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Latest Virginia Tech Stories

2010-05-25 07:40:00

The eruption of the volcano in Iceland has drawn attention to air flow patterns, as airlines lost millions of dollars and travelers remained stranded for days to weeks, as particles from the natural disaster traveled over Europe, forcing closures of major airports. The flow of particles, although seemingly random, can be characterized more effectively, according to work done by Virginia Tech's Shane Ross of the engineering science and mechanics (ESM) department and his colleague Francois...

2010-05-18 08:15:18

A new "tree of life" has been constructed by researchers at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI) at Virginia Tech for the gamma-proteobacteria, a large group of medically and scientifically important bacteria that includes Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhimurium, and other disease-causing organisms.* By building powerful phylogenetic trees, scientists are able to quickly identify similarities and differences between the make-up of many different organisms, crucial information in the...

2010-04-21 14:34:47

A Virginia Tech animal scientist, who in 1957 began breeding lines of White Plymouth Rock chickens based on their juvenile body weight, has provided scientists around the world with a model for exploring the molecular basis of traits like growth and reproduction "“ traits that molded the red jungle fowl into a farm animal roughly 8,000 years ago. Paul Siegel, University Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Animal and Poultry Sciences in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences,...

2010-04-15 13:09:00

NEW YORK, April 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Three years ago on April 16, 2007, Seung-Hui Cho, armed with two semiautomatic handguns and several hundred rounds of ammunition, shot and killed 32 people and wounded many more on the campus of Virginia Tech before killing himself. The gun lobby's immediate reaction was to call for permitting the carrying of loaded handguns on college campuses. In the three years since the Virginia Tech shooting, legislation has been introduced in at least...

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2010-04-13 17:16:29

Scientists at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI) and the Department of Computer Science at Virginia Tech have used high-performance computing to locate small genes that have been missed by scientists in their quest to define the microbial DNA sequences of life. Using an ephemeral supercomputer made up of computers from across the world, the mpiBLAST computational tool used by the researchers took only 12 hours instead of the 90 years it would have required if the work were performed...

2010-04-07 14:23:20

Virginia Tech is one of few universities to integrate mindfulness meditation into its Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) program curriculum, according to Eric McCollum, professor of human development and MFT program director in the National Capital Region. "Mindfulness meditation helps students improve their ability to be emotionally present in therapy sessions with clients," he explained. "It helps beginners, who can sometimes feel overwhelmed, stop focusing on themselves and think more about...

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2010-04-01 07:30:18

When Walter O'Brien was a young boy, he recalls a moment of complete exhilaration when he was able to design and build a balsa wood airplane model that actually flew from his parents' front porch, across the street, and landed on the neighbor's deck. That boy of 10 is now in his early 70s, but he remains as excited about his engineering prowess now as he was then. Only today, he is celebrating the award of his most recent patent on a significantly more sophisticated design "“"“ a...

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2010-03-18 09:44:13

Measuring the movement of nutrients in Alaska's glacial streams is a "hot topic" for an NSF-supported research team Being on top of an Alaskan glacier was not as cold as Michael Nassry expected. Nassry grew up hunting, fishing, hiking and camping in western Pennsylvania, near his home in Hopwood. "I like the outdoors," he said. With that motivation, he decided he wanted to be an environmental engineer, and found himself in the agricultural and biological engineering program at Penn State...

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2010-03-04 11:14:41

Blacksburg, Va. -- Students at Virginia Tech's Unmanned Systems Laboratory are perfecting an autonomous helicopter they hope will never be used for its intended purpose. Roughly six feet long and weighing 200 pounds, the re-engineered aircraft is designed to fly into American cities blasted by a nuclear weapon or dirty bomb. The helicopter's main mission would be to assist military investigators in the unthinkable: Enter an American city after a nuclear attack in order to detect radiation...

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2010-03-03 08:40:51

Poor air quality apparently affects the running times of women in marathons, according to a study by Virginia Tech civil and environmental engineer Linsey Marr. Marr's findings come from a comprehensive study that evaluated marathon race results, weather data, and air pollutant concentrations in seven marathons over a period of eight to 28 years. The top three male and female finishing times were compared with the course record and contrasted with air pollutant levels, taking high...


Word of the Day
vermicular
  • Like a worm in form or movement; vermiform; tortuous or sinuous; also, writhing or wriggling.
  • Like the track or trace of a worm; appearing as if worm-eaten; vermiculate.
  • Marked with fine, close-set, wavy or tortuous lines of color; vermiculated.
  • A form of rusticated masonry which is so wrought as to appear thickly indented with worm-tracks.
This word ultimately comes from the Latin 'vermis,' worm.
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