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Student Research: Ancient Snowfall Likely Carved Martian Valleys

Mars from the Odyssey spacecraft :

Researchers at Brown University, including Kat Scanlon, a geological sciences graduate student, have shown that some Martian valleys appear to have been caused by runoff from orographic precipitation — moisture carried part of the way up a mountain and deposited on the slopes.

Grad Student Selected for Supercomputing Event

Layla Oesper, a doctoral student in Computer Science, was selected to represent Rhode Island at the 25th annual international SuperComputing13 (SC13) Conference in November. She was one of only three students in the state selected by Rhode Island NSF Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR). Oesper's research at Brown focuses on designing algorithms to analyze high-throughput DNA sequencing of cancer genomes.

250th Opening Convocation

Incoming graduate students processed through the Van Wickle gates and onto the Green at Convocation today and President Christina Paxson officially opened the University’s 250th academic year. Omer Bartov, professor of history delivered the opening address titled “Education, Power and Conformism.”

Searching for the Missing Women of Geology: Mary Anning

Suzanne Pilaar Birch, postdoctoral fellow in Archaeology, discusses the possibility that Mary Anning, a renowned female palaeontologist, is represented in a salt print image from 1843. Anning was the discoverer of the famous ichthyosaur and plesiosaur fossils on the Jurassic coast of Dorset. This image could be the only existing photograph of her. Read more of the story in

How Sleep Helps the Brain Learn Motor Tasks

Sleep Waves :

Sleep helps the brain consolidate what we've learned, but scientists have struggled to determine what goes on in the brain to make that happen for different kinds of learned tasks. In a new study, researchers, including postdoctoral researcher Masako Tamaki, pinpoint the brainwave frequencies and brain region associated with sleep-enhanced learning of a sequential finger tapping task akin to typing, or playing piano. 

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.