Pricey Equipment in VA's Higher Ed Classrooms

Dec 1, 2014

Virginia universities have invested at least one-billion-dollars in highly sophisticated, expensive equipment for research and development.  Some allow entrepreneurs to have access to that equipment and school expertise for a fee.

A panel of lawmakers and experts is working to craft state policies to expand such opportunities in a way that benefits businesses, universities, and taxpayers.

Inventor and former Delegate Joe May co-chairs the panel. May says businesses may need hi-tech equipment that’s too costly to buy.

Modeling the Path of Ebola

Oct 15, 2014
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.

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.

VA's DNA Testing & Notification Project

Sep 23, 2014

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.

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: