Aging cells lose their grip on DNA rogues
A younger cell’s game:

Transposable elements are mobile strands of DNA that insert themselves into chromosomes with mostly harmful consequences. Cells try to keep them locked down, but in a new study, Brown University researchers report that aging cells lose their ability to maintain this control. The result may be a further decline in the health of senescent cells and of the aging bodies they compose.

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How plant communities endure stress
Survival in a Cape Cod salt marsh:

The Stress Gradient Hypothesis holds that as stress increases in an ecosystem, mutually supportive interactions become more significant and negative interactions, such as competition, become less so. The idea has been hotly debated but is now backed by a review of hundreds of studies co-authored in Ecology Letters by Mark Bertness, professor of biology at Brown, who first formally proposed the hypothesis in 1994. The time has come, he said, to test its application and predictive value.

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Brown Engineering Student Cory Hargus Wins Award at National Collegiate Research Conference
Cory Hargus:

Brown engineering student Cory Hargus ’13.5 has won an Award of Excellence and a $250 prize at the second annual National Collegiate Research Conference at Harvard on January 26, 2013. He entered the poster presentation competition with his research titled, “Solar Enriched Biofuels Via Oxidizable Metal Catalysts.” Hargus was one of more than 200 students entering the poster competition.

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Political Science Research: Racism Resurfaces

Assistant professor of political science, Michael Tesler's research, recently published in the Journal of Politics, presents that while President Barack had significant accomplishments in his first term, there is also a renewed alignment between political preference and racism in America.

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Mumford honored by BBVA

David Mumford, professor emeritus of applied mathematics at Brown, is one of the winners of the 2012 BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the category of basic science. Based in Spain, the BBVA Foundation promotes scientific research of excellence by funding research projects, disseminating the results to society through diverse channels including symposia, workshops, lectures, publications, and exhibitions, and providing advanced training and research awards.

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Padture honored by IIT Bombay

Nitin Padture, professor of engineering, received a Distinguished Service Award from his undergraduate alma mater, the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay. Since 1999 the awards have been given to IIT Bombay alumni who have contributed in a notable and sustained manner to the progress of the Institute.

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Light-sensitive trigger
In search of a light-sensitive trigger:

Researchers have strengthened their understanding of how skin cells called melanocytes sense ultraviolet light and act to protect themselves with melanin. In a new study, they report experiments showing that an ion channel well-known elsewhere in the body for its chemical sensitivity, plays a central role in this process.

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Brown to top off $35M renovation project
The Building for Environmental Research and Teaching:

Brown will celebrate the $35-million renovation of Hunter Laboratory as the Building for Environmental Research and Teaching at a topping-off ceremony Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, at 10:30 a.m. The University will also sign a memorandum of understanding with Building Futures, a nonprofit organization that helps prepare low-income men and women in urban areas for careers in commercial construction. Mayor Angel Taveras and others will make brief remarks.

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Report reassures parents about kids’ shots
Stephen Buka:

Stephen Buka, professor and chair of epidemiology at Brown University, served on a 13-member committee of doctors and researchers charged by the Institute of Medicine to study the safety of the pediatric vaccine schedule and to identify new opportunities for research. The committee shared its findings recently in a new report that offers parents assurance, both that the vaccines are safe and effective, and that there is a framework for future research on the issue.

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Major gift to establish aging health initiative

Brown University’s Program in Public Health has received a gift from the Irene Diamond Fund to launch a major initiative on healthy aging. The program will work on identifying opportunities for preventive health interventions that can reduce care costs and improve the quality of life for older people. Through the initiative, Brown will work with the Rhode Island Department of Health and community health providers to develop, test, and disseminate successful interventions. Read more.

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