Tag Archives: brown university

From intro class to a Science publication in three years

Holly Gildea didn’t come to Brown expecting to publish in one of the world’s top scientific journals, or even to study neuroscience, but by discovering and pursuing her passion, she’s achieved an auspicious start to a research career.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Growing up in Barrington, R.I., senior Holly Gildea had a sense that Brown University could be the college for her, and when she visited campus for “A Day on College Hill” in 2012, she became sure. (more…)

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Pre-reptile may be earliest known to walk upright on all fours

Wandering an arid region of the ancient supercontinent of Pangea about 260-million years ago, the pre-reptile Bunostegos akokanensis is the oldest known creature to have walked upright on all fours, according to a newly published study.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — A newly published analysis of the bones of Bunostegos akokanensis, a 260-million-year-old pre-reptile, finds that it likely stood upright on all fours like a cow or a hippo, making it the earliest known creature to do so. (more…)

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Researchers predict material with record-setting melting point

Using advanced computers and a computational technique to simulate physical processes at the atomic level, researchers at Brown University have predicted that a material made from hafnium, nitrogen, and carbon would have the highest known melting point, about two-thirds the temperature at the surface of the sun. (more…)

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Biologically inspired engineering: Sea sponge anchors are natural models of strength

The Venus’ flower basket sea sponge has hair-like appendages that hold it in place on the sea floor. Research led by Brown University engineers shows that the internal structure of those fibers is fine-tuned for strength. The findings from this natural system could inform the engineering of load-bearing structural members. (more…)

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Seafloor holds 15 million years of monsoon history

Clues about rainfall in the distant past — from river mud to tiny seashells — come to rest on the ocean floor. Sampling layers of sediment from the Indian Ocean will help researchers build an accurate picture of Indian monsoon activity going back 15 million years or more.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — When the research vessel JOIDES Resolution returned to port in late January after a two-month cruise, it had harvested more than 550 sediment cores from deep beneath the Indian Ocean. Locked within those tubes of muck is a record of monsoon rainfall dating back millions of years. Brown geologist Steven Clemens, co-chief scientist on the expedition, says this glimpse of monsoons past could help scientists predict what may become of the rains in the future. (more…)

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A walk through poppy seeds yields a model for paleontology

What could a guineafowl strolling through a bed of poppy seeds have to do with a dinosaur footprint made 200 million years ago?

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Stephen Gatesy, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at Brown, and his former postdoctoral fellow Peter Falkingham, now at the Royal Veterinary College in the United Kingdom, used measurements from X-ray videos of the 3-D foot movement of a chicken-like bird as an input for a computer simulation of a substrate of poppy seeds. In this way, they could visualize the displacement of seeds through time and study the “birth” of tracks at different depths. The researchers then used the model to clarify previously unexplained features of a Jurassic dinosaur track. (more…)

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