Scientists advance understanding of blood-brain barrier health
(Virginia Tech) in a study with potential impacts on a variety of neurological diseases, Virginia Tech researchers have provided the first experimental evidence from a living organism to show that an abundant, star-shaped brain cell known as an astrocyte is essential for blood-brain barrier health. (Source: EurekAlert! - Medicine and Health)
Source: EurekAlert! - Medicine and Health - September 21, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Source Type: news

Multi-university effort to study the Earth's hidden critical zone- NSF grant
(Virginia Tech) Holbrook and collaborators at eight other universities in the US and Canada will conduct field work and modeling at seven sites that span the continental US from Maryland to Southern California. The team hopes to better understand the connections between the deep critical zone and ecosystem resilience, watershed hydrology, and erosion. The project includes an ambitious program of drilling deep holes, geochemical sampling, geophysical surveying, hydrology, and numerical modeling. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - September 15, 2020 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Researchers find cuttlebone's microstructure sits at a 'sweet spot'
(Virginia Tech) Ling Li has a lesson in one of his mechanical engineering courses on how brittle materials like calcium carbonate behave under stress. In it, he takes a piece of chalk composed of the compound and snaps it in half to show his students the edge of one of the broken pieces. The break is blunt and straight. (Source: EurekAlert! - Medicine and Health)
Source: EurekAlert! - Medicine and Health - September 11, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Source Type: news

How chemical diversity in plants facilitates plant-animal interactions
(Virginia Tech) As we continue to lose global biodiversity, we are also losing chemical diversity and the chance for discovery, " said Lauren Maynard, a Ph.D. candidate in the   Department of Biological Sciences   within the   College of Science. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - September 10, 2020 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Cholesterol's effects on cellular membranes
(Virginia Tech) The findings have far-reaching implications in the general understanding of disease, the design of drug delivery methods, and many other biological applications that require specific assumptions about the role of cholesterol in cell membranes.     (Source: EurekAlert! - Medicine and Health)
Source: EurekAlert! - Medicine and Health - September 8, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Source Type: news

Misfiring brain cells may cause swallowing woes in children with developmental disorders
(Virginia Tech) Misfiring brain cells that control key parts of the mouth and tongue may be creating swallowing difficulties in children with neurodevelopmental disorders, according to neuroscientists with Virginia Tech and George Washington University. Problems ingesting, chewing, or swallowing food occur in up to 80 percent of children with developmental disorders and can lead to food aspiration, choking, or life-threatening respiratory infections. (Source: EurekAlert! - Medicine and Health)
Source: EurekAlert! - Medicine and Health - September 1, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Source Type: news

Researcher receives NIH grant to study noninvasive treatment for metastatic breast tumors
(Virginia Tech) Eli Vlaisavljevich, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering and mechanics at Virginia Tech, received a Trailblazer Award from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering of the National Institutes of Health to research possible treatments for metastatic breast cancer. (Source: EurekAlert! - Cancer)
Source: EurekAlert! - Cancer - August 28, 2020 Category: Cancer & Oncology Source Type: news

Capturing big picture connection of macro- and micro-evolution - NSF grant
(Virginia Tech) Josef Uyeda, an assistant professor and evolutionary biologist in the Virginia Tech Department of Biological Sciences, seeks to take all those " photographs " and make them into a photomosaic - you've seen them, often in movie posters or jigsaw puzzles - where hundreds of photographs are assembled to form a larger image of its own. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - August 28, 2020 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Universities join forces to develop materials for the fight against COVID-19
(Virginia Tech) Exactly how the virus gets past the protective barriers in our lungs is unknown, but scientists have recently discovered that SARS-CoV-2 binds to a type of carbohydrate-based polymer called glycosaminoglycan (GAG). The widely used anticoagulant heparin belongs to this class of natural polymers, and hospitalized patients with COVID-19 who were administered heparin to treat blood clotting disorders also experienced a lower risk of dying from COVID-19. (Source: EurekAlert! - Infectious and Emerging Diseases)
Source: EurekAlert! - Infectious and Emerging Diseases - August 25, 2020 Category: Infectious Diseases Source Type: news

'Future Humans, Human Futures' to explore humanity in the age of intelligent machines
(Virginia Tech) In the spirit of such exploration, the Henry Luce Foundation's Theology Program has awarded the Center for Humanities a $500,000 grant to support 'Future Humans, Human Futures,' a project that combines religion, ethics, and technology to tackle fundamental questions of what it means to be human in a technological age. (Source: EurekAlert! - Social and Behavioral Science)
Source: EurekAlert! - Social and Behavioral Science - August 25, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Source Type: news

