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January 31, 2011

Office of Media Relations
Darlene Trew Crist, Director

Courtney Coelho, Editor
(401) 863-7287

The New York Times    30 January 2012
Winged dinosaur Archaeopteryx dressed for flight
The iconic, winged dinosaur Archaeopteryx was dressed for flight, an international team of researchers led by Brown University researchers has concluded. The group identified the color of the raven-sized creature’s fossilized wing feather, determining it was black. The color and the structures that supplied the pigment suggest that Archaeopteryx’s feathers were rigid and durable, which would have helped it to fly. This story was picked up by several other national and international publications, including MSNBC, the Daily Mail, and Discovery.

The Providence Journal    31 January 2012
Experts optimistic about state’s future real estate market
The city’s Route 195 Redevelopment District Commission heard from regional commercial brokers about the optimistic future of Rhode Island’s real estate market. The brokers encouraged the commission to take advantage of what’s here in Providence and to make sure they know and can communicate the changes to the city’s zoning ordinances before pitching the land to investors. “I think the name Brown [University] is a worldwide name,” one of them said. “It’s a worldwide draw, and you can’t underestimate that power.”

The New York Times   30 January 2012
De-friending is not just a practice reserved for Facebook
Research shows that it is natural for people to weed out certain friends from their social groups as they move through adulthood. Carol Landau, clinical professor of psychiatry and human behavior, says it’s a common issue that arises among older adults as well as those approaching 30, when they deal with major life changes like marriage and children. People with new different responsibilities may have less in common with certain friends and may lose patience.

USA Today   29 January 2012
After initial weight loss, the work continues
An article on the National Weight Control Registry points out some of the factors that contribute to maintaining weight loss. Graham Thomas, assistant professor of psychiatry and human behavior and co-investigator of the registry, says that participants’ success required a lot of effort: “They built healthy habits and routines and made them a part of their everyday lifestyle. That makes it feel like less effort than it did at first.” Thomas was also quoted in a similar article in Marie Claire.

The Wall Street Journal    31 January 2012
Segregation declines in cities, but slower nationally
A new report shows that an exodus of African Americans from major cities like Detroit has pushed racial segregation in metropolitan areas to its lowest level since 1910. John Logan, director of the Initiative in Spatial Structures in the Social Sciences, says that while the decline in many urban areas is a plus, the overall decline across the country is happening much slower, leaving the nation with a high rate of segregation for a long time.

The Dong-A Ilbo (Asia)   30 January 2012
Professor melds engineering with history and humanities
Kim Kyung-suk, professor of engineering, discusses his approach to teaching engineering, which combines science with lessons in history and the humanities. “More than 1,000 students have attended his lectures and 25 students have completed doctoral and postdoctoral studies with his help. Indeed, Kim has played the role of missionary for the promotion of Korea’s scientific excellence,” according to the article.

Nature   30 January 2012
Measuring mammalian growth
Research shows it took 24 million generations for mouse-sized mammals to evolve into elephants, while downsizing – how quickly an elephant-sized mammal might be shrunk to mouse size – occurred 30 times faster than the rate of increase. Christine Janis, professor of biology, says that while size increases require the accumulation of skeletal traits to support a massive frame, shrinking mammals bypassed these evolutionary obstacles because the body plan of a large mammal still functions at smaller sizes.

Education Update   30 January 2012
Mayors have important role in education
Kenneth Wong, professor of education, discusses several issues concerning education, including the the impact of No Child Left Behind on school policy, and the roles city mayors can have in shaping their region’s schools: “Mayors provide a valuable resource to help school administrators and policymakers to galvanize the interests of teachers unions, budget directors and administrators in an environment dominated by increasing economic and political pressures.”

Financial Times    30 January 2012
MBA program showcases IE approach
Spain’s IE University has an international reputation for trying fresh approaches to business school. The combined executive MBA program that IE takes part in with Brown is cited as a good example of the school’s aims. Students in the program take a variety of courses in social sciences, literature and philosophy.

Climate Science Watch    29 January 2012
Obama’s climate change rhetoric
A recent Brown study looked at the Obama administration’s language and found that mentions of “climate change” have been replaced by calls for “clean energy” and “energy independence.” Graciela Kincaid, an undergraduate student and a co-author of the study, wrote: “The phrases 'climate change’ and 'global warming’ have become all but taboo on Capitol Hill. These terms are stunningly absent from the political arena.”

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