Vet Care Accounts for Billions in Ohio’s Economy OSU Study Finds

Veterinary medicine contributes $13 billion annually in direct and supporting services to Ohio’s economy, according to a recent economic study. The findings are from a 2017 analysis by Regionomics, LLC, which researched veterinary medicine’s impact in economic activity and employment contributions to the Buckeye State.

The study, a collaborative effort between the Ohio Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA) and The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM), found that veterinary services in Ohio contribute $2.4 billion in direct economic output while sustaining more than 23,000 jobs. Support of animal-related industries, including agricultural production, reflects an additional $10.6 billion in annual economic activity.

Veterinarians work in a variety of disciplines impacting economic growth and job creation beyond caring for companion animals. Areas not often considered as part of the veterinary field include food animal production, zoos, racetracks, health research, education and animal nutrition. The economic study not only reaffirmed the importance of veterinary medicine’s role in supporting the economic activity of these industries, but it also explored issues of veterinary geographic distribution, veterinary student loan debt and the contributions of the human-animal bond in mitigating human health care costs.

OSU Continues Study That Focuses on At-Risk Youth

Research from The Ohio State University’s Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity is helping the Columbus City Council fund new programs to aid vulnerable youth.

Kirwan Institute Senior Legal Analyst Kyle Strickland presented the findings of the report Renewing Our Call to Action at a hearing in City Hall Monday night. Columbus City Councilman Shannon Hardin hosted the hearing to present the research and announce $100,000 in funding to support programs that aid the boys and young men identified in the report.

Renewing Our Call to Action is intended to help expand the work of the city’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative. President Obama launched the program in 2014 to address the persistent challenges faced by boys and young men of color and find ways to help these boys reach their potential.

According to the Kirwan Institute research, 45 percent of the city’s 290,100 youth between the ages of 0 and 24 live in neighborhoods that experience high or very high vulnerability.

Study Finds Drones Pose Much Greater Threat Than Birds to Aircraft

As part of a multi-institution Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) study focused on unmanned aerial systems, researchers at The Ohio State University are helping quantify the dangers associated with drones sharing airspace with planes.

Last week, a research team from the Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence (ASSURE) released a report concluding that drone collisions with large manned aircraft can cause more structural damage than birds of the same weight for a given impact speed.

The FAA will use the research results to help develop operational and collision risk mitigation requirements for drones. ASSURE conducted its research with two different types of drones on two types of aircraft through computer modeling and physical validation testing.

Reports of close calls between drones and airliners have surged. The FAA gets more than 100 sightings a month of drones posing potential risks to planes, such as operating too close to airports. The FAA estimates that 2.3 million drones will be bought for recreational use this year, and the number is expected to rise in coming years.

Unlike the soft mass and tissue of birds, drones typically are made of more rigid materials. The testing showed that the stiffest components of the drone—such as the motor, battery and payload—can cause the most damage to the aircraft body and engine.

The researchers concluded that drone manufacturers should adopt “detect and avoid” or “geo-fencing” capabilities to reduce the probability of collisions with other aircraft.

Socio-economics May Lead to Premature Cellular Aging, OSU Research Finds

Pregnant women who had low socioeconomic status during childhood and who have poor family social support appear to prematurely age on a cellular level, potentially raising the risk for complications, a new study has found.

Researchers at The Ohio State University examined blood from pregnant women to evaluate the length of telomeres – structures at the end of chromosomes that are used by scientists as a measure of biological (as opposed to chronological) age. Shorter telomeres mean an older cellular age.

The researchers also asked the moms-to-be about stressors, including low socioeconomic status and trauma during their childhood and current social support.

They found that women who reported low socioeconomic status as kids and who struggled with family support as adults were biologically older, as indicated by shorter telomeres.

This study didn’t examine birth outcomes, but prompted the researchers to wonder if this rapid biological aging could put a woman at greater risk of premature delivery, gestational hypertension, preeclampsia and other problems.

The study included a racially diverse group of 81 pregnant women who were 25 years old on average. They were evaluated during each trimester of pregnancy and again about two months after delivery. Measures of trauma and low socioeconomic status during childhood, along with the measure of current social support, came from questionnaires the women filled out.

Family social support – but not support from partners or friends – emerged as a strong predictor of telomere length, as did low socioeconomic status during childhood.

Advanced maternal age is defined by doctors as 35 or older. It is well-understood that older mothers are at higher risk of having babies with medical and developmental challenges, and it is possible that this applies to moms with advanced cellular age as well.

Telomeres are caps on the ends of chromosomes that shorten as cells replicate – part of the natural aging process. Mitchell compared them to the plastic covering on the end of a shoelace.

The good news: Telomeres can also lengthen, lowering biological age.

For now, telomere assessment is strictly used for research purposes and not something that would translate into clinical practice.
But it’s possible that the knowledge gained by research into cellular aging could prompt useful interventions in obstetrics practices – including greater focus on moms’ psychological well-being and support systems.

The National Institutes of Health and National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences supported the study.

OSU Researchers get to see electrons leave atoms for first time

Researchers have glimpsed, momentarily, an electron’s-eye view of the world.

They have succeeded for the first time in tracking an electron leaving the vicinity of an atom as the atom absorbs light. In a way akin to taking “snapshots” of the process, they were able to follow how each electron’s unique momentum changed over the incredibly short span of time it took to escape its host atom and become a free electron.

In the journal Nature Physics, the researchers write that following electrons in such fine detail constitutes a first step toward controlling electrons’ behavior inside matter—and thus the first step down a long and complicated road that could eventually lead to the ability to create new states of matter at will.

The technique the researchers used is called RABBITT, or Reconstruction of Attosecond Beating By Interfering Two-photon Transitions, and it involves hitting the atoms in a gas with light to reveal quantum mechanical information. It’s been around for nearly 15 years, and has become a standard procedure for studying processes that happen on very short timescales.

One immediate consequence is that researchers can now classify the quantum mechanical behavior of electrons from different atoms.