Publication highlights Virginia’s peer crowd research initiatives

Health Education & Behavior Journal published a study that highlights Virginia’s work on using innovative “peer crowd” research to determine which teen subcultures are more at risk of engaging in specific adverse health behaviors, including tobacco and substance use.

Ear stones provide clues to researchers studying migratory habits of Amazonian fish species

Four researchers published a study that reports on the use of chemical analysis of ear stones as a way to tease out a fish’s life story.

The trial and error of viral evolution: The difference between fading out and pandemic

Viruses evolve quickly. A small tweak to the genetic makeup of a mostly mild strain of influenza can give rise to the next pandemic.

Virginia Tech plant ecologist receives grant to study invasive agricultural weed

A Virginia Tech researcher will spend five years ‘deep in the weeds’ of Johnsongrass research with the help of a $5 million grant from the USDA.

Virginia Tech team tests alternative to lead-based piezoelectric materials

For post-doctoral researcher Deepam Maurya, getting the lead out is not a colloquialism for working fast.

240-million-year-old fossils provide new insight into how dinosaurs grew

Paleontologists at Virginia Tech have found muscle-scared fossil leg bones of one of the closest cousins of dinosaurs.

Genomic info may help researchers fathom bedbug insect resistance

The genetic makeup of bedbug skin plays a significant role in the pest’s ability to resist insecticides, according to Virginia Tech researcher Zach Adelman.

Je Suis #ResearchParasite

In an editorial at the New England Journal of Medicine, Dan Longo and Jeffrey Drazen have coined an interesting new term: “research parasite.”

uva school of medicine

The awful anchor that lets urinary tract infections take hold

To establish an infection in the urinary tract, bacteria must be able to withstand the tremendous forces of urine flow so they’re not simply washed away.

Study using genetic lines of Virginia Tech chickens reveals evolution happens faster than thought

A critical component of an experiment that proved evolution happens 15 times faster than was previously believed relied upon genetic lines of chickens from Virginia Tech.

Virginia Tech researchers study probiotics to rescue threatened amphibians

Skin bacteria could be the best defense that frogs and salamanders have for protection against dangerous diseases like chytrid fungus.

Virginia Tech researchers to measure social networks’ influence on public attitudes

A team of scientists led by Virginia Tech researchers has received a $950,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to study the ways that ideas and behaviors are spread through large social networks like Twitter.

Geoscientist says animals took first breaths after small oxygen hike in atmosphere

If oxygen was a driver of the early evolution of animals, only a slight bump in oxygen levels facilitated it, according to a multi-institutional research team that includes a Virginia Tech geoscientist.

Virginia Tech student investigates how environmental stress could promote tumor cell growth

In a well-lit laboratory on the southwest side of campus, Virginia Tech undergraduate Kimberly Soto-Alvarado focused a high-resolution microscope on a bright orange liquid in a small clear flask.

Virginia Tech researcher develops model for robots with bacterial brains

In a paper published this week in Scientific Reports, which is part of the Nature Publishing Group, a Virginia Tech scientist used a mathematical model to demonstrate that bacteria can control the behavior of an inanimate device like a robot.


VCU researchers, international partners first to identify risk genes for clinical depression

For the first time in scientific history, researchers have identified specific genetic clues to the underlying etiology of clinical depression.

Virginia Tech researchers develop new way to assess healthy beverage intake

There may be a better way to think about daily drinking habits that impact health conditions such as obesity and diabetes, according to a new study by Virginia Tech researchers.

International research team seeks more efficient biomass refinement processes

Researchers from across the world, including from Virginia Tech, plan to mimic the chemistry of the brown rot fungus to improve biorefining processes.

Virginia Tech scientists work to help save the Amazon rainforest and its biodiversity

The Amazon Basin’s vast tropical rainforests, rivers, and soils are rich ecosystems vital to the basic functioning of the planet. They churn moisture into the atmosphere, sequester global carbon, regulate climate patterns, and house much of the world’s biodiversity.

Virginia Tech scientists awarded grant to study optic nerve hypoplasia

The optic nerve could be the microscope into brain disorders that scientists need. An underdeveloped optic nerve – one that never fully developed its cells or one whose cells died off – could indicate other dysfunctions in the brain.


Virginia Agricultural Council funds $315K in research projects

At its March meeting, the Virginia Agricultural Council reviewed research project proposals and funded 21 new projects totaling almost $220,000, as well as more than $45,000 for four new projects for lawn and turf research. It also extended funding for a second year on five projects totaling nearly $50,000.

Missing link found between brain, immune system: With major disease implications

Researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have determined that the brain is directly connected to the immune system by vessels previously thought not to exist.

Virginia Tech test site receives more flexibility for drone research

Officials with the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership at Virginia Tech welcomed the Federal Aviation Administration’s announcement last week that it will soon be simpler for the six unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) test sites to conduct research.

Scientists find that saline solution composition can affect cardiac response differently

Saline solution is a staple of every hospital. No matter the ailment, doctors have known for more than a century that saline is key to keeping patients hydrated and maintaining their blood pressure levels.