Patent royalties increasing for Brown

Friday, September 28, 2012 | from the Daily Herald, by Tonya Riley
The income the University earned as a result of patent royalties stemming from its research increased by about 65 percent from 2011 to 2012. Gross licensing income climbed to $1,592,300 in 2012, an increase from $962,000 in the previous fiscal year, according to information provided by the Technology Ventures Office. Ninety-eight patents were filed during the fiscal year 2012, and 15 were issued, compared to 72 and eight, respectively, in 2011.

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Understanding rainfall
Tim Herbert:

September 27, 2012  |  By Kevin Stacey
Surface-dwelling algae adjust their biochemistry to surface temperatures. As they die and sink to the bottom, they build a sedimentary record of sea-surface temperature across millennia. Brown’s work on surface temperatures, coupled with work from Texas A&M on rainfall and weather patterns, has helped chart the wetter, lake-filled geological history of the currently arid American West.

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Candidate drug produces benefits
Progeria Research Foundation:

Encouraging results in progeria trial In a paper published Sept. 24 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences a team of physicians led by Dr. Leslie Gordon, associate professor of pediatrics (research), reported significant benefits from a candidate drug for children with progeria, a rare and fatal disease in which children appear to age very rapidly. The prognosis for the disease is never good, with children dying of athlerosclerosis typically by age 13.

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Study rates HPV biomarkers in head, neck cancers

A new study of head and neck cancers finds that combinations of biomarkers are better than DNA alone in determining whether the human papillomavirus is involved. That’s important because people with HPV-caused cancers are likely to fare much better than people whose cancer came from causes like smoking. Reliably assessing HPV’s presence could prevent overtreatment.

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How much product information do consumers want? It depends ...

In a new study, psychologists at Brown University and the University of Colorado found that while some people require a detailed explanation of how a product works before they’ll be willing to pay more, others became less willing to pay when confronted with that additional detail. A simple, standard test predicted the desire for detail — who wants more, who wants less.

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Oral bacteria antibodies linked to pancreatic cancer

Pancreatic cancer is highly lethal and difficult to detect early. In a new study, researchers report that people who had high levels of antibodies for an infectious oral bacterium turned out to have double the risk for developing the cancer. High antibody levels for harmless oral bacteria, meanwhile, predicted a reduced pancreatic cancer risk.

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Smoking: Quitting is tough for teens, too

A new study finds that relatively early into tobacco addiction, teens experience many of the same negative psychological effects during abstinence as adults do, with a couple of exceptions. The data can inform efforts to improve the efficacy of quitting and withdrawal treatment programs.

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Computer program can identify sketches

Computers are good at speed, numbers, and massive amounts of data, but understanding the content of a simple drawing is more difficult. Researchers at Brown and the Technical University of Berlin have produced a computer application that can identify simple abstract sketches of objects almost as often (56 percent of the time) as human viewers (73 percent).

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September 11 and the Cost of War

The Costs of War project is assessing the total cost of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan in the wake of the 9-11 attacks. Findings thus far put the cost at more than 300,000 lives and $4 trillion. The project’s findings are continually updated. Catherine Lutz co-directs the Eisenhower Research Project, which produced the Costs of War report.

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Molecular beacons light up stem cell transformation

In a new study, Brown University researchers demonstrate a new tool for visually tracking in real-time the transformation of a living population of stem cells into cells of a specific tissue. The “molecular beacons,” which could advance tissue engineering research, light up when certain genes are expressed and don’t interfere with the development or operation of the stem cells.

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After 11 years, WTC first responders now quality for cancer coverage

Dr. Selim Suner, a professor of emergency medicine, surgery and engineering, was a 9/11 first responder and has since studied the health of other responders. When the federal government recently announced that treatment of several cancers would now qualify for benefits under the World Trade Center Health Program, Suner said he was not surprised. Many suspected a possible link between cancer and the airborne particulates of World Trade Center debris long before yesterday's formal acknowledgement.

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Medicare kidney spending at crucial moment

Medicare has covered treatment for anyone with end-stage renal disease since 1972. The coverage is very expensive and the program has struggled for 40 years to contain costs without compromising quality. In a new paper that chronicles that history, the authors argue that Medicare’s latest attempt – bundled payments and pay-for-performance – could become a broader model for the program if it succeeds.

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Calo named ACS Fellow
Joseph (José) Calo:

Joseph (José) Calo, one of the founders of the chemical engineering program at Brown, has been named a Fellow of the American Chemical Society. Calo was honored for his contributions in chemical kinetics and transport phenomena, which have applications in fuel production and solving environmental problems.

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