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Latest Virginia Tech Stories

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2011-03-02 07:55:00

By examining historical data, statisticians in the College of Science at Virginia Tech have quantified biases that play a role in granting Division I at-large basketball teams inclusion in the NCAA March Madness Tournament. Assistant professors Leanna House and Scotland Leman found that in addition to the standard Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) used by the 10-member selection committee, biases such as the team's marquee and the strength of its schedule are also factors. "We wanted to quantify...

2011-02-24 20:56:01

Conversion of biomass to fuel requires several steps: chemical pretreatment to break up the biomass "“ often dilute (sulfuric) acid, detoxification to remove the toxic chemicals required in pretreatment, and microbial fermentation to convert the soluble sugars to fuels. Virginia Tech researchers have discovered an enzyme mixture that works in the presence of the toxic infused liquid biomass (hydrolysate), meaning that the detoxification step is unnecessary, reducing the cost of...

2011-02-22 16:58:07

A group of researchers led by scientists from the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI) at Virginia Tech have developed a new technology that detects distinct genetic changes differentiating cancer patients from healthy individuals and could serve as a future cancer predisposition test. The multidisciplinary team, which includes researchers from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, has created a design for a new DNA microarray that allows them to measure the two million...

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2011-02-17 12:45:23

Scientists have discovered that a community of seaweeds and worm-like animals lived in a quiet deep-water niche under the sea about 600 million years ago near what is now Lantian, which is a small village in Anhul Province of South China. The scientists identified about 15 different species at the site, in addition to the ancient versions of algae and worms. The researchers said that the fossils suggest that morphological diversification of macroscopic eukaryotes may have occurred only tens...

2011-02-08 14:01:35

Nematodes, microscopic worms, are making engineers look twice at their ability to exhibit the "Cheerios effect" when they move in a collective motion. These parasites will actually stick together like Cheerios swimming in milk in a cereal bowl after a chance encounter "due to capillary force." This observation has made Virginia Tech engineers speculate about the possible impacts on the study of biolocomotion. Their work appears in the journal, Soft Matter, a publication of the Royal Society...

2011-02-02 12:50:51

A parent's wise advice to never go to a hospital unless you want to get sick may be gaining support from scientific studies on a specific airborne virus. The results of a Virginia Tech study by environmental engineers and a virologist on the risk of airborne infection in public places from concentrations of influenza A viruses is appearing today in the on-line, Feb. 2 issue of the United Kingdom's Journal of the Royal Society Interface. Linsey Marr, associate professor of civil and...

2011-02-01 16:18:56

Potentially impacting future diagnosis and treatment of lupus, an immune illness affecting more than 5 million people worldwide, researchers at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech have likely uncovered where the breakdown in the body's lymphocyte molecular regulatory machinery is occurring. Rujuan Dai, research scientist, and her colleagues in the veterinary college's Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, have discovered a "common set...

2011-01-28 11:41:00

Only 17 states have submitted more than 1,000 mental health records to database, and more than 1.5 million records are estimated to be missing New state laws enacted to improve submission of records to National Instant Background Check System (NICS) in the wake of the Virginia Tech massacre appear to be working WASHINGTON, Jan. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is being issued by Mayors Against Illegal Guns: In December 2005, Seung-Hui Cho was found to present "an...

2011-01-28 00:13:29

Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute faculty member leads study resulting in new insight on rehabilitating brain function in addicts People with addictions to stimulants tend to choose instant gratification or a smaller but sooner reward over a future benefit, even if the future reward is greater. Reduced value of a future reward, called "delay discounting" by neuroscientists, is the major challenge for treatment of addiction. A new study in the February 2011 (Vol. 69, Issue 3)...

2011-01-26 12:00:00

To look at far off galaxies and ozone destruction closer to Earth Scientists from Virginia Tech and the University of Colorado are preparing to launch two NASA sounding rockets for two experiments at Poker Flat Research Range north of Fairbanks. The launch window for both experiments opens on Jan. 26 and extends until Feb. 15. In the experiment set to launch on Jan. 26, if winds are favorable, researchers from the University of Colorado will use a rocket at the top of its arc 200 miles above...


Word of the Day
callithump
  • A somewhat riotous parade, accompanied with the blowing of tin horns, and other discordant noises; also, a burlesque serenade; a charivari.
'Callithump' is a back-formation of 'callithumpian,' a 'fanciful formation' according to the Oxford English Dictionary. However, the English Dialect Dictionary, says 'Gallithumpians' is a Dorset and Devon word from the 1790s that refers to 'a society of radical social reformers' or 'noisy disturbers of elections and meetings.'
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