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June 12, 2012

Office of Media Relations
Darlene Trew Crist, Director

Courtney Coelho, Editor
(401) 863-7287

The New York Times   12 June 2012
Recreational fishing brings salt marsh die-off
As recreational fishing activity has reduced predators in many of Cape Cod’s salt marsh ecosystems, Sesarma crabs have feasted on grasses, causing dramatic die-offs of the marshes, according to a new study by Brown ecologists. The researchers assessed the “trophic cascade” in several experiments that also ruled out alternative explanations for the problem.   11 June 2012
Race and medicine intersect often
Research tends to be mixed on whether genetic differences between races account for health disparities. Nonetheless, in a recent Boston Review of Books article, Anne Fausto-Sterling, professor of biology, points out that beliefs about genetic differences and race are deeply ingrained in medicine. She uses the example of bone scan machines, which require a race to be designated before use because the formula for determining bone thinning is different for white, Asian, Hispanic, and African American women.

The Providence Journal   11 June 2012
Agreement with city also includes plan for parking
In a tentative plan, part of an agreement that also includes an additional $31.5 million over the next 11 years from Brown to the city, Providence would give Brown first access to 250 now-public parking spaces on six city streets for at least 20 years and would permanently give the University four blocks of streets on its campus, which may be closed to traffic. The article quotes Michael McCormick, assistant vice president for planning, design and construction, and Marisa Quinn, vice president for public affairs and University relations.

The New York Times   11 June 2012
Ronald Reagan’s Berlin Wall moment
Ted Widmer, director of the John Carter Brown Library, pens an op-ed about the 1987 speech President Ronald Reagan gave in Berlin that called for the Berlin Wall to be torn down, despite his advisers telling him not to. While Widmer says that most of the credit for the wall’s eventual fall should be given to the German youth who protested against it for decades, “surely some recognition should go to a president who had the good sense to ignore the advice he was given, and read the writing on the wall.”

Technology Review   11 June 2012
A SMART(er) way to track influenza
Brown University researchers have created a reliable and fast flu-detection test that can be carried in a first-aid kit. The novel prototype device isolates influenza RNA using a combination of magnetics and microfluidics, then amplifies and detects probes bound to the RNA. The technology could lead to real-time tracking of influenza. Results are published in the Journal of Molecular Diagnostics.

The Providence Journal   12 June 2012
Wilson: Health-care reform faces ‘adverse selection’
Ira Wilson, professor of health services, policy, and practice, writes about the challenges facing health-care reform. Among them is the issue of “adverse selection” whereby those who are healthy and believe that they will remain so won’t buy insurance. Those who are sick or think they may become so will. Wilson suggests that insurance for all be mandated so that all, healthy and sick, are contributing to the pool and keeping costs low.

The New York Times   11 June 2012
Experts say slowing growth in India is temporary
In an “India Ink” blog post, Ashutosh Varshney, professor of political science, comments on the long-term prospects for India following recent reports that the country’s growth has slowed. “I do believe that we will be back to 7 percent, but the government ought not be complacent that India is on some sort of autopilot for a 7-percent growth rate.” Varshney recently wrote an op-ed in the Indian Express explaining the internal causes of India’s slumping economy.

MSNBC   11 June 2012
Private and public sector issues in campaign debate
Wendy Schiller, associate professor of political science, talks to Thomas Roberts about comments recently made by President Obama that the U.S. private economic sector is “fine” and how Obama and candidate Mitt Romney are taking opposing positions on public servants, with Obama saying Romney tried to cut public employees. "You can talk about firefighters and teachers being great people and public servants which they are but there’s all sorts of pension problems associated with public employees and that takes explanation," says Schiller.

The Huffington Post   8 June 2012
Tran honored for DREAM Act support
This week, The DREAM Resource Center, a project of the UCLA Labor Center honored the memory of Brown doctoral student Tam Tran, who was killed in a motor vehicle accident in 2010, with the launch of their latest publication, Undocumented and Unafraid: Tam Tran, Cinthya Felix, and the Immigrant Youth Movement. Tram and Cynthia Felix, who was also killed, were among the nation’s first and most outspoken advocates for the federal DREAM Act, a bill that would create a pathway towards conditional permanent residency for undocumented youth brought to the country as children.   
The possible link between diabetes and lymphoma
A new study led by Jorge Castillo, assistant professor of medicine, suggests that patients with Type 2 diabetes (DM2) are at an increased risk for developing lymphoma. However, the study researchers also caution that "DM2 and cancer share common risk factors such as age, gender, overweight, obesity, waist-to-hip ratio, physical activity, dietary habits, smoking, and alcohol intake, making it difficult to discern the oncogenic effect of each specific risk factor."

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