OSU Team Helps Make Discovery About the Contents of the Universe

The Ohio State University and their colleagues from the Dark Energy Survey (DES) collaboration have reached a new milestone mapping the growth of the universe from its infancy to present day.

The new results released last Thursday confirm the surprisingly simple but puzzling theory that the present universe is comprised of only 4% ordinary matter, 26% mysterious dark matter, and the remaining 70% in the form of mysterious dark energy, which causes the accelerating expansion of the universe.

The findings are based on data collected during the DES first year, which covers over 1300 square degrees of the sky or about the area of 6,000 full moons. DES uses the Dark Energy Camera mounted on the Blanco 4m telescope at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory high in the Chilean Andes.

The new results from the Dark Energy Survey will be presented by Kavli fellow Elisabeth Krause at the TeV Particle Astrophysics Conference in Columbus, Ohio, on Aug. 9, and by CCAPP’s Troxel at the International Symposium on Lepton Photon Interactions at High Energies in Guanzhou, China, on Aug. 10.

OSU Launches New “Big Data” Degree Program

The goal of the newly launched Translational Data Analytics Institute (TDAI) is to enable the use of big data to solve real world problems. Now the leaders of TDAI are building a program from the ground up to teach graduate students to help solve those problems. As businesses move to a future where every transaction and interaction is quantified and analyzed, The Ohio State University is working to prepare students for careers in this new world.

TDAI is working to develop a new professional science master’s degree to train the next generation of analytics-enabled professionals, including data scientists. The institute is doing its homework in order to make sure these future graduates are ready to get jobs.
Industry leaders said the graduate program should serve different students on different tracks, including those who have a range of technical knowledge in the field of data analytics. The program should also be available to workers who want to take classes around their current job.

More work needs to be done to move the program forward. TDAI leadership will be looking at everything from the types of students who would be well served by the graduate degree to the course structure to teaching methods.

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.