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Higher injury odds for older motorcyclists

A new study, published in the journal Injury Prevention found that older bikers are three times as likely to be severely injured in a crash as younger riders. The percentage of older bikers on the road is quickly rising, and their involvement in accidents is a growing concern. A team of researchers, led by Tracy L. Jackson, a graduate student in the epidemiology department at Brown University, wanted a closer look at their injury patterns.

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Hospice afterthought
Aggressive end-of-life care is not what patients want:

A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association documents an increase in hospice use over the last decade but also finds more ICU utilization, more repeat hospitalizations, and more late health care transitions. The data raises concern about whether aggressive care and burdensome transitions at the end of life are consistent with the wishes of patients or those of their family members.

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Why Do Eastern and Western Kids Learn Differently?

In her book Cultural Foundations of Learning: East and West, Associate Professor of Education Jin Li offers these two discussions to demonstrate that, by the time they are four years old, children have already developed distinctive learning styles shaped by their cultures. “As learners we are products of our culture,” she says, “which has been passed down by generations of grandparents and parents.” That, she says, influences learning far more than any particular school curriculum.

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Samoan obesity epidemic starts at birth
Check-up at the well baby clinic, American Samoa:

As some Pacific island cultures have “westernized” over the last several decades, among the changes has been a dramatic increase in obesity. Researchers don’t understand all the reasons why, but even a decade ago in American Samoa 59 percent of men and 71 percent of women were obese. A new Brown University study finds that the Samoan epidemic of obesity may start with rapid weight gain in early infancy.

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Tendency to fear is strong political influence
The politics of fear:

Fear can play a role in influencing political attitudes on hot-button issues like immigration, according to new research co-authored by Brown political scientist Rose McDermott. The study, published in the American Journal of Political Science, shows that individuals who are genetically predisposed to fear tend to have more negative out-group opinions, which play out politically as support for policies like anti-immigration and segregation.

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When a cell’s two genomes collide
Understanding a genetic double whammy:

Animal cells contain two genomes: one in the nucleus and one in the mitochondria. When mutations occur in each, they can become incompatible, leading to disease. To increase understanding of such illnesses, scientists at Brown University and Indiana University have traced one example in fruit flies down to the individual errant nucleotides and the mechanism by which the flies become sick.

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Video: The essence of Brown

The strategic planning process includes identifying a small number of projects that build on Brown’s strengths and culture to address issues of societal importance. More than 100 faculty members have submitted 82 proposals to consider, addressing issues ranging from urban education to big data and environmental studies. In this video, Sue Alcock, professor of archaeology and classics, talks about these Signature Academic Initiatives.

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Study finds price for reducing HIV risk
Street Scene, Mexico City:

With a goal to reduce HIV risk behaviors, researchers investigated whether gay men and male sex workers in Mexico City would participate in a conditional cash transfer program that encourages HIV prevention education and regular testing. A new study in the European Journal of Health Economics reports the price that would get more than 75-percent participation: $288 a year.

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A better way to culture central nervous cells
A more dependable scaffold for neural cell culture:

A protein associated with neuron damage in Alzheimer's patients provides a superior scaffold for growing central nervous system cells in the lab. The findings could have clinical implications for producing neural implants and offers new insights on the complex link between the apoE4 apolipoprotein and Alzheimer's disease. Results appear in the journal Biomaterials.

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Porder wins Leopold fellowship
Stephen Porder:

Stephen Porder, assistant professor of biology, has been named one of 20 environmental researchers nationwide to a competitive Leopold Leadership Fellowship at Stanford University. The program offers intensive training in becoming an effective voice for translating environmental knowledge into effective action.

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