Science & Research

Science & Research Roundup: Jan. 29, 2014

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Science & Research Editors
Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Rhode Island doctor Milton Hamolsky dies at 92

Professor Emeritus of Medical Science Milton Hamolsky died Jan. 18 after a lifetime of accomplishment in the medical field. Hamolsky played a role in creating the Alpert Medical School, the Providence Journal reported.

After arriving in Providence in the 1960s, Hamolsky became Rhode Island Hospital’s first full-time physician-in-chief of medicine.  He received a multitude of awards for his research and work as a physician during his lifetime, according to the Journal.

In 1959, Hamolsky discovered the T3 uptake test, which is still used today to measure thyroid hormone levels, according to a University press release.

Last September, Hamolsky was awarded the annual Human Dignity Award by the Home and Hospice Care of Rhode Island, according to the Journal.

In addition to being a physician, Hamolsky was also a teacher. He “loved his students,” his daughter Deborah Hamolsky told the Journal, noting that a “plethora of young people” came to the hospital while Hamolsky was sick to “express gratitude” for what he had taught them.

Outside of the academic world, Hamolsky’s children remember him as a loving father and dedicated grandfather, his son David Hamolsky told the Journal.

 

Leaf greenness in photos does not indicate maximum chlorophyll levels 

While leaves may appear to be at their peak greenness in photographs, they are not necessarily at their peak chlorophyll levels, according to a study conducted by researchers from Brown and the Marine Biological Laboratory published online in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences this month.

Recently, scientists have turned to photography to track changes in leaf color from spring to fall. This method has been implemented to monitor changes in the onset times of leaf budding in the spring and leaf falling in autumn, since changes in leaf cycles may be due to climate change, according to the release.

The study aimed to determine whether the images captured in these photographs can also provide information about the inner workings of the plants, said lead author Xi Lang GS in the press release.

After analyzing the colors of the leaves in the photographs and the times of low and high chlorophyll levels in the plants, the researchers found that peak greenness in photographs does not correlate with peak chlorophyll levels, though the maximum redness captured in photographs does correlate with the peak of red pigments in the leaves, according to the press release.

This research is “really exciting” because of its implications for monitoring the effects of climate change across the globe, Professor of Geological Sciences Jack Mustard PhD’90 said in the press release.

 

Correlation discovered between intimate partner violence and HIV

Women in relationships with intimate partner violence are found to have a higher risk of contracting HIV, according to a study published online in the journal Women and Health.

“Our findings suggest that women involved in violent relationships fear that their partner might respond with violence if asked to use a condom, which in turn leads to less condom use for these women,” said Theresa Senn, author of the study and associate professor of psychiatry and human behavior, in a Lifespan press release.

Researchers recruited participants at a public clinic in New York that treats patients with sexually transmitted infections, according to the study. The researchers administered a computerized survey about intimate relationships, risky sexual behavior and other related information.

Senn said simply teaching these women the importance of condoms is unlikely to be enough.

“Women in violent relationships may need additional counseling about healthy relationships, and assistance developing a safety plan. Further, we may need to develop interventions for couples or for men who are violent,” she said in the release.