brown graduate and 2009 recipient of honorary Doctor of Medical Science degree, Kim, a Korean-born physician, is widely recognized as a global health expert for his pioneering work in advancing treatment of HIV, AIDS, and tuberculosis.

The actual selection of the new leader will take place next month by a vote of the World Bank’s 25-member executive board. Kim is expected to travel the globe on a listening tour in anticipation of the formal vote.
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16 undergraduates honored as BISP fellows

Sixteen undergraduates who received 2012 Brown International Scholars Program (BISP) fellowships were honored in an awards ceremony March 19. 2012, at the Hope Club.

The students, who were each awarded up to $5,000, will spend the summer pursuing independent projects linking their academic interest with international experiences.
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Choices wins Buchanan Award

The Choices Program, an initiative developed at Brown’s Watson Insitute for International Studies, has received the Franklin R. Buchanan Award. Established in 1995 by the Association for Asian Studies Committee on Educational Issues and Policy and the Committee on Teaching about Asia, the Buchanan Award is awarded annually to recognize an outstanding curriculum publication on Asia designed for any educational level, elementary through university.

The curriculum that won the award, The United States in Afghanistan, was published in September 2011 and designed for secondary-school social studies classrooms. The curriculum provides students with primary source documents, readings, and new media sources and asks them to engage in role playing to help them consider the future of U.S. policy in Afghanistan. The curriculum development was funded by a grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
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Economist Christina Hull Paxson elected 19th president of Brown University

The Corporation of Brown University, meeting in special session Friday morning, March 2, 2012, has elected Christina Hull Paxson to be the University’s 19th president. Paxson is currently dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.
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President Ruth Simmons receives ACE award

The American Council on Education (ACE) recognized President Ruth J. Simmons’s contributions to higher education on March 10, 2012, at its 94th annual meeting in Los Angeles. ACE President Mary Corbett Broad presented a Lifetime Achievement Award to President Simmons in recognition of her commitment to supporting the advancement of higher education leaders, especially women and minorities. “Ruth Simmons is an extraordinary leader,” Broad said. “During her tenure, Brown University, already a highly regarded institution, has risen even higher in its standing among colleges and universities. Equally important, Ruth has inspired and opened doors for many women, especially women of color. It’s an honor for ACE to recognize Ruth’s leadership in this way.”

Writing & Media News:

Chinese Women’s Documentaries

Chinese Women’s Documentaries in the Market Era will screen and examine important documentary films by Chinese Women directors from Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Mainland China.

The symposium will feature directors and international scholars who will discuss the role and significance of women’s documentary films in articulating different human concerns, critical visions, and visual aesthetics in the rapidly changing Greater China area.
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Myung-Ok Lee at Smithsonian

Marie Myung-Ok Lee, Brown alumna and writer in residence at the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America, will participate in a  symposium on Asian American art and literature at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

The symposiuim, Asian American Portraits of Encounter Between Image and Word, is set for 11:15 p.m. Saturday, April 14, 2012, in the Nan Tucker McEvoy Auditorium of the National Portrait Gallery. Presenters at the symposiium will offer original literary work composed in response to the themes and feelings raised by the gallery’s exhibition, Portraiture Now: Asian American Portraits of Encounter.

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Entrepreneurship News

University awards $553,000 in startup funds

Fifteen individual faculty researchers and four interdisciplinary research teams were honored on Wednesday, receiving University grants totaling more than $553,000.

The Seed Funds and Salomon Awards, administered by the Office of the Vice President for Research, allow researchers to develop promising projects for possible external funding.
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WaterWalla marks World Water Day

In recognition of World Water Day on March 22, a group of students from WaterWalla set up a table on the Main Green to raise awareness about their organization, which works to bring safe water to residents of India’s slums by educating through social networks.

Local entrepreneurs, recruited and mentored by WaterWalla, are given the opportunity to open shops in the slums and sell affordable, effective technologies to make safe drinking water.

On the Green, WaterWalla members demonstrated one of the water filtration systems that are sold in the shops, and played videos explaining their mission.
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