OSU Researchers Study New Pig Virus with Cross-Species Potential

A newly found virus in pigs was seen to easily “jump species” in a laboratory test with cultured human cells and other species. For the OSU research team this raises concerns about potential outbreaks that could threaten humans and animals alike.

Researchers from OSU joined forces with an Utrecht University (Netherlands) team to try to understand the virus’s potential risks. This is the first study on the virus to note the possibility of a “species jump.” The research will be published in PNAS online.

The new virus, porcine deltacoronavirus, was first discovered in ’12 in pigs in China. It was later found in the US in an Ohio-based pig illness outbreak and since then it has been found in various other countries. No human cases have ever been confirmed, but researchers have their concerns.

For many public health officials and those involved in veterinary care, the virus seems especially dangerous because of it being so alike to SARS and MERS. Until there is a documented case of a “species jump” major concerns remain grounded firmly in the pig population.

OSU Researcher Disproves “Dumb Blonde” Urban Myth

The study of 10,878 Americans found that white women who said their natural hair color was blonde had an average IQ score within 3 points of brunettes and those with red or black hair.

While jokes about blondes may seem harmless to some, it can have real-world implications, according to Jay Zagorsky, author of the study and a research scientist at The Ohio State University. Research shows that stereotypes often have an impact on hiring, promotions and other social experiences.

This study provides compelling evidence that there shouldn’t be any discrimination against blondes based on their intelligence.

The study found that the average IQ of blondes was actually slightly higher than those with other hair colors, but that finding isn’t statistically significant. The results for blond white men were similar – they also had IQs roughly equal to men with other hair colors.

The study was published last week in the journal Economics Bulletin.

Good Sportsmanship, Good Deeds

The St. Mary Food Bank Alliance had some high-profile volunteers from the 2016 Fiesta Bowl this year. Ohio State University leaders, students and coaching staff families joined forces with other coaching staff families from Notre Dame to volunteer at the food bank. The group created more than 5,000 food kits for Arizona families in need.

The packages contain donated items from the food bank and Cheryl’s Cookies, donated by Kroger, in honor of the Brutus 50th Anniversary Celebration. The College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences donated tomato seeds for the packages engineered at Ohio State to promote sustainable food sources.

The wives of the Ohio State and Notre Dame head coaches, Shelley Meyer and Paqui Kelly respectively, led the combined efforts of volunteers from the opposing teams who came together as one to support the less fortunate.

The OSU Office of Student life has planned some kind of bowl game community service for 18 years now and has always extended an invitation to the opposing team. This is the forth year the Ohio State University has worked with St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance.

Fall Commencement 2015

This past Sunday, December 20th 2015 the Ohio State University awarded special honors to some distinguished members of the OSU family.

Thomas D. Brock, who earned three degrees from the Ohio State University including his PhD in Botany, is credited with the discovery of microorganisms that not only survive but grow at very high temperatures in the geothermally heated waters in Yellowstone Park hot springs. The discovery is considered one of the fundamental milestones of microbiology. Brock is retired and is the E.B. Fred Professor of Natural Sciences Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. On Sunday Brock was awarded the Joseph Sullivant Medal.

Ohio State will also present the Distinguished Service Award to Mabel Freeman, former assistant vice president for Undergraduate Admissions and First Year Experience, who played a pivotal role in the lives of a generation of Ohio State graduates.

Most importantly though, the Ohio State University awarded 3,000 some degrees to current student body members. Each graduate received his or her own diploma at the ceremony, a practice rarely attempted by a university the size of Ohio State.

Jody Victor crew

Faster Than a Speeding Buckeye

For a third year the Ohio State University’s Buckeye Bullet team won another international land-speed record for an electric vehicle at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Wendover, Utah.
The electric bullet vehicle was designed and built by undergraduate and graduate students over a five year period at Ohio State in the Center for Automotive Research. They are partnered with Monaco electric vehicle manufacturer Venturi Automobiles.

It is fueled by two custom electric motors developed at Venturi and takes two megawatts of power from lithium ion batteries to run. The pilot, Roger Schroer, is a veteran team driver from Transportation Research Center, a leader among our nation’s independent automotive proving ground and vehicle testing organizations.

The team has set numerous other speed records in the past decade. In 2004, Buckeye Bullet 1, which ran on nickel metal hydrid batteries, set a national land speed record with an average time of 315 mph (506.9 kph). Venturi Buckeye Bullet 2, the world’s first hydrogen fuel cell-powered land speed electric vehicle, set the international record of 303 miles per hour (487.6 kilometers per hour) in 2009.

In addition to the entry in the FIA competition, the team also had prepared to participate in this year’s Southern California Timing Association’s famed Speedweek event, which was scheduled for August 8-14, on another part of the Salt Flats. However, poor salt conditions resulted in the annual competition’s second consecutive cancellation. The private FIA event, held on a different area of the Salt Flats.

Jody Victor