Research

VT Bioinformatics Institute
2:19 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

Modeling the Path of Ebola

Bryan Lewis
Credit Virginia Tech Bioinformatics Institute

When it comes to a disease as frightening as Ebola, it may be comforting to know teams of scientists are working to understand possible future scenarios:  How the virus might spread, and how that could be best stopped. 

Scientists from a dozen universities have been tasked by the Department of Defense and the National Institutes of Health to model possible future scenarios for the path of the Ebola Virus outbreak in West Africa.  The group is known as MIDAS for Models of Infectious Disease Agent Study.

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Traits & Charachteristics
3:56 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Making Sense of the Psychopathic Mind

The disappearance of Hannah Graham reminds parents of the need to warn their kids about dangers in the world, but it’s not an easy job  -- especially as children grow into young adults.  Experts in the field of psychology say it might be a good idea to teach kids the “P” word. 

When members of the so-called Islamic state began beheading American and British journalists and aid workers, recording and posting the executions online, one mother pleaded publicly with them to spare her son.  That plea failed, perhaps because the killers are psychopaths or sociopaths.

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11 Exonerated
4:24 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

VA's DNA Testing & Notification Project

The Virginia State Crime Commission discusses the DNA notification project.

Modern DNA testing of biological evidence left in files decades ago by a now-deceased Virginia scientist has exonerated 11 individuals who had been convicted of felonies.  At the direction of the General Assembly, the State Crime Commission has been trying to track down and notify 975 convicted suspects of their more recent test results.

Although the DNA testing and notification project has been ongoing for more than a decade, the project is still not finished.

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UVA Research
5:20 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Drone Attack on Cancer

SAS1B

A research team at the University of Virginia reports possible progress in fighting ovarian, breast, uterine, renal, head and neck and pancreatic cancers, and if you’re a taxpayer in Virginia, you’re an investor. 

Dr. John Herr is a specialist in human reproduction, and he’s identified a specific protein on the surface of mature human eggs.  Search other places in the bodies of men and women, and you won’t find that protein – unless the individuals in question have cancer.  Herr and Dr. Eusebio Pires report the protein, called SAS1B, shows up on many different tumors:

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Parts 1 and 2
12:39 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

The Changing Culture of Cars

Still of Anne Baxter and Joseph Cotten in The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)

The automobile has shaped American culture for more than a hundred years. So how will the coming, so called, driverless cars change us?  Or how will we change them? 

There are many questions about how this new mode of transportation would work. Some of them echo questions of an earlier age, the last time we made a transition in personal transportation.  

The 1942 film, “The Magnificent Ambersons” directed by Orson Wells is set in the early 20th century when the new horseless carriage was about to replace the horse as a mode of transit.

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