Partnership receives $23 million NSF grant to accelerate research on glycomaterials
(Virginia Tech) 'The GlycoMIP project is very timely given the current COVID-19 pandemic. Understanding the role of glycans in the ability of the coronavirus to reach and enter the cells in the lungs could hold the key to developing effective vaccines and protective materials.' - Maren Roman (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - July 29, 2020 Category: Biology Source Type: news

NSF CAREER award to study microstructures of starfish skeletons
(Virginia Tech) The $520,000 five-year award will support Li's research of the design and formation of biomineralized starfish skeletons. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - July 27, 2020 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Researchers use cell imaging and mathematical modeling to understand cancer progression
(Virginia Tech) Using a combination of experiments and mathematical modeling, a team of researchers from the Virginia Tech Department of Biological Sciences in the College of Science and the Fralin Life Sciences Institute are beginning to unravel the mechanisms that lie behind tetraploidy - a chromosomal abnormality that is often found in malignant tumors. (Source: EurekAlert! - Cancer)
Source: EurekAlert! - Cancer - July 24, 2020 Category: Cancer & Oncology Source Type: news

Droplet biosensing method opens the door for faster identification of COVID-19
(Virginia Tech) In Cheng and Zhou's method, all of the contents of a sampling droplet can be detected, and there is no extraction or other tedious procedures. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - July 21, 2020 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Virginia Tech researchers discover that mouth bacterium may cause colon cancer to spread
(Virginia Tech) Virginia Tech researchers have discovered that one of these common bacteria can leave the mouth and potentially cause existing cancer cells in other parts of the body to spread. (Source: EurekAlert! - Cancer)
Source: EurekAlert! - Cancer - July 21, 2020 Category: Cancer & Oncology Source Type: news

Doctoral student awarded Fulbright to study diseases in migratory birds
(Virginia Tech) Krisangel Lopez, a first-year Ph.D. student in Jonathan Auguste's lab at Virginia Tech, received a Fulbright Fellowship to research how migratory birds can transmit diseases and which pathogens they may carry. When it's safe to travel again, she will spend a year at the University of the West Indies in Trinidad and Tobago. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - July 17, 2020 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Grant studies community response to early warnings on safe drinking water in Bangladesh
(Virginia Tech) " By getting people to load an app on their cell phone, we'll see if people will respond to the information provided, " Boyle said. (Source: EurekAlert! - Social and Behavioral Science)
Source: EurekAlert! - Social and Behavioral Science - July 16, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Source Type: news

In one hour, surface coating inactivates virus that causes COVID-19
(Virginia Tech) A chemical engineering professor at Virginia Tech has developed a surface coating that, when painted on common objects, inactivates SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. (Source: EurekAlert! - Infectious and Emerging Diseases)
Source: EurekAlert! - Infectious and Emerging Diseases - July 15, 2020 Category: Infectious Diseases Source Type: news

Converting female mosquitoes to non-biting males with implications for mosquito control
(Virginia Tech) " Nix has great potential for developing mosquito control strategies to reduce vector populations through female-to-male sex conversion, or to aid in the Sterile Insect Technique, which requires releasing only nonbiting males, " said James Biedler, a research scientist in the Tu lab. (Source: EurekAlert! - Medicine and Health)
Source: EurekAlert! - Medicine and Health - July 14, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Source Type: news

Preliminary study suggests tuberculosis vaccine may be limiting COVID-19 deaths
(Virginia Tech) While a direct correlation between BCG vaccinations and a reduction in coronavirus mortalities still needs to be understood more fully, researchers hold hope that the BCG vaccine might be able to provide at least short-term protections against severe COVID-19, particularly for front-line medical workers or high-risk patients. (Source: EurekAlert! - Medicine and Health)
Source: EurekAlert! - Medicine and Health - July 8, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Source Type: news

The WHO Says Airborne Coronavirus Transmission Isn ’t a Big Risk. Scientists Are Pushing Back
For months, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said COVID-19 spreads mainly via direct contact with large respiratory droplets, like those expelled in a sick person’s cough or sneeze. In a letter published this week in Clinical Infectious Diseases, 239 scientists say the agency may be wrong. It’s only the latest chapter in an ongoing tug of war between the WHO and the rest of the public-health world. “This is one in a series of many miscues,” says Dr. Eric Topol, director and founder of the Scripps Research Translational Institute. “It’s really unfortunate how the WHO has led to all...
Source: TIME: Health - July 7, 2020 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Jamie Ducharme Tags: Uncategorized COVID-19 Source Type: news

