Colleges & Universities

Hold on Tight
4:00 am
Mon August 26, 2013

Hard Wired for Friends

A new study from the University of Virginia suggests human beings are hard-wired for friendship – that our brains actually view friends and loved ones as part of ourselves.  

You might remember UVA Professor Jim Coan from studies he’s done on hand-holding.  He put women in an MRI scanner and threatened to administer a mild electric shock to their ankles – then watched what their brains did.

“When you’re alone in the MRI scanner, facing the threat of electric shock, your brain is pretty active. As one of my students said, it lights up like a Christmas tree.”

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Virginia Tech Research
5:15 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Sensor Equipped Construction Helmet Can Detect Carbon Monoxide

Researchers at Virginia Tech have come up with a plan for a new kind of helmet for construction workers that can monitor their exposure to carbon monoxide and warn them before it becomes dangerous. 

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning kills hundreds of Americans each year and sends thousands more to the hospital.  Construction workers face an especially high risk because they often work in enclosed spaces where exhaust from gasoline-powered hand tools can build up fast. 

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Language Academy at W&L
2:00 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

No English Allowed!

Credit Washington & Lee University

For some kids, this summer was all about relaxing and having fun,  but  for 165 students from Virginia high schools, it was a time for some hard mental work. 

They  gave up their cell phones, laptops and iPads to take  part in the annual Language Academy at Washington and Lee – hearing and speaking only French, Spanish or German and – through that language – learning one more language.  

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Hands-On Micro-Financing
4:00 am
Wed August 14, 2013

The Money Game

Assistant Professor Akshay Sharma, at center, works with women participating in a micro lending collective, which pays for basic entrepreneurial ventures.

As the saying goes, it takes money to make money.  But where does that leave the four billion people around the world who live below the poverty line? 

A Virginia Tech Professor is tackling that problem from a new perspective.  

Most people have heard the term ‘micro finance.’  Cooperatives lend small amounts of money to entrepreneurs and small businesses. The concept began in developing nations to help women start their own businesses. Experts say poor people who receive these loans repay them at the astounding rate 99.7%.

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University of Virginia
10:49 am
Wed July 31, 2013

International Conference on Rare Vision Disorder

A normal eye is pictured above. Below is the eye of a child with aniridia, a congenital eye disorder. People born with the disease have no iris and are generally legally blind.
Credit Aniridia Foundation

An international conference is underway at the University of Virginia.  It will draw fewer than 200 people to talk about a very rare disease, but what happens there could prove important to millions of patients.

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