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News Archive

More Intestinal Cells Can Absorb Larger Particles

Safe passage :

A new study reports that the small intestine uses more cells than scientists had realized to absorb microspheres large enough to contain therapeutic protein drugs, such as insulin. These findings are potentially good news for developing a means for oral delivery of such drugs. Graduate student in Biomedical Engineering, Yu-Ting Dingle, along with others at Brown, authored this report, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Big Ice May Explain Mars’ Double-Layer Craters

An odd type of crater :

Brown planetary geologists, including graduate student David Kutai Weiss, have an explanation for the formation of more than 600 “double-layer ejecta” (DLE) craters on Mars. The Martian surface was covered with a thick sheet of ice at impact. Ejected material would later slide down steep crater sides and across the ice, forming a second layer.

Ombuds Office Expands Service

The Ombuds Office, under the continued leadership of Ruthy Kohorn Rosenberg, has expanded its service to graduate students and all staff, effective August 1. The Ombuds Office serves as an independent, confidential, neutral and informal resource for faculty, postdocs, and now staff, and graduate students who have concerns arising from or affecting their work and studies at Brown.

Origins and Uses of Wrinkles, Creases, Folds

Three ruga states and how they form :

Engineers from Brown University, including postdoctoral researcher Mazen Diab,  have mapped out the amounts of compression required to cause wrinkles, creases, and folds to form in rubbery materials. The findings could help engineers control the formation of these structures, which can be useful in designing nanostructured materials for flexible electronic devices or surfaces that require variable adhesion.

Newly Found CLAMP Protein Regulates Genes

Dosage compensation: A male lifeline :

A newly discovered protein, found in many species, turns out to be the missing link that allows a key regulatory complex to find and operate on the lone X chromosome of male fruit flies, bringing them to parity with females. Brown University scientists, including graduate students Marcela Soruco and Jessica Chery helped lead this discovery and name the new protein, CLAMP.

DNA Markers in Low-IQ Autism Suggest Heredity

A possible biomarker:

Researchers, including graduate students Emma Viscidi and Abbie Frederick, are striving to understand the different genetic structures that underlie at least a subset of autism spectrum disorders. In cases where the genetic code is in error, did that happen anew in the patient, perhaps through mutation or copying error, or was it inherited? A new study in the American Journal of Human Genetics finds evidence that there may often be a recessive, inherited genetic contribution in autism with significant intellectual disability.

Brown is a project site for AAU STEM effort

Brown University is one of eight research universities chosen as a project site for a national effort at improving undergraduate education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Graduate students in STEM areas will work with faculty, the Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning, and the Brown Science Center to develop new curricula that emphasize hands-on learning, group problem solving, and opportunities for original research.

Computer Models Figure Out Sickle Cell Crisis

Using powerful computer models, first author Huan Lei, a postdoctoral researcher in applied mathematics, and other researchers at Brown have shown for the first time how different types of red blood cells interact to cause sickle cell crisis, a dangerous blockage of blood flow in capillaries that causes searing pain and tissue damage in people with sickle cell disease.

Designing Stable Tiny Fliers

Bin Liu, a postdoctoral research associate in Engineering was highlighted on Science360 for his work to design stable tiny flyers. He and Leif Ristroph of New York University analyzed the behavior of paper “bugs” of a variety of shapes (including cones, pyramids, umbrellas, and saucer-shaped UFOs) in a low-frequency woofer loudspeaker that mimics a cylindrical wind tunnel. Surprisingly they found that top-heavy designs are the most stable.