Virginia Tech researchers developing new strategy to thwart Alzheimer's
(Virginia Tech) With a new, five-year, $2.8 million National Institutes of Health grant awarded to Harald Sontheimer, a glial neurobiologist at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC, scientists are probing changes caused by aging in the circulatory system in the normal brain and Alzheimer's disease brain. The hope is they will discover something completely unsuspected -- a protein or a signaling pathway that no one had thought about -- that could then be potentially targeted to develop a therapy for Alzheimer's disease (Source: EurekAlert! - Medicine and Health)
Source: EurekAlert! - Medicine and Health - July 7, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Source Type: news

Quilted Fabric And Cone-Style Masks Better Than Bandanas, Study Says
(CNN) — Wearing face masks and coverings is recommended, or in some places mandatory, in public spaces to help stop the spread of Covid-19. But what kind of DIY face covering offers the best protection? Researchers at Florida Atlantic University have experimented with different materials and styles of non-medical masks and found that a well-fitted stitched mask made from two layers of quilting fabric was the most effective in stopping the spread of droplets from emulated coughs and sneezes. They also compared a loosely folded homemade face mask, such as one you could make with a handkerchief or T-shirt, a bandana-sty...
Source: WBZ-TV - Breaking News, Weather and Sports for Boston, Worcester and New Hampshire - July 1, 2020 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Health – CBS Boston Tags: Boston News Covid-19 Boston, MA Health Healthcare Status Syndicated CBSN Boston CNN Coronavirus Source Type: news

Virginia Tech scientists confirm usually harmless virus attacks the heart's electrical system
(Virginia Tech) Virginia Tech researchers studying how a usually benign virus attacks the human heart with sometimes fatal consequences determined that the virus disrupts the heart's electrical system -- and with dual impacts not previously recognized. (Source: EurekAlert! - Medicine and Health)
Source: EurekAlert! - Medicine and Health - June 22, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Source Type: news

Researchers study catastrophic disease events in marine mammals
(Virginia Tech) Viruses were responsible for 72 percent of these events and caused 20 times the number of deaths than bacterial outbreaks. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - June 18, 2020 Category: Biology Source Type: news

The Scientist, the Air and the Virus
Most of us had never heard of aerosol science before the pandemic. Then Virginia Tech ’s Linsey Marr showed up and became our tour guide to the invisible world of airborne particles. (Source: NYT Health)
Source: NYT Health - June 12, 2020 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tara Parker-Pope Tags: Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Masks Science and Technology Air Pollution Quarantines Protective Clothing and Gear Source Type: news

Professor receives fellowship to study historical discrimination in US housing
(Virginia Tech) Winling will use the opportunity to research redlining, a term for discriminating against a community by refusing to offer credit or insurance on the basis of race or ethnicity. (Source: EurekAlert! - Social and Behavioral Science)
Source: EurekAlert! - Social and Behavioral Science - June 11, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Source Type: news

Drug researcher develops 'fat burning' molecule
(Virginia Tech) Santos and his colleagues have recently identified a small mitochondrial uncoupler, named BAM15, that decreases the body fat mass of mice without affecting food intake and muscle mass or increasing body temperature (Source: EurekAlert! - Medicine and Health)
Source: EurekAlert! - Medicine and Health - June 8, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Source Type: news

Virginia Tech researcher receives grant to study Lyme arthritis
(Virginia Tech) With a $661,216 grant from the Steven& Alexandra Cohen Foundation, Brandon Jutras, an assistant professor of biochemistry in the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, will study Lyme arthritis, including the cellular component that contributes to it. (Source: EurekAlert! - Infectious and Emerging Diseases)
Source: EurekAlert! - Infectious and Emerging Diseases - May 22, 2020 Category: Infectious Diseases Source Type: news

Here ’s How Scientists and Public-Health Experts Recommend the U.S. Gets Back to ‘Normal’
There is both promise and peril in being a pioneer, and the people of Hokkaido have learned both lessons well over the past few months. After infections of COVID-19 on the Japanese island exploded following its annual winter festival this year, officials in February declared a state of emergency to control the disease. Soon after, new daily cases plummeted, and Hokkaido’s quick action was heralded as a beacon for the rest of Japan to follow. But it wasn’t just infections that dropped; over the next month, agriculture and tourism business also dried up, and Hokkaido’s governor decided to ease social restri...
Source: TIME: Health - April 30, 2020 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Alice Park Tags: Uncategorized COVID-19 Magazine Source Type: news

