Brown University

  • Imagine if you were working with a robot that could leave you written messages, or draw diagrams to explain concepts. Such a scenario has come a step closer to reality, as a university student has taught a robot how to copy what we write, and what we draw.
  • Hospital-acquired infections are a serious problem, and the most common type of such infections occurs when catheters are inserted into blood vessels. A new coating, however, shows promise for killing bacteria at insertion sites, keeping them from establishing biofilm colonies on the catheters.
  • Science
    ​In recent years, a brain-computer interface (BCI) developed by the US BrainGate consortium has allowed people to control a robotic arm and to type, using only their thoughts. Now, a group of paralyzed volunteers has utilized the technology to perform various functions on a tablet.
  • Scientists have long debated the cause of the distinctive grooves on the surface of Mars' moon Phobos. One leading theory has it that the lines are signs of structural failure. But a competing idea suggests the marks may be superficial, caused simply by rolling stones on Phobos' surface.
  • A team of Brown University scientists has developed a new catalyst that could make hydrogen fuel cell​-powered vehicles more economical. Based on nanoparticles made of an alloy of platinum and cobalt, the new catalyst is cheaper than pure platinum, and also more efficient and longer lasting.
  • A NASA team has found definitive evidence of water ice at the poles of the Moon. Using data from NASA's Moon Mineralogy Mapper aboard the Indian Chandrayaan-1 lunar orbiter, the new discovery indicates that not only is water present on the Moon, but it is readily accessible from the surface.
  • "Giant” cancer cells contribute to many of the disease’s most dangerous abilities, but they remain relatively unstudied. Now, researchers from Brown University have investigated these troublemakers, revealing some physical characteristics that could eventually unlock new forms of treatment.
  • It's been suggested that asteroids delivered water to a bone-dry early Earth, but whether that would work in practice remained unanswered. Now scientists at Brown University have tested the theory using a high-powered cannon, and found that a surprising amount of water is transferred in the process.
  • Over the last few years, perovskite has proven itself to be a promising material for photovoltaic solar cells, but it’s not without its problems. Now, a team has found a way to helps solve at least one of those issues, removing toxic lead from the device by substituting in titanium.
  • Rather than focusing on a longer lifespan, it’s a better to improve our “healthspan,” the time we can enjoy good health. A new study from Brown University has linked the protein Sirt4 with an extended healthy lifespan in fruit flies, and the find may carry across to humans.
  • Eighty-five percent of all matter is dark matter, a theoretical substance that doesn’t interact with ordinary matter and has so far eluded our best efforts to directly detect it. Now physicists have proposed a new way to find dark matter using a huge tub of helium in a superfluid state.
  • ​With blistering daytime temperatures of up to 800º F (427º C), Mercury isn’t the first planet in the solar system you’d think to look for ice, but conditions at the poles are perfect. Now, a new study from Brown University has found that Mercury may be even icier than previously thought.