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Web App Helps Researchers Explore Cancer Genetics

Brown University computer scientists, including doctoral student in Computer Science Max Leiserson, have developed a new interactive tool to help researchers and clinicians explore the genetic underpinnings of cancer. The tool — dubbed MAGI, for Mutation Annotation and Genome Interpretation — is an open-source web application that enables users to search, visualize, and annotate large public cancer genetics datasets, including data from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) project.

Review Indicates Cardio Exercise Benefits

Exercise examined:

Everyone knows that exercise generally helps the cardiovascular system, but much remains unknown about how the benefits arise, and what to expect in different people who exercise to improve their health. To gain a more precise understanding of how exercise improves health and whom it helps most, researchers, including Epidemiology doctoral student Xiaochen Lin, analyzed the results of 160 randomized clinical trials with nearly 7,500 participants.

Questions for James Budarz: ‘Molecular Movie' Captures Ultrafast Chemical Reaction

A team of researchers, including doctoral chemistry student graduate student James Budarz and Dean of the Graduate School, Peter Weber, has captured the dynamics of how a ring-shaped molecule opens and unfurls in an ultra-high speed “molecular movie.” This is the first time a chemical reaction has been imaged at the molecular level with such short time scales. The research could serve as a basis for understanding similar reactions involved in a wide variety of chemical processes.

Young-Paulhill Named Simmons Scholar

Jasamine Young-Paulhill, an incoming graduate student in Brown’s master's program in Urban Education Policy, was named the 2015 winner of the Ruth J. Simmons Urban Education Policy Scholarship, a full-tuition award.

The Board of Overseers of the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University established the permanent annual scholarship in 2012 for the UEP student who most epitomizes the former Brown University president’s commitment to education equity and social justice.

Lost Museum Wins Two More National Awards

A tribute to what may have been:

The Lost Museum exhibition at the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage has received two awards from the The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH). The exhibit was curated by recent graduate students from Brown and RISD, including Lily Benedict '14 AM, Elizabeth Crawford '15 AM, Kathrinne Duffy '15 AM, Sophia LaCava-Bohanan '15 AM, Jessica Palinski '15 AM, Rebecca Soules '15 AM, and Jamie Topper '14 AM and three RISD students.

Using Minecraft to Unboggle the Robot Mind

A human can make intuitive choices about what actions to take in order to achieve a goal. Robots have a far more difficult time choosing from of a universe of possible actions. Researchers at Brown, including David Abel, a doctoral student student in Computer Science, are developing an algorithm that can learn that skill from a video game environment.

Martian glass: Window Into Possible Past Life?

Spectral signals:

Brown University researchers, including Kevin Cannon, doctoral student in Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences, have found large deposits of glass formed by impactors on the surface of Mars. On Earth, impact glasses have been shown to sometimes preserve signatures of ancient life. That makes these deposits potentially interesting places to look for signs of past life on the Red Planet.