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Student Research: Pigment Found in Ancient Reptiles

An international team of researchers including biology graduate student Ryan Carney reports in Nature Jan. 8, 2014, that they have found pigmentation in the skin of three fossilized marine reptiles. Because an animal’s coloration often has an important role in how it lives, the direct chemical evidence of the pigment eumelanin that they found offers new clues about the evolution and biology of aquatic animals over a span of tens of millions of years.

Brown MFA Graduate in Wicked

Actress Jaime Rosenstein, a graduate of Brown's MFA program, is performing in the national tour of the musical "Wicked," including the Providence Performing Arts Center. Read more.

New Model of Autism Revealed

Neuroscience doctoral student Eric James (pictured) and postdoctoral research associate Arseny Khakhalin revealed the first tadpole model of autism last week at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting. Previous rodent models have been more difficult to study because of complex behaviors, but the simplicity of the tadpole allows study from the network level all the way down to a single cell. James and Khakhalin conduct research in Associate Professor of Neuroscience Carlos Aizenman's lab.

Mapping Drought in Tropical Forests

Global climate change may bring more frequent episodes of the kind of extreme heat and dryness experienced during the 1997-98 El Niño. For that reason forest ecologist Jim Kellner and graduate student Carlos Silva studied the long-term impact of that weather pattern on a tropical forest in Costa Rica, using thousands of measurements of the height of the forest canopy over 12 years.

School Violence Lowers Test Scores, Not Grades

School crime and academic achievement:

Violent crime rates in schools have a negative effect on test scores but not on grades, according to a study by Julia Burdick-Will, a postdoctoral research associate in the Population Studies and Training Center at Brown University. Published this month in Sociology of Education, the study analyzed police and school records in Chicago from 2002 to 2010.

Comedy at Trinity Rep by MFA Students

MFA students Sylvia Kates, Tangela Large and Mark Larson star in Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, opening on November 21 in the Dowling Theatre. The comedy follows the return home of Masha, a very successful movie star and the sibling rivalry that ensues with her younger brother and sister, Vanya and Sonia. Masha's arrival with her new boyfriend Spike causes a stir in her hometown of Bucks County, PA. More information and tickets at www.trinityrep.com.

Sheridan Center Academic Career Series: Life as a Faculty Member

Guest faculty from various institutions will share their experiences as a faculty member and the career paths that led to their academic positions. All sessions are geared for graduate students and postdocs from all disciplines. The first session will be held on October 30 with Erica Haskell, Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology at the University of New Haven. Additional events will be held in the spring. For more information and to register, please visit http://brown.edu/sheridan.

Brain Anatomy and Language in Young Children

Language acquisition and the child brain:

Researchers from Brown University, including doctoral student in Engineering Douglas Dean, and King’s College London have gained surprising new insights into how brain anatomy influences language acquisition in young children. Their study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, found that the explosion of language acquisition that typically occurs in children between 2 and 4 years old is not reflected in substantial changes in brain asymmetry.

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