OSU Getting In On Autonomous Vehicle Research

The OSU affiliated Transportation Research has been funded to the tune of $45 million to support research into driverless cars. The funding comes both from OSU and the state of Ohio. The announcement was made by President Drake and Governor Kasich.

Drake, in his speech, said People say we’re the rust belt. That’s offensive to me; I think we’re the knowledge belt.”

Kasich stated that “My goal was to move us off of being just a manufacturing town. Kasich said the investment fits a larger goal of modernizing the state’s economy and work force.

In addition to the university and state funding, the College of Engineering has committed $24 million over five years to hire faculty and staff to support research into autonomous vehicle technology.

The $45 million in new funding is part of an eventual $100 million improvement of the TRC in East Liberty, Ohio. The center is the nation’s largest independent test track.

The announcement follows several recent moves that highlight Ohio State’s leading role in advancing the future of transportation. Last year, Ohio State was named the lead research partner in the $140 million Smart City program.

Smart Cities partners the university, the City of Columbus and local organizations to transform Central Ohio into a premier transportation innovation region.

Observational Study at OSU Suggest Anti-inflammatory Diet to Increase Bone Health in Women

Women with the least-inflammatory diets (based on a scoring system called the Dietary Inflammatory Index) lost less bone density during the six-year follow-up period than their peers with the most-inflammatory diets. This was despite the fact that they started off with lower bone density overall.

Furthermore, diets with low inflammatory potential appeared to correspond to lower risk of hip fracture among one subgroup of the study – post-menopausal white women younger than 63.

Researchers examined data from the landmark Women’s Health Initiative to compare levels of inflammatory elements in the diet to bone mineral density and fractures and found new associations between food and bone health. The study, led by Tonya Orchard, an assistant professor of human nutrition at The Ohio State University, appears in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.

The findings suggest that women’s bone health could benefit when they choose a diet higher in beneficial fats, plants and whole grains, said Orchard, who is part of Ohio State’s Food Innovation Center.

However, because the study was observational, it’s not possible to definitively link dietary patterns and bone health and fracture outcomes.

Jody Victor: OSU Researchers’ Improve High Temp Properties of “Super” Alloys

At the Ohio State University have made a discovery that could change jet engine technology making it more powerful, efficient and environmentally friendly. A problem with these so called super alloys is that microscopic defects grow inside the alloys and weakening them. The Ohio State researchers, in the journal Nature Communications, describe how a process in which they can tailor make an alloy for conditions like a jet engine would produce. Tailoring an alloy involves exposing it to high heat and pressure. This process not only prevents the forming of the micro defects, it also increases the strength of the alloy.

The engineers at OSU have called the process “phase transformation strengthening.” The process decreased alloy deformation by half in their study.

Strong, heat-resistant alloys enable turbine engines to run cleanly and efficiently. When an engine can run at very high temperatures, it consumes its fuel more thoroughly and produces lower emissions. Most modern alloys are designed at the atomic level and this research sought to fill a gap in knowledge of how exotic metal based materials deform under high stress.

The Ohio State University Professor Published Book on Teeth

This Ohio State University professor isn’t a dentist, but rather an anthropologist who has studied teeth to learn about our ancestors. Debbie Guatelli-Steinberg is a professor of anthropology at The Ohio State University who studies fossilized teeth to answer questions about the life history, growth, and diet of primates and our human ancestors, as well as the relationships between different species.

In a new book, What Teeth Reveal About Human Evolution (Cambridge University Press, 2016), she gives a broad overview of what scientists have learned about our ancestors from studying fossilized teeth.

As for the teeth of humans living today – well, it is a good thing we have modern dentistry.

In the book, she noted that 99 percent of humans’ evolutionary history was spent eating foods that were hunted or gathered. Our current diets of soft, processed and sugary foods are nothing like the diets for which our teeth are adapted. In addition to having much higher rates of cavities and plaque, modern humans are much more likely to have misaligned teeth that require orthodontic treatment or surgery. In fact, third molar impaction became 10 times more common after the Industrial Revolution than it was previously.

One reason that teeth provide so much information is simply that they are available. Teeth are the most preserved skeletal remains found in fossils. They are small and very mineralized, making them resistant to decomposition and able to maintain their original qualities, she said. Teeth also contain a record of a lot of aspects of their own development, including their chemistry and pathology.

Researchers like Guatelli-Steinberg learn a lot about early humans and our ancestors through an examination of teeth.

OSU Researchers Study Violence and Find Its Spreads like Disease

A new study of U.S. adolescents provides some of the best evidence to date of how violence spreads like a contagious disease.
Researchers found that adolescents were up to 183 percent more likely to carry out some acts of violence if one of their friends had also committed the same act.

But the spread of violence doesn’t just stop at friends – results suggest the contagion extends by up to four degrees of separation – from one person to a friend, to the friend’s friend and two more friends beyond.

Results showed that participants in the study were 48 percent more likely to have been in a serious fight, 183 percent more likely to have hurt someone badly, and 140 percent more likely to have pulled a weapon on someone if a friend had engaged in the same behavior.

This study is the first to show how far violent behavior may spread within a social network, Bond said. The findings showed that the influence of one person’s violent act can spread up to two degrees of separation (friend of a friend) for hurting someone badly, three degrees (friend of a friend’s friend) for pulling a weapon on someone, and four degrees for serious fights. The influence declines with each degree of separation, but is still noticeable.

Researchers think that one important factor of this study could be to demonstrate the value of anti-violence programs.