OSU Undergrads Give Back

As part of Ohio State’s Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP), undergraduate students from across the country gave their time and talent last month to help sort and prepare over 2,700 pounds of food for 1,755 needy families in the Westerville area.

SROP is a signature program of the Graduate School at Ohio State. Its singular purpose is to expose highly talented undergraduates from underrepresented populations to graduate study at the Ph.D. level.

The annual day of service is a way for the visiting students to give back to the central Ohio community and strengthen friendships. They also discover that successful undertakings, whether a research project or a service, share common attributes: a compelling vision, a solid plan, and strong effort from all involved.

SROP students come to Ohio State from colleges and universities around the country for the eight-week program, where they are matched with an Ohio State faculty mentor who oversees their intensive research experience. They also participate in activities crucial to preparation for graduate school, including workshops on research skills, seminars on topics related to graduate education and professional development events.

Guess Which Summer Veggie Might Be the New “Anti-Cancer” Food

A new study by researchers at the Ohio State University demonstrated that daily tomato consumption cut the rate of skin cancer tumors in mice by half. The study appears in Scientific Reports.

It found that male mice fed a diet of 10 percent tomato powder daily for 35 weeks, then exposed to ultraviolet light, experienced, on average, a 50 percent decrease in skin cancer tumors compared to mice that ate no dehydrated tomato.

The theory behind the relationship between tomatoes and cancer is that dietary carotenoids, the pigmenting compounds that give tomatoes their color, may protect skin against UV light damage.

Previous human clinical trials suggest that eating tomato paste over time can dampen sunburns, perhaps thanks to carotenoids from the plants that are deposited in the skin of humans after eating, and may be able to protect against UV light damage.

Coalition of Researchers From Multiple Disciplines Fight Algal Blooms in Ohio

At the Ohio State University scientists and other experts are working together to create solutions to potential health problems and commercial concerns associated with harmful algal blooms in our local lakes and around the world.

The HABRI or Harmful Algal Bloom Research Initiative is a statewide response to the unwanted blooms, which was established in 2014 by the Ohio Department of High Education. Eight other colleges and universities participate in the group.

Some of the OSU participants include: Jiyoung Lee who is looking into reducing microcystins (blue-green algae) in both water treatment plants and lake water; Allison MacKay is developing guidelines for cost-effective water testing and treatment; Stuart Ludsin is developing methods to help state agencies measure the amount of microcystins in local fish populations and guide and inform people about safe amounts of fish to consume during HAB season; and Greg LaBarge is working with 56 farmers in the western Lake Erie basin to collect data about the effects of crop selection, irrigation and soil management on phosphorus/nutrient runoff and its effect on HABs.

Ohio State Researchers Study Self Control

In a new study researchers observed people’s hands, in real time, struggle over the choice between a long-term goal and short-term temptation. This work represents a new way to study self-control.

In an experiment, participants viewed pictures of a healthy and an unhealthy food choice on opposite sides of the top of a computer screen and moved a cursor from the center bottom to select one of the foods.

People who moved the cursor closer to the unhealthy treat (even when they ultimately made the healthy choice) later showed less self-control than did those who made a more direct path to the healthy snack.

The results may shed light on a scholarly debate about what’s happening in the brain when humans harness willpower. But for those with higher levels of self-control, the path to the healthy food was more direct, indicating that they experienced less conflict. The findings also offer new evidence in a debate about how decision-making in self-control situations unfolds, researchers said.