Playing in the Dirt: New Research Reveals Much About Soil and Climate Change

New research from the Ohio State University developed a new understanding about microbes and viruses in Sweden’s thawing permafrost. This new information may help scientists predict that speed at which climate change will occur.

The major players are the microbes whose control over climate change is based on their consumption or production of methane. The new set of studies from Buckeye scientists increased our understanding of these microbes.

Many of these bacterial consumers, as the study calls them, and the viruses that interact with them have never-before even been identified. While it was known to scientists that thawing permafrost would release methane, they didn’t know much about specifics of the process, nor how microbial colonies contribute to the process.

Researchers stated that as the world becomes more warm, and more wet we will need to be able to predict who things will change. So, we need to know how this microbes work. They also stated, generally speaking, knowing more about what is going on in the soil can only be a good thing.

The research was published in Nature, Nature Microbiology and ISME Journal.

Buckeye Researchers Find Trend in Obits of People Who Live Longer Lives

Researchers at the Ohio State University conducted a multi-part nationwide study on obituaries and found that people with religious affiliations live almost four years longer on average than people with no religious ties. The study looked at over 1,000 obituaries from all over the country. The study accounted for material status and sex, two factors already known to heavily affect lifespan.

Researchers found that one cause behind the longevity boost of religious affiliation is that many religious persons are also a part of other social and volunteer organizations. Previous studies had already linked these social affiliations to longer lifespans, so making the connection was not difficult. Additionally, the study found that the effects of religion on lifespan could also be linked to the “average religiosity” of where people live and the “personality” of that place.

As previously stated, there have been many studies that have shown that people who are a part of social or volunteer groups live longer than their peers who don’t—when combined with the other data about religious affiliations researchers found there was still something missing from the equation.

Researchers determined that one factor might be morality rules about sex and substance use in religions. These probably have a similar positive effect on longevity. In addition, stress relieving practices such as meditation, prayer, or gratitude are probably a factor.

The study is available online in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.

How New Mothers Affect the Quality of New Father’s Parenting

The reactions of new mothers to the father’s interactions with their baby in the early stages of the relationship could have an effect on that father’s parenting quality, according to a new study by OSU researchers. They found that fathers didn’t do as well in their parenting to 9-month-old kids if dads felt mom has been critical of their parenting abilities earlier on.

The study looked at higher income, educated couples who both had careers. Researchers are referring to this affect as maternal gatekeeping. This is due to the fact that in our society moms still have the most respect and control in the sphere of child rearing, according to researchers.

One way researchers measured maternal gatekeeping’s affect was by having dads report how often mom took control of a child rearing task because mom thought the job wasn’t being done well or correctly. Researchers suggested that mom needs to encourage dad by inviting him to do tasks like bathing and letting him know he has done a good job.

The study appears online in the Journal of Child and Family Studies.

 

Make No Bones About It: Cholera Research in Italy

A combined team of archaeologists and researchers, including Clark Larsen, professor of anthropology at the Ohio State University, are trying to better understand the lethal bacteria cholera.
The team of researchers are excavating an ancient graveyard on the grounds of the Badia Pozzerveri Church in Tuscany. The dig cite is in an area of the cemetery where cholera victims were buried. Most of the victims died in a epidemic that affected most of the world in 1850s.
By examining the remains of the victims researchers hope to learn has much as they can about how people lived and died in this region of Europe. These bodies are particularly well preserved because the dead victims were covered in lime before they were buried which preserved the bones particularly well. The researchers also found that the lime preserved the the DNA of bacteria and other organisms that lived in the humans buried there.
Although they have not yet found the cholera DNA they are looking for in any soil samples the researchers are hopeful. The goal is to find ancient cholera DNA and compare it to the modern strain—by documenting the evolution of the bacteria they hope to find a cure.

By examining the soil in the graveyard the team is learning a lot about ancient people’s lives. Larsen remarked that the research is like having a “thousand-year window” into the history of the village. The research is allowing them access to information about ancient people’s health and how they lived and died.
The project began in 2010 when the local community, Ohio State and the University of Pisa joined forces to study the site.

Source: http://news.osu.edu/news/2015/02/15/an-italian-cemetery-may-provide-clues-on-cholera%E2%80%99s-evolution/

Ohio State Creates The John Glenn College of Public Affairs

The Ohio State University has a long relationship with former astronaut and senator John Glenn. Among the honors they’ve bestowed on him, they established the John Glenn Institute of Public Affairs in 1998, then it became the John Glenn School of Public Affairs in 2006). But what do these name changes mean, really?

The John Glenn School of Public Affairs was already ranked among the nation’s top 30 public administrative programs. It already offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees. Becoming a “college” the opportunities within existing programs as well as the number of programs will likely grow.

The John Glenn School of Public Affairs goal is to train young people to improve public policy making and management through research and analysis. The practical knowledge created through its research is passed on to all students in an effort to improve the public sector.

One well known program are the MAPS training seminars that build management and leadership skills for top executives, mid-level managers and first-line supervisors and support staff. As a college programs like these as well as opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students will only increase.

If you know a college-bound young person who is interested in these kinds of programs more information can be found here: http://glennschool.osu.edu/