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February 10, 2011

Office of Media Relations
Darlene Trew Crist, Director

Courtney Coelho, Editor
(401) 863-7287

The Huffington Post    10 February 2012
America’s Darwin problem
Ken Miller, professor of biology, pens an op-ed in honor of Charles Darwin’s birthday on Sunday. He writes about America’s “Darwin problem.” Fewer than 40 percent of Americans are willing to say they accept evolution, and previous studies have shown that 39 percent have rejected the suggestion that humans had emerged from the process of evolution. “My personal concern for those who hold that view isn’t just that they are wrong on science, wrong about the nature of the evidence, and mistaken on a fundamental point of biology. It’s that they are missing something grand and beautiful and personally enriching.”

WPRI   9 February 2012
Tax-exempts employ one in five workers in Providence
A blog post by Ted Nesi about the Providence mayor’s request that the city’s tax-exempts contribute more, points out that one in five people working in Providence is employed by one of the seven largest tax-exempt institutions. Brown is the city’s number one employer with 5,162 workers, or 4.83 percent of total city employment. The others are Lifespan, Care New England, CharterCARE, Providence College, Johnson & Wales University and the Rhode Island School of Design.

The Wall Street Journal    9 February 2012
Parkinson’s treatment may hold clues to Alzheimer’s too
A new study finds that an electrical brain-stimulation technique used to treat Parkinson’s disease and chronic pain appears to enhance human memory as well, bolstering hope for one day developing a non-drug treatment for memory problems, including ailments like Alzheimer’s disease. Stephen Salloway, professor of neurology, who was not involved in the study, says the research “breaks new ground,” for Alzheimer’s research. Benjamin Greenberg, associate professor of psychiatry and human behavior, was also quoted in coverage of this research.

The Providence Journal    8 February 2012
Parents write about Brown’s many contributions
Andrea and Abram Hoffman, parents of a Brown medical student, write a letter to the editor about the contributions Brown makes to the city. They also point out the taxes that each family of a student pays when visiting Providence, as well as the ways the Jewelry District is benefiting from moving the Alpert Medical School to 222 Richmond Street. “The perspectives of all parties should be considered to achieve a sustainable economic future for Providence and the region,” they write.

USA Today   6 February 2012
Students ‘hack’ away at software solutions
Facebook recently hosted an 18-hour hackathon for students from Brown, MIT and Harvard, an opportunity for students interested in software development to come together and build new ideas from scratch in a short amount of time. The group from Brown, several members of which had participated in hackathons before, were working on a website for students to ask questions and upvote relevant questions during lecture.

Brain World    10 February 2012
‘Explorers’ use uncertainty and specific area of brain
As they try to find the best reward among options, some people explore based on how uncertain they are about the outcome of the options. Those who employ that thought process, unlike people who use other strategies, uniquely harness the computational power of the rostrolateral prefrontal cortex, according to a new study co-authored by David Badre, assistant professor of cognitive, linguistic and psychological sciences, and Michael Frank, associate professor of cognitive, linguistic, and psychological sciences.

Live Science   8 February 2012
Deconstructing nature’s strongest glue
Researchers at Brown and Indiana University worked together to figure out the binding process in Caulobacter crescentus, a tiny water bacterium that secretes a sugary substance that is one of nature’s strongest “glues.” Using high-resolution videomicroscopy, the researchers found that the bacterium attaches to a surface at the end of its cell body, which has a propeller-like flagellum. On contact, the flagellum stops moving with help from nearby cable-like structures called pili. This arrest stimulates the production of the sugary adhesive, which is then released at the attachment site and immediately binds the cell to the surface.

Reuters   9 February 2012
Trial’s results may aid in teen weight loss
A recent clinical trial finds that a low-key, long-term approach to teen weight loss produced modest results. Elissa Jelalian, associate professor of psychiatry and human behavior, says it’s important to try new approaches to getting overweight and obese kids to lose weight, because research has typically focused on adults or younger children. “There are some developmental considerations for adolescents that are unique,” she says, such as the onset of puberty and a growing independence from parents.

Education News   8 February 2012
In children, trauma can lead to bad behavior
James Greer, clinical assistant of psychiatry and human behavior, recently presented research on the effect of trauma on the young developing brain at a conference sponsored by Rhode Island Family Court. Greer and an associate are principals in the Mind and Body Project, which treats trauma with physical techniques, including yoga. Greer says that trauma can cause children to exhibit bad behavior, and that they need “corrective experiences,” to help them control such behavior.

The Toledo Blade   7 February 2012
Digging into origin of ancient mosaics
The origin of a dozen mosaics purchased almost 50 years by Bowling Green State University has been questioned. Planning to write a research paper about the works, a new new faculty member began looking for paperwork on the purchase, only to discover that little existed. She called Antioch mosaic expert Rebecca Molholt, assistant professor of history of art and architecture, who began investigating.

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