OSU Researchers Study Bedtime and Obesity in Children

Bedtimes after 9 p.m. appeared to double the likelihood of obesity later in life, according to a study from The Ohio State University College of Public Health. Preschoolers who are regularly tucked into bed by 8 p.m. are far less likely to become obese teenagers than young children who go to sleep later in the evening, new research has found.

Excess weight in children is a major health concern in the United States. Approximately 17 percent – 12.7 million – of children and adolescents are obese, according to the latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Obesity can set kids up for a lifelong struggle with weight and health complications that can accompany it, including diabetes and heart disease.

New research, which appears in the The Journal of Pediatrics, used data from 977 children who were part of the Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development. That project followed healthy babies born at 10 U.S. sites in 1991.

Researchers divided preschool bedtimes into three categories: 8 p.m. or earlier, between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m., and after 9 p.m. The children were about 4 ½ years old when their mothers reported their typical weekday bedtime.

The researchers linked preschoolers’ bedtimes to obesity when the kids were teens, at an average age of 15.

They found a striking difference: Only 1 in 10 of the children with the earliest bedtimes were obese teens, compared to 16 percent of children with mid-range bedtimes and 23 percent of those who went to bed latest. Half the kids in the study fell into the middle category. A quarter had early bedtimes and another quarter went to bed late.

OSU Recearchers Study Empty Space

Researchers who are looking for new ways to probe the nature of gravity and dark energy in the universe have adopted a new strategy: looking at what’s not there.

In a paper to appear in upcoming issue of Physical Review Letters, the international team of astronomers reports that they were able to achieve four times better precision in measurements of how the universe’s visible matter is clustered together by studying the empty spaces in between.

Paul Sutter, study co-author and staff researcher at The Ohio State University, said that the new measurements can help bring astronomers closer to testing Einstein’s general theory of relativity, which describes how gravity works.

Sutter likened the new technique to learning more about Swiss cheese by studying the holes. The voids, he pointed out, are only empty in the sense that they contain no normal matter. They are, in fact, full of invisible dark energy, which is causing the expansion of the universe to accelerate.

The Ohio State University Police Get A+

OSUPD first earned CALEA accreditation in 2013. Applying agencies must comply with 188 standards in order to gain accredited status. The voluntary process to gain accreditation, which is a highly prized recognition of public safety professional excellence, includes verification by the assessors that OSUPD meets the commission’s state-of-the-art standards. As such, a team of assessors from CALEA visited Ohio State in March to examine all aspects of OSUPD policy and procedures, management, operations and support services.

The Ohio State University Police Division (OSUPD) received its second accreditation award (first reaccreditation) from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Inc. (CALEA). The national honor was announced Saturday during the 2016 CALEA Conference in Baltimore, Maryland.

OSUPD is currently one of approximately 70 university agencies in the country to meet CALEA’s best practices of law enforcement standards. CALEA accreditation lasts for four years, during which the agency must submit annual reports and other documents demonstrating continued compliance with those standards under which it was initially accredited.

In July, OSUPD adopted and implemented state standards established by the Ohio Collaborative Community-Police Advisory Board to further strengthen its commitment to the safety of the Ohio State community. The state standards are designed to strengthen relations between Ohio police

OSU To Receive $10 Million Nuclear Research Endowment

The Ohio State University is among four sites around the country chosen for new research centers by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today.

The Center for Performance and Design of Nuclear Waste Forms and Containers (WastePD) will receive $10 million over the next four years, and will be the first of DOE’s 36 Energy Frontier Research Centers nationwide to be headquartered in the state of Ohio.

WastePD’s goal will be to “accelerate the scientific breakthroughs needed to support the DOE’s environmental management and nuclear cleanup mission” through “basic research aimed at assisting with the cleanup of hazardous waste that resulted from decades of nuclear weapons research and production during the 20th century,” DOE announced today.

Gerald Frankel, professor of materials science and engineering at Ohio State, will lead WastePD, which will bring together expertise from several partner universities and laboratories nationwide.
Frankel and his team will study materials at the atomic level, with the idea of making discoveries that will lead to future cleanup and storage technologies—a daunting task, since nuclear waste and spent nuclear fuel today exist in various forms, including liquids, solids, and sludge.

The research will not involve any use of radioactive waste on campus. Rather, the researchers will work to design new materials that will contain nuclear waste.

Specifically, the Ohio State researchers and their partners will aim to understand how such waste might be converted into stable solids that are unlikely to degrade—and, thus, unlikely to leak radiation—for hundreds of thousands of years. Ultimately, the waste may be incorporated into new glass or ceramic materials, or even new kinds of metals.

Effective, Inexpensive Medical Testing: On a Strip of Paper?

What if testing yourself for cancer or other diseases were as easy as testing your blood sugar or taking a home pregnancy test? In a few years, it might be.

Chemists at The Ohio State University are developing paper strips that detect diseases including cancer and malaria – for a cost of 50 cents per strip.

The idea is that people could apply a drop of blood to the paper at home and mail it to a laboratory on a regular basis – and see a doctor only if the test comes out positive. The researchers found that the tests were accurate even a month after the blood sample was taken, proving they could work for people living in remote areas.

Abraham Badu-Tawiah, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry at Ohio State, conceived of the papers as a way to get cheap malaria diagnoses into the hands of people in rural Africa and southeast Asia, where the disease kills hundreds of thousands of people and infects hundreds of millions every year. The test can be tailored to detect any disease for which the human body produces antibodies, including ovarian cancer and cancer of the large intestine.

The patent-pending technology could bring disease diagnosis to people who need it most—those who don’t have regular access to a doctor or can’t afford regular in-person visits, Badu-Tawiah said.

The university will license the technology to a medical diagnostics company for further development. In the meantime, researchers are working to make the tests more sensitive, so that people could eventually use them non-invasively, with saliva or urine as the test material instead of blood.