February 17, 2011
Office of Media Relations
Darlene Trew Crist, Director
Courtney Coelho, Editor
WPRI 16 February 2012
Building Brown, Building Futures
Marc Nixon, a construction laborer working on Brown’s new aquatics and fitness center, is in the spotlight after being recognized by Mayor Angel Taveras in his State of the City address as a career success story. Brown is one of Rhode Island’s biggest participants in Building Futures, an initiative that helps workers like Nixon move into careers in the construction trade.
Full report online: blogs.wpri.com/2012/02/16/irony-hard-luck-worker-praised-by-taveras-hired-by-brown/
See news release: news.brown.edu/features/2012/02/futures
Academic Minute 15 February 2012
Good or bad: Surprises drive learning in same neural circuits
Neurosurgeons hoping to find ways to accelerate re-learning after a stroke or brain injury are trying to tease out the circuitry that governs learning. A new study by Wael Assad, assistant professor of neurosurgery, of how the brain processes unexpected events found that neurons in two important structures handle both positive and negative surprises, was a surprise in its own right.
Full report online: www.publicbroadcasting.net/wamc/news.newsmain?action=article&ARTICLE_ID=1903143
See news release: news.brown.edu/pressreleases/2011/12/learning
CNN.com 14 February 2012
Payroll tax debate could affect GOP image
Congressional negotiators recently reached a tentative deal to extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits, following a key Republican concession. Wendy Schiller, associate professor of political science, says that the showdown over the tax cut has eroded GOP strength on the party’s core issue of lower taxes: “I think the GOP has read the writing on the wall when it comes to the payroll tax cut. Americans are benefiting from it, and to take it away at this juncture leaves them open to charges of raising taxes.”
Full report online: www.cnn.com/2012/02/14/politics/payroll-tax-negotiation/index.html
National Science Foundation 16 February 2012
Biochip measures glucose in saliva, not blood
Engineers at Brown University, led by Domenico Pacifici, assistant professor of engineering, have designed a biological device that can measure glucose concentrations in human saliva. The technique could eliminate the need for diabetics to draw blood to check their glucose levels. The biochip uses plasmonic interferometers and could be used to measure a range of biological and environmental substances.
Full report online: www.nsf.gov/news/mmg/mmg_disp.cfm?med_id=71933&from=mmg
See news release: news.brown.edu/pressreleases/2012/01/plasmonic
ABC News 16 February 2012
A closer look at depression caused by grief
Jennifer Johnson, assistant professor of psychiatry and human behavior, talks about recent changes to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, which mental health professionals use to diagnose patients. She says symptoms of depression exhibited while grieving are now considered as actual depression. While she cautions that grief does not always cause depression, depression that occurs at the same time as grief will now be recognized and treated.
Full report online: abcnews.go.com/Health/video/grief-form-depression-dr-jennifer-johnson-overl
The Australian Women's Weekly 15 February 2012
The brain knows what the heart wants
A study led by Xiaomeng Xu, a psychology intern in the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, finds that a brain scan conducted at the very beginning of a relationship can determine whether a couple is destined for love and marriage or heartbreak. Examining the brain scans of 18 Chinese men and women who were in the early stage of love, Xu found a strong correlation between certain characteristics in the original brain scans and the participants’ relationship status a year and a half later.
Full report online: aww.ninemsn.com.au/family/relationships/8419831/brains-scans-could-reveals-
Associated Press 15 February 2012
Teamwork could aid in weight loss
A new study involving Brown researchers finds that people participating in team weight-loss competitions have significant influence over how many pounds their teammates shed. The researchers say they found people who sought to drop pounds with others experienced similar weight loss results as their teammates. The study also found team members who credited their teammates for their weight loss actually slimmed down the most.
Full report online: www.boston.com/news/local/rhode_island/articles/2012/02/15/ri_researchers_f
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