Virginia Tech researchers link rare medical condition to its cause
(Virginia Tech) Using CRISPR genome editing in zebrafish, scientists with the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC linked an undiagnosed human disease with a rare genetic mutation that causes craniofacial abnormalities. The research began after a study of a 6-year-old girl identified through the National Institutes of Health Undiagnosed Diseases Program. (Source: EurekAlert! - Medicine and Health)
Source: EurekAlert! - Medicine and Health - April 30, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Source Type: news

Reporting, Recording, and Remembering the 1918 Influenza Epidemic
Source: National Library of Medicine [National Institutes of Health] (NLM). Published: 4/29/2020. This two-hour public research symposium features Virginia Tech students who present their research on various aspects of the 1918 influenza pandemic, including newspaper reporting at the peak of the epidemic (late September to early November 1918), contemporary social distancing policies and procedures, how contemporaries determined that the epidemic was ending, and how they remembered the remarkable experience of this intense, but brief, crisis in community health. (Video or Multimedia) (Source: Disaster Lit: Resource Guide...
Source: Disaster Lit: Resource Guide for Disaster Medicine and Public Health - April 29, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Source Type: news

Grant funds research on community-level intervention to address opioid overdoses
(Virginia Tech) Keep people alive. Refer them to those who save lives. Finally, connect them to effective, peer-based treatment. These are the objectives of Connection 2 Care (C2C), an innovative collaboration led by Virginia Tech researchers that aims to address the opioid crisis in the Roanoke Valley. (Source: EurekAlert! - Social and Behavioral Science)
Source: EurekAlert! - Social and Behavioral Science - April 27, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Source Type: news

Virginia Tech scientists reveal brain tumors impact normally helpful cells
(Virginia Tech) Unprovoked recurrent seizures are a serious problem affecting most patients who suffer from glioma, a primary brain tumor composed of malignant glial cells. Fralin Biomedical Research Institute researchers tested the hypothesis that glioma-induces processes that renders a type of brain cells dysfunctional, perpetuating the imbalance between excitation and inhibition in tumor-associated epilepsy. (Source: EurekAlert! - Medicine and Health)
Source: EurekAlert! - Medicine and Health - April 6, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Source Type: news

Scientists show how parasitic infection causes seizures, psychiatric illness for some
(Virginia Tech) In a new study published in GLIA , Virginia Tech neuroscientists at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC describe how the common Toxoplasma gondii parasite prompts the loss of inhibitory signaling in the brain by altering the behavior of nearby cells called microglia. (Source: EurekAlert! - Infectious and Emerging Diseases)
Source: EurekAlert! - Infectious and Emerging Diseases - April 2, 2020 Category: Infectious Diseases Source Type: news

Don't Fall Prey to COVID-19 Scammers
Social distancing has created an easy playground for "fraudulent telemarketers and internet scammers," said Karen Roberto, a gerontology expert from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. (Source: WebMD Health)
Source: WebMD Health - March 31, 2020 Category: Consumer Health News Source Type: news

An Expert's Guide to Fact-Checking Coronavirus Info Online
THURSDAY, March 26, 2020 -- With bogus information about the new coronavirus spreading fast online, how can you separate fact from fiction? A communications expert at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg said identifying reliable and useful sources of... (Source: Drugs.com - Daily MedNews)
Source: Drugs.com - Daily MedNews - March 26, 2020 Category: General Medicine Source Type: news

Predicting the impacts of white-nose syndrome in bats
(Virginia Tech) Researchers have found that the pathogen levels in the environment play a major role in whether bat populations are stable or experience severe declines from white-nose syndrome. (Source: EurekAlert! - Infectious and Emerging Diseases)
Source: EurekAlert! - Infectious and Emerging Diseases - March 16, 2020 Category: Infectious Diseases Source Type: news

Researchers find ways to predict global infection patterns of white-nose syndrome
(Virginia Tech) Researchers have found that the pathogen levels in the environment play a major role in whether bat populations are stable or experience severe declines from white-nose syndrome. (Source: EurekAlert! - Infectious and Emerging Diseases)
Source: EurekAlert! - Infectious and Emerging Diseases - March 16, 2020 Category: Infectious Diseases Source Type: news

Banded mongoose study reveals how its environment influences the spread of infectious disease
(Virginia Tech) A new study led by Kathleen Alexander explores the ways that landscapes can influence animal behavior, fostering dynamics that either encourage or limit the spread of infectious diseases. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - March 12, 2020 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Virginia Tech, University of Virginia work to safeguard US tomato industry
(Virginia Tech) Virginia Tech entomologist Muni Muniappan has warned of Tuta absoluta's likely arrival into the United States since he began monitoring the pest's spread throughout Africa in 2012. Thanks to a joint grant from the US Department of Agriculture, Muniappan's team and collaborators will be able to model the pest's entry into the United States -- protecting the country's billion-dollar tomato industry -- before irreparable damage is caused. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - March 4, 2020 Category: Biology Source Type: news

New book on tracking, monitoring disease outbreaks, including COVID-19
(Virginia Tech) Ron Fricker, a Virginia Tech professor, wrote a book titled 'Monitoring the Health of Populations by Tracking Disease Outbreaks: Saving Humanity from the Next Plague.' (Source: EurekAlert! - Infectious and Emerging Diseases)
Source: EurekAlert! - Infectious and Emerging Diseases - February 26, 2020 Category: Infectious Diseases Source Type: news

Research projects to reduce the impact of carbon emissions on climate
(Virginia Tech) With separate grants from the National Science Foundation and the National Energy Technology Laboratory, Cheng Chen, an assistant professor of mining and minerals engineering in the Virginia Tech College of Engineering, is working on new ways to reduce the impacts of global climate change through carbon sequestration. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - February 26, 2020 Category: Biology Source Type: news

NSF CAREER award to measure air pollution with bicycle sensors
(Virginia Tech) Hankey, an assistant professor in the School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) within the College of Architecture and Urban Studies, is the first faculty member from SPIA to receive a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Thanks to the $500,000 award, Hankey's five-year project will measure pollution using various sensors and engage the public by tracking their pollution intake using a smartphone app. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - February 14, 2020 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Understanding forest-water interactions and their impact on New Zealand's water quality
(Virginia Tech) Forest systems, a crucial resource for fresh water around the world, are under increasing pressure from global change factors like climate change, population growth, and land management decisions. To meet future demands for clean water, scientists need a clear understanding of the dynamics of water and nutrients in forest systems. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - February 10, 2020 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Developing DNA extraction technology to combat illegal timber trade
(Virginia Tech) Illegal timber trade is a global industry estimated to account for $50 billion to $150 billion each year. It's a contributing factor to deforestation, which results in increased carbon dioxide emissions, soil erosion, and loss of biological diversity among plants and animals in forest habitats. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - February 7, 2020 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Nanoparticles produced from burning coal result in damage to mice lungs
(Virginia Tech) Titanium oxide found in coal smog and ash can cause lung damage in mice after a single exposure, with long-term damage occurring in just six weeks. (Source: EurekAlert! - Medicine and Health)
Source: EurekAlert! - Medicine and Health - February 5, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Source Type: news

Weather radar records drastic drop in mayfly populations
(University of Oklahoma) Researchers at the University of Oklahoma, the University of Notre Dame and Virginia Tech applied radar technology -- the same used for meteorology -- to quantify the number of mayflies that emerged annually from two different bodies of water: the Upper Mississippi River and the Western Lake Erie Basin. Their goal was to characterize the size of these swarms using the same technique a meteorologist would use to quantify the amount of precipitation that may fall from a cloud. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - February 3, 2020 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Fonts in campaign communications have liberal or conservative leanings
(Virginia Tech) 'This research is of interest to anyone who cares about political communications, and the results have clear implications for political campaign professionals,' said Haenschen. 'When you're choosing a candidate's visual identity, you need to consider how people perceive that font.' (Source: EurekAlert! - Social and Behavioral Science)
Source: EurekAlert! - Social and Behavioral Science - January 24, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Source Type: news

Study provides the first data on concussion risk in youth football
(Virginia Tech) 'These are the first biomechanical data characterizing concussion risk in kids,' said Steve Rowson, an associate professor of biomedical engineering and mechanics and the director of the Virginia Tech Helmet Lab. 'Children aren't just scaled-down adults: Differences in anatomy and physiology, like head-neck proportions and brain development, contribute to differences in tolerance to head impact. These results can lead to data-driven interventions to reduce risk in youth sports.' (Source: EurekAlert! - Social and Behavioral Science)
Source: EurekAlert! - Social and Behavioral Science - January 21, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Source Type: news