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2015 Research Seed Awards and Richard B. Salomon Faculty Awards

Thirty-four Brown researchers and scholars are receiving University research awards through eight Research Seed grants and 13 Richard B. Salomon Faculty Research Awards, with awards totaling more than $640,000.

“The Office of the Vice President for Research makes these Seed and Salomon Awards to support exceptional faculty
research,” says David Savitz, Vice President for Research.  “These awards provide a foundation for future scholarly work and highlight Brown’s strength in tackling multidisciplinary challenges.”

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Lowering nicotine loosens tobacco’s hold


A team of researchers, including two at Brown University, show that when people smoked cigarettes with less nicotine, they smoked less, felt less craving, and tried to quit more. Results appear in The New England Journal of Medicine.

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Progress on detecting glucose levels in saliva
Dealing with the 1 percent:

Researchers at Brown have developed a new biochip sensor that that can selectively measure glucose concentrations in a complex fluid like saliva. Their approach combines dye chemistry with plasmonic interferometry. A dependable glucose monitoring system that uses saliva rather than blood would be a significant improvement in managing diabetes.

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Cells to Silicon: Your Brain in 2050

Videos from the World Science Festival are now online, including a panel on brain-computer interfaces and neural prosthetics that featured John Donoghue, professor of neuroscience and engineering. NPR science reporter Robert Krulwich moderated “Cells To Silicon: Your Brain in 2050,” a far-ranging discussion involving Donoghue, NYU research psychologist Gary Marcus, Cornell neuroscientist Sheila Nirenberg, and UC–Berkeley engineer Michel Maharbiz.

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A habitable environment on Martian volcano?
Possibly habitable environs:

Heat from a volcano erupting beneath an immense glacier would have created large lakes of liquid water on Mars in the relatively recent past. And where there’s water, there is also the possibility of life. A recent paper by Brown University researchers calculates how much water may have been present near the Arsia Mons volcano and how long it may have remained.

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Free will seems a matter of mind, not soul
Profiles in a study of free will:

A new study tested whether people believe free will arises from a metaphysical basis or mental capacity. Even though most respondents said they believed humans to have souls, they judged free will and assigned blame for transgressions based on pragmatic considerations — such as whether the actor in question had the capacity to make an intentional and independent choice.

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Bribery in Bangalore: Using Data to Drive Public Policy

When Taran Raghuram ’14 was a high school student in Bangalore, India’s third-most populous city, he knew he wanted to work with the civic-action organization Janaagraha. He admired their mission to analyze public policy, educate the public on civic issues, and enable citizens and local government to improve their quality of life. Little did he know that to work with Janaagraha he would first end up traveling across the world to Providence to study at Brown